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100+ Critter-Friendly Houseplants Your Home Jungle Needs

A growing body of evidence suggests that plants can actually communicate with each other through underground networks of mycelia.

If you’re even remotely interested in the mythical world of mushrooms, and for that matter, the very nature of our existence, you absolutely must listen to the Mycologst, Paul Stamets, on the Joe Rogan Podcast. Strap yourself in, because this will be one of the most mind-boggling discussions you will ever listen to. 

Now, what were we going to talk about? Ah, yes. Houseplants! The non-toxic kind. The kind that are a lot like tattoos in the sense that you can’t just have one. You have to keep buying more until there’s no space left. They’re beautiful, and they transform an otherwise plain space into a jungle of color. They are the expression of nature’s creativity in your own living room.

But the thing about houseplants is, they- like us and like all the other critters and creepy-crawlies we surround ourselves with- have evolved intelligently. Meaning that, over the many millennia since we first arrived on this brilliant round rock, plants have developed an array of defense mechanisms designed to ward off any predators who come along with a case of the munchies. 

In this context, the predators we’re referring to are our thrifty rats, our curious cats, our occasionally dopey dogs, and our chatty birds with their razor-sharp face knives that will slice your nose off. To them, our colorful houseplants are like a scrumptious, five-tiered wedding cake. And like a five-tiered wedding cake, our pets aren’t likely to think too much about the repercussions before diving in.

Unbeknownst to them, many common houseplants like lilies, aloe vera, and philodendron contain toxic phytochemical agents such as tannin and saponin. If ingested, these properties will tear your furry and feathered kins’ stomachs to shreds…or worse. As their responsible keepers, it’s up to us to ensure that whichever plants we include in our home jungles are completely critter-friendly.

The following list of houseplants are considered non-toxic to cats, dogs, and birds. Please note that birds are much more fragile than cats and dogs, so this list is partial to them. An exhaustive list of plants that are non-toxic to cats and dogs can be found on the Animal Poison Control Center’s (APCC) website. Finally, if ever you suspect your critter kin has ingested a poisonous substance, please call the APCC right away at: 888-426-4435.

Cat with houseplants.

100+ Houseplants That Are Non-Toxic To Cats, Dogs, And Birds

A
Abelia, African Daisy, African Violet, Ailanthus Tree, Air Fern, Aluminum Plant, American Bittersweet, Apple Tree, Aralia Plant, Arbutus, Areca Palm, Artillery Plant, Ash Tree, Aspen Tree, Aspidistra, Autumn Olive

B
Baby’s Tears, Bachelor Buttons, Ball Fern, Bamboo, Barberry, Bayberry, Beauty Bush, Beech, Begonia, Birch, Bird’s Nest Fern, Black Spruce, Bladdernut, Blood Leaf, Blueberry, Bois D’Arc, Boston Fern, Bottlebrush Fern, Bougainvillea (non-toxic but beware of thorns), Brake Fern, Brazillian Orchids, Bridal Veil, Bromeliads, Burros Tail, Butterfly Bush, Button Fern

C
Calamint, Calendula, California Holly, Camellia, Canary Island Palm, Cast Iron Plant, Chamomile, Chickweed, Chicory, Chocolate Soldier, Christmas Begonia, Christmas Dagger Fern, Christmas Kalanchoe, Christmas Orchid, Christmas Palm, Christmas Palm, Cissus Kangaroo Vine, Citrus, Claw Cactus, Cocktail Orchids, Coleus, Comfrey, Coral Bell, Coralberry, Cork (not to be confused with cork oak), Cotoneaster, Cottonwood, Crabapple, Crape Myrtle, Creeping Charlie, Creeping Fig, Creeping Jenny

D
Dahlia, Dancing Doll Orchids, Dandelion, Date, Deer’s Foot Fern, Dill, Dogwood, Donkey Tail, Douglas Fir, Dragonwood, Dwarf Orange

E
Easter Cactus, Easter Orchid, Edible Fig, Elephant Foot Tree, Elk’s Horn Fern, Elm, Escallonia, European Fan

F
False Areola, Ficus Benjamina, Fierry Reed Orchid, Fiji Fern, Fir, Fishtail Palm, Fittonia, Flowering Maple, Fly Orchids, Fruitless Mulberry, Fuchsia

G
Gardenia, Ghost Leafless Orchid, Gold Dust Dracaena, Golden Lace Orchid, Golden Shower Orchid, Goldfish Plant, Gloxina, Grape Ivy, Grape Palm, Green Pepper, Guava

H
Hackberry, Hawaiian Scheffler, Hawthorn, Hazelnut, Hen and Chickens, Hickory, Howeia Palm, Hoya, Huckleberry

I
Indian Hawthorne

J
Jade Plant, Jewel Orchid

K
Kangaroo Vine, Kinnickkinnick

L
Lace Fern, Lace Orchid, Lady Palm, Larch, Lemon Balm, Leopard Orchid, Lilac, Lipstick Plant, Liquidamber

M
Madrona, Magnolia, Maidenhair Fern, Mango, Manzanita, Maple (except for Red Maple), Marigold, Maternity Plant, Mesquite (sharp parts removed), Mimosa, Monkey Plant, Moses In The Cradle, Moss, Moth Orchid, Mountain Ash Berries, Mulberry

N
Nandina, Nasturtium, Natal Plum, Nerve Plant, Nut Trees (excluding chestnut)

O
Old World Orchid, Orange, Oregano, Oregon Grape

P
Pansy Orchid, Papaya, Paradise Palm, Parlour Palm, Parsley, Passion Flower Vine, Passionflower, Pecan, Peperomia, Peppermint, Petunia, Phoenix Palm, Photina, Piggy-Back Plant, Pilea, Pine Cone Seed, Pink Polka Dot Plant, Pittosporum, Plectranthus, Polypody Palm, Pony Tail Palm, Poplar, Prayer Plant, Prune, Purple Passion, Purple Tiger, Pussy Willow, Pygmy Date Palm

R
Rainbow Orchid, Red Spruce, Red-Margined Dracaena, Rhapis Palm, Ribbonwood, Roebelin Palm, Rose (thorns removed), Rosemary, Rubber Fig, Russian Olive

S
Sassafras, Scarlet Orchid, Sensitive Plant, Silk Tree, Silver Tree, Spice Orchid, Spider Aralia, Spiraea, Squirrel’s Foot Fern, Staghorn Sumac, Star Jasmine, Strawberry Tree, Swedish Ivy, Sweet Gum, Sword Fern, Sycamore

T
Tahitian Bridal Veil, Tailed Orchid, Thanksgiving Cactus, Thistle, Thurlow, Thyme, Ti Plant, Tiger Orchid, Tin Plant, Tree Fern

V
Viburnum, Vine Maple

W
Pussy Willow, Wandering Jew, Warneckei, Wax Plant, Weeping Willow, White Clover, Wiegela, Wild Strawberry

Y
Yucca

Z
Zebra Plant, Zinnia

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