The last thing you need is for your lovely new vegetation to make your precious pet sick… so if you have dogs or cats, start your collection with one of these non-toxic options.
This resilient variety will thrive in spite of the hapless gardener – they’re low-maintenance and double as air purifiers, efficiently tackling toxins in the air. They even generate progeny neatly in long offshoots that can be transplanted easily. Spider plants grow in conditions ranging from semi-shady to partial direct sun, but do just as well under artificial lighting.
Prayer plants, or maranta, earned their name for the way their leaves fold upright together at night and unfurl in the morning light. Maranta are small plants that tolerate low light conditions well, are easy to cultivate and, with their intricately patterned, red-veined leaves, add interest to a small space, so they’re ideal for apartment dwellers. Keep in a warm environment in well-aerated soil.
Yearning for some tropical greenery with height in your interior? The bamboo palm is an easy way to inject an instant focal point into a room – as well as being a safe choice for your pets. Bamboo palms are also excellent natural purifiers and humidifiers, and don’t require a great deal of effort when it comes to care.
You’re spoilt for choice with this variegated species, which comes in an array of different colours, shapes and textures – and most are petite, slow growers that don’t need constant repotting. They’re also adaptable to light levels (including fluorescence), are relatively disease-proof and pest-free, and don’t require frequent watering or feeding – great for forgetful gardeners!
For an instant decor enhancer that won’t faze Fido or Fluffy, introduce tropical bromeliads. These simple plants shoot out enormous, bright, long-lasting flower spikes and don’t mind lower light locations. Bromeliads prefer moderately humid conditions and, instead of irrigating the soil, keep their centre cup filled with water (and the soil dry). They’re available in a variety of colours, so why not start a collection?
A word of caution: just because certain plants are pet-safe, it doesn’t mean snacking on them will make your fur babies feel good – watch out for any allergic reactions or digestive issues.