The Best Pet-Friendly Houseplants

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2016

Chances are good that you have prospects and clients who have pets — ownership estimates for the U.S. range from 30 percent to more than 65 percent, depending on the source. Many pet owners are wary of houseplants, not knowing which can be toxic to their four-legged friends; pass along these tips on safe greenery to let your base know you're thinking about the whole household.

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Lifehacker.com writer Kristin Wong researched a list of six low-maintenance houseplants that can brighten up a space without endangering household pets. Topping the list was the spider plant: They "need a fair amount of water, but they also need to dry out between watering," Wong reports, and "do well in most light conditions and temperatures." But, while nontoxic to pets, they can upset digestive systems and even cause catnip-like euphoria in cats, so keep them out of reach and take away any fallen or dangling fronds.

Those who have the room can try the areca palm, which can grow as tall as 7 feet. But, Wong explains, you can't prune them back without risking damage, so make sure you pick a container the tree can grow into. These plants prefer bright indirect light and soil that dries out between waterings. Like spider plants, the areca palm improves indoor air quality, Wong says.

Larger spaces can enjoy the ease and presence of the bamboo palm, which can grow as high as 12 feet and as wide as 3 to 5 feet. They do well in containers in bright or indirect sunlight and only need to be watered when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Remind cat owners to top the dirt in their containers with a safe gravel, to keep the cats from using the containers for other purposes.

Wong recommended a few other low-maintenance plants that owners can relax with. To see the full list, including additional comments and experiences from pet owners, visit Lifehacker's article.

Source: "The Best Low-Maintenance, Pet-Friendly Houseplants," Lifehacker.com (April 28, 2016)