Plants are a great way to add color and freshen up your home, inside and out. But not all plants are safe to have, especially for those with pets.

“Some houseplants can be poisonous to pets because they contain insoluble calcium oxalates, toxic alkaloids and other harmful chemicals that can cause mild to severe side effects if ingested by your pet,” shares Katherine Hachmeister of City Mill. These side effects can range from irritation and swelling of the mouth to loss of appetite and stomach pains.

Hachmeister points out that common houseplants that you may think are safe are actually harmful to animals, including peace lilies and ZZ plants. Here are her recommendations for pet-friendly plants that you can add to your home, available at your local City Mill.

Areca Palm

Areca Palm

“Areca palms not only make good houseplants, but they are also a great pet-friendly option if you want a statement plant in your home,” says Hachmeister. These palms can be anywhere from 1 foot to 6 feet in height. They prefer bright sunlight and need watering before their soil dries out.

Bird’s Nest Fern

Bird’s Nest Fern

Surprisingly, the bird’s nest fern is not as fussy as other ferns. “Being a fern, it prefers to have moist soil at all times, but can handle drying out on occasion if you miss a watering here and there,” she says. It prefers bright sunlight, but can handle darker areas in the home as well.

Bromeliads

Bromeliads

Bromeliads come in a wide range of species and colors, perfect for your interior and even exterior spaces. These plants prefer bright indirect sunlight and like to dry out between watering.

Calathea

Calathea

The Calathea features beautiful patterns on its foliage, making it a great accent in your home. It does best in shady spots that still get natural lighting. Calatheas prefer to be watered with distilled or bottled water.

Maranta

Maranta

Similar to the Calathea, the Maranta is another beautiful plant to add and requires the same type of care. “Calathea and Maranta are also commonly referred to as prayer plants as their leaves move during the day almost as if they are praying,” says Hachmeister.

Ponytail Palm

Ponytail Palm

Ponytail palms are hardy plants that don’t require much and can handle direct sunlight or shady areas. “They store water in their thick caudex or trunk and can go for some time in between watering,” she says.

Spider Plant

Spider Plant

“This plant makes a great hanging basket and has beautiful white and green variegated foliage,” says Hachmeister. “It prefers bright indirect light and watering every five to seven days, or when soil has almost dried.”

Staghorn Fern

Staghorn Fern

For another statement plant, the Staghorn is a great interest piece. This houseplant likes bright indirect sunlight and prefers to be consistently damp, but can manage if it dries out occasionally.

For a full list of toxic and nontoxic plants, visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website. And pick up a pet-friendly plant at your local City Mill.

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