We know that houseplants are beneficial to keep around because of their impact on physical and mental health. It’s no secret that plants can be handy in rejuvenating your mind and improving your moods.
Houseplants also improve the quality of indoor air, which helps to boost your productivity. Amongst these houseplants is the Spider Ivy (Chlorophytum comosum), which is considered beneficial because of its health-boosting properties.
However, are these plants entirely safe to keep around?
The to the point answer is Spider Plants are relatively safe and non-toxic to keep around children, cats, and dogs.
Let’s learn more about the spider plant and some safety precautions when keeping them alongside children and pets.
Growing Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
The Spider plant is a perennial flowering plant native to South Africa but now naturalized in other parts of the world. Its variegated forms are the most popular, and most gardeners find them easy to propagate indoors.
The plants thrive in moderate lighting, specifically bright, indirect sunlight. They have minimal water and humidity requirements for essential growth. However, a bit of misting is necessary to clean the leaves and provide moisture.
Check whether they need water by inserting a chopstick or finger two-thirds deep into the pot. Water the soil if dry; overwatering spider plants usually results in root rot. The roots and leaves also become mushy.
If you spot brown leaves, that’s a symptom of underwatering. In both instances, always prune off stressed plant parts to maintain the plant at its peak health.
Are Spider Plants Toxic To Humans And Pets?
Spider plants have some hallucinogenic properties that have a mild effect on felines. However, it is still considered harmless.
According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) website, the spider plant is non-toxic to pets, cats included. However, your cats or pets ingesting it is still considered a potential health hazard when consumed beyond certain levels.
That being said, you shouldn’t be worried about long-term health effects on your cat. Spider plants are also safe for humans; thus, you should have no qualms about your children being around them.
However, spider plants have chemical compounds that might induce vomiting and diarrhea in pets and humans. The reactions are mild and occur depending on how cats or individuals react to the ingestion of the plant.
This could be useful for dogs if they need to get a foreign substance out of their system. However, things are likely to get messy.
What Attracts Cats To Spider Plants?
The spider plant is generally attractive, which means it will attract not only humans but also pets. Besides that, there is more to what may attract cats to the plants. They attract cats in part because of their hallucinogenic nature and taste.
Though considered non-toxic, you may want to keep your spider plants at a safe distance to prevent your pets from having enough of them.
Here are some steps you can take:
- Keep the plant away from areas your cat is likely to climb. This includes the window sills and furniture. Ideally, you should hang the spider plant up high out of your cat’s reach.
- Prune back or divide your spider plant in the event of excessive foliage within the cat’s reach.
- Spray your spider plant with a bitter-tasting repellant; if you can’t, hang them up high. It helps deter your cats from ingesting the plant because of the bad taste.
- Try planting indoor grass to help meet your cat’s penchant to munch green stuff.
All said, should your cat or pet eat plenty of spider plants, monitor its behavior and check for any signs of distress. Should symptoms persist, seek the services of a vet.
Spider plants are attractive indoor plants that come with a range of health benefits. Besides, they are non-toxic and relatively safe to keep around children and pets.
However, make sure to keep the plants out of their reach as it could be a choking hazard.
Also, your pets consuming spider plants in high amounts upsets their stomach. They could become mildly ill with no long-term effect on their health.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.