5 Low-Maintenance, Pet-Friendly Houseplants

I don’t know about you, but I do not have a naturally green thumb (although my dad and mother-in-law are both avid gardeners, so I really have no excuse). My dad gave me a fern about five years ago, which I hung from the ceiling in my old apartment, and while I loved the life and color that it added to the space, I didn’t love watering it, and it died within a few months (or weeks).

But after reading enough decorating books and home bloggers, I have finally jumped on the bandwagon of keeping indoor houseplants, because it’s literally one of the most inexpensive ways to make a huge impact in your home! Seriously, flip through the pages of a decorating book and start counting the number of plants in all those photos—you might be amazed how many there are (and if it’s Joanna Gaines’ book, Homebody, half of them will be fiddle leaf fig trees!). But really, in all honesty, it you find the right plants for your home (and remember to water them occasionally), keeping them alive is really not that much work.

However, it can be tricky to find plants that will really thrive in your home. You have to consider factors like the humidity level and amount of sunlight in your house, but there are also other issues to bear in mind, like plant toxicity, if you have pets. Sadly, a large number of indoor house plants are highly toxic, and since I have two cats (that are often dumb enough to try and eat plants), I really can’t take any chances. I’m always on the look-out for pet-friendly, easy indoor plants, so in case you are too, here’s my list:

1. Boston Fern

This is the same type of fern that I killed several years ago, but I am proud to say that I have now kept this Boston Fern alive for well over a year. I still don’t water it as much as I should, and it doesn’t get quite as much light as it might like, so the foliage is a little sparse. However, it’s still doing ok, and now that the weather is warm enough, I may let it live out on the patio for a while, so that it grows a bit bigger.

Boston Fern.JPG

2. Kangaroo Paw Fern

I have had this fern for almost a year now, and it’s doing quite well, even though it’s in a spot in my living room that doesn’t get a ton of light. Just to help it out a bit, I often move it closer to a window while I’m gone all day at work and that has seemed to help it grow. However, I also read in this article that these ferns don’t actively grow in the winter, so that may explain why there were very few new leaves during the winter months, but now that it’s spring, it seems to be taking off again.

Kangaroo Paw Fern.JPG

3. Rabbit’s Foot Fern

You have probably gathered by this point that I like my ferns! Actually, I primarily have ferns for houseplants, because they are pretty much always non-toxic to cats. I also think it’s incredible how much variety there is within the classification of “fern”! The Rabbit’s Foot Fern is especially remarkable, and it derives its name from the furry rhizomes which grow on top of the soil and sort of look like rabbit’s feet. I love this fern, and it does very well in my entryway, even though it gets almost no light!

Rabbit's Foot Fern.JPG

4. Bird’s Nest Fern

This is my most recent fern acquisition (I’ve only had it for about two weeks), so we’ll see how it does. I bought this plant because from my internet research, it is specifically supposed to thrive in very low light. I have it placed on a high shelf in my living room, where it gets some indirect light, but not too much. I also love the unique shape of the leaves and the way they cascade off the shelf!

Bird's Nest Fern.JPG

5. Spider plant

So these plants are often top of the list of “easy to care for” houseplants, however, I will confess that I killed one last summer! I tried putting it in a corner of my bedroom, where it received NO direct light, and evidentially not much indirect light either. But, nevertheless, I bought this beautiful specimen at the Philadelphia Flower Show about two months ago, and it seems to be doing great. I’ve been moving it around a bit, but have been generally keeping it near a large window, so it gets plenty of light. Spider plants also like for their soil to dry out between waterings, so they’re great to have if you are often forgetful about watering!

Spider plant.JPG

I hope this list has been helpful! I’m always hunting for more pet-friendly indoor plant options, so if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment! Thanks for reading!