Houseplants can not only make your apartment living space more pleasing and attractive, but can also provide health benefits for you and your children and pets! Houseplants help to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, remove certain pollutants, and maintain proper humidity. Plants also reduce the amount of airborne dust in your apartment. The green light waves that your eyes absorb also trigger pain reducing areas of your brain, reducing inflammation throughout the body and allowing you to feel better.
Plants can also pose risks for children and pets, causing harm when eaten. It is difficult to keep curious animals and tiny hands from taking an interest in the plants in our apartment, but you can protect your children and pets by choosing plants that are non-toxic and safe when ingested. Below are a few of our favorite suggestions to refresh your apartment while keeping your loved ones away from harm.
Air plants are pet-friendly, low-maintenance houseplants that do not require soil to grow – many people prefer to grow these plants in a glass container that keeps them safe from pets (and creates a pretty decorative feature). Most air plants won’t grow past 12 inches and thrive in bright, indirect light, requiring no more than a quick soak once a week.
These pretty plants grow and bloom in low light and do well in the same moderate temperatures and average humidity common to most apartments. Place them in an Eastern window and feed a high quality fertilizer and your violet will bloom year round.
Pet-friendly, low-maintenance Areca palms are perfect for beginners. These attractive tropical trees enjoy bright, indirect light, but can also survive in low light areas. Water your palm when the top inch of soil is dry, and your palm could reach eight feet (although four feet is more common).
There is a good chance you have seen a spider plant in your grandma’s house, or perhaps you have received one as a gift. This perennially popular houseplant does well in a hanging basket, and is safe for curious pets and children. The “baby plants” that form on the growing vines can create new plants, giving you a delightfully personal source for quick gifts.
Venus Fly Trap
These interesting carnivorous plants are safe for pets and children, and may even eliminate stray flies in your apartment! These plants do well with a little fertilizer and distilled water, and the occasional fly that wanders into your apartment makes for a special treat (and an interesting spectacle to watch).
Calathea spp. plants are also often referred to as zebra plants or peacock plants. Large tropical leaves sport attractive and colorful stripes or stippling to create interesting accents to your apartment décor. They are also perfect for shadier parts of your apartment – too much light can damage and bleach the plants.
If you have a hard time remembering to water your house plants and crave some colorful flowers during the winter months, orchids are an excellent choice to decorate your apartment. These pretty flowering plants usually bloom during the winter months when the days are short, and require very little water.
The bromeliad is easy to maintain and pet-safe, and requires nothing more than a bright window and a little extra humidity. Bromeliads are able to grow without soil by attaching to a log, creating a unique decoration and an attractive option for pets that like to dig in potting soil.
Always take care when introducing a new plant to the pets and children who share your apartment. If you are not sure that a plant is safe, try hanging it or keeping it out of reach. You can also find out if the plant is poisonous on the House Plant Expert site byclicking here.
If you are worried that your pet may have ingested a poisonous plant, please visit the ASPCA Poison Control Center or call their hotline at 888-426-4435 immediately. If your child may have eaten a poisonous plant, visit the American Association of Poison Control Centers or call 800-222-1222.
Add a little green to your apartment with these healthy, low-maintenance choices, and enjoy refreshing your apartment without worry!