Pet-Friendly Plants, From House to Patio

With spring fully sprung and the lovely weather on the way, my family and I are looking forward to spending long hours in the yard outside our home. Many of my houseplants seem to enjoy the jump from house to outdoors.  There really is no need to spend extra dollars on potted annuals to decorate my outdoor living space. These pet-friendly plants thrive both indoors and out and can join you and your pets on the porch or in your garden this spring.

I received a beautiful little sprout of a spider plant a few years ago, it was a gift from my neighbor who I love and adore, but she truly thinks I have no garden skills.  Okay, she may be right, but I do know dogs.

Spider Plant: This charmer loves bright but indirect light. Hang this plant high so its glorious runners full of baby spider plants have room to grow and curve. Propagate the little “sproutlettes” by waiting until they’ve grown small knobby roots and then just pop them into damp soil. These little sproutlettes make great gifts for friends and family.(Chlorophytum comosum, winter hardiness Zone 9-11)

Prayer Plant will enjoy that breath of air. This plant’s beautiful maroon and green leaves fold up at night like hands in prayer. During the day it will add unusual color to your plant collection. It blossoms in spring or summer with delicate white or purple flowers (Maranta leuconeura, winter hardiness Zone 11–12).

Monstera are species of evergreen tropical vines and shrubs that are native to Central America. They are famous for their natural leaf-holes. Some have nicknamed it the Swiss-Cheese Plant! (Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii – USDA Zones 10-12)

The dignified Staghorn Fern, gets its name from wide, antler-like fronds with a velvety appearance. It is an epiphyte that normally clings to trees, getting nutrients and moisture from the air and rain. Your shade-loving Staghorn is probably attached to a plank or wooden crate-like container. It will make a statement hanging on the trunk of a tree in a shady section of your garden or tucked up in the corner of your porch or shaded patio. (Platycerium bifurcatum, winter hardiness Zone 9-12)

Boston Fern: This beauty makes a grand green tropical statement on a plant hanger or pillar, both indoors and out on your sun-sheltered patio. Give it a good soak before it gets entirely dry. Never a year goes by without at least two of these beauties in my life.  They can be a bit messy in the house, but most of the year one lives out on the back patio living space, and one at the front entry where we get a lot of shade.  I often put the fern’s entire pot in a larger vessel of damp peat moss to raise the humidity indoors or out, especially when I notice leaves drying out. (Nephrolepis exaltata, winter hardiness Zones 10-12)

The Gifted Orchid.  I love well-intentioned friends to buy me orchids. I keep them till they lose the flowers and hand them off to a neighbor. This time it’s gonna be different! Its flowers lasted for months, but now it’s a pile of glossy green leaves. My learning is this: give your orchid a new life by placing it in a sheltered, humid area of your outdoor garden, under a tree in filtered light, or nestled with larger plants. The neighbor who has adopted mine previously will find my latest lingering under our shared maple tree. Fertilize monthly (or weekly at ¼ strength) and you’ll likely be delighted by a spike of new buds by the season’s end! (Orchidaceae, winter hardiness generally Zones 6-9)

A Bromeliad to Bring in a bit of the Tropical Feel. Another common gift plant, these strappy-leafed plants crowned with orange, red, yellow, and purple will be quite happy tucked into a shady or partially sunny, humid area of your garden, or on your porch with regular misting. (Bromeliaceae, winter hardiness Zone 10-11)

Perennial Herbs will tickle both your nose and taste buds and can keep supplying your soup pot even after finding a new home in your garden. Some of my favorites are basil, dill, oregano and mint. Yes, mint for mojitos… I own that.  If your rosemary, parsley, thyme, lavender, or cilantro plants are looking a bit scraggly, repot them with fresh soil and tote them outdoors to enjoy the summer sun. While many herbs are non-toxic to pets, woody, oily aromatic herbs like rosemary lavender can cause stomach upset in pets if eaten in large quantities. 

Let’s face it, our pets are curious and sometimes a bit of a pest when it comes to indoor and outdoor plants. Moving them from in to out will not go unnoticed. My advice is to keep an eye on them. They will get used to the new location and likely move on to more interesting things.  If you are not certain which houseplants you can leave within reach of your dog on the porch, or add to your cat’s catio be sure to check the ASPCA webpage of toxic and non-toxic plants. It’s mobile-friendly!

Find it here: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants.

Bring the whole living household outdoors this spring! 


Happy Spring….. AHHHHH CHOOOO! – oh dear, that’s a whole other post…

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