Ever since we moved into our little abode I’ve been working hard to achieve crazy plant lady status by filling every available corner with lush greenery. Our only stipulations, easy to care for (I have a long history of killing houseplants), not too expensive and most importantly non-toxic. The dogs are pretty easy going but Oscar has a habit of eating the leaves (and then regurgitating them in various spots around the house – someone please remind me why I have a cat, again?!) so it’s not worth the risk. I know that loads of you guys are animal lovers so I figured why not round up a few of my favourite, easy-to-care-for and non-toxic houseplants.
If any of the information below is incorrect or you have anything to add please do let me know like I said, I’m definitely no pro when it comes to keeping these things alive. It’s been a lot of trial and error and probably some luck thrown in there too!
OUR TOP 5 NON-TOXIC HOUSEPLANTS
Drum roll please…
ONE – BANANA PLANT
This one is my favourite! They’re just so lush and if they’re looked after properly, can grow to around 18 feet – perfect if you’re after that indoor jungle vibe! High ceilings are obviously a must! They’re a great alternative, lookswise, to those beautiful Birds of Paradise plants which sadly are toxic to animals. (When I say they grow quickly, the one on the left has gained 5 new leaves since we brought her home just a few weeks ago!)
We picked up a couple, one younger and one more established, both barely cost anything though – less than £20 each. When you see Fiddle Leaf Figs going for way over £100, you realise just how good value these plants are!
They need regular watering in the growing season (Spring and Summer), once every 2 to 3 days. We also feed ours once a week. If you notice drops of water on the leaves, it means they’ve had too much water. The conservatory was too hot for these two but they love their sunny spot by the window in a cooler part of the house.
TWO – ASPIDISTRA (CAST IRON PLANT)
I love this plant, it literally needs next to no care to survive, although a little love goes a long way! It has lush long leaves and it’s a great plant to go for if your home doesn’t get much natural light as it can survive in some pretty dark corners – hence it’s name.
Between £20 and £40 depending on the height you’re after. For a plant that lasts, that’s bloody brilliant value!
Leave it alone. Water it every week or two to keep the soil moist and feed it every couple of months.
THREE – KENTIA PALM
Palms all day every day! This isn’t my first Kentia palm, sadly I loved the last one a little too much and overwatering led to its untimely end – I promise to do better with this one! Another inexpensive (can you see a theme here?) way to add a large amount of foliage to your home jungle. They can apparently grow to anywhere between 5 and 12 feet, although they are notoriously slow growers. (Probably not helped here at Break The Loop HQ by the fact that Oscar eats every leaf he can reach.) Kentia palms are good for the environment too, they help reduce carbon dioxide levels making them the perfect houseplant for inner city living.
You can buy these online for between £20 and £50 depending on the size. Ours was on the cheaper end of the spectrum because we bought it directly from a nursery.
This palm is holding up well in the shadiest part of our conservatory, it gets crazy hot in there though so apparently they don’t mind the heat. Take care not to overwater – I give this a good water once a week and then a top up midweek whilst it’s super hot but in the winter I’d imagine you can reduce watering to once a week or even once a fortnight. Don’t forget to give the leaves a dust every now and again.
FOUR – PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS
I love this cactus and it grows literally overnight! We bought ours with just one pad and within weeks we have three! I’ve re-potted it so hopefully, it will keep on growing… Watch this space! Prickly pear cactus or, Opuntia Ficus India – as they’re also known, has been used for centuries for their fruit and also for medicinal purposes – they’re super ‘grammable, too!
Well, I’m having a massive fat fail here because I can’t find the flippin’ receipt for this one and I can’t find anything reliable online either! As with the others though, I can tell you that it was super inexpensive, less than £20.
Lots of direct sunlight, and don’t overwater it – it hates to sit in water so when you pot it remember to add a few stones in the bottom of the pot.
FIVE – MONEY TREE
We inherited this plant from a good friend of ours and I love it, it’s way bigger than it looks in the picture and like my other money tree, that I’ve had for years, it’s super easy to look after!
Like I said, this one was a gift but you can pick these up for pounds. I think the other one I have I bought for £10.
Keep these in a well lit area, they can take direct sunlight but I don’t think they’d like the heat of a conservatory. Every week I give them a good soaking and let them drain outside, I let them dry out between waterings. If you lose track of the days, you can tell when they need water because the leaves go a bit wrinkly, conversely when they’ve had a bit too much water the tips of the leaves go yellowish brown.
Any pet-friendly non-toxic houseplants to add to the pet-friendly list?
Oh, I should also say, if you really struggle with even the easiest greenery, go faux! There’s no shame in it, we have a mix of real and faux and they look great! If you’re in the market for some beautiful faux ferns try Rose & Grey, Abigail Ahern or Hello Flora.