Here’s a list of 20 non-toxic plants perfect for indoors. Learn how to care for each and which environments they thrive in.
A walk through the woods is usually soothing and pleasant. Something about all that greenery creates a sense of serenity and quiets everything within. Bringing plants indoors can provide many of the same benefits as being outside in nature, but how do you choose non-toxic plants?
Whether you’re looking for a pet-friendly plant, a kid friendly plant or just a non-toxic plant that can spruce up your home, we’ve got an inclusive list with a variety of types and levels of care required. Read on to find which plants are best for you.
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Why should I have non-toxic plants in my home?
Plants have been found to improve mood as well as brighten up and beautify your home. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many more individuals are exposed to contaminants in the air indoors than outdoors, posing a serious health concern.
Plants have the ability to purify the air we breathe, removing harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide, while also releasing oxygen. This makes them a great addition to any home.
While plants provide us with all these benefits, it is also crucial to consider our pets and children when adding plants to your home. Some plants have no effect on humans, but a bite or even a touch can be fatal to our pets and children. Here are 20 non-toxic house plants that parents and pet owners can feel safe having in the house.
Spider plants are also called Airplane Plant, St. Bernard’s Lily, Spider Ivy, and Ribbon Plant. It has the botanical name Chlorophytum comosum. Vittatum and Variegatum are common cultivars of Spider plants.
Temperatures and pH levels of 64 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 6.0 – 6.5 respectively, are ideal for Spider plants. Watering should be done less frequently and with fluorine and boron-free water, as these elements are harmful to the plant.
Pruning isn’t necessary for growth except when eliminating brown tips. Harsh or intense sunlight should be avoided.
The spider plant is considered a low-maintenance houseplant and can be maintained easily, even if you lack a green thumb.
Despite the common name “bamboo,” Chamaedorea seifrizii is a palm, not a true bamboo. They are excellent in absorbing toxicants like formaldehyde, benzene, chloroform, and carbon monoxide from the air.
Bamboo plants grow best in bright indirect sunlight and at temperatures ranging from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They can take up a lot of room when fully grown, so trimming is necessary.
Because excessive salts and chemicals in water might cause browning of their tips, avoid using softened water. To keep pests at bay, spray the plant with a mixture of biodegradable liquid detergent and water on a regular basis. Fertilizers should be avoided during fall and winter.
Hoya carnosa popularly known as Porcelain Flower, has long, thin vines with waxy, dark green leathery leaves. The wax plant can grow like a vine or a bush and are ideal as hanging plants.
Wax plant prefers moist soil and requires less watering in the winter than in the summer. The leaves may be burned if exposed to direct sunlight. Fertilizers should be applied monthly, and repotting should be done whenever the plant has outgrown its pot.
African Violets are a great choice if you want to brighten up your space with colors. These plants are low maintenance and produce flowers in a variety of colors, including white, pink, and violet.
African Violets do not require direct light and watering should be done with caution because water on the velvety leaves might damage them and cause fungal infections. They do not need to be re-potted as often once they’ve reached maturity because it can reduce their ability to flower.
Temperatures should be kept above 59F.
Of all the orchids, Phalaenopsis spp is the easiest to grow. Although Moth Orchids do not thrive in low light or dimly lit environments, they do not require direct sunlight. East and north-facing windows are typical sites to place them. Shade should be provided if placed in a south-facing window.
Moth Orchids should not be grown in regular potting soil. Instead, plant them in a coarse-textured mix and repot every 2-3 years.
Water every 10-14 days when the soil is dry, and avoid overwatering because it will cause the root to rot. If the stems start to turn brown or the blossoms start to fade, it’s time to prune.
Tillandsia spp. are epiphytes with strap-shaped or slender triangle-shaped leaves that grow in a rose pattern. Majority of Air plant species produce lovely, tubular or funnel-shaped blooms.
Air plants don’t have roots and as such, they do not require soil to flourish. These plants obtain their nourishment from the air, water, and surrounding debris.
Because air plants leaves are sensitive, they should be kept out of direct sunlight. Watering should be done regularly using the soaking method, and they should be placed in warm, humid environments.
Scientifically called Nephrolepis exaltata, Boston Ferns are found in South and Central America, the West Indies, and Africa, in dark, gloomy places such as swamps and woodlands. They are ideal for your bathroom because they thrive in humid environments.
Generally, Ferns prefer soils that are loamy and organically rich. Compost and peat should be added to soils before planting.
Watering should be done frequently as they require damp soils. Similarly, they require bright, indirect light, and are sensitive to extremes of temperature. Re-potting is the best time to prune these plants.
Bromeliads are members of the Bromeliaceae family. These epiphytes originate from the tropical rainforests and have sword-shaped leaves.
Bromeliads should not be watered with alkaline or salty water. They need 12 to 16 hours of bright light daily, with 50 – 70% relative humidity. Acidic, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to 1/4 – 1/8 strength is the ideal fertilizer for Bromeliads. This fertilizer should be applied frequently.
These bamboo-like plants scientifically know as Chamaedorea elegans, are one of the few palms that flourish indoors. Although they require bright, indirect light, they can grow in low and artificial light.
Parlor palms prefer moist soils and are dust sensitive. Their best cleanser is water. They require magnesium, so fertilizers used must contain it. Re-potting is done every 2-3 years during the spring or summer when it is actively growing.
Staghorn Ferns are epiphytic ferns in the Platycerium genus. These plants, sometimes known as Elkhorn ferns, are endemic to Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia.
Staghorn Ferns should be watered weekly in the summer and every 2-3 weeks in the winter. They don’t require any special fertilizer and misting can be done to boost humidity.
Schlumbergera spp. is one of the most popular houseplants as it has colorful flowers. These plants are unique among cactus and are native to the tropical rainforests of southern Brazil.
In hot, dry conditions, Christmas cacti do not grow well. Their soils should be kept moist, and misting done on a regular basis. Use a high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks, and re-pot after flowering once a year.
Purple Waffles, also known as Metal Leaf plant, Waffle plants, Red Flame Ivy, and Red Ivy, are little plants that look great on counters, desks, and tables.
They prefer moist but well-drained soils, dislike cold temperatures, and need indirect light to thrive. Purple Waffles are best kept in bathrooms because they demand a high level of humidity.
Every year, re-potting is best done in the spring or summer.
Fittonia argyroneura, often known as nerve plant, is a member of the Acanthaceae family. It is characterized by its distinctive pink and green, white and green, or green and red leaves.
Fittonia love water and will quickly wilt if left alone. They grow best in humidified areas. Fertilizers can be applied as needed, and re-potting done once a year using fresh soil each time.
Lipstick plants are native to Southeast Asia jungles. The plant gets its name from its distinctive red blossoms that resemble lipstick emerging from a tube.
They require less water in the winter, and the optimal time to water during the summer and spring is when the top half of the soil is dry. This allows for more blooming.
High humidity is essential, and when they outgrow their current pot, they must be re-potted.
Polka Dot Plant
The Acanthaceae family includes Hypoestes phyllostachya, a bushy plant with oval-shaped leaves. Initially, just pink spots covered the small, dark green leaves, but presently, there are many additional hybrids with splashes of red, white, lighter green, and even green spots are available.
Polka Dot plants require bright or medium lighting but can withstand a little direct sunlight. Their soils should be organically rich with adequate drainage.
Warm temperatures and humid surroundings, as well as regular watering are required. Organic fertilizers should also be applied once a month.
Chinese Money Plant
Pilea peperomioides, also called pancake, UFO, missionary, or pilea plant, belongs to the nettle family Urticaceae, and are native to Southeast Asia. Their leaves are circular and protrude from their long stalks.
Chinese Money plants need a lot of natural light and should be watered once a week to avoid overwatering. Leaves that are turning yellow or dropping off are a sure sign of overwatering. Pruning is not required.
Also called Herringbone Plant or Rabbit’s Foot, Maranta leuconeura has leaves that fold up at night, mimicking praying hands, and opening back up in the morning.
Prayer plants have high sensitivity to chemicals present in tap water. Distilled, filtered, or rain water should be used instead. Always keep their soils moist, and water less during the winter.
Misting the leaves every day or stand on a tray of moist pebbles to add humidity.
Baby Rubber Plant
Baby Rubber is a flowering plant grown primarily for its attractive, gleaming foliage. They’re commonly found in humid forests of Southern Florida, Central and South America.
Baby Rubber plant usually has dark green leaves, which may be light green, white, and yellow marbling, depending on the variant.
Their soils should be peat-based and maintained slightly damp while allowing for appropriate drainage. Because of its rapid growth, it requires pruning on a regular basis. Direct sunlight should be avoided, and humidity kept at 40-50%. Fertilizers are rarely needed.
Cast Iron Plant
Taiwan and Japan’s southern islands are home to the Aspidistra elatior plant. Even though it is a flowering plant, it rarely blooms inside. On rare occasions where Cast Iron plant blooms indoors, the flower has a stinky scent which attracts fungus gnats to keep pests and insects away.
This is the perfect plant for you if you don’t have a lot of free time. It’s low maintenance, and can withstand a wide range of conditions, from low light and humidity, to temperature changes and irregular watering.
Every 2-3 years in the spring, re-potting should be done. Fertilizer should be applied once a month.
Venus Flytraps are carnivorous plants, native to just North and South Carolina. Being the only species in its genus, it is known as a monotypic genus.
Venus Flytrap plants do best in acidic, moist soils, and should be kept away from fluorescent lights. Regular potting soil should not be used in planting Venus Flytraps. Instead, use a blend of one-third sand and two-thirds sphagnum peat moss.
Distilled water should be used for watering because regular tap water contains several minerals and is alkaline. Avoid using fertilizers.
The Bottom Line
There are many non-toxic plants that are kid and pet friendly. Many plants will also purify the air in your home and add a sense of calm. Based on your preference and how much time you want to spend taking care of your plants, you can decide which ones are right for you.
It’s super easy to find and order plants online. Bloomscape and Plants.com both offer a variety of safe plants. New plants can be purchased, along with supplies and maintenance items such as potting soils and repotting kits to make caring for your plants a breeze.
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