11 Plants That Are Safe to Have Around Your Dogs

best houseplants safe for dogs: Boston fern

White Sands

We love our furry friends, but any dog owner knows that sometimes, pets and houseplants just don't mix. Whether it's a wagging tail knocking over a pot or a pup that decided to chow down on your favorite plant, caring for an indoor garden and an energetic dog can be a challenge. Luckily, there are plenty of beautiful, non-toxic houseplants you can use to decorate your home that won't endanger your beloved canine if they decide to take a bite. Bonus: They're all easy to grow—provided that you know how to care for them.

Meet the Expert

Alexandra Jones is an avid gardener, urban farmer, and writer living in Philadelphia. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Musical Arts in Tuba Performance and a Bachelor of General Studies in writing, she earned her Master Gardener certification in 2019.

Read on for 11 houseplants that are safe to have around your dog, plus tips to help your pup-friendly plant survive a not-so-green thumb and the occasional nibble from a curious canine.

01 of 11

Nerve Plant

pink and white and green fittonia plants in white pots on gray background with spray bottle and watering can

 Olga Miltsova/Getty Images

  • Botanical Name: Fittonia
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining, peat-moss-based soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.5

Few houseplants are cuter than fittonia, also known as nerve plant—so named because of its veiny leaves, outlined in pink, white, or red against yellow-green or dark green leaves. This plant thrives on the gentle, indirect light of a north-facing or east-facing window. If you have a brighter window facing south or west, keep it several feet away from the glass and consider using translucent blinds or shears to soften the light.

Nerve plants appreciate a humid environment, so either mist its leaves regularly or place it upon a shallow tray filled with pebbles and a small amount of water, checking to make sure the surface of the water doesn't come into contact with the pot. The water will slowly evaporate and humidify the air around your plant.

best houseplant safe for dogs: Fittonia Mistral
MonJungle Fittonia Mistral $11
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02 of 11

Calathea

peacock plant in white ceramic pot

Verity Welstead/Getty Images

 

  • Botanical Name: Maranta leuconeura
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 5.5 – 6.0

Colorful, brightly patterned calathea are some of the prettiest houseplants out there—but they can also be a challenge to keep healthy, especially if your space is very dry. Luckily, there are several ways to give yours the jungle-like humidity it needs. You can group it together with several other plants, which naturally give off moisture; run a humidifier nearby; keep it in your warm, humid bathroom; or use a pebble tray.

best houseplant safe for dogs: Calathea Rattlesnake Lancifolia
TropicalAmbiance Calathea Rattlesnake Lancifolia $22
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03 of 11

Haworthia

houseplants safe for cats: haworthia

Erin Williamson Design

  • Botanical Name: Haworthiopsis attenuata
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.6 – 7.5

This charming, rosette-shaped succulent, which has many different cultivars, is known for its pointy green spines, often adorned with stripes. Luckily, the whole species is designated by the ASPCA as non-toxic to dogs, from the classic zebra-striped cultivar Haworthia fasciata to the translucent, pastel-toned Haworthia cooperi. Keep an eye out for rare variegated types at plant shops and nurseries.

best houseplants safe for dogs: Haworthia fasciata
SuccsInTheSun Haworthia Fasciata $8
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04 of 11

Blushing Bromeliad

closeup of red and green bromeliad with tiny flowers growing in central cup

Ruth Hartnup/Flickr

 

  • Botanical Name: Neoregelia carolinae
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect sunlight
  • Soil Type: Loamy, well-draining growing substrate
  • Soil pH:  6.1 – 6.5

This rosy bromeliad, also known as crimson cup or aregelia, is just one of these tropical plants that are designated as dog-safe, along with the varieties called earth star, silver star, and mosaic vase.

Keep the central cup of the plant filled with distilled water or rainwater, refilling it with fresh water once a month or so.

The main thing to know about this bromeliad is that it's epiphytic, meaning it doesn't grow best in regular soil, but in a growing medium like sphagnum moss mixed with coarse sand. You could also use a blend of equal parts perlite, peat moss, and orchid bark, kept lightly moist, but not soggy.

05 of 11

Boston Fern

best houseplants safe for dogs: Boston fern

White Sands

  • Botanical Name: Nephrolepis exaltata
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining soil mix, kept moist
  • Soil pH: 5.0 – 5.5

The lush, feathery fronds of the Boston fern evoke classic elegance—and no wonder, since ferns have been popular houseplants since the Victorian period. This type of fern can grow quite large and full, making them an excellent candidate for hanging in big bay windows or displaying on a spacious side table.

Make sure you display them in a place with bright, indirect light that's away from drafty areas or air vents. Unless you're aiming to grow a particularly large specimen, plan to divide your Boston fern and repot with fresh soil each spring. It gets a fresh start for the season, and you get another beautiful plant to care for or give to a friend.

best houseplant safe for dogs: boston fern
FernPlantShop Boston Golden Mini Fern $11
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06 of 11

Staghorn Fern

two staghorn ferns mounted on wood boards on white wall

Allison Cherry/Getty Images

 

  • Botanical Name: Platycerium bifurcatum
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: n/a (epiphytic)
  • Soil pH: n/a (epiphytic)

The staghorn fern is one of the most striking houseplants out there, with its green, antler-like foliar fronds radiating from a papery base of foliar fronds. Like bromeliads and orchids, staghorn ferns are epiphytes, clinging to tree branches and absorbing moisture and nutrients through their roots from the air.

They can be planted in a pot filled with a growing substrate (think sphagnum peat moss and bark), but they're best served when mounted on a wooden plaque, board, or branch and hung on the wall (another plus when you're hoping to keep them away from curious pets).

Hirts Gardens staghorn fern
Hirts Gardens Staghorn Fern $18
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07 of 11

Lady Palm

potted lady palm trees lined up in front of white wall

FeelPic/Getty Images

 

  • Botanical Name: Rhapis excelsa
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining soil mix, kept moist
  • Soil pH: 6.1 – 6.5

Unlike most types of plants, lady palms were cultivated by humans rather than sourced from the wild. This variety is a fan palm with deep green or variegated leaves striped with yellow or white. Display these versatile, adaptable palms in a spot with bright, indirect light; for darker green leaves, give them a little less light. Keep it out of direct sun, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow and burn, damaging your plant.

Best houseplant for dogs: lady palm
EurekaFarmsLLC Lady Palm $38
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08 of 11

Christmas Cactus

best houseplants for dogs: christmas cacts

Anne Sage

  • Botanical Name: Schlumbergera
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Sandy, well-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 5.5 – 6.0

If you've ever owned a Christmas cactus—or its close relatives, the Thanksgiving cactus or Easter cactus—you know that preparing for its annual bloom is almost as exciting as the holiday that gives it its name. The way to do this is to "trick" the blooming houseplant into flowering by cutting back on watering and putting it in a place with cool temperatures and less light roughly six weeks before its typical bloom time. The plant should get 12 to 14 hours of darkness each day (this can be done by putting it in a closet or a large cardboard box at night) in a space with temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees.

After the six weeks, give it a little more light and warmth, then look for buds to appear. Put the Christmas cactus back in its usual spot and wait for the beautiful pink, red, or orange flowers to open.

Best houseplants safe for dogs: christmas cactus
GreenerForestCo Christmas Cactus $45
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09 of 11

Aluminum Plant

closeup of green and silver aluminum plant leaves

tc397/Getty Images

 

  • Botanical Name: Pilea cadierei
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Sandy, well-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0

Named for the silvery markings on its textured green leaves, the aluminum plant is a member of the Pilea genus. Keep yours in a place with bright, indirect light in the summertime, shielding it from direct sun, and move it to a better-lit spot in winter to keep it healthy. They're vigorous growers with stems that will spread if allowed to do so. If your plant becomes tall and leggy, you can pinch back the tips to encourage fuller, bushier growth.

Aluminum Plant
ZomoGarden Aluminum Plant $13
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10 of 11

Blue Echeveria

Best houseplant for dogs: echeveria

Anne Sage

  • Botanical Name: Echeveria lilacina
  • Sun Exposure: Direct sun
  • Soil Type: Sandy, well-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0

It's fortunate that some of the prettiest, trendiest succulents are also safe for pet-owning plant lovers to keep around. Along with its relatives copper rose and painted lady, blue echeveria is non-toxic to dogs. These colorful, rosette-shaped desert plants add variety to any plant collection. Be sure to keep them in a warm place with lots of bright, full sun to keep their distinctive coloring. Since they don't need much water, they're a very low-maintenance plant. With enough light and proper care, these plants can produce flowers in spring and summer.

best houseplants for dogs: Echeveria lilacina
Succulent Market Echeveria Lilacina $7
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11 of 11

Spider Plant

best houseplants safe for dogs: spider plants

Rikki Snyder

  • Botanical Name: Chlorophytum comosum
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.2

One of the easiest houseplants to find—and one of the easiest to care for—is also non-toxic to pets. The spider plant, also known as the airplane plant, is a must for any plant lover, from black-thumbed beginners to expert indoor gardeners. Its lush, jungle-like leaves add a tropical feel to any space, and it can go weeks without water, thanks to its fleshy white roots that store water for drought conditions (if yours starts looking pale and droopy, that's a sign it's ready for a drink). Best of all, with enough light, spider plants will send out stems with baby spider plants for you to propagate.

best houseplants safe for dogs: Spider plant
Garden Goods Direct Spider Plant $7
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Article Sources
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  1. Haworthia. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  2. Blushing Bromeliad. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  3. Earth Star. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  4. Silver Star. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  5. Mosaic Vase. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  6. Copper Rose. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  7. Painted Lady. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  8. Blue Echeveria. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  9. Spider Plant. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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