What was your first houseplant? Perhaps a spider plant, an African violet, or a succulent. Maybe it’s a Christmas cactus that was your grandmother’s. Nurturing living things brings us joy and purpose as they depend on us for their basic needs and houseplants are no exception. They can improve air quality as well as mood quality. Whether you are a new or a seasoned plant parent, houseplants are a fun way to decorate and try your hand had growing something. Even if every plant you’ve had has died, here’s an encouraging truth: everyone has watched a plant or two die under their care.
It's not a matter of having a green thumb or not, it's more about finding the right plant that will thrive in the light and cultural conditions of the place in which you live. When choosing a houseplant, always consider the light factor first, then consider the plant's watering and fertilizing needs. If you are starting out, choose one that's easy to care for and is forgiving if you forget it’s weekly watering. Hoyas and Snake plants (Sansevaria) are two easy houseplants that can go 2-4 weeks between waterings and don’t need much light.
It seems that we aren’t the only ones that love houseplants. Cats and dogs like to chew on them to calm upset tummies, to remedy nutritional deficiencies, or to use as a chew toy. Many houseplants are toxic to pets, but pet parents can also be plant parents. It’s always best to keep plants out of the reach of pets, but the following are recognized as being non-toxic to cats and dogs:
African Violets (Saintpaulia ionantha)
Air plants (Tilandsia)
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi)
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltatan)
Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
Hoyas (Hoya carnosa)
Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides)
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
The list of pet-safe houseplants is actually quite extensive - over 20 plants! So with a little homework, you CAN safely green up your living space for you and your pets.