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BellaOnline's Houseplants Editor

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Non-Toxic Houseplants

Guest Author - Lisa Beth Voldeck

One thing it is always nice to know when purchasing houseplants is whether or not the plant is dangerous to children or pets. There are many different ways a plant can be dangerous. They can have poisonous compounds that will sicken small children or pets to varying degrees. Plants can contain oxalates that would make you think you’re eating fiberglass. Some plants can cause skin reactions, called dermatitis. These are the types of dangers you can avoid by sticking with the plants listed here. Remember that there are always special cases where one may be allergic to a plant and have an unusual reaction. To be safe, it’s not a bad idea to keep houseplants out of reach of children and pets at all times.

African Violet – Saintpaulia species
Aluminum Plant – Pilea cadierei
Air Plant – Tillandsia species
Airplane Plant – Chlorophytum comosum (a.k.a. Spider Plant)
Aralia – Aralia japonica (a.k.a. Fatsia)
Artillery Plant – Pilea microphylla
Baby Tears – Soleirolia soleirolii
Banana Tree- Musa species
Bear’s Paw – Cotyledon tomentosa
Begonia – Begonia species
Boston Fern – Nephrolepis exaltata (a.k.a. Sword Fern)
Bridal Veil – Gibasis geniculata
Bromeliads – Guzmania species
Cabbage Palm – Cordyline species
Calathea – Calathea zebrina (a.k.a. Zebra Plant)
Cast Iron Plant – Aspidistra elatior
Cat Grass – Avena sativa (a.k.a. Common Oat)
Catnip – Nepeta cataria (a.k.a. Catmint)
Cattleya orchid – Cattleya species and cultivars
Christmas Cactus – Schlumbergera species
Coleus – Coleus species
Cordyline – Cordyline species (a.k.a. Spike Plant)
Creeping Jenny – Lysimachia nummularia (a.k.a. Gold Moneywort)
Cymbidium orchid – Cymbidium species and cultivars
Donkey’s Tail – Sedum morganianum
False Aralias – Schefflera elegantissima
False Banana Tree – Ensete species
Fatsia – Aralia japonica
Ferns – All houseplant types
Friendship Plant – Billbergia nutans (a.k.a. Queen’s Tears)
Gardenia – Gardenia jasminoides
Gloxinia – Gloxinia slyvatica
Goldfish Plant – Nematanthus gregarious (Handling plant may irritate skin)
Hens and Chicks – Sempervivum tectorum
Hindu Rope Plant – Hoya species
Hoya – Hoya species (a.k.a. Wax Plant, Hindu Rope Plant)
Irish Moss – Sagina subulata
Jade Plant – Crassula ovata
Lipstick Plant – Aeschynanthus species
Living Stones – Lithops aucampiae
Moneywort – Lysimachia nummularia (a.k.a. Creeping Jenny)
Money Tree – Pachira aquatica
Mother-Of-Thousands – Tolmiea menziesii
Moth Orchid – Phalaenopsis species and cultivars
Odontoglossum orchid– Odontoglossum species and cultivars
Orchid Cactus – Epiphyllum species
Peperomia – Peperomia species
Phalaenopsis orchid – Phalaenopsis species and cultivars
Persian Shield - Strobilanthes dyerianus
Piggyback Plant – Tolmiea menziesii (a.k.a. Mother-Of-Thousands)
Poinsettia – Euphorbia pulcherrima
Ponytail Palm – Beaucarnea recurvata (a.k.a. Bottle Palm)
Prayer Plant – Maranta leuconeura
Purple Heart – Tradescantia pallida (Handling plant may irritate skin)
Purple Passion Plant - Gynura aurantiaca
Spider Plant – Chlorophytum comosum
Swedish Ivy – Plectranthus coleoides
Tahitian Bridal Veil – Gibasis geniculata
Ti Plant – Cordyline species
Wandering Jew – Tradescantia species (Handling plant may irritate skin)
Wax Plant – Hoya species
Zebra Plant – Calathea zebrine
Zygocactus – Schlumbergera species

Some plants may not be listed because it is not known with certainty how toxic the plant is. Plants with conflicting opinions have been omitted, for the sake of a reliable list. Of course, if new information arises, additions can be made. Enjoy, and try out a new plant. I recommend the Living Stones, if you are not familiar with them!
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Content copyright © 2014 by Lisa Beth Voldeck. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lisa Beth Voldeck. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sue Walsh for details.

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