Pet-friendly plants for green interiors
Not only are indoor plants beautiful and decorative, and fill with life any room in the house, they can also clean the air and improve your mood. However, some indoor plants can be dangerous for our beloved pets. Here we’re going to share our favourite pet-friendly plants so you can have a safe, green interior.
How to regulate the temperature with plants
Have you ever heard about green roofs? They improve the energy efficiency of the building in which they are installed, due to the fact that plants absorb the heat of the sun and, in the winter, keep the heat inside the building.
Plants can regulate temperature and humidity on their own. Have you ever walked barefoot on a grass lawn? It immediately cooled you down, didn’t it? The idea is to make use of this particular characteristic of plants, by creating green spaces both inside and outside our homes.
Create a green wall
If you cover your walls with plants, you will keep the heat away. You can do this with pots (if they are made of terracotta, so much the better) or with vertical structures that you can fill with soil and plants.
If you are an expert DIYer, you can make these structures yourself using wood, a material that helps absorb the heat. Plus, you can make it to measure, according to the size and measurements of the wall you are going to cover. And don’t forget about balcony tiles, which will also be cooler if you cover it with wood.
Set up your vertical wall at a certain distance from the floor, to prevent your pet from reaching the plants. This way, you won’t need to worry about the plants you choose for the wall.
There is also the option of planting climbing plants and waiting for them to grow and cover the wall. But don’t even think about planting ivy, bougainvillea or wisteria, as they are toxic and are not pet friendly plants.
If you have no access to an outdoor space because you live in a flat, you can always choose hanging plants that you can suspend from the ceiling. It will be quite difficult for your pets to reach them, although one thing is for sure, cats will find it an irresistible challenge. If your plants were there before your pet arrived, and you have nice pots that you don’t want to get rid of, why not put them in macrame plant hangers? You could even make them yourself. It is both easy and fun!
Which plants are toxic for pets?
No one knows your pet and how they behave around plants better than you. When you are planning on filling your home with plants, it is important to know which plants can cause problems if your pets chew or eat them. And when we talk about “toxic plants”, we should be clear about which part of the plant is toxic and in what quantities.
For example, the Cyclamen can cause many gastrointestinal problems in animals who eat their tuber or rhizome, which contains terpenoid saponins. Its leaves and flowers also contain these toxic saponins, but in lower quantities.
The leaves of the trendy Swiss Cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) contain calcium oxalate, which can cause issues with your pet’s oesophagus and gastrointestinal tract.
Turning now to plants that are edible for humans, dog owners know very well that plants in the allium family (garlic, leek and onions) contain toxic sulfur compounds. What about parsley? It looks pretty harmless, doesn’t it? Well, parsley is toxic to both dogs and cats, although only if ingested in great quantities.
If you have a cat at home, you will have noticed that they like chewing its leaves in order to purge and vomit hairballs. For this purpose we recommend that you plant cat grass (Nepeta cataria) or Dactylis glomerata in a pot at home. They love the smell of cat grass, and if they get used to having it at home, they might stay clear of your other plants.
Here is a list of some pet-friendly plants and those that are toxic, among which we can find the beautiful geranium, the ivy and other plants that are commonly seen inside our homes: