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A Guide to Dog-Friendly Plants

When it comes to your four-pawed best friend’s safety, you may believe that “there’s no place like home.” Sadly, this is often not the case, as some of our favorite house and garden plants are toxic to pups. It’s tough to keep dogs, especially puppies, from chewing on plants. Some of the most common plants found in gardens and homes can be deadly to dogs. Familiarizing yourself with dog-toxic plants is vital, but don’t despair—you can still have a dreamy garden. Keep your plant palette popping and your pup safe by following this guide to dog-friendly plants.

Houseplants

Before you resign yourself to a household devoid of greenery, check out some of these gorgeous, dog-friendly plant species. To give you an idea of the array of options you have, we’ve broken them down by category.

Ferns

Maidenhair fern


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Delicate, feathery, and a bit fussy, these ferns like some light and moisture. North-facing windows in bathrooms or kitchens are ideal spots.

Bird’s nest fern

This delicate, lush-leafed fern does well in low-light conditions and grows off of trees, walls, and almost anything vertical. It's a great candidate for hanging planters, corners that are far from windows, and dimly lit surfaces.

Boston fern

For a classic, dense, tropical-looking fern, Boston ferns are a perfect choice. Performing best in indirect light, yellowing leaves will let you know if the humidity level is too low.

Staghorn fern

This is another fern that does well in a hanging planter or even affixed to a plank or wooden wall mounting. These beauties enjoy medium to bright indirect light and humidity, making them a favorite for kitchens and bathrooms. Under the right conditions, they can grow massive.

Flowering Plants

African violets

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Growing well in bright indirect light or low light, these beauties come in a wide variety of shapes and colors and are sure to brighten up dim corners.

Bromeliads

These distinctive exotic plants have exquisite leaves and long-lasting blooms. Best of all, they're low-maintenance.

Christmas cactus

Bright, festive, and easy to keep alive. These dog-friendly flowering plants are a windowsill favorite and add life to wherever they're planted.

Orchids

From delicate windowsill varieties to the giant cymbidium varieties, all orchids are dog-friendly.

Tropical Foliage Plants

Bamboo palm


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A low-maintenance bamboo with palm-like leaves is fashionable and dog-friendly. Loves sunlight and frequent watering, just like your dog.

Calathea rattlesnake

This plant has some of the most stylish foliage in the game and can perform well in dim-lit areas or with bright, indirect light.

Parlor palm

This sweet-leafed dwarf is content to stay small in a smaller pot, but can actually grow to 6 feet tall if well cared for and given room. Keep it away from bright sun, and you have an indoor palm.

Prayer plant

Another low- to medium-light plant, the prayer plant has a stunning pink and green pattern and folds upward at night.

Garden Plants

If your pooch is a digger with an appetite for garden greens, then you’ll want to invest in some dog-friendly landscape and flower bed varieties. But planting the right plants is only part of the puzzle. You’ll also want to go out of your way to make sure your yard is designed for maximum canine safety and enjoyment.

Flowering Plants

Daylilies


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Unlike most lilies, which are extremely dangerous to dogs, daylilies are safe and give the same gorgeous look and feel to your garden.

Asters

These daisy-like perennials with star-shaped blooms come in a dizzying array of varieties from under one foot to taller than six feet. They prefer well-drained soil, and blooms come in a range from white to magenta to purple.

Hollyhock

Prolific bloomers, hollyhocks come in a range of colors and can take full or partial sun and thrive in a range of conditions.

Garden marigolds

A cheerful plant, we can all cheer because these pest-repelling beauties are also dog-friendly and low maintenance.

Roses

Perhaps the most classic flower garden plant, roses pose no danger to dogs, except their sharp thorns.

Snapdragon

These classic flowering perennials come in a cornucopia of colors and will reseed themselves and return year after year.

Sunflowers

Towering and cheerful, sunflowers brighten up any sunny space and pose no threat to anything but a bad mood.

Zinnias

Beloved by gardeners everywhere, zinnias are easy on the eyes and are nontoxic to our canine companions.

Foliage Plants/Herbs

Bachelor’s buttons


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Known for their distinctive bursts of blue, these sun-loving plants provide color all summer long.

Basil

Both delicious and beautiful, basil can be grown in any sunny place successfully. Try the opal variety for deep purple foliage.

Camellia

With glossy, evergreen leaves and bold flowers, these are usually the first blooms of the year to appear, brightening gardens when they need it most.

Cast iron plant

Ideal understory plants, these shade-loving, drought-tolerant perennials thrive in the shadow of large trees and stay green year-round.

Chamomile

With cheerful white and yellow flowers (which you can harvest for tea), if your dog eats this plant the worst that can happen is a calm, mellow effect.

Heuchera

Hundreds of varieties of heuchera will provide a variety of color combinations. They also throw out fragrant blooms each spring.

Lavender

Drought tolerant, fragrant, and dog-friendly, lavender is a great choice for areas that are hot and arid. This flower also repels mosquitoes.

Peacock ginger

A variety of ginger, this striped variety loves warm regions and moist conditions.

Mint

Excellent for culinary use, teas, and of course, and mojitos, a little mint can freshen a dog’s breath and help with digestion.

Rosemary

Savory, drought-tolerant, and heat-loving, this dog-friendly herb is a must-have for every cook’s garden.

Sage

Move over, culinary sage, there are dozens of ornamental salvias, and each one is dog-friendly.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it’s a great start for plant lovers who want to know which plants can live in harmony with their doggy pals. Of course, toxic or nontoxic, it’s wise to train your dog not to chew on any plants in the garden or inside your home.

Cat Murphy is a gardening and landscaping writer, and outdoor extraordinaire. She enjoys going on long hikes anywhere her two dogs are welcome.


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