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Six non-toxic plants that are safe around children and pets

Non-toxic plants that are safe around pets and children in the home and garden

Let's start with the poisonous ones.

Choosing non-toxic plants is important for households in which pets and small children might sample the greenery! It is quite rare for people or pets to choose to eat toxic plants. But indeed, it does happen. Some poisonous plants don’t even need to be eaten in order to prove fatal. Indeed, gardeners are believed to have been killed by wolfsbane, or Aconitum, which is also known as monkshood. This attractive plant has large leaves and purple, hooded flowers which look rather like cowled monks’ hoods.

poison, poisonous, plants, aconitum, aconite, wolfsbane, monkshood, garden, flower, monks, cowl, purple, blue Aconitum is also known as Wolfsbane and the name will be familiar to Harry Potter fans!

Then there’s Hemlock, Deadly Nightshade, tomato plants, primrose, rhododendron, lilies and even Foxgloves that are all capable of adverse health effects or even death.

poisonous plants, poison, poisonous, foxglove, digitalis, flower, spring, garden, growing, gardening, health The beautiful Foxglove must also be treated with care. They can affect the heart with naturally occurring poisons called cardiac glycoside toxins, interfering with electrolyte balance within the heart muscle.

Non-toxic plants

On the other hand, plants are extremely good for us! Not only do we eat them (vegetables, herbs, fruit), but they filter toxins from the air, produce oxygen and are good for the soul too.

Plants, health, house plants, houseplants, soul, garden, gardening Plants are good for the soul! They make people happy and can improve the environment.

To derive the maximum benefit from plants we need to incorporate them into our homes as well as our gardens. Some are better than others at cleaning the air and producing oxygen, but those with pets or small children might want to choose from non-toxic house plants to eliminate risk.

Cat, dog, pet, children, child, poison, house, home, health, danger, flowers, poisonous Watch out for poisonous plants in the home. Cats, dogs and children are often tempted to eat them!

Indoor palm trees

Fortunately, the list of plants believed to be non-toxic is tempting and it includes the beautiful Areca palm, which is also one of the best for purifying the air.

Areca Palm, house plant, houseplant, palm, non-toxic, health, children, pets, cats, dogs, home, interior design, Areca Palm is a great house plant which has no known toxic properties. Also known as Chrysalidocarpus lutescens or Dypsis lutescens, it is commonly called the yellow butterfly palm, bamboo palm and golden cane palm.

Dypsis lutescens - the Areca palm -  is also known as the yellow butterfly palm; the bamboo palm and the golden cane palm and it is one of the easiest palm trees to grow indoors. It came near the top of a NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) study of the 10 best air purifying plants. What’s more, it can grow just about as large as you want it to – generally up to around 2.5m indoors (although it will, of course, be restricted by the size of its pot).

Other people-and pet-friendly palms include the Canary Island date palm, Phoenix canariensis, which will enable your imagination to whisk you off to a tropical island paradise! This typical palm tree makes a great house, office or conservatory plant and in a bright enough position and large enough pot it will be able to grow several metres high, with a similar spread. Its arching evergreen fronds, however, have a certain sharpness about them so although it’s thought to be non-toxic, perhaps little fingers should stay away.

Phoenix canariensis, palm, date palm, tree, house plant, houseplant, non-toxic, healthy, gardening, interior design Phoenix canariensis is known as the date palm or Canary Island palm. It's another great plant for indoors here in the UK, with no known toxins.

Smaller palms

A smaller, but no less interesting, type of palm is the ‘ponytail palm’ or Nolina maya. Also known as Beaucarnea recurvata; the maya palm or ‘elephant’s foot’, it has a thick woody stem and palm-like foliage. In fact, this semi-succulent stores water in its stem a bit like the iconic Baobab tree of Africa and Australia. Many plants make great talking points and this is one of them.

Nolina, maya, palm, non-toxic, house plant, houseplant, healthy, health, plant, elephant, maya palm, elephant's foot The charming ponytail palm, Nolina maya, also known as the Maya palm. This is a lovely non-toxic plant that has a central trunk that some say looks like an elephant's foot!

Here's a video all about palm trees, in case you would like to learn more:


Hanging plants

Want something a little smaller – a hanging plant perhaps? You can’t go wrong with the good old Chlorphytum, otherwise known as a spider plant! These brilliant plants are really efficient air cleaners and they now come in several different forms. The effect that can be achieved with a collection of hanging spider plants is second-to-none. So easy to propagate – little fingers can practice their gardening skills without worry.  These are plants that take up no room at all as they can hang in space that would otherwise be empty.

Chlorophytum, spider plants, house plants, houseplants, health, air filtering, non-toxic, gardening, kids, children, pets, dogs, cats There are now several different varieties of spider plants, Chlorophytum. These easy-to-care-for house plants are really efficient air-cleaning plants and they look great too.



A collection of non-toxic succulent house plants makes an intriguing feature. Consider the charming succulent Echeverias such as ‘Purple Pearl’; ‘Perle von Nurnberg’ and ‘Taurus’ which look really effective when grouped together. Easy to care for, they make the perfect ‘starter plant’; they are highly effective air improvers; they actually produce oxygen at night and therefore make good bedroom companions - and they have no known toxic properties.

house plants, houseplant, health, good for you, healthy, atmosphere, toxins, cleaning, air quality, indoors, interior design, plants Echeveria 'Perle von Nurnberg’ has a blue/purple tinge to the succulent leaves.
Echeveria 'Purple Pearl', house plant, houseplant, succulent, non-toxic, healthy, health, toxins, filtering, non-toxic, plant Echeveria 'Purple Pearl' has a wonderful pinky-purple hue and an opaque hue on its foliage.


Perfect Plants is an on-line supplier of garden plants and house plants. Also garden equipment, furniture and gifts. Tel: 01323 833479