Houseplants can not only invigorate your apartment and make your space more attractive, they also offer health benefits for you, your pets and your children! Houseplants reduce carbon dioxide in the air you breathe, remove certain pollutants, and increase humidity in your apartment. Plants also cut down on the amount of dust in the air. Furthermore, your eyes detect the green light waves given off by plants, triggering pain management parts of your brain and reducing inflammation throughout the body.
Plants can present certain dangers to children and pets – some plants can be poisonous when ingested. It may be difficult to keep curious pets and tiny hands away from the plants in our apartments, but you can keep your loved ones safe by conscientiously choosing plants that are non-toxic if your pets or children accidentally eat them. Below are some safe suggestions for houseplants that can refresh your apartment without adding to your worries.
Air plants are pet-friendly, low-maintenance and do not require soil to grow. Often they are placed in attractive glass containers and globes that keep them away from pets and children (and create beautiful decorations). These hardy little plants rarely grow larger than 12 inches. They thrive in bright, indirect light, and only require a quick, convenient watering once a week.
African violets feature fuzzy leaves and pretty blossoms and do well without full sun. The plants thrive in the same moderate temperatures and average humidity enjoyed by us, making them perfect apartment residents. These delightful little plants are particularly fond of Eastern windows. With a little high-quality fertilizer, these pretty violets can produce blossoms year-round.
Low-maintenance, pet-friendly Areca palms are ideal for first-time houseplant caretakers. These attractive, delicately leaved tropical palms like bright, indirect light, but also do well in low light conditions. Simply water the palm when the top inch of soil is dry, and the tree can grow to eight feet (although four feet is more common).
You have probably seen a spider plant at your mother’s house, or maybe you have been gifted one by a friend or coworker. This perennially popular houseplant looks great in a hanging basket, and the trailing vines are harmless to curious pets and children. The “children” that grow on the vines can be transplanted to start new plants, giving you a personal and unique source for gifts.
Venus Fly Trap
The Venus flytrap is a funky little plant that is safe for pets and children. This carnivorous plant might even eliminate any stray flies in your apartment! The curious little plant will grow well with a little fertilizer and distilled water, and the occasional fly that finds its way into your apartment is a special treat (and an interesting activity to watch).
Calathea spp. is often referred to as zebra plants or peacock plants thanks to its showy foliage. Large leaves featuring tropical colorful stripes or stippling create a daring accent to your apartment décor. They are happiest growing in the shadier parts of your apartment – too much light can bleach the plants.
If you keep forgetting to water your house plants but yearn for colorful blooms during the winter months, orchids are an elegant choice to add beauty to your apartment. These flowering plants usually bloom during the winter months when the days are short, and they prefer very little attention and rarely need watering.
Unique, colorful bromeliads are easy to care for, pet-safe and require nothing more than some bright sunlight and a little extra humidity (provided by a simple hand sprayer). Bromeliads do not require soil, and can be grown on a log, offering a stunning display and an attractive alternative for pets who tend to dig in potting soil.
Always be cautious when bringing a new plant into your apartment. If you aren’t sure that a plant is safe, consider hanging the plant out of reach or placing it on a high shelf. You can also find out if the plant is poisonous on the House Plant Expert site by clicking here.
If you are worried that your pet may have eaten a poisonous plant, please visit the ASPCA Poison Control Center or call their hotline at 888-426-4435 immediately. If your child may have ingested a poisonous plant or any toxin, visit the American Association of Poison Control Centers or call 800-222-1222.
Freshen up your apartment and add a little greenery with these safe, low-maintenance houseplants. Decorate your apartment with healthy plants without worry!