Are ‘Pet Friendly’ Plants really Pet Friendly?

by admin
Pet Friendly Indoor Plants
Pet friendly plants

Are pet friendly plants really pet friendly? Here at Zendo Plant Hub we know a thing or two about plants, not so much about cats, dogs, birds and other pets though. Therefore, we’re going to take the advice of the professionals on this one and hopefully shed some light on this topic for you.

So, are there any 100% pet-friendly plants? Well the general consensus from veterinarians is, unfortunately, no. Although many plants may only cause a mild reaction, the mildest reaction is still likely to be gastrointestinal upset. If a pet were to digest a highly toxic plant then the consequences can be fatal.

Does this mean plants and pets can’t cohabit? Not necessarily, it does mean though that all plants, even those considered as “pet friendly”, should be regarded with a healthy skepticism and you should consider your pets personality and habits before introducing a new plant to your home.

Many of us have pets that don’t show any interest in plants whatsoever so we’re in a fortunate position where we can somewhat confidently bring new plants into our homes knowing the risk of harm to our fur baby is low. However, if you know your pet is likely to chew a plant and there’s no option for you to keep the plant out of reach of your pet you should probably give the plant a miss for now. All is not lost though; if you keep in mind the number one reason for pets chewing plants is because they have nothing more appealing to chew on you can introduce some tactics to change your pets behaviour.

Training your pet

Positive training methods are hugely successful when it comes to altering pet behaviour and may be an answer to the pet versus plant dilemma. Pets need stimulation so providing your pet with other objects they can safely chew on, encouraging them to chew on the safe objects and then praising them when they do so is a great training method to prepare your pet for the introduction of a new plant into your home.

You will need to be vigilant of your pets around plants at all times. For instance if you see your pet showing an interest in your new plant you should encourage them to play with one of their safe objects, this distraction reinforces the correct behaviour and will hopefully result in your pet and plant living harmoniously together. If in doubt, it is always best to move the plant out of reach of your pet if you are unable to supervise your pet appropriately.

There are deterrent products available however, not only is there little evidence to show these products are effective, there is also little evidence to prove that negative consequence training for pets is effective. We’re all about positive vibes here at Zendo so we say skip the deterrents and give your pet something fun to play with instead.

Plant toxicity

If you’re ready to bring a plant into your home than you need to be aware of which plants are your safest options and which plants are highly toxic to your fur babies. We’ve done the research for you and have put together lists of both lower toxicity and higher toxicity plants that are commonly found in homes. For those of you who have fur babies and human babies we have only included low toxicity plants in our list that are deemed friendly to both children and pets.

Lower ToxicityHigher Toxicity
African Violet – (Saintpaulia)Aloe (Aloe vera)
Areca Palm – (Dypsis lutescens)Arrowhead Vine (Syngonium species)
Baby Rubber Plant – (Peperomia Obtusifolia)Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus cv sprengeri)
Baby’s Tears – (Soleirolia soleirolii)Azalea (Rhododendron species)
Basil – (Ocimum basilicum)Begonia (Begonia species)
Barberton Daisy – (Gerbera jamesonii)Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)
Blue Echeveria – (Echeveria glauca)Butterfly iris (Iris spuria)
Boston Fern – (Nephrolepis exaltata)Caladium / Elephant Ears (Caladium hortulanum)
Burro’s Tail – (Sedum morganianum)Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) {most common plant poisoning in pets}
Cast Iron Plant – (Aspidistra elatior)Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema species)
Friendship Plant – (Pilea involucrate)Corn Plant / Happy Plant / Ribbon Plant (Dracaena species)
Haworthia speciesDevils ivy / Pothos (Epipremnum species, Philodendron species, Scindapsus species)
Moth Orchids – (Phalaenopsis blume)
Dieffenbachia species
Parlour Palm – (Chamaedorea elegans)Ivy (Hedera helix)
Ponytail Palm – (Beaucarnea recurvata)Jade Plant (Crassula species)
Prayer Plant- (Maranta leuconeura)Monstera (Monstera species)
Spider Plant – (Chlorophytum comosum)Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum species)
Swedish Ivy – (Plectranthus verticillatus)Rubber Tree Plants (Ficus benjamina)
Wax Plant – (Hoya Carnosa)
Sago (cycad) Palms (Cycas revoluta, zamia species)

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Wandering Jew (Tradescantia species)


We conducted extensive research on this topic, however this list is a guide only. The information we have provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge. We recommend you research this topic further before bringing plants into your home. After you commit to a new plant vigilance is key when it comes to ensuring your fur and plant babies get along well.

For further information head to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) We found this website to be far more comprehensive than most and they provide much more detailed information. Be sure to bookmark this link for future reference because it’s likely that after you’ve brought your new plant baby into your home you wont be able to stop at just one!

If you have children than we recommend reading and bookmarking this page for future reference. Children’s Health Queensland

Our Pet & Child friendly plants.

Are ‘Pet Friendly’ Plants really Pet Friendly?

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