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Downtown Walnut Creek Ace Hardware’s Top Ten Non-Toxic Houseplants

Obtaining a houseplant is a terrific way to add life to any home. Many can produce colorful flowers or have intricately patterned leaves, and some can have health benefits such as air-purifying properties. While there are numerous reasons to purchase houseplants, finding a safe one can be difficult. Curious pets or children can chew or consume leaves, which can cause many negative effects that range in seriousness. That is exactly why non-toxic houseplants are so popular. To assist our customers in finding the perfect plant, Downtown Walnut Creek Ace Hardware has decided to create a list of our top ten favorite non-toxic houseplants.

*Non-toxic houseplants are unlikely to cause serious harm if ingested, though when consumed in large quantities they can cause digestive upset. It is recommended that children and pets are still monitored around these houseplants.

African Violets

African violets, also known as Saintpaulia, are treasured for their delicate flowers. Interestingly, these beauties are not actually violets, they are named for the violet shade of their flowers which can also appear in white or blue. African violets will require an African violet fertilizer and bright, indirect light. Soil should be moist, but well-drained. It is recommended that they are watered from the bottom, as their leaves shouldn’t get wet. With proper care, African violets can bloom all year round, offering constant beauty and safety in one’s home.

Areca Plant

Areca Plants

Areca plants, also known as the Areca palm or butterfly palm, are popular for their long, thin leaves and air-purifying properties. Some people compare their appearance to that of bamboo. These houseplants can attract spiders and mites, but humidity will help keep them away. An Areca will thrive with full to partial sun, a well-draining container, acidic soil, and high humidity.

Boston Ferns

Boston ferns are prized for their lush foliage. They are sometimes called sword plants due to the lengths that their leaves can grow to. They also have air-purifying properties, helping to improve the indoor air quality. Boston ferns are relatively low-maintenance, only requiring indirect sunlight and regular watering.

Calatheas Plant


Calatheas are beautiful houseplants that have colorful, patterned foliage. They are another houseplant that has air-purifying properties. Calatheas are also low maintenance, requiring indirect light and regular watering – similar to the Boston fern. The stunning leaves of these lovely houseplants will add a decorative look to any home.

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus, also known as the Zygocactus, is as beautiful as it is intriguing. These plants are often referred to as the holiday houseplant; they will produce bright, decorative flowers that fit the festive feel of the holidays. The Christmas Cactus is not truly a cactus, but is instead classified as a succulent. This plant will bloom in the fall through the spring, allowing you ample time to admire flowers in shades of white, pink, red, and purple. A Christmas Cactus will need a well-draining cactus or succulent soil, morning sun, and afternoon shade.

Hoya Plants

Hoya plants, also known as wax plants, have attractive, waxy foliage, and star-shaped flowers. The shade of their flowers is often compared to porcelain. The waxy looking leaves of a Hoya plant will be unappetizing to many animals, deterring them from chewing or consuming the foliage. Coming into contact with the sap of this plant can cause an allergic reaction so be wary of that. Hoya plants do best with regular watering and can grow well in shade, though their flowers will thrive with light.


Peperomias are actually a genus of houseplants, with more than 1,000 known species. Typically these plants are small, low-maintenance, and have attractive foliage. Peperomia should be kept away from windows, as sunlight will burn their leaves. Watering them every one to two weeks is recommended, as the soil should have time to dry out between.

Pilea Plants

Pilea plants, also known as Chinese Money plants or UFO plants, have a unique appearance. Their leaves are usually dark green, shiny, and circular. Many believe that these plants bring good luck, fortune and money. The circular shape of their leaves is often compared to coins. Pileas require well-draining potting soils and weekly watering with time to dry in-between. Droopy leaves will indicate a lack of water.

Ponytail Plants

Ponytail plants, also known as Beaucarnea recurvata or elephant’s foot, are another unique houseplant. Narrow, long leaves will grow from their bulbous base. Ponytail plants are actually considered succulents, despite often being called the ponytail palm tree. These houseplants will want as much light as they can get, though indirect sunlight is best. Watering should occur whenever the soil is dry, too much water will quickly kill the plant.

Spider Plant

Spider Plants

Spider plants, also known as Chlorophytum comosum, have thin, long leaves that can produce small offshoots referred to as “spiderettes.” Spider plants are another plant with beneficial air-purifying properties. Spider plants thrive with moderate sunlight and occasional waterings. The thick roots of the plant will actually allow for inconsistent watering. If the tips of the leaves turn brown then overwatering is likely occurring.


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