Thursday, July 25, 2024

Is Bird’s Nest Fern Toxic To Cats

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Which Houseplants Are Safe For My Pets

Here at Fitzroy Nursery our plants are our pets. But if youre the kind of person that dotes on your moggie or pampers your pooch, then we want you to be able to enjoy pets of the green-and-leafy kind as well. People often ask us which indoor plants can safely cohabit with their furry friends. Plants have evolved over millions of years to produce all kinds of biochemical deterrents to prevent them being munched out of existence by animals. Unfortunately some of these compounds can make your pets sick. Theres a lot of conflicting and unreliable information online, so weve based our list of the best pet-safe indoor plants on the latest information on the RSPCA and ASPCA Poisonous Plants lists.

: Purple Waffle Plant/hemigraphis Alternata

Dont like flowering indoor plants? The textured leaves of the Purple Waffle plant offer an all-season splash of colour without flowers. They are great air purifiers and safe for animals, making a great environment for all. Bright indirect sunlight is perfect to maintain the Purple Waffle without bleaching the leaves.

: Philodendron/cutleaf Philodendron/swiss Cheese Plant

This is one of the most popular plants of the moment and one of the most Instagrammed of the household plants. You will see it in all the trendy social media ads and photos. But they are incredibly toxic to cats. It causes oral irritation and pain. It also causes swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling and difficulty swallowing.

Are They Toxic To Cats

As a cat owner, you need to be careful about which house plants you have since some are poisonous. Fortunately, birds-nest ferns are not toxic to cats or even dogs, making them fantastic for people who have these pets.

Remember, while they are obligate carnivores, it is not uncommon for cats to nibble a little bit of grass and other greeneries. This, therefore, calls for you to ensure all the plants you have in your house and garden, including landscaping plants, are cat-safe.

Besides nest ferns, you have many other safe houseplants such as tropical bromeliad plant, African violets, Christmas cactus, true palms like parlor, areca, ponytail, etc., aluminum plant, Boston ferns, Cushion aloe, Echeveria glauca, nerve plant, among many others.

What Should I Do If I Have Ferns In My Home Or Garden

14 Houseplants That Are Pet

Even though true ferns arent considered toxic to cats, the ASPCA urges cat owners to keep their pets from nibbling on any houseplantsregardless of toxicity. Thats not to say you need to yank every plant from your home or garden. It just means you need to be smart about where you place your plants. 

Luckily, ferns lend themselves to hanging planters. Breathe life into a dull room by placing hanging baskets throughout your space, making sure the plants are always out of your cats reach. A vibrant fern can also look right at home on a high shelf, away from curious paws. 

Hands down, the easiest way to ensure your cat doesnt eat a toxic plant: dont bring a toxic plant into your home! Households with cats should steer clear of toxic plants like the asparagus fern. To keep outdoor cats safe, gardeners who grow asparagus ferns should use fencing or netting.

Are Birds Nest Ferns Poisonous To Cats

4.4/5Bird’s nest fernspoisonouscats

Boston ferns are an enduring houseplant favorite, but their shaggy fronds may tempt cats and dogs to chew. The foliage is non-toxic to cats and dogs, so brighten up your guest room or bathroom with these lush plants. Boston ferns like humidity and lots of bright, indirect light.

Also, what is eating my birds nest fern? Mealybugs can create cottony masses on leaves and roots. These pests will cause your plant’s growth to become stunted. Scale insects will make your plants appear stunted. These insects feed on the stems and leaves of your birds nest ferns, and can sometimes look like spores, and other times be difficult to see at all.

Simply so, is Asplenium toxic to cats?

This blooming plant is perfect for houses with cats and dogs! Care for Asplenium nidus plants, sometimes known as spleenwort, requires attention to watering and propagation, but does not require as much attention to fertilization and light as many other houseplants.

How do you take care of a bird nest fern?

Caring for Bird’s Nest Fern

  • Avoid watering the center of the plant because it acts as a cradle and can cause the plant to rot.
  • Test the moisture level by sticking a finger an inch into the soil.
  • Give the plant plenty of humidity by occasionally misting the fronds with a water bottle.
  • But even with non-poisonous ferns, avoid letting children handle or ingest the plant.

    • Boston Fern

    Here’s a list of some common plants that are toxic to cats:

    Top 5 Houseplants For Fido

    Mandy Maxwell

    When it comes to our pets, like kids, we are very protective. You might have given up growing green plants in your home just to keep them safe. However, you dont have to abandon all house plants! These 5 house plants are great and safe for Fido!

    5. The African Violet

    African violets are well-known, colorfully blooming plants found in many gardens, or kept as houseplants. With an array of colors including violet, blue, red, white, pink, cream, soft yellow, and bi- or multicolored flowers, its easy to see why. Care of African violets is relatively easy and requires an environment of bright to moderate, but consistent light in an evenly moist and humid atmosphere. The African Violet is also safe for cats and dogs!

    4. Christmas Cactus

    Schlumbergera bridgesii or Christmas Cactus is a cactus from the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil. Plants grow on trees or rocks in habitats which are generally shady with high humidity and can be quite different in appearance from their desert-dwelling cousins. This flower is usually available in white, pink, yellow, orange, red or purple. This blooming plant is perfect for houses with cats and dogs!

    3. Birds Nest Fern

    2. Parlor Palm

    1. Tropical Bromeliad Plant

    Crissie Bird’s Nest Fern In Medium Linen Pot

    Crissie Bird’s Nest Ferns perform best in bright, indirect sunlight. The plants produce fronds with crested tips that resemble ruffles. Here it is planted in a matte-white ceramic pot. Check the soil for dampness once a week. If dry, add about a cup of water, keeping in mind that any excess will build up in the bottom and should be avoided. Reliable, easy and fast plant delivery anywhere in NYC, 7 days a week, by PlantShed. Free Manhattan delivery on orders over $100 .

    • Geographic Origin: Hawaii and the Pacific Islands
    • Features: Pet-Friendly
    • Great For: Medium Sunlight; Bathrooms

    Temperature For Birds Nest Ferns

    The birds nest fern grow best when the temperature is between 60 and 80°F.  Temperatures above 80°F cause yellowing of the foliage.

    Colder temperatures will harm the plant, especially if exposed for prolonged periods. The fern will begin to lose coloration if temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

    When growing in an indoor environment, do not place the containers air conditioning vents, or window or door drafts.

    : Venus Fly Trap/dionaea Muscipula

    A childhood favourite and a stunning addition to indoor, outdoor and terrarium gardens, the Venus fly trap is one of the best indoor plants for cats. Fun, funky, and just a little creepy, the Venus fly trap is the perfect addition to your household. And while they do use a poisonous substance to trap and digest their prey, it remains one of the best a non poisonous indoor plants. While poisonous and deadly to bugs, the Venus fly trap is non-toxic for cats and a little nibble wont hurt. Venus fly traps need bright light and distilled water to stay in perfect health.

    How Much Sun Does A Birds Nest Fern Need

    The birds nest fern needs full sun but only indirect exposure to the sun during midday hours. You want indirect lighting so that the plants dont get burned. If you do want to expose it to sunlight, only do it in the early morning when its not as bright directly. When indoors, a good option would be fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescent lights have a lower wattage than incandescent bulbs.

    How Can I Grow It As A Potted House Plant

    Its definitely possible to grow this plant in a pot indoors. In fact, many people find that their gardens arent humid enough to keep ferns looking their best and have better results when they grow them inside in controlled conditions.

    If you do choose to grow it in a pot, choose a relatively small one and use a very loose soil. Either mix plenty of sand or perlite into a peaty potting mix or use a barky mixture suitable for orchids and bromeliads. Make sure that the pot has plenty of drainage holes, take action to increase the humidity around your plant, and keep it nice and warm.

    Youll have fresh fronds in no time.

    My Top Ten House Plants That Are Safe For Cats




    Peperomia caperata

    Of course, these are plants that I have or have had.  But, there are more house plants safe for cats.  A good resource is the ASPCA List of Toxic Plants for Cats.  If the plant you are looking for isnt on that list, it likely isnt poisonous.  But, I always google the plant name + the word cat to confirm that.  I will be the first to admit that I have had plants that are on the toxic list like the philodendron, string of pearls, and even the fiddle leaf fig are considered poisonous to cats.  I am very fortunate that Sadie has never been a cat to nibble on my plants.  But, I do need to be more careful.  I hope this helps you as you choose cat-friendly house plants for your home!


    Diagnosis Of Golden Bird’s Nest Poisoning In Cats

    Even if you didn’t see your cat nibbling at your Golden Bird’s Nest plant, once it develops vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea, you need to take it to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.

    Once there, your cat will undergo a full physical, to include blood work and urinalysis, and if you have a sample of the plant your vet can test it to ensure that your cat is suffering from Golden Bird’s Nest poisoning.

    The blood work allows the lab to carry out a complete blood count, chemistry panel, and a packed cell volume test. The last test tells the vet what your cat’s hydration status is. Urinalysis enables him to figure out your cat’s kidney function.

    If your cat experiences diarrhea or vomiting while in the exam room, the vet will be able to examine both, seeking evidence of what your cat ate. The fecal sample also allows your vet to rule out other conditions, such as bacterial overgrowth or internal parasites.


    How To Stop My Pets Eating My Plants

    So your birds nest fern isnt toxic to your pets but you still dont want them being eaten and ruining the foliage. Dont worry, they are some things you can do to make your plants seems less appealing to your furry friends without damaging them.

    First of all, one thing you can do is to change the placement of your plants. Cats can climb on shelves and jump onto windowsills so finding somewhere out of the way of your cats might seem impossible but what a cat will struggle to get to is a hanging basket.

    Try using hanging baskets or wall brackets to place your plants out of reach of your pets but without giving them the chance to climb on something.

    Another thing you can do is to hide the soil. Cats might be attracted to your plants for the pleasure of digging in the soil. If this is the case them make the soil unappealing. A way you can do this is to add rocks on top so the cat cant access the fun soil underneath.

    Finally change the taste of your plants. If your cat likes to nibble away at your plants then this could be because they like the taste of the leaves. If you change the smell and taste of your plants this could be enough of a deterrent. Choose something with a strong scent that will not damage your plant and add it to a bottle of water. Then mist your plants with this scented water. This should act as a good deterrent for your hungry cat.

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    Potting And Repotting Bird’s Nest Fern

    Bird’s nest ferns must be potted in a container with ample drainage holes. As an epiphytic plant, bird’s nest ferns are accustomed to growing with minimal potting media. So your plant generally wont need repotting because its roots have run out of space. Instead, these ferns will need repotting once theyve grown so large that theyre unstable in their pot and need a larger container to attach themselves to. This will typically occur every two to three years, and spring is the best time to repot. When its time to repot, select a container that’s large enough to keep your plant stable. A clay container is often better than plastic to anchor the plant. Carefully loosen your plant from its previous pot, set it in the new pot at the same depth as it was before, and fill around it with fresh potting mix.

    Get To Know Your Pets And Their Habits

    Just know that some plants are toxic for dogs, others for cats and many for both. Horses Im not even touching on here because hopefully, you dont live with a horse in your home!

    The reaction your pet will have depends on their size and weight, the amount they ingest and what part of the plant theyve eaten. Just chewing on houseplants usually isnt too harmful but swallowing them can be.

    You know your cat or dog and what theyll do. I have 2 kitties, Oscar and Riley. Oscar occasionally chomps away on plants in my garden but hes always had digestive issues. He never chews on my houseplants though. Riley could care less about any plants and focuses more on things that move, like lizards and birds.

    Dogs and cats love to chew on grass outdoors. Oscar will sometimes swallow a bit of the plant hes chomped away on and throw up. He vomits that plant part up one time and that doesnt concern me. If he was repeatedly vomiting and having difficulty breathing, Id get him to a vet in no time fast.

    If your pet is showing signs of distress immediately call your vet and give him or her the name of the plant or send a picture if you dont know. Remember, common names can be tricky so its best to go with the botanical name or a picture. Also, they might be able to face chat with you and see what the pet is doing. If it seems serious, get your pet to the vet or emergency room as fast as you can.

    Are Houseplants Safe For Pets

    It seems like there are more houseplants that are toxic, in varying degrees, than there are safe.

    Something which is toxic doesnt necessarily mean itll cause death. There are many mildly to moderately toxic houseplants which will only cause irritation of the mouth, a skin rash and/or a bit of vomiting.

    On the other end, there are select plants that when ingested will cause liver failure or even death. Be informed.

    Propagating Birds Nest Fern

    Spore propagation is the best method. It will, however, take quite a bit of patience and care to get right. 

    In order to obtain spores, you will need to remove a healthy, mature leaf from an existing plant. Youll notice brown, bubble-like formations on the underside of the leaf. These are the spores. You will have to wait to extract them. 


    Take the mature leaf and place it into a paper bag. Keep the bag in a warm environment. 

    • After a day or two, the spores should begin to fall off into the bag. 
    • Place the spores under a glass or plastic dome, keeping them warm and moist. Germination will take about 2 weeks. 
    • Remove the spores from under the glass and place them onto a moist, sterile peat mix.

    Another great way to propagate smaller fern plants is through means of division. Simply shake the roots loose from the soil and very gentle tussle them apart to create 2 or 3 smaller segments. After that, plant into a fresh potting mix to root. 

    What Soil is Best for Birds Nest Fern? 

    Being an epiphyte, the birds nest fern isnt overly picky. You will want to ensure that you choose a well-draining medium, with equal parts of peat or sphagnum moss and rich organic matter. 

    How Much Sun do Asplenium Nidus Need? 

    Partial or even full-shade will work when growing asplenium nidus. The best spot is near an east or north-facing window, where it will either get a little bit of morning sunlight or at least a good amount of indirect light. 

    Learn How To Care For The Birds Nest Fern

    Words by The Sill

    Plants 101

    Learn how to care for the Birds Nest Fern!

    Native to tropical regions such as southeast Asia, Australia, east Africa and Hawaii to name a few, Birds Nest Ferns are typically found in palm trees. Given the right indoor environment, they will thrive and make for a wonderfully unique houseplant. Ferns come in a wide variety of colors and textures. The Birds Nest Fern has large simple fronds that are tropical-like in that they resemble banana leaves. Their fronds are light green, often crinkled or wavy, and rise from a central rosette. The rosette is fuzzy where the emerging fronds resemble birds eggs – hence the common name.

    Houseplants Safe For Cats And Dogs

    Asplenium Crispy Wave

    Debra LaGattuta

    The Spruce / Candace Madonna

    Why do cats and dogs eat houseplants? Some people believe they do it to calm an upset stomach or help process hairballs, while others think pets are attempting to remedy a nutritional deficiency. Cats and dogs might even chew on houseplants during play sessions, attacking waving fronds as they would a toy. It can be difficult to keep a houseplant away from a pet that is determined to chew, so it’s up to us to ensure that any plants we grow in the home are safe and non-toxic to cats and dogs. With the exception of edibles like cat grass, it’s always better to keep valued houseplants out of a pet’s reach if you can, but the plants described here are recognized by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as being non-toxic to cats and dogs.

    Although it is helpful to know which houseplants are safe for cats and dogs, it is very important to be aware of the houseplants that are harmful to them.

    Plants That Are Safe For Cats And Dogs

    All products featured on Architectural Digest are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

    There are two things we love deeply in life: plants and . The bad news is that many common plants are not safe for cats and dogs. Certain plants can be toxic to pets when ingested, sometimes causing seizures, tremors, or worse. Even the most well-behaved animals are bound to take a bite of a at some point, so we reached out to New Jersey veterinarian Judy Morgan for her advice on how to select ones that wont harm the four-legged friends in our lives. Since we strongly endorse adding greenery to your home to clean your air and improve your mood while also making sure your furry friend is safe and sound, check out 21 of our favorite nontoxic plants that are safe for cats and dogs. 

    P.S. If youre ever curious as to whether a certain plant is a safe investment for your home, the ASPCA also has an extensive list of plants to avoid .

    Bird Nest Fern Problems

    Why are there are dark brown spots on the fronds / leaves?

    In most cases these spots are actually spores, which are basically seeds. It’s perfectly normal and indicates you’ve a mature and healthy plant, just leave them as they are.

    Make sure however the brown spots aren’t Scale Insects which can look awfully similar. Spores will be regularly spaced and only appear on older Bird Nest Ferns, whereas Scale will have a random pattern and can afflict a plant at any age.

    If you do have a Scale Insect problem get rid of them quickly to prevent them from spreading to other houseplants. The link above will help you get to grips with doing this.

    Brown Fuzz on the Fronds

    This is quite a common issue and you will usually see it in Spring and early Summer. The fronds are covered in a fine brown hairy type of fuzz. Fortunately it’s not a problem, has a simple explanation and fix.

    Birds Nest Fern with brown Fuzz on the fronds

    If you look down into the heart of your plant you will often see a brown mound that looks a bit like a truffle chocolate. New Fronds or “fiddleheads” emerge from this central part of the plant and grow out of the mound. When this happens and the frond pushes through, it brings with it some brown fuzz which sticks to the frond.

    It’s totally harmless. You can leave it alone and it will eventually dry out and become like dust. Although, if you really don’t like it, you can gently wash it off. Either way not a big issue or something to be concerned about.

    Tom Knight

    Birds Nest Fern Propagation

    In general, ferns are not the easiest candidates for propagation, but it certainly can be done! Unfortunately, you cannot propagate a fern by cutting off a leaf and sticking it in water. To propagate a Birds Nest Fern, youll need to use its spores, which youll find underneath its fronds.

    To collect Birds Nest Fern spores, remove a mature frond and place it in a paper bag. After a few days, some of the spores should have fallen off the frond and into the bag. 

    Prepare a pot of moistened sphagnum moss, and place the spores on top of the moss.

    Use the bottom-watering technique to keep the moss moist. This means youll place the pot in a dish of water and let it soak up whatever it needs through its drainage hole, instead of watering the top of the moss.

    Let the pot soak until you feel the top of the moss is damp. You dont want it sopping wet, but the spores should always remain moist.

    Keep the spores in low or filtered lightdo not put them in direct light. Help lock in moisture by placing a clear plastic bag or plastic wrap around the top of the pot . Alternatively, mist the spores regularly, but youll have to be more diligent with this.

    In a few weeks to months, the spores should start to germinate and develop. For the fern to actually develop into a fern, that can sometimes take a year or even longer.

    Types Of Bird’s Nest Fern

    There are only a handful of varieties of birds nest ferns, which typically feature different leaf shapes. They include: 

    • Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’: Sword-shaped ruffled leaves
    • Asplenium nidus ‘Osaka’: Narrow, strap-likeleaves with rippled edges
    • Asplenium nidus ‘Antiquum’: Wavy leaf margins 
    • Asplenium nidus ‘Victoria’: Long, wavy, tongue-shaped fronds

    Are Ferns Toxic To Cats

    Thankfully, most true ferns are safe for cats. If your curious kitty helps herself to a tiny serving, shes unlikely to be harmed.

    According to the , the following plants are considered true ferns and are generally harmless to cats:

    • Boston fern
    • Button fern
    • Birds nest fern

    While these plants arent considered toxic to cats, ingesting high amounts of any plant can cause unpleasant reactions in felines. If your cat eats too much of a Boston fern, for instance, shell probably experience an upset stomach. In most cases, however, symptoms from ingesting a true fern arent severe enough to warrant medical attention. 

    The problem here lies in the confusion over which plants are considered true ferns and which ones simply have the word fern in their name. Unlike true ferns, which are largely innocuous, certain plants that resemble ferns in appearance or name can be toxic to cats. The most common example of this is the asparagus ferna plant that is highly poisonous to cats.

    Asparagus ferns are a popular houseplant, but the  tells us theyre harmful to cats. The leaves of this wispy plant are toxic, and the berries can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain if your cat ingests them. With repeated exposure, skin inflammation can also occur. 

    Additional fern-like plants that are toxic to cats include foxtail ferns, winter ferns, and hemlock ferns.

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