Houseplants to Celebrate the Season Safely
If your dog or cat ingests a houseplant that is toxic to pets, the most wonderful time of the year can turn into a pre-Christmas nightmare. "Symptoms of ingesting poisonous plants include vomiting, diarrhea, irritation of the mouth and tongue, incoordination, difficulty swallowing, increased salivation and difficulty breathing," says Laura LaBranch, DVM, vice president of veterinary operations for Vet's Best Friend. "Depending on which plant and how much is ingested, death is possible." Unfortunately, there are some popular holiday houseplants that can be dangerous to your beloved pet. Some common harmful houseplants (you may have in your home right now): pine trees, amaryllis, holly, and mistletoe.
The good news is that there are colorful, easy-care houseplants that are completely safe for your pet and perfect for the holidays and beyond. If a furry friend comes into contact with a poisonous plant, act quickly to ensure your pet survives. "If your pet ingests a poisonous plant or exhibits symptoms, take them to the vet immediately for treatment," says LaBranche. "It's advised that you avoid keeping houseplants that are toxic to pets, but if you do have them, keep them away from your pets and check regularly to make sure the leaves aren't being chewed."
Shop these pet-friendly holiday houseplants to keep your pets happy and healthy and help you have a stress-free holiday season.
1. Holiday cactus
Whether you choose Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus, these plants won't harm your pets. Two types of holiday cactus produce beautiful flowers in pink, red, yellow or white. Not only can the holiday cactus live for decades, it's also a fuss-free plant to grow. Unlike other cacti, these houseplants do not have sharp spines and prefer indirect light. Water your plant regularly and keep the soil moist while it blooms. Your cactus will slowly grow 6-12 inches tall and 1-2 feet wide.
2. Moth orchid
A moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) is a beautiful choice for anyone who likes the look of freshly cut flowers but wants something that will last longer. (This is The Chill's best-selling flowering plant.) Place your orchid where it receives medium to bright indirect light. Moth orchids need water every 10-14 days when the bark or moss in the pot is dry. Your orchid, which grows 6-12 inches tall, blooms once a year for about three months. Once all the flowers have dropped off, cut off the flower spike from the base of the plant just above the second tip (small bump). Your orchid will bloom again next year with proper care.
3. Pinstripe Calathea
This evergreen plant is another easy-to-maintain option. Pinstripe calathea (Calathea ornata) has green leaves with bright pink stripes (hence the plant's name). It prefers medium to bright indirect light and needs water every two weeks. With proper care, the houseplant can grow up to 3 feet tall.
4. Silver Vase Bromeliad
Brighten up your space and holiday scenes with this beautiful bromeliad (Aechmea fasciata) that blooms up to 6 months of the year. A low-maintenance houseplant that prefers bright indirect light to some degree. This bromeliad, also known as the uran plant, has an interesting feature when it comes to irrigation. You add water to the center of the plant (the calyx formed by the leaves), as opposed to the soil. Make sure there is water in the center of the plant at all times, and every few weeks, drain the liquid and add fresh water. This beautiful flowering tropical plant grows up to 18 inches tall.
5. Pink polka dot plant
Another pretty and pink holiday houseplant is the polka dot plant (Hypostes phyllostachia). Give this little plant bright indirect light and moist soil. It can grow 1-2 feet tall and 1 foot wide. The polka dot plant does best with high humidity, so try it in a landscape.
6. Large majestic palm
If your pets aren't giving up the real deal, the tall majestic palm (Ravenia rivularis) can stand in for a Christmas tree. Indoor trees like bright indirect light