Stop waiting for signs of spring to appear out your window — bring the greenery inside instead. Houseplants can improve your indoor air quality, not to mention enliven your space. But before you head out to your local nursery, know that some common plants can be toxic to animals.
Here are a few lush options that will make you happy and your pet safe, no gardening prowess required. Simply place these plants by a window to thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. (Bonus: that’s where your gaze has been focused anyway).
1. Ferns: Boston, Asparagus or Lemon Button
Vibrant and leafy, these ferns are differentiated by the pattern featured on their foliage, from pointed to rounded. These can grow lush and full with time, and fill a space nicely.
2. Spider plant
This easy-to-grow option features striped foliage cascades like ivy. Place in a planter on a stand or corner — or hang — for maximum draping.
3. African violet
This flower serves up a pop of vivid color atop a foundation of dark-green leaves, and the petals can range from saturated purple outlined in white to soft purple to blue.
4. Palm: Areca, bamboo or Pony Tail
These three palms all bring a dramatic flair, reaching out, stretching up or sloping down with full, textured leaves. Palms can also grow into large-scale plants if you want (think towering over you).
5. Polka dot plant
Dynamic color and pattern distinguish each leaf — often flecking a solid color with dots of a different hue (hence the name). You can find it in myriad of green and pink as well as green and white.
6. Baby rubber plant
Its small, rounded waxy leaves give this high-gloss plant its personality, and you can easily turn one plant into a small army by repotting stem cuttings.
7. Moth orchid
Sure, these plants have a reputation for being notoriously picky, but a good amount of indirect sun and proper watering and, poof, you’ve done it. Just be sure to get the right kind, as some orchid varieties aren’t as pet friendly.
8. Prayer plant
Wide oval leaves showcase its striking natural pattern — shades of green are accented by curved veins running through it in either a red, white or light green hue.
Have another plant type in mind? Check the ASPCA’s online directory of poisonous plants to ensure it’s safe to bring home.