If you are afraid of taking care of plants because they might be harmful to your children and your pets, it’s time to let those worries away because there are plenty of greens that are non-toxic houseplants that won’t harm your actual babies and your fur babies. On the other hand, if you’re worried that your pets might end up destroying your greenery anyway, there are also solutions you can employ to prevent that from happening.
Your children, pets, and plants can co-exist—but only if you choose the right kind of plants and if you consider the layout of your home. Here are some pointers for homeowners who have kids and pets and want to take care of plants.
What to avoid: If you have toddlers and energetic pets in your home, now may not be a good time to care for cacti, succulents, or other incredibly pointy houseplants that can prick your babies’ fingers and paws. Here are some kid-and-pet-friendly plant options that you can consider:
- Rattlesnake plants are incredibly low-maintenance and can survive even in low-light living conditions.
- Spider plants are a favorite of veterinarians because they can survive living indoors and black thumbs. They are also effective air purifiers.
- Child-and-pet-friendly succulents like Echeveria and Haworthia don’t have pointy parts and always look good on a countertop.
- African Violets are known for their vibrant purple color and for blooming gorgeously in indirect sunlight.
- Bird’s nest ferns are perfect for bathrooms since they thrive in varying humidity conditions. They also grow beautifully on low-light.
- Boston ferns are also known for being on the low maintenance side of plant care. They are incredibly safe for dogs and cats—so your pets can take a bite out of them, and you can rest assured that they will be fine.
- Baby tears might be tempting for clever pets, but even if they get to it, this plant can’t hurt them. It’s also a good first option for first-time plant moms since it’s pretty easy to take care of. It also looks nice on a hanging basket. Incorporate it into your kitchen to liven up your cooking time.
- Herbs like thyme, basil, and rosemary are wonderful kitchen herbs that your pet can snack on. These herbs love direct sunlight, though, so make sure to hang them out by your kitchen window.
- Areca palm, also known as butterfly palm, can grow up to five feet tall and make any room look livelier. Even if your cat tries to climb it, your kitty would be safe because this plant is completely non-toxic.
- Friendship plants have an intricate pattern that makes for a good conversation starter with guests. Sometimes, they even bloom with pale pink buds. You can be sure that your pets and kids can be safe around this friendly plant.
Here are some key design tips to consider when trying to decide where to place your new plants:
- If you must go for plants that have a bit of pointiness to them, make sure they’re placed in areas that curious little hands and paws can’t reach, like floating shelves.
- If your puppy is trained, that is a big win since you won’t have to worry that it will end up peeing on your new plants. Make sure to send your pup to a reputable puppy school to help them get used to things that they have to see and co-exist with in their daily life—like your plants.
- Place tall plants in the corner of your living room, in between a wall and your couch, or an area that’s more inaccessible to your pets.
- Make sure that you’re placing your plants according to their sunlight needs.
- Consider the scale and size of the plant you’re going to incorporate into the living space. For example, a floor plant that reaches the ceiling might look good in theory, but if it’s placed alongside low furniture, it might give off the feeling that it’s consuming your space.
- A rule of thumb is this: If you live in a loft or have a cathedral-style ceiling, taller floor plants may be your best bet. But if you live in a house or a residential property, don’t go higher than a 6′ to 7′ plant.
Having kids and pets shouldn’t preclude you from being a plant parent, as well. Caring for houseplants yields a lot of surprising benefits, and your children and pets may benefit from these greens as well. So do your research, avoid toxic plants, and don’t be afraid to raise multiple living beings in your home.