Pensacola, Florida
Sunday October 21st 2018

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Poisonous or Pretty?

By Sammi Sontag

As plants continue to creep their way into homes as trendy décor, pet owners should be aware that some aren’t safe for their fur babies.

“If you have curious pets who like to nibble on your plants, you’ll want to make sure all your plants are non-toxic,” Erin Marino, director of brand marketing for The Sill, said in an email to Inweekly.

The Sill is a New York-based houseplant store that started exclusively online—meaning they deliver plants to doorsteps. Pretty cool, huh? Recently, they’ve expanded offline and now have two brick-and-mortar locations in NYC too.

The Sill’s shop has an array of plants ranging in size and type, and they specify which are pet-friendly.

Understanding plant toxicity is important and should be considered when buying a plant for a house with pets, Marino said.

Some plants release toxins to protect them from being eaten, she said. Plants create or release metabolites, which is a substance produced or that is necessary for metabolism that can be irritating if ingested but is not deadly.

“Raw succulent juices are not fatal but can induce vomiting,” Marino said. “And some metabolites are fatal to some species but not to others. Limonene is the compound that gives lemons their citrus scent. While fatally repellent to moths, it is pleasing to humans.”

Marino offered a list of a few common houseplants that are completely non-toxic to pets: air plants, ferns, peperomias, calatheas and marimo moss balls.

“Remember, a plant’s toxicity can make us sick or worse, but only if consumed,” she said. “As long you are not having your houseplants for dinner, you should be fine. Before purchasing your next plant, inquire about the toxicity. Ask the store’s shopkeeper, shop pet-friendly collections online or check out ASPCA’s (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) list of toxic and non-toxic plants.”

For more information about plant toxicity, visit aspca.org and search poisonous plants. To check out The Sill and maybe order yourself a pet-friendly plant, visit thesill.com.