cat in greenhouse

Air Plants + Pets: Are Air Plants Toxic?

by Megan Richards

cat in greenhouse
Meet "Tilly" our greenhouse manager

We get questions from time to time about whether or not air plants are toxic or harmful to pets so we wanted to spend a few moments to ease some of your worries. Around here at Air Plant Design studio we are animal lovers. In fact, we just “adopted” a furry feline friend that hangs out around our greenhouse!  

A lot of houseplants actually can be toxic to our furry friends so it is a very good question to ask and can cause some concern. The good news? Tillandsia, aka air plants, are non toxic to dogs and cats. So if your cat is a little too fond of nibbling on your air plants leaves, don’t worry! Your kitty should be just fine. ( Your air plant may need a little TLC afterwards though) If you do notice that your plant has been nibbled on, don’t give up hope! The first step would be to trim any broken tips or leaves that you see on your plant and make sure to care for it just like you would any other air plant. Make sure it gets adequate water so it can heal!
While air plants are not toxic to dogs and cats, we recommend keeping your air plants out of reach of your pets, not only because they may pose a potential choking hazard for smaller animals, but also losing your precious tillandsia can be a real bummer.

Here are some tips to keep air plants out of reach of your pets:
  • Keep your plants in a terrarium. Make sure that it is not completely closed so that your air plant gets enough air, but putting your air plants in a globe terrarium with a smaller opening can make it harder for pets to access them. And terrariums are really pretty and can be a great decor accent, so that’s a plus!
  • Keep them on a shelf that is out of reach of dogs and would be difficult for your curious cat to hop up onto.
  • Consider a hanging terrarium suspended at a height that is out of reach of pets and in an area where cats can’t easily get their paws on it.
  • A living frame made with chicken wire and a old frame, or mounting plants on a piece of driftwood hung on the wall can also be beautiful ways to display your air plants AND keep them safe!
One last thing: While air plants are not known to be toxic to cats, dogs, or other common domesticated animals, different animals can react differently to ingesting certain things, so it’s best to always take the extra precautions to keep all houseplants out of reach of your pets- for the health of your pets, and your plants!