Houseplants That Won’t Poison Kids or Pets

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Ill.: clipart-library.com, montage: laidbackgardener.blog

The following plants are considered non-toxic for humans, dogs and cats and can therefore be safely used in any indoor décor, even those frequented by children or pets.

  1. Abutilon spp. (flowering maple)
  2. Achimenes spp. (achimenes, hotwater plant, Cupid’s bower)
  3. Adiantum spp. (maidenhair fern)
  4. Adonidia merrillii, syn. Veitchia merrilli (Christmas palm)
  5. Aechmea fasciata (silver vase plant)
  6. Aeonium spp. (tree houseleek)
  7. Aeschynanthus spp. (lipstick plant)
  8. Alsobia spp., syn. Episcia spp. (lace flower)
  9. Alternanthera spp. (Joseph’s coat, calico plant)
  10. Aphelandra squarrosa (zebra plant)
  11. Aptenia cordifolia (heartleaf iceplant, baby sunrose)
  12. Ardisia spp. (coralberry)
  13. Aspidistra elatior (cast iron plant)
  14. Asplenium nidus (bird’s nest fern)
  15. Azolla caroliniana (mosquito fern)
  16. Beaucarnea recurvata (elephant-foot tree, ponytail palm)
  17. Begonia spp. (begonia) [begonias do contain oxalic acid, not enough to harm humans under normal circumstances, but they could cause intestinal distress to dogs or cats, especially if the tuber is eaten]
  18. Billbergia spp. (billbergia, queen’s-tears)
  19. Breynia disticha (snow bush)
  20. Bromeliads
  21. Bulbophyllum spp. (bulbophyllum)
  22. Cactus (there are a few potentially toxic cacti, like the peyote cactus, Lophophora williamsii)
  23. Calathea spp. (peacock plant)
  24. Calceolaria spp. (slipper flower, lady’s purse, pocketbook plant)
  25. Callistemon spp. (bottlebrush)
  26. Camellia spp. (camellia)
  27. Camellia sinensis (tea plant)
  28. Canna spp. (canna)
  29. Cattleya spp. (cattleya)
  30. Celosia spp. (celosia, cock’s comb)
  31. Cephalocereus spp. (old man cactus)
  32. Ceropegia woodii (rosary vine, sweetheart vine, hearts-on-a-string)
  33. Chamaedorea elegans (parlor palm)
  34. Chamaedorea seifrizii (bamboo palm)
  35. Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant)
  36. Cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon)
  37. Cissus discolor (rex begonia vine)
  38. Cissus rhombifolia (oakleaf ivy)
  39. Clerodendrum thomsoniae (glory bower, bleeding-heart vine)
  40. Coleus scutellarioides, syn. Coleus blumei (coleus)
  41. Columnea spp. (goldfish plant)
  42. Crossandra spp. (firecracker flower)
  43. Cryptanthus bivittatus (earth star)
  44. Ctenanthe spp. (calathea, never-never plant)
  45. Cymbidium spp. (cymbidium)
  46. Cyrthanthus elatus, syn. Vallota speciosa (vallota, Scarborough lily)
  47. Cyrtomium spp. (holly fern)
  48. Darlingtonia californica (California pitcher plant, cobra plant)
  49. Davallia spp. (hare’s foot fern, rabbit’s foot fern)
  50. Dendrobium spp. (dendrobium)
  51. Dichorisandra spp. (blue ginger)
  52. Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap)
  53. Dizygotheca elegantissima, now Pierandra elegantissima (false aralia)
  54. Dypsis lutescens, syn. Chrysalidocarpus lutescens (Areca Palm)
  55. Dracaena reflexa, syn. Pleomele reflexa (pleomele, song of India)
  56. Echeveria spp. (echeveria)
  57. Echinopsis spp. (Easter lily cactus, hedgehog cactus) 
  58. Ensete spp. (ornamental banana)
  59. Epidendrum spp. (epidendrum)
  60. Epiphyllum spp. (orchid cactus, leaf cactus)
  61. Episcia spp. (episcia, flame violet)
  62. Euphorbia pulcherrima* (poinsettia)
  63. Exacum affine (Persian violet)
  64. Fatsia japonica (Japanese aralia)
  65. Fenestraria spp. (babies’ toes, window plant)
  66. Fittonia spp. (nerve plant)
  67. Frithia pulchra (fairy elephant’s feet, babies’ toes, window plant)
  68. Fuchsia spp(fuchsia)
  69. Gasteria spp. (ox-tongue, cow-tongue)
  70. Gerbera jamesonii (gerbera)
  71. Graptopetalum spp. (ghost plant)
  72. Guzmania spp. (guzmania)
  73. Gynura aurantiaca (purple passion plant)
  74. Haworthia spp. (haworthia)
  75. Hemigraphis exotica (waffle plant)
  76. Hibiscus spp. (hibiscus)
  77. Howea spp. (Kentia palm, Belmore palm)
  78. Hoya spp. (wax plant)
  79. Hylocereus undatus (Queen of the night)
  80. Hypoestes phyllostachya (polka dot plant)
  81. Impatiens spp. (impatiens)
  82. Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato)
  83. Iresine herbstii (chicken gizzard)
  84. Ixora coccinea (flame of the woods)
  85. Jasminum spp. (jasmine)
  86. Justicia brandegeeana, syn. Beloperone guttata (shrimp plant)
  87. Justicia carnea, syn. Jacobinia carnea (jacobinia)
  88. Kohleria spp. (kohleria)
  89. Lachenalia spp. (lachenalia)
  90. Leea guineensis (West Indian holly)
  91. Lithops spp. (living stone) 
  92. Livistona chinensis (Chinese fan palm)
  93. Ludisia discolor, syn. Haemaria discolor (jewel orchid)
  94. Mammillaria spp. (mammillaria, pincushion cactus)
  95. Maranta leuconeura (prayer plant)
  96. Medinilla magnifica (showy medinilla)
  97. Mikania ternata, syn. M. apiifolia (mikania, plush vine)
  98. Miltonia spp. (miltonia)
  99. Muehlenbeckia complexa (maidenhair vine, lacy wire vine)
  100. Musa spp. (banana)
  101. Nematanthus spp., syn. Hypocyrta spp. (guppy plant)
  102. Nepenthes spp. (tropical pitcher plant)
  103. Neoregelia spp. (neoregelia, fingernail plant, blushing bromeliad)
  104. Nephrolepis exaltata (Boston fern)
  105. Ocimum basilicum (basil)
  106. Odontoglossum spp. (odontoglossum)
  107. Oncidium spp. (dancing lady orchid)
  108. Opuntia spp. (prickly pear)
  109. Orchids (most are non toxic)
  110. Osmanthus spp. (fragrant olive, false holly)
  111. Pachira aquatica (money tree, money plant, Malabar chestnut)
  112. Palms (most are non toxic with the exception of the fishtail palm, Caryota spp.)
  113. Pachystachys lutea (lollipop plant, golden shrimp plant)
  114. Paphiopedilum spp. (slipper orchid)
  115. Passiflora spp. (passion flower)
  116. Pellaea spp. (button fern)
  117. Pellionia (trailing watermelon begonia)
  118. Pentas lanceolata (pentas, Egyptian star cluster)
  119. Peperomia spp. (peperomia)
  120. Phalaenopsis spp. (moth orchid)
  121. Phlebodium aureum, syn. Polypodium aureum (golden polypody)
  122. Phoenix spp. (date palm)
  123. Pilea spp. (aluminum plant, friendship plant, artillery plant)
  124. Pisonia umbellifera (pisonia, birdlime tree)
  125. Pittosporum tobira (Japanese pittosporum, mock orange)
  126. Platycerium spp. (staghorn fern)
  127. Plectranthus spp., other than P. amboinicus (plectranthus, spurflower)
  128. Pleiospilos spp. (split rock, mimicry plant)
  129. Polypodium spp. (polypody fern)
  130. Portulacaria afra (elephant bush, dwarf jade plant)
  131. Primulina spp., syn. Chirita spp. (primulina, chirita)
  132. Pseuderanthemum spp. (pseuderanthemum, eranthemum)
  133. Pterandra elegantissima, syn. Dizygotheca elegantissima (false aralia)
  134. Pteris spp. (brake fern)
  135. Punica granatum ‘Nana’ (dwarf pomegranate)
  136. Radermachera sinica (baby doll)
  137. Ravenea rivularis (majesty palm)
  138. Rhapis excelsa (lady palm)
  139. Rhipsalis spp. (mistletoe cactus)
  140. Rosa cvs (miniature rose)
  141. Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)
  142. Saintpaulia spp. (African violet)
  143. Salvinia spp. (salvinia, water moss, floating fern)
  144. Saxifraga stolonifera, syn. S. sarmentosa (creeping saxifrage strawberry saxifrage, strawberry begonia)
  145. Schlumbergera spp. (Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus)
  146. Sedum morganianum (donkey’s tail)
  147. Selaginella kraussiana (club moss)
  148. Sempervivum spp. (houseleek, hen and chicks)
  149. Serissa foetida (serissa, snowrose)
  150. Sinningia speciosa (gloxinia)
  151. Soleirolia soleirolii (baby’s tears)
  152. Sophronitis spp. (sophronitis)
  153. Stapelia spp. (carrion plant, starfish flower)
  154. Stephanotis floribunda (Madagascar jasmine)
  155. Stevia rebaudiana (stevia, sweet plant)
  156. Streptocarpus spp. (Cape primrose)
  157. Strobilanthes dyerianus (Persian shield)
  158. Tibouchina spp. (princess flower, glorybush)
  159. Tillandsia spp. (air plant, tillandsia)
  160. Tolmiea mensziesii (piggyback plant)
  161. Trachelospermum jasminoides (Confederate jasmine, star jasmine, Confederate jessamine)
  162. Tripogandra multiflora, syn. Gibasis geniculata (Tahtian bridal veil)
  163. Vanda spp. (vanda)
  164. Vriesea spp. (vriesea, flaming sword)

*Please note that you’ll still see the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) listed on some databases of plants that are toxic to pets. However, up-to-date studies show it to be as harmless as any leafy green. Here is just one citation on that subject: “The prevalence of gastrointestinal illness after poinsettia ingestion in cats and dogs appears to be similar to that associated with ingestion of plants considered non-toxic.”
Hornfeldt, C. S.: Confusion over toxicity of poinsettia. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 1989

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