Best pet-safe indoor plants – 10 house plants to keep your furry friends safe

1. Calathea

With its stunning foliage coming in endless patterns and colors, including every shade of green, silver, yellow and claret, the Calathea or Peacock plant as it is also known is one of the most striking pet-friendly plants.

2. Fishbone Cactus

This standout plant is a real show stealer for any pet-safe home. Hailing from the rainforests of Mexico where it grows high up in the trees, its distinctive, flat, ric-rac-edged leaves start off growing upright before eventually trailing downwards. Its laid-back attitude to watering it also makes it a real cinch to look after. A shade lover, the fishbone cactus prefers just a few hours of indirect sunlight a day. Position it around 50cm to 1m away from a window in a hanging planter or position it on a shelf, where it can casually drape. Pot up using free-draining soil to prevent root rot and water only when the compost is completely dry. Feed regularly with specialist cactus fertilizer from April to September, stopping altogether from October to March.

3. Burro's Tail

Burro’s Tail is a succulent that loves sunshine and direct sunlight, as they originate in the dry heat of Honduras and Mexico. Growing up to 23 inches (60cm) long, the intricate blue-grey stems will trail over the side of the pot as the plant grows, which may tempt curious pets to investigate, but this plant won't do them any harm if they do. Keep them high or low, potted in free-draining compost and away from bright, direct light. They can cope for periods without water, as they tend to store reserves in their leaves.

4. Ponytail Palm

Another pet-friendly and good-looking succulent – although you wouldn’t know it instantly. This sculptural beauty stores water in its bulbous trunk, making it ideal for those who are less than organized with their watering regime or just away from home a great deal. Fine green hair-like leaves emerge from the top of the trunk in a fountain-like fashion and add movement and softness to the sculptural silhouette. Thankfully these almost indestructible low maintenance indoor plants are back on trend.

5. Peperomia

‘Peperomia plants are grown for their beautiful foliage, not their blooms,’ says Eliza Blank, founder of The Sill. ‘They are semi-succulent, adaptable, visual-appealing, and pet-friendly – all characteristics that make for suitable houseplants.’ Loving bright to medium light levels, it’s important to keep these plants out of strong, direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves. Similarly, do keep them away from radiators, draughts, and air conditioning units.

6. Fan Palm

Spiky but perfectly safe around pets, this stately palm makes a fabulous statement in a corner or on a side table. With its exotic good looks and large, deeply cut fronds it oozes tropical charm. A slow grower it’s a great option if space is tight, only reaching up to 6.5ft (2m) indoors, compared to 65ft (20m) in its native southeast Asia.

7. Boston Fern

The Boston Fern has different light requirements at different times of the year. During the spring and summer, it needs a shady location. A north-facing window is ideal. During autumn and winter, it needs extra light and will benefit from at least a couple of hours of direct sunlight per day. At all times of the year, it will not tolerate full sun or total shade. It is a great option for a bathroom or kitchen plant as it loves high humidity. Group plants together to create a mini microclimate.

8. Chinese Money Plant

Supremely popular today this plant is a speedy grower, easy to care for, and, above all, perfectly pet-safe too. Native to the Southern Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan, this elegant plant was thought to bring its owner luck and good fortune, thanks to its large, rounded leaves that were thought to represent coins stacking one on top of the other.

9. Spider Plant

“To make sure your home is pet friendly, opt for a spider plant,’ says Patty Willems, from elho. ‘Not only are they harmless to cats and other pets, but also low maintenance. This air-cleaning indoor plant can even help to banish nasty toxins from homes, so you and your fur baby can enjoy clean air.’

10. Prayer Plant

‘Maranta and calathea plants belong to the family Marantaceae, and they make beautiful pet-safe houseplants,’ says Mark Lawlor from Happy Houseplants. ‘Maranta is sometimes called the prayer plant because its leaves lie flat during the day and fold upwards at night, as if in prayer.’

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