How can I stop killing my house plants?
How do I stop killing my house plants? I do know that part of my problem is my cat—she loves to munch away, all day, ugh! Do you have any pet-friendly plants to recommend? Or maybe small plants that stay small so they can live on a floating shelf away from my furry friend’s reach?
This is the kind of question I live for! Thank you for trusting my guidance as we take your brown (brownish? You tell us!) thumb and turn it into a lovely, flourishing shade of green. I think having pets in the home is a great way to get creative with where you place your flora. If you’re allowed to hang things on your walls or from the ceiling, it’s easy enough to pick up a few hooks at a local hardware store. A free afternoon, a quick Google search for “how to macrame a hanging planter”—or better yet, here’s one we love—and voila! Vertical plant storage means you and your kitty are happy.Cat-friendly display options aside, it’s hard to give advice about keeping your houseplants alive without a proper assessment of your space. If you’d like to text me some pics, we can go from there (half-kidding). But I can absolutely recommend cat- and shelf-friendly plants with a bonus: they’re all pretty easy to maintain.
Pilea and Peperomia | Any variety is great, and my favorites include the Pilea Peperomioides, Peperomia Rana Verde, and Watermelon Peperomia. They’re so easy to care for, too. Water when the top 1–2 inches of soil feel dry; they’re prone to rot, so drying out a bit is okay. Then, make sure they’re getting bright light, and they’ll be happy as can be.
Hoya | This is, to the best of my knowledge, the only cat-safe vine-y plant. Often called the wax plant because of its waxy leaves, Hoyas are notoriously difficult to kill. They create beautiful flower clusters and I love all of mine so much—my favorites being the variegated Hoya Carnosa and the Hoya Keysii. Pro-tip: If you keep it slightly root-bound, it’ll encourage flowering!
Staghorn Ferns | This is my favorite variety! They resemble antlers, hence the name, and look amazing when wall-mounted. (Here’s some great inspo.) Use bright-to-indirect light, never darkness, and simply soak the whole board when watering. Other cat-friendly fern varieties that I love are Rabbit’s Foot and Maidenhair ferns, but they’re just honorable mentions.
Tillandsia | The possibilities are endless: Build a terrarium in a jar, hang them from the ceiling, place them in a bowl, decorate your nightstand—with no soil necessary, they can live just about anywhere you’d like. Tillandsias typically live on other plants, absorbing moisture from the trees around them. Mist them heavily with water 1-2x a week and watch them flower and grow.
Now that the plants have been selected for you, I suggest heading to your local nursery to purchase them. It’s no secret that we love to shop small here at TGT. Local nurseries are much more knowledgable than big box stores, and the plants are always better quality. I’ve also found that they’re much more accommodating to my plethora of questions (a.k.a. they know how to answer them).
For major houseplant envy, follow these Instagram accounts: @urlocalplantboy, @hiltoncarter, @arianatanabe, @angelsbotanicalgarden, @danaerolynhorst, and @houseplantjournal. They’re all so informative, you’ll feel like a plant expert in no time 😊.
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Alyssa Julian is the Social Media Lead at The Good Trade. She’s LA born and raised, and when she’s not scrolling her phone for the latest trends, she can be found at the farmers’ market, camping out of the back of her Subaru, or searching for adoptable dogs on Petfinder. If she’s not off-grid for the weekend, try looking for her at her home studio, where she’s probably making cups for a new coffee shop. Say hi on Instagram! 👋