Low-maintenance plants to coexist with pets


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Keeping a plant alive can be hard, especially when most students’ time is consumed by homework, classes and attempting to have a social life.

Fake plants are always an option, but they don’t always look as good and are not quite as fun. Luckily, there’re plenty of plants that require minimal maintenance. Real plants also have the benefit of purifying indoor air.

While students living in dorms don’t have to worry about pets getting into their plants, many of those living in apartments have cats or dogs running around. All of these plants are nontoxic to animals and can typically be found at Lowes or Walmart.

Spider Plant

The leaves on this plant are long and skinny, growing up to 15 inches. When cared for properly, they live around 20 years but can last up to 50. These plants only need to be watered when the soil is completely dry, which is about once a week. They also need to be kept in moderate sunlight.

Studies have shown that spider plants are able to help clean indoor air by taking in toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide.

Watermelon Peperomia

Once or twice a year, these plants need to be fertilized with light natural fertilizer, but they only need watered once a week and kept in moderate sunlight. These plants can reach up to 8 inches tall and live for five years.

This plant also cuts formaldehyde levels nearly in half. It is also rumored to be a good luck charm for a new home.


If someone is looking for a flower and not just a plant, an orchid is a great place to start. It’s the most difficult of these plants to care for but also the most beautiful. Once a week, an orchid will need to be watered and fertilized with any fertilizer made for orchids. The stems holding their pink and purple flowers can grow up to 19 inches.

Orchids are known to reduce stress and improve focus, according to Petal Republic.

Parlor palm

These 2-feet-tall leafy plants require almost no maintenance and can live more than 10 years. They only need to be watered once every one to two weeks, depending on the dryness of the soil.

These plants specifically help with eliminating benzene and trichloroethylene in the air, so it is best to be placed around the furniture.

Ponytail palm

Having an uncanny resemblance to Coco from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Kids, the ponytail palm has a large base and long skinny leaves. These only need to be watered every two weeks at most and can grow up to four feet tall.

Air Plants

Air plants require no soil, so they can be displayed in the most aesthetic ways. They come in a variety of sizes, from palm sized to a foot tall. These plants are usually light green but often have touches of red and purple.