Green Terrazzo Bamboo Watering Can is an alternative to plastic or metal, which can rust in England’s rainy weather. This pretty sage green watering can is a mini size, made from bamboo wood that is sourced from sustainable forests. The jug has specks of light greys and cream patterns, and a unique shape. It holds around 250ml of water.
Plants don’t ‘clean the air’. Environmental engineer Michael Waring says this is based on 30-year old research (they remove chemicals so slowly, you would need 5000 plants in a small flat, to have any effect). Just remove clutter, open the windows ajar, use natural cleaning products and a good vacuum cleaner.
Water houseplants regularly with a long-handled watering can to access the roots (when soil feels dry or if you see droopy yellow leaves with brown tips). Water at dawn and dusk, to reduce evaporation (signs of over-watering are wilting leaves, fungal growth and black insects).
The book Leaf Supply includes lists of pet-friendly & pet-toxic houseplants
Many Houseplants Are Toxic to Pets
If you live with pets, know that many houseplants can be lethal (just brushing a tail against sago palm, lilies or cheese plants can burn internal organs, and cats in particular could knock them over). Signs of poisoning (lethargy, sickness, drooling and breathing difficulties) are medical emergencies. If this happens, remove residual plants, wash with warm water and gentle soap and take plants and vomit samples to the vet.
- A Considered Life has a good post on pet-friendly houseplants.
- Pet-Toxic Plants to avoid
- See make your garden safe for pets, for plants to avoid (inc. for house rabbits)
- Avoid cocoa/pine/rubber mulch and fresh compost near pets
- The book Leaf Supply includes lists of pet-friendly & pet-toxic houseplants
Pet-toxic houseplants include:
- Sago palm
- All lilies (Asian, peace etc)
- Cheese plants
- All bulbs (daffodils, tulips, begonia, geraniums etc):
- Azaleas (rhododendrons), Poinsettias & Chrysanthemum
- Asparagus fern & Branching ivy
- Caladium (red heart-shaped leaves)
- Aloe vera plants
- Lemon trees
- Begonia (and all bulbs)
- Branching ivy
- Caladium (the big heart-shaped red leaves)
- Money plants (jade)
- All fruit pips & seeds are toxic (mini fruit trees)
- Tomato plants (esp. green tomatoes)
- Potato plants (green, raw & unripe potatoes)
- (too much) catnip gives upset tummies
- Lavender (esp. toxic to cats, birds, reptiles and ferrets: they can’t absorb essential oils in plants, oils, perfumes or scented candles: avoid use around them, and air rooms after use).
- If you (illegally) grow cannabis, this plant is also toxic
- Cacti are obviously spiky
Safer herbs in mild versions (still avoid near pets, even ‘safe’ ones could cause tummy upset) are basil, rosemary, thyme and coriander. Avoid oregano, lemongrass, pennyroyal mint, tarragon, chives (or plants in the onion family: chives, leeks, onions, shallots), parsley and bay laurel. See how to grow your own herbs.
Safer Houseplants Near Pets
All plants could be a risk for certain animals, so ask your vet if in doubt – these are just less lethal if ingested, in most circumstances. Don’t use pesticides, these make all plants toxic. It’s confusing as different sites list plants as unsafe and safe. This edited list is collated from animal poison control experts. At time of writing (check for updates), safer plants listed are:
- African violets
- Boston fern (be careful, pets can chew tehm)
- Air plants (potential choking risk)
- Orchids (slipper orchid is toxic to dogs)
- Bamboo plants
- Spider plants (cats could get upset tums, if playing with them)
Zero Waste Self-Watering Plant Pots
Potr Pots make playful plant pots made from waste plastic, inspired by clean architectural design. These ‘origami homes’ self-water your plants, and are posted flat through the letterbox, to ensure a minimal carbon footprint. Easy to use, the flat sheet pops into a beautiful pot that can hold drinking water in the base. The recycled cotton card doubles as a wicking straw, allowing your plant to drink when thirsty.
Zero Waste Plant Pots
These zero waste plant pots offer alternatives to plastic plant pots. Terracotta pots are fine,but these use up waste that would go to landfill. For the vases, avoid pet-toxic houseplants (inc. lilies, sago palm and cheese plants). And never display foliage near windows, as this can cause birds to fly into windows.
This recycled paper ‘graphic’ pot is made from surplus paper that is turned into new paper. The softness of the paper enables it to be embossed with beautiful patterns. In Black or Dark Green. These waterproof vases/planters are not designed to hold standing water, for extended periods.
These geometric jesmonite plant pots are made from an eco-friendly mineral stone that is like a greener alternative to acrylic or concrete. Handmade in Manchester, the large size is ideal for plants up to 15cm diameter, and don’t need a lot of water. Each one is hand-poured to give a detailed marble pattern. In 4 colours: Emerald Green & Bright Yellow, Coral & Lilac, Mustard & Bright Pink and Cobalt Blue & Bright Orange. Each pot is sealed using a VOC-free water-based sealant in a matte finish, which absorbs into the material to give excellent water protection. Just wipe with a soft cloth with warm biodegradable soapy water.
Sent in a recycled card box, wrapped in recycled eco bubble wrap (keep away from pets and children, and recycle). The box is packed with recycled shredding from local companies, and includes a printed card with product information.
These reclaimed iron plant pots are ideal for the courtyard or garden. They are made from iron that has been gathered from recycled old storage drums. The character adds detail and texture, and the reclaimed nature means that these striking planters are always unique. The planters have drainage holes, making them suitable for outside use. The Forest & Co is a Devon company that sells beautiful things for the home. Many items are made locally, and others are sourced from Fair Trade suppliers. All items have a vintage feel and contemporary edge.
These plant pots made from recycled plastic are well-made by ECOPOTS Brussels, from a blend of recycled plastic and crushed stone powder. In colours (grey whitegrey or black), the small flower pot is ideal for the dining or coffee table, or the garden or balcony.
The Scandinavian designs combine form and function, and the 20% recycled stone ensures they are UV proof, breakproof and frost-resistant. Designed to last 10 years, they can then be recycled. The unique composite material provides insulation to the plant roots, and they are the only mass market flowerpots and planters, with a handmade finish. Also for hanging baskets with a low round bowl for herbs or plants, and its own water reservoir in the bottom, to ensure roots are protected and able to hydrate, when they need to.
Reclaimed Ash Plant Markers
These reclaimed ash handmade plant markers are made from reclaimed wood. Beautifully hand carved, they are just what you need to remind your beloved plants to keep on growing. Ethically made out of weathered wood, they differ slightly, due to the handmade nature. Sold in a set of 4.
Coco Coir Pots & Coir Compost
These Coco Coir Pots make ideal alternatives to plastic pots, and come with their own coir compost. Free from peat (its use harms endangered wildlife and helps to cause flooding), these pots will get your seeds and cuttings off to the best start, and then biodegrade after use.
Coir is made from the fibrous husk of a coconut and naturally retains moisture and increase drainage, so is good to resist rot and takes longer to decompose. The small pots are good for seed and the larger pots are good for growing tomatoes and courgettes. The roots grow through the site and plant into the soil, so there is no disturbance to the plant, and no plastic pots to dispose of. The compost can be supplied as small discs or a large brick – just add water to swell. They are good for indoor plants but not waterproof, so most people use them to pot outdoor plants. Renewable and biodegrade, these are sent in brown paper bags.
Natural Grower Reusable Planter is in four sizes for blooming walls and although it has PVC, it can be used again and again for growing flowers, fresh herbs, veggies or sweet-scented fruits. It has drainage holes and is suitable for outdoor use, for life. In four colours. The grow bag set is ideal for growing cucumbers and tomatoes in your greenhouse.
The Hanging Plant Pocket & ORganiser is made from OEKO-certified material with a UV resistant layer to protect from humidity, water, dirt and colour, and a pocket liner is included to prevent water leaks, when used indoors. Each pocket has 2 clips to join pockets together. Plant with fresh herbs, flowers, tomatoes, strawberries or lavender.