I’ve often heard my friends say things like “I wish I could have indoor plants, but it just wouldn’t work out because I have pets.” It’s a shame that people think that they can’t have indoor plants just because they own pets, because it should never really be an ultimatum. Owning pets and owning plants should not be mutually exclusive. In fact, I myself have a cat named Arrow. When he’s not busy napping, eating and asking for attention, he loves to chew on Cymbidium leaves, but thanks to their vigour and the fact that they’re not toxic, it’s not too big of an issue. In this post, I’ll be giving 5 tips to pet-proof your houseplants.
1. Choose pet-friendly houseplants
Pets are like family members to us, so it’s important to protect them from plants that could poison them if your pets get the munchies for your houseplants. There are a lot of pet-safe houseplants, meaning that they’re non-toxic to animals. These include Calatheas, Hoyas, Pileas, African violets, spider plants and some orchids. Feel free to have a look at this list for some pet-friendly houseplants.
2. Set your plants up to be pet-proof
Now that we’ve covered how to protect your pets, now we should probably cover how to protect your plants. When dog-proofing, try to use heavier cover pots which are harder for dogs to accidentally knock over. If you’re using plastic cover pots, consider weighing them down with clay pebbles or anything else that is small and heavy on the inside in the negative space that isn’t taken up by the plastic pot if there’s any extra space in the pot. It is also important to weight down your pot if have a cat, because they like to push objects off of shelves and other elevated surfaces. I tend to find that plant stands with solid legs and in-built, concave space for pots will do fine with plants, because the weight of the plant pot inside of it will help to keep them from being tipped over. Try to elevate plants to keep them out of reach of dogs. Also consider using planters made of timber/wood or concrete for durability.
3. Be vigilant after watering
After watering, make sure you pour the water in the saucers underneath terracotta and plastic pots into the sink. Cats love drinking water in the saucers you keep under plants, and will try to do this even when the water has fertiliser in it. A friend of mine has a potted bog garden, which her cat likes to drink from, so if you have a bog garden that seems to dry out much more quickly than it should, keep in mind that there may be a mischievous pet behind it.