Having plants alongside pets can be a challenge, particularly with so many that could hurt our beloved furry companions. Celebrate National Dog Day with these ASPCA-approved options for starting or growing an indoor jungle alongside your furry friends!
Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)
- Thrive in lower light conditions, 60-80F
- This humidity-loving fern grows best in loose, fast-drying soil with monthly fertilization during the growing season (spring & summer). Water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
African Violet (Saintpaulia)
- Prefer indirect sunlight, 73-77F
- African violets need moderate watering and prefer to be watered from the bottom in a self-watering pot, with care given to keep their leaves dry. With proper conditions and regular fertilization, these little beauties can bloom almost all year round.
Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)
- Bright, indirect light, 70-80F
- Monthly fertilizer (spring & summer)
- This spotted beauty provides a pop of color all year round. This is a great plant for folks who tend to water often, as they prefer consistently moist soil.
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
- Prefers bright, indirect light, but can adapt to slightly lower light conditions.
- Use a weak fertilizer once or twice per growing season (Spring-Fall)
- These lovely palms bring a touch of the tropics to your home! They prefer a peaty soil-based potting mix (look for one labeled for tropical plants) and can grow to be 2-6ft tall. These plants are sensative to overwatering, so only water when the top inch of soil is dry.
- Prefer a warm, dry location with bright sunlight, with at least four to six hours of sunlight daily.
- These plants do best in well-draining, porous soil. You can find cactus potting mixes at nurseries and garden centers, or make your own with three parts potting soil, two parts coarse sand, and one part perlite.
- These fast-growing succulents are perfect if you find yourself forgetting to water your plants. They prefer dryer soil and can tolerate periods of neglect. When watering, never let water sit inside the rosette and always remove dead leaves from the bottom as it grows, as they can cause fungal diseases or attrack pests.
Air Plants (Tillandsia)
- These tropical plants don't require potting soil and take their nutrients from the air and water. Since they grow on trees and recieve dappled sunlight in the wild, they prefer bright, indirect light in our homes.
- If your home is more dry, your air plants may need to be misted more frequently between soaks, while, if your home is more humid, they need water less often.
- To water air plants, place them "face down" in a bowl, sink, or container and let them soak for 10-20 minutes. Gently shake an excess water off or allow them to dry on a towel afterwards, as sitting water on the plants can cause rot.
Radiator Plant (Peperomia)
- Peperomia prefer loose, well-drained soil, such as orchid mix, and a pot with plenty of drainage. Warm, ~65-75F temperatures and humid environments are great for these plants. Their ideal location is in medium to bright, indirect light, but they can also handle lower light. Plants in lower lighting conditions will be slower growing and require less water.
- Water slowly, allowing water to drain from drainage holes, rather than allowing it to sit in the saucer. Allow the soil to dry out between watering so the plants do not stay soggy. Over-wet plants can lead to root rot. If the stems and leaves feel firm and the soil is moist, wait to water.
- Peperomis plants come in a variety of fun colors and leaf textures!
Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
- Prayer plants are tolerant to low light conditions, but prefer bright, indirect sunlight. The best location for them is somewhere with high humidity.
- Feed with all-purpose fertilizer and warm water every two weeks, spring-fall.
- When potting your prayer plant, use well-drained soil, so that water does not sit around the roots. They should be kept moist, but not soggy. In the winter, keep the soil a bit drier, while maintianing humanidity.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Prefer bright, indirect light (but can tolerate lower light), ~60-75F
- Fertilize once a month in spring & summer with indoor plant fertilizer.
- This plant is classic when it comes ot easy care houseplants, as they are pretty tolerant of different conditions and of care mistakes. Water well, but do not allow the plant to get soggy.
- Allow the soil to dry out some between waterings.