By Christina Timm
To all our green thumb plant parents, we understand the struggle of leaving the garden center with yet another houseplant that we know we don’t need, but gosh darn it, we want it. And why not? Houseplants can play multiple-benefiting roles in your home. For starters, a plant can change the look of a room by bringing a piece of nature indoors and creates a warmer environment for friends and family to enjoy.
Ferns emit high contents of oxygen which makes them great plants to purify your home. The Boston fern is a common household fern with traditional foliage requiring filtered sunlight. They are an easy-care plant when a watering schedule has been established. However, there are a variety of exotic looking ferns that can be treated as a houseplant. The Adiantum capillus-veneris and the birds nest fern both have unique foliage providing different textures to your home.
Other Plant Purifiers: Palm, Money Tree, Spider plant, and Tradescantia Zebrina
Another important factor to think about before selecting a houseplant is whether the plant is safe for pets and little ones. The following are a few pet-friendly and child safe houseplants that will make a great addition to your home.
The Prayer Plant is a multicolored houseplant with such unique features. The foliage of a prayer plant combines soft hues of green with striking reddish pink lines. It has been named the prayer plant because of the shape of its new leaves. As a new leaf emerges from the stem it uncurls resembling that of praying hands, hence the name Prayer Plant. They enjoy bright indirect light, moist soil, but not wet.
Air plants are great for small spaces and limited care. Buro’s Tail is a safe succulent and is one of the few that would look good in a hanging container. The Ponytail palm adds flair and volume to a space. Herbs like Basil, Thyme, and Sage are safe to grow in your home and will add flavor to your cooking.
Non-pet Friendly Plants
Below are a few other popular houseplants that are, unfortunately, not safe for pets. Most can cause irritation to the mouth when ingested while also causing intestinal problems.
The Dieffenbachia is known for its beautiful variegated foliage and lush tropical look. However, this is not a plant for pets and little ones. The sap of a Dieffenbachia can cause numbness when touched and could interfere with the ability to speak if the sap gets near your mouth. As a precaution, wear gloves when handling/transplanting and wash your hands afterwards. This plant thrives off indirect light.
Crotons are a tropical plant that come in a variety of colorful foliage. With polka dots and stripes Crotons add beautiful color all year long. Crotons are toxic to pets if ingested, causing digestive upsets.
Pothos are one of the easiest houseplants no matter what your level of green thumb. They can grow in bright indirect light or very little light. Provide a container with rich soil or grow in a vase of water. Honestly, it would take some effort to kill a Pothos.
What Houseplant should you choose?
Next time you are deciding on your next houseplant, we recommend doing a little research to make sure it will fit your home and the little creatures that may live in it. We believe houseplants and all plants bring joy to our lives. So, if you have an open shelf or an empty spot in your home, fill it with a beautiful living plant!