Top 5 Pet-Friendly Plants For Landscapes

By Mary Ellen Ellis | June 23, 2018
Image by Nikki Tilley
by Mary Ellen Ellis
June 23, 2018

Your pets are like family, so they should get to enjoy the garden too, right? Your dog or cat won’t be able to enjoy the yard if it’s full of leaves and flowers that are toxic or shrubs with sharp thorns. On the other hand, if you put in plants that are tasty to your pets, you won’t enjoy your chewed-over garden either. Here are five perfect plants for a pet-friendly space.

1. Snapdragons. These beautiful and striking flowers look great in patches and colorful clumps and they are safe for your pets. They come in multiple colors and can grow in partial shade. Your snapdragons can be grown in the ground, in beds, or in containers. You can even bring them indoors, since they are not toxic to dogs or cats.

2. Certain herbs. A lot of herbs, including fennel, thyme, basil, and rosemary are non-toxic, so if your cat or dog does start to gnaw on them, it won’t cause any harm. As a bonus, the strong aromas of most herbs are more likely to be a deterrent so your pets probably won’t eat them. An exception, of course, would be catnip. You can plant these especially for your cats; they’ll love you for it.

3. Marigolds, petunias, and impatiens. Some of the most popular annuals are pet friendly because they are non-toxic to cats and dogs. Sunny marigolds, elegant petunias, and shade-loving impatiens are all safe for your pet-friendly garden, so load up your beds, borders, and containers with these showy annuals.

4. Coral bells. Some popular foliage plants are pretty, but harmful to pets, like coleus. But you can enjoy the gorgeous leaves of coral bells and let your cat or dog freely roam the garden. While coral bells produce pretty little flowers, the real showstopper is the foliage, which can be purple, red, green, and even orange.

5. Sunflowers. These stunning, tall beauties are classic flowers that add height and whimsy to any space. Your smaller pets may not be tempted to chew on them, but rest assured if you have a big dog, he/she won’t be poisoned by your sunflowers. One animal that may be interested is the deer that wanders into your yard to nibble on some sunflower seeds.

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