Low light houseplants that are mildly toxic at most?

CactusBoss(Zone 5a)July 26, 2013

What are some? I don't want any low light plants that are more toxic than a Chinese Evergreen because I have cats. I also already have a Chinese Evergreen and a Peace Lily.

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plantomaniac08(8)

Hmm, well, unless I'm mistaken, ZZ Plants and Pothos are in the same family as Peace Lilies, so their toxicity would I'd assume, be the same.

Planto

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:15PM
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CactusBoss(Zone 5a)

Haha I also have a ZZ

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:17PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

Oops. GW gave me an error when I submitted my message, I didn't think it took. Do you have a Pothos or a Philodendron in that case?

Planto

This post was edited by plantomaniac08 on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 21:21

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:18PM
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sradleye

pothos, snake plant, arrowhead vines, umbrella trees. im not sure about toxicity but I have kept all these in low light situations and my cats have left them alone. particularly fond of the arrowhead vines (syngonium podophyllum) which are new to me, but seem easy and kind of have an exotic look to them. with some reds and pinks thrown in there as well.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:28PM
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CactusBoss(Zone 5a)

planto, I do not. I also want to mention that I want plants that can handle 40% relative humidity or less.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:49PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

I don't worry about humidity for my PL, ZZ, or Pothos and they're all happy. I'm sure that being said, the aforementioned plants (arrowhead vine, snakeplant, pothos), would do fine in your humidity (or lack thereof).

Planto

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:59PM
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BronwynH

I also have cats and low through filtered direct light. In my low light areas I have peperomia and a prayer plant and I am looking for a cast iron plant and a parlour palm. All of these are low-light and non-toxic to cats. I do mist the prayer plant and peperomia daily. Another low-light plant that does not show up on any of the 'toxic' lists, but which I can't confirm to be non-toxic is a money tree.

Spider plants are also non-toxic and do well in moderate light (I don't know if you have this). Another non-toxic plant is wandering jew, although it can cause skin irritations in humans and requires bright light and misting. (I have both).

Some of the plants mentioned: pothos, ZZ, snake plant,
arrowhead vine, peace lily, umbrella trees, philodenderon, and chinese evergreen are all toxic to cats. I've heard that one should be especially careful with peace lilies (and lilies of all kinds) and philodenderon as they can both kill a cat in quantities cats are likely to ingest. I can't confirm where I heard that warning, although it may have been from my vet after my dh's cat ate a 4' dracaena leaving only the main stem (she was fine, just pukey for a few days).

Some websites that helped me in this regard were:

http://wilderquarterly.com/the-best-5-houseplants-for-beginners-low-light-apartments/

http://paulsplants.blogspot.ca/2011/12/low-light-houseplants.html

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

http://www.cfa.org/CatCare/HouseholdHazards/ToxicPlants.aspx

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 5:16PM
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CactusBoss(Zone 5a)

BronwynH, My Peace Lily and Chinese Evergreen are in a spot where my cats can't get to. And the Prayer Plant seems to be too much of hassle from what I've heard. Also, I have never ever seen my cats chew on my non- toxic plants so if the plant is only mildly toxic I can deal with that. I'm also gonna put the plant in a high up spot. I just don't want anything that's as toxic as a sago palm. Are cardboard palms very toxic?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 5:39PM
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BronwynH

I'm not familiar with the cardboard palm. Maybe the ASPCA list or CFA list can help you with that. The ASPCA list is most comprehensive and even gives you symptoms to look out for. (I posted the links above).

Can I just say how lucky you are that your cats seem disinterested in your plants! My female cat is obsessed with eating almost any plant she can reach. Like you, I have a variety of toxic plants which are, theoretically, out of reach from my cats: english ivy, dipladenia, geranium, and a rubber plant. In the past I also had ficus, pothos and dracaena. Sheba, the plant obsessed cat, has nibbled on all but the geranium and dipladenia at some point (usually only seasonally when she sneaks onto the balcony where they summer), but the worst I've had to deal with is a bit of vomit. I just wanted to be sure you knew they were toxic.

I have a prayer plant and haven't found it to be too finicky. In the mornings (after I feed the cats, dog and fish) I check it's moisture level and mist it. Other than that I just let it do it's thing. It seems happy and has grown significantly and even blossoms fairly regularly. Mind you I've only had it for a few months. So I could just be lucky or heading for disaster and not know it yet. I will say that it's been doing so well I'm tempted to get a second.

Good luck in finding some low light plants that work for you and your cats!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 7:13PM
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