Houseplants are a great way to refresh your apartment and make your space more attractive. They also offer health benefits for you, your children and pets! Houseplants can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air you breathe, remove certain pollutants, and boost humidity. Plants also reduce the amount of airborne dust in your apartment. Furthermore, green light waves detected by your eyes trigger pain-reducing areas of the brain, reducing inflammation and helping you to feel better.
Plants can also be dangerous for children and pets – some plants are poisonous when eaten. It’s hard to keep curious pets and tiny hands from sampling the plants in our apartments, but you can keep your loved ones safe by choosing plants that are non-toxic, and won’t make your children or pets sick if eaten. Below are a few of our favorite houseplants that can refresh your apartment while keeping your family safe.
Pet-friendly, low-maintenance air plants do not require soil to grow. Many people place them in attractive glass containers that keep them safe from pets (and create a beautiful decoration). These hardy little plants usually grow to no larger than 12 inches and do well in bright, indirect light. They also don’t need more than a quick, convenient watering once a week.
African violets feature pretty, fuzzy leaves and bloom in low light. The plants are most successful in the same moderate temperatures and average humidity common to most apartments. Particularly fond of Eastern windows and a high-quality fertilizer, these pretty violets can produce blossoms year-round.
Pet-friendly, low-maintenance Areca palms are ideal for beginners. These charming, delicate tropical palms like bright, indirect light, but also grow well in low light conditions. Water your palm when the top inch of soil feels dry, and your palm can grow to eight feet (although four feet is more common).
You may have seen a spider plant in your mother’s house, or perhaps you have been given one as a gift by a friend or coworker. This perennially popular houseplant does well and looks great in a hanging basket. The trailing “legs” of the plant are harmless to curious pets and children. The “babies” that grow on the trailing vines can be transplanted and grown as new plants, giving you a fun source for gifts.
Venus Fly Trap
The venus fly trap is a funky little houseplant, and it’s safe for pets and children. This carnivorous plant may even eliminate stray flies in your apartment! The fascinating little plant grows well with a little fertilizer and distilled water, but the occasional fly that wanders into your apartment is a special treat (and an interesting display to watch).
Often referred to zebra plants or peacock plants, Calathea spp. sport showy foliage. Their large tropical leaves featuring colorful stripes or stippling provide a beautiful accent to your apartment décor. They are also happy to reside in the shadier parts of your apartment – too much light can bleach the plants.
If you have trouble remembering to water your house plants but yearn for colorful flowers during the winter months, orchids are an excellent choice to add beauty to your apartment. These flowering plants usually provide pretty blooms during the winter months when the days are short, and they require very little water or attention.
The unique, colorful bromeliad is easy to care for, pet-safe and requires nothing more than a bright window and a little extra humidity (which you can provide by using a sprayer). Bromeliads don’t need soil, and can grow by attaching to a log, making for a stunning display and offering an attractive option for pets that have a tendency to dig in potting soil.
Always take caution when introducing a new plant in your apartment. If you aren’t confident that a plant is safe, try hanging the plant out of reach or placing it on a shelf. You can also learn whether or not the plant is poisonous on the House Plant Expert site by clicking here.
If you are afraid 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 eaten 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!