The 5 Easiest Houseplants to Care ForMay 1, 2023
Poinsettias are a fan favorite during the holiday season! They are often purchased as gifts or to add a pop of color to your home decor, but did you know that with a little extra care you can take care of these vibrant houseplants year round!
Below, we’ve listed our top tips for keeping your poinsettia healthy until next Christmas!
Poinsettias, or Euphorbia pulcherrima, belong to the Euphorbiaceae, or spurge, family. Native to Mexico, the original Nahuatl name for the plant is cuetlaxochitl, which means "mortal flower that perishes and withers like all that is pure". The ancient Aztec and Mayan people were the first to use the Poinsettia. Not only did they use the colorful leaves to make dyes and for spiritual rituals, they also believed the milky white sap found in it's leaves had healing properties and used the plant for variety of medicinal purposes.
During the 16th century Franciscan missionaries in Mexico took notice of the plant, specifically it's seasonal color and bloom time, which coincided perfectly with their Christmas celebrations. They began using the native plant during the Fiesta of Santa Pesebre, a nativity procession.
Poinsettias were first introduced in the United States by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador appointed to Mexico. As an accomplished amateur botanist, he was enthralled with their brilliant red color. Poinsett had several plants sent back to his home in Greenville, South Carolina. There he propagated more plants and gave them to friends with an interest in horticulture and botanical gardens. Eventually one made it into the hands of Robert Buist, a Scottish nurseryman in Philadelphia. famous botanist with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Buist first showed the plant at a flower show in 1829 and later introduced it to Europe in the 1830s. He is believed to be the first person to ever sell the plant, calling it the "Euphorbia Poinsettia" in honor of Poinsett. The plant was actually given it's scientific name in 1834 by German scientists Johann Friedrich Klotzsch and Carl Ludwig Willdenow.
The commercial success of the poinsettia as we know it today can be contributed to the Ecke family. In the 1920s, Albert and Paul Ecke began field growing poinsettias in California. The Paul Ecke Ranch located in Encinitas, CA with production facilities in Guatemala and Mexica, is the world's largest supplier of poinsettia genetics.
In 2002, Congress declared December 12th as National Poinsettia Day.
Varieties & Cultivars
Boston ferns are a favorite houseplant thanks to their large green fronds that fill and add a pop of color to any space. They don’t require much sunlight, meaning they can easily be tucked away throughout your home.
Not only are they a beautiful and low-maintenance plant, but Boston ferns are also non-toxic to pets and natural air purifiers and humidifiers—making them an excellent addition to any pet-friendly home.
As the name suggests, the Christmas cactus is a great non-toxic, pet-friendly way to brighten up your home during the holiday season (or year-round)!
While other winter plants such as mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias are extremely toxic to pets, the Christmas cactus is safe to have around your furry friends—giving you some holiday decor without the risk!
Being a cactus, this plant also requires minimal maintenance and only occasional watering— making it easy to manage regardless of your schedule.
There are so many varieties of hoya, and they come in all different shapes and sizes that have their own care needs. They often feature waxy green leaves that can tower upward or drape down in beautiful trailing vines.
As one of the only non-toxic succulent plants, hoyas are a great option for anyone wanting that waxy succulent look without endangering their pets.
These plants do prefer direct sunlight, but they also have the unique ability to tell you when they need to be watered. Just keep an eye on their leaves. If they begin to pucker, you’ll know they need a little more water!
Also known as the Chinese money plant, or even the UFO plant—the Pilea peperomioides features flat, round leaves that almost look like coins. Its unique appearance and non-toxic leaves makes it a fun as well as pet-friendly addition to any home.
Pilea peperomioides thrives in indirect light and can tolerate periods of drought, making it a forgiving plant for those who may forget to water it regularly and a great option for busy pet owners!
This one might seem obvious, but catnip is a great plant option for pet owners! Growing catnip in your home can provide your cat with a source of stimulation and entertainment, as well as promote exercise and play.
Additionally, catnip is relatively easy to grow, and its fragrant leaves can be used for teas or as a natural insect repellent. However, it's worth noting that not all cats react to catnip, and some may be completely indifferent to it. Catnip is also safe and non-toxic for dogs.
In addition to knowing which plants are pet-friendly, it’s important to note some of these popular, gorgeous house plants that are in fact toxic and should be kept far away from any pet.
- Snake plants
- Peace Lilies
- ZZ Plant
- Monstera/swiss cheese plant
- Rubber trees
If any of these plants are ingested by your pet, be sure to consult your veterinarian right away.
You don’t need to sacrifice your love of plants for your pets’ safety! Try incorporating one of these beautiful non-toxic greenery options into your home’s decor. If you’re still unsure about which pet-friendly plants you should include in your home or where to find them, contact your garden center today!
At Clark’s Garden and Floral Boutique, we know the joy and comfort that flowers bring. Because of this, we’re focused on helping people create memories, celebrate and connect with each other, and add beauty to any space. Visit us on Facebook and Instagram.