Healthy Plants
July 11, 2004 11:21 AM   Subscribe

Plantfilter. And I mean that literally. I seek recommendations for my next potted plant, and I want one which can filter the air. More inside.

I have two empty pots at home, former abodes of two kalanchoes who met an untimely violent end, and now I feel ready to plant something new in their place. I'm looking for something which is (1) safe for a cat who might nibble, (2) able to survive indoors on relatively low maintenance, (3) an air toxin filter to aid my downtown studio life. I currently have a Norfolk Island Pine, a coleus, an african violet, some catnip, and a tiny new kalanchoe growing from a salvaged cutting, well out of the cat's reach.

(Oh, and no spider plants, please; I know they're filters, but their cat-safeness is dubious, and their propensity for propagation is problematic.)

MeFi Green Thumbs, got any recommendations?
posted by brownpau to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Here's a few suggestions for plants to suit your purpose. All of the following plants are supposed to be among the best for removing indoor pollutants, and my cats will ignore them. These plants are also pretty easy care.

Snake Plant (Sanseveria)
Ivy (Hedera helix)
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

Palms, ferns, and bamboos are also supposed to be quite effective, but they are also irresistible to my cat buddies. Ferns can work as hanging plants, though.
posted by vers at 11:42 AM on July 11, 2004

Here's a longer list, and more information.
posted by vers at 11:49 AM on July 11, 2004

I've had good luck with Philodendron oxycardium (Heart leaf Philodendron). It functions as an air filter, is easy to grow, and is quite hardy. I have mine in a hanging basket and it's about 8 feet long now. My cats have never messed with it.

Sansiveria is another good choice. I'd also recommend pothos (impossible to kill, tolarates almost any conditions and easy to grow) and dracaena (any variety).
posted by entropy at 12:06 PM on July 11, 2004

I second the ficus genus.
posted by the fire you left me at 12:11 PM on July 11, 2004

Peace Lily is my filter plant of choice.
posted by Blue Stone at 12:12 PM on July 11, 2004

I like my hoya an awful lot, and apparently they are cat safe.
(they also have waxy little blooms every now and then, which smell nice)
posted by milovoo at 12:44 PM on July 11, 2004

Philodendrons are very easy to grow, but are supposedly poisonous to cats. Same with Pothos. My cats ignore them completely, though, while eating any palms and ferns they can find.

You cant go wrong with a schefflera, they're hard to kill.
posted by mmoncur at 3:52 AM on July 12, 2004

Response by poster: A ficus elastica is looking promising, if I keep it out of kitty's reach. Will check at the local plant shop today.
posted by brownpau at 8:11 AM on July 12, 2004

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