10 pet-friendly plants for your garden & home

10 pet-friendly plants for your garden & home

Prevention is better than cure – especially with our four-legged friends. That’s why we compiled a list of 10 definitely non-toxic plants even for pets.

You look away for a split second and there you have it: your dog eats a flower from your garden and the cat munches on the potted plant in your living room. This is not just annoying because the plants are ruined, it can be also dangerous for the furry companions. Many plants are poisonous for pets and a small mishap can sometimes lead to an unexpected trip to the veterinarian. However, this can easily be prevented. The following overview lists ten plants for house and garden which will not pose a potential threat to your beloved animals.

Pet-friendly plants for the garden

Below you will find 5 plants that are absolutely harmless for pets and yet enhance the appearance of your garden.

5. Nasturtium

Whether as a climbing plant or as a ground cover, the colourful nasturtium (Tropaeloum) is never a disappointment. In many areas, it is also a popular garden plant because of its numerous striking flowers. But there is more to nasturtium than its beauty. As a matter of fact, the flowers of this plant also taste very good in salads and the leaves can be brewed as a tea which is said to strengthen the immune system. Of course, the nasturtium is also non-toxic for animals, so occasional nibbling is permitted.

4. Lavender

There is a widespread rumour that lavender is poisonous for cats which sadly causes many to abstain from getting a lavender plant. But there is no need to worry: the lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is completely harmless for cats – even if some of them avoid these plants due to their strong scent. Moreover, the gorgeous purple blossoming plant is no danger to dogs either. On the contrary, lavender can provide natural relief to nervous animals. The smell of the fresh flowers of lavender helps to calm stressed animals. Hamsters, rabbits or guinea pigs, on the other hand, should stay away from this plant – the lavender is indeed poisonous to them.

3. Daisies

The daisies symbolize innocence to many and rightly so: all types of daisies (Leucantheum) are non-toxic for humans, but also for cats, dogs and rabbits. But not only that makes the daisy special – with her white flowers she is a timeless and classic garden beauty and belongs to every flowering summer meadow. Smaller species of daisies are also one of the most famous and beautiful meadow flowers and is a welcome snack for many of our pets. At the same time, both flowers are easy to care for and very robust, perfect for creating your own flower dream.

2. Sunflower

It lives up to its name: the common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) shines from summer to autumn just like its namesake in the sky and is not a popular decoration by coincidence. The seeds of the plant are a favourite snack of both humans and animals. How fortunate then, that you can grow the sunflower in the garden without hesitation. In fact, none of the sunflower parts are poisonous, neither the stalk, the leaves nor the flowers have any negative effect. So the animals can chew on the plant to their heart’s content or make use of the delicious sunflower seeds.

1. Catnip

The name already hints at it: the catnip (Nepeta cataria) is the number one favourite plant among cats. It almost seems as if the plant has a euphoric and dazing effect on cats. The animals display unusual behaviour when they encounter this plant. They rub against the bush, play frolicsomely or roll around in it, even the usually lazy individuals are enticed by the catnip. The catnip can also have a calming effect, so it can be helpful on stressful journeys to the veterinarian. However, catnip has no such impact on dogs – but the plant is non-toxic for them as well.

Pet-friendly houseplants

These are 5 indoor plants that are absolutely harmless for your beloved pets and are a must-have for the interior.

5. Kitchen herbs

Many kitchen herbs such as dill, thyme, parsley or mint are not considered tasty just by people – some pets also like to enjoy them. Although some humans might get annoyed that their kitchen has been looted, the crime is not dangerous for the furry thieves. Almost all kitchen herbs are utterly harmless to pets. In fact, some of them even have a positive effect. Thyme, for example, helps with respiratory problems and supports the digestive tract. Therefore, the kitchen herbs provide not just a nice supply of spices, but also a small house pharmacy right on the window-sill.

4. Palms

Tropical jungle ambience in the apartment? If you are looking for that, you are probably thinking of purchasing some palm trees as decoration. Since these often stand on the ground, they are particularly easy for a dog and a cat to reach. But you don’t have to worry about this either. Almost all palms, including the popular coconut, Aspidistra and areca palms, are absolutely safe for pets. Only the Yucca (which is not a palm and actually belongs to the asparagus family) should not enter the home with pets present. The leaves and the stem of the plant are poisonous and can cause severe diarrhoea.

3. Swedish ivy

The common ivy (Hedera helix) is probably known to most as an ornamental plant and a gorgeous climber on houses. Unfortunately, it is also poisonous and therefore very unsuitable to have in a house with animals. For those who do not want to do without ivy, there is a safe alternative, though. The Swedish ivy (Plectranthus verticaillatus) looks astonishingly similar to its namesake, but has a huge advantage – it is non-toxic and therefore safe for households with small children and pets.

2. Money plant

According to a superstition, the money plant (Crassula ovata) in the house is supposed to promote wealth. Even if this might just be a myth, your veterinary costs will definitely be reduced with this plant. Because unlike many other indoor plants, the money plant is not poisonous for animals. In addition, this lucky charm is very low maintenance and does not require a lot of attention. A bright spot and some water are enough for the plant to thrive – so you also have more time for your pet.

money plant
In some countries, people believe that money plant can bring luck and wealth [Shutterstock.com/ Teerachai Pankhao]

1. Chinese hibiscus

Beautiful yet easy to maintain? The Chinese hibiscus (Hibiskus rosa sinensis) is just that. The plant is a popular houseplant because of its magnificent flowers, but it does not need much care. The hibiscus only makes a few demands on its location, so it should be full of light, but not in the blazing sun. If this is taken into account, the Chinese hibiscus is an ideal green roommate. What is more, this plant is completely safe for both cats and dogs.

A list of poisonous indoor plants can be found here, an overview of the most poisonous garden plants for pets can be found here.

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