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The Creative Home Podcast | Episode #286

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These plants can be deadly to cats

by Kasia McDaniel

Be careful if you have these plants that can be deadly to cats. If you are a cat lover and have these plants in your home, you will want to consider swapping them out with cat-safe plants.

Visiting my local plant store

I was visiting my friend, Chelsea, who owns a plant store called Rhizome House Plants in Carthage, NC. She carries only indoor plants and ones that are REALLY hard to kill.  Believe me, I’ve forgotten to water mine and they are still alive!

They are called rhizome plants and their roots grow horizontally. They store starches and proteins which enable them to “perennate (survive an unfavorable season underground)”.  An unfavorable season to me means when I forget to water them.

We got to talking and Chelsea shared with a question that comes up all the time with her clients…

Are these plants safe for cats?

Apparently, plant-loving people also love cats. I don’t love cats but I do love plants. So we got onto this topic and she shared with me a list of plants that are poisonous to cats and ones that are safe for cats and I want to share that list below…

I have lots of the “poisonous to cats” plants in my yard and had no idea they were poisonous to them! I love my azaleas, lilies, and tulips, but who knew? Luckily, I don’t have any cats but if you do and you want to keep your cat around, take a look at what is growing in your garden.

I do love that Chelsea has a Cat Safe Plant List. While you may not be able to visit her shop, you can take this list with you when you go to the garden center and look for ones on this list if you have cats in your home.

Now if you don’t need to worry about cats and want some indoor rhizome plants that are hard to kill, my favorites are snake plants and ZZ plants. I have six of these in my house in various shapes and sizes and in all different rooms.

My 6 rhizome plants around my home






This is my very tall snake plant in my dining room. It sits nicely in the corner and is about 4 feet tall with the planter. It loves this corner and does not get direct sunlight.

My other favorites are in the master bedroom, kitchen, and dining area. They don’t all have to be near a window and they like low light. My ZZ plant took off after sitting in the corner of my office (top right) and it seems to love it there. The stripy one tends to get overwatered sometimes (oops) so I had to put a towel underneath to keep it from flooding my rolling cart.

Luckily, I only have to water these every 2 weeks (or when the soil is really dry). I normally don’t have a green thumb but these plants make me look like I do and that’s because they are rhizome plants. They store the water in the roots below (like a camel) and then release it as the plants need it.

I hope these pictures inspire you to try bringing some nature into your home. If you have cats, you now know which ones to stay away from and which ones are safe for your furry feline to be around. Enjoy bringing in some greenery into your home!

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