16 pet-safe indoor plants
Pets are part of the family, and now more than ever, they're living in the lap of luxury. They're whiling away their time curled up on the couch rather than in a kennel - so, it makes sense that our homes should be a sanctuary for them in every way. Keep your four-legged friends happy, healthy and out of harm’s way with these cat and dog-safe indoor plants.
This Madagascan native is a popular clumping palm with attractive golden trunks and stems and a hardy, drought-tolerant nature. To keep it healthy and happy, give it the occasional week-long outdoor holiday. Uncover the 8 secrets to a happy indoor palm.
Nephrolepis exaltata bostoniensis
A frilly Boston fern will add a tropical touch to your home. The Boston fern likes humidity, so make sure the soil stays damp. You can also sit it in a tray of pebbles filled with water or mist it lightly once or twice a week. Learn more about caring for ferns.
Calatheas are popular houseplants thanks to their impressive foliage. This fun foliage gives calatheas the common names peacock, zebra or rattlesnake plant. Position this indoor beauty in a well-lit spot but out of direct sunlight. Learn more about calatheas.
Echeverias are one the most attractive succulents you'll find. They reveal colourful flowers in spring and summer, but it’s their fascinating rosettes that are their real drawcard. As a succulent, echeverias enjoy plenty of sunshine and can tolerate lengthy dry spells. Check out our beginner’s guide to growing succulents.
With flowers that look like goldfish leaping out of water and a trailing habit, the goldfish plant looks the part in a hanging basket. For a thriving plant, give it light, coarse and well-draining soil and ensure it enjoys about 13 hours of light daily.
Another member of the succulent family, Haworthia is super-easy to care for. These low-growing plants form rosettes of fleshy green leaves that are covered with white, pearly warts or bands. Like other succulents, these plants appreciate bright light and a chance to dry out before their next watering.
7. Hens and chicks
Hens and chicks are part of the sempervivum genus. Sempervivum is Latin for 'live forever', making this succulent great for the forgetful gardener. The plant's name comes from its habit of creating babies, which are attached to the mother plant by an underground runner. For this reason, they look great in a large bowl.
This Aussie native from Lord Howe Island will add a rich burst of green to your space thanks to beautiful, lush fronds. Slow-growing and hardy, a kentia palm will tolerate dark and dry corners of your home and a degree of neglect, but grows best with bright indirect light.
9. Lipstick plant
Brighten up your home with vivid red blooms that look like a tube of lipstick. Growing this plant is easy and with the right care, you can enjoy continuous flowering. Start with airy soil, feed occasionally with a liquid fertiliser, keep soil moist but don’t over water and give it bright light for part of the day.
One of the best plants for cleaning the air in your home, the parlour palm is also adaptable and great for the houseplant beginner. The perfect home for a parlour palm is a bright spot that enjoys early morning or late afternoon sun.
For style and grace, you can’t beat a Phalaenopsis orchid. Flowers appear in shades of purple, white (or both) and with the right care, can last for months. Phalaenopsis orchids love humidity, which you can recreate by misting on hot days or standing the pot on a tray of pebbles and water. Check out our guide to caring for phalaenopsis orchids here.
Originally from the hot, dry parts of Mexico and the southern United States, the ponytail palm efficiently stores water in its bulbous trunk, making it a very forgiving and low-maintenance house guest. Water well in summer but less in winter, to stop the trunk from rotting.
The prayer plant loves bright, indirect sunlight and humidity, so is the perfect bathroom plant. Keep soil moist, but not wet and if the air is dry, mist with warm water. Placing a bowl of water nearby or placing its container on top of a shallow dish of pebbles and water is also helpful.
This spiky number with green and white striped foliage is easy to grow and particularly good at removing toxins from the air. The spider plant is also tough, making it an excellent candidate for the houseplant newbie.
The pilea plant family has many varieties, each with attractive and unique foliage. Our favourite is Pilea Peperomioides, otherwise known as the Chinese Money Plant, which features round, lilypad-like leaves on long, thin stems.
These curious plants thrive on air - that's it (alongside occasional watering). They don't need to be potted in soil like other houseplants; rather, as epiphytes, they're quite happy to grow on rocks or tree trunks. They're a great, pet-friendly addition to a terrarium in a sunny spot! Learn more about air plants.
Pet-friendly plant tip
When choosing a pot for your pet-friendly indoor plant, make sure to pick a sturdy pot that won’t tip over easily. You could also use a plant stand to keep the plant out of reach of mischievous pets, or consider suspending plants from the ceiling in hanging pots so they're kept away from curious paws!