Over 60% of Australian households own a pet, and they are becoming more and more critical to our daily lives. For many, the ‘fur kids’ are members of the family. At GRO Urban Oasis we love pets too and want you to know more about the plants you have in your garden and home and how they might benefit, or harm, your animals.
Inside your house, there are lots of plants that are ‘animal-friendly’, such as Boston ferns, spider plant, bromeliads, aspidistra and moth orchids, but there are also some which are harmful, like Dieffenbachia, Caladium, Creeping Charlie, Cyclamen, Philodendron, Monstera and Devil’s Ivy. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t grow these plants, but it does mean that you should place them high up or out of reach. The most dangerous of all plants to cats are lilies, so be careful with Peace lilies and cut flowers of Tiger lilies, Orientals and so on.
Outdoors, you might consider planting some that your animals will love. Catmint, Catnip and Cat grass and PURfect for cats, but dogs also like munching on them. Of course, dogs like grazing on grass too, so even having a pot of ryegrass can be helpful for them to munch on. Dogs are susceptible to paspalum, and can often get itchy allergies from it, so make sure your lawn doesn’t have any hidden amongst it. Wandering Dew can equally cause rashes and Butterfly plant (Buddleia), and burros tail (sedum) are also pet-friendly options.
Plants for PetsSome plants are poisonous too. Azaleas, Crocus, Ivy, Kalanchoe, Oleander, Wisteria, Yew, Sago Palms, Tulips, lily of the valley and daffodils. Though typically animals are smart enough to avoid them. If you like, consider planting some deterrents around plants you’re worried about. Dogs Bane, for example, has strongly aromatic foliage that dogs and cats are reputed to be repelled by. This herb is also known as ‘Scaredy Cat Plant’. You could plant other strong smelling plants like rosemary, sage, lavender and thyme too, but if you’re anxious, either remove and fence off plants of concern.
Plants & Pets
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