Pet-friendly plants: October Houseplants of the Month

The Joy of Plants has selected five pet-friendly plants for October especially for the owners of dogs, cats, rabbits and birds who sometimes fancy a little nibble on something green. Chlorophytum (spider plant), Cyperus (umbrella plant), Hordeum (cat grass), Beaucarnea (elephant’s foot) or Bambusa (bamboo) are all attractive to look at - including for those who don’t have pets - and safe for our furry and feathered friends.


Credit: Thejoyofplants.co.uk

Range
  • Cyperus: the variety 'alternifolius' is very well known, but the cultivar 'Zumula' is also very suitable as a pet-friendly plant.
  • Beaucarnea has a sturdy stem with leaves that attractively bends backwards. The young variety that only has a tuber, is called Nolina. The trunk and tuber can cope with cats that think it’s a very fine scratching post. Felines often find the leaves irresistible.
  • Chlorophytum comosum with its variegated fronds has a few cultivars which differ somewhat in terms of the leaf colouring. The most common is ‘Variegatum’. Comosum means ‘crested’ and refers to the crests which are found on the plant’s runners.
  • Bamboo in the living room is usually Bambusa vulgare, with sturdy yellow canes on which the bamboo leaves grow.
  • Hordeum (cat grass) is a mini field of barley in a pot, container or bowl. It grows upwards in a compact way, provides (house) cats with folic acid and looks like a comical dark green tall lawn.
Sales and display tips for Pet-friendly plants
World Animal Day (4 October) is an excellent opportunity to highlight Pet-friendly plants. Display the plants with images of dogs and cats, think of a promotion, arrange extra publicity around 'safe plants’ in local freesheets or leaflets. Consider booking a pet photographer, and have them work alongside the display of Pet-friendly plants. Include a table with Pet-friendly plants in the pets department to further highlight them directly to the right target audience.

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