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Pet-friendly houseplants: 5 that are safe, 5 to avoid

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Plants make your home feel nice, make you happier, and (kind of) clean the air.

However, if you have pets, there are a few types of plants to avoid in your indoor garden.

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In nature, plants release toxins as a natural defense.

In your home, those compounds can be harmful to pets if they're ingested. They can cause gastrointestinal issues, problems with salivation and mouth burning, or can even be fatal.

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Even non-toxic plants can cause an upset stomach — so it's good to keep an eye on your plants and pets in general. Keeping certain plants up high can help.

If you want pets and plants, consider these 5 options.

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Zebra plants

Aphelandra squarrosa

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Zebra plants are pet-friendly option with awesomely funky stripes. They need bright, filtered light and damp soil.

Bonus: If conditions are right, this plant will produce a rad, bright flower.

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Air plants

Tillandsia

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Skip the soil: Air plants can live in a pot, on a stand, or hanging in the window. To keep them hydrated, soak the plants in water for about an hour every week or two.

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Venus fly traps

Dionaea

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Despite being carnivorous, Venus flytraps are okay to have around pets. Unless your pet is a fly.

Indirect sunlight and distilled water help these plants thrive indoors.

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Burro's tail

Sedum morganianum

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This non-toxic succulent is known for its bristly tail shape. It will trail out of its pot as it grows.

Don't overwater these plants — every two weeks should do — but water generously when the time comes.

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Boston ferns

Pellaea rotundifolia

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Many ferns are safe for pets — button ferns, silver ribbon ferns, rabbit's foot ferns. Boston ferns hold a special title as Zach Galifianakis's choice on Between Two Ferns.

Ferns like their humidity high and their light indirect. Otherwise, you may end up with crispy, sad fronds.

These are the 5 toxic plants to avoid if you have pets

Snake plants

Dracaena trifasciata

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Although they make great beginner plants, snake plants are toxic to cats and dogs.

They can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

Aloe

Aloe vera

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The same stuff that eases sunburn in humans can unfortunately give your cat symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, depression, and anorexia.

Philodendrons

From the family Araceae.

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Keep these plants away from pets.

Philodendron poisoning can cause hypersalivation, abdominal pain, swelling, vomiting, and problems with swallowing.

Spider plants

Chlorophytum comosum

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Spider plants are listed as non-toxic by the ASPCA.

But they can still cause a reaction that's mildly hallucinogenic, similar to catnip.

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Begonias

From the family Begoniaceae.

Begonias are toxic to dogs, cats, and, for what it's worth, horses.

Eating these plants can make your pet's mouth burn and induce vomiting.

Okay, now go build that indoor garden.

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