10 Best Non-Toxic Houseplants: How to Care for and Identify Them
When choosing plants for the home, office or as a gift, it’s important to be aware of the non-toxic options available that will pose no risk to people or pets if accidentally ingested. Although these ten non-toxic houseplants are not intended for human or animal consumption, they will do no harm and have very little, if any, ill side effects if bits of the plant and foliage are unintentionally eaten.
1. African Violet: Fuzzy leaves surround clusters of tiny white, pink or purple flowers. Great in terrariums, these old fashioned favorites require damp soil and a potting medium designed for orchids.
2. Aluminum Plant: This plant has shiny dark green leaves and sprouts heart shaped pink or crimson flowers with a yellow center when in bloom. A great plant choice for Valentine’s Day gift giving, it remains visually pleasing even when it is not in bloom.
3. Baby Tears: These delicate vibrant green flowers have tiny clusters of leaves resembling tears—hence the name. They make a subtle statement when placed in plain pots as the plants texture takes center stage.
4. Air Plants: Perhaps the easiest plants to have around, air plants absorb moisture from the environment and require nothing but low light and air. Because they do not need a pot or soil, these plants are versatile and may be placed on a shelf, in a seashell, on a window sill, desktop, and can even rest on electronics such as a television or computer. They also come in a range of interesting sizes, shapes and forms.
5. Snake Plant: Also known as “mother-in-law’s tongue,” it’s so named for its sword like appearance and sharp tips. This plant is a member of the succulent family and requires bright light and minimal watering. A fun gift-plant for a bride-to-be—with an explanation of the plants representation of course!
6. Cat Grass: Also called oat grass, this non-toxic plant resembles a miniature lawn and is simple to grow from seeds. It requires adequate light and moist soil. It is an interesting plant to have around the home as cats, small pets such as rabbits, and sometimes even dogs like to nibble on the tips.
7. Ferns: All houseplant types of ferns are non-toxic. Lush and light, ferns require adequate lighting and lots of moisture. If your home is dry, misting a few times per day may be necessary, but this airy forest dweller is well worth the extra effort. Traditional watering is not recommended as ferns reproduce with rhizoids and do not have typical roots.
8. Hens and Chicks: The most well-known of all succulents, hens and chicks are a joy to grow and watch as they self-propagate and spread. Each “hen” has a cluster of “chicks” tiny rosettes versions of the mother hen. They often have thin hair like fibers covering them and can be found in hues of green and green with pink and rose colored hues.
9. Jade: Jade, a non-toxic succulent that is said to bring good luck, requires very little care. Lots of exposure to bright light and occasional misting will keep this beauty green and plump.
10. Spider Plant: A fun and easy plant to root and care for, the curly elongated leaves of the spider plant can be either solid or variegated, and they do indeed resemble a spider. When a spider plant sprouts a flexible stick-like shoot, small white flowers will appear shortly before “baby” spiders grow from it. When roots eventually appear on the babies, gently pluck from the shoot and insert directly in to well watered, but not muddy soil. Group several babies together to form plants of various sizes.