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Non-toxic balcony plants are ideal if your velvet paw can enjoy the fresh air on the balcony. In this article you will be introduced to 40 balcony plants for cats that are completely harmless.

In a nutshell

  • Balcony plants like to be nibbled on
  • therefore resort to non-toxic plants
  • available in numerous shapes and colors
  • many species have to move to winter quarters

Non-toxic balcony plants for cats

With this species-appropriate and non-toxic greening, not only will you enjoy staying on balconies, but also your velvet paw.

from A to F

Blue Lizzie (Exacum affine)

  • 15 to 30 cm high
  • bushy growth, upright, annual
  • intense blue cup flowers
  • blooms from May to mid-September
  • sunny to semi-shady location necessary
  • pleasantly scented
  • sensitive to frost
Source: Mokkie, Persian violet (Exacum affine) 1, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dahlias (Dahlia)

  • 30 to 200 cm high (depending on variety)
  • Depending on the type of support required
  • round basket flowers sit on long stalks
  • Flowers between 10 and 30 cm in diameter
  • bloom from early July to November
  • available in numerous colors and varieties
  • sunny location, sheltered
  • Tubers not hardy (winter quarters necessary)

Fargesia Bamboo (Fargesia)

  • 150 to 600 cm high, usually up to 250 cm in pots
  • Culms up to 3 cm thick
  • lush green foliage, soft, can be easily eaten by cats
  • prefers sunny to semi-shady locations, humid air
  • completely hardy
  • does not form runners, therefore ideal for container planting
  • can be used as a screen
  • Contain seeds, sprouts and flowers hydrogen cyanide (mostly uninteresting for cats)

Fuchsias (Fuchsia)

  • Growth height strongly dependent on species
  • grows as a shrub or climber
  • Flowers come in a variety of colors and shapes
  • blooms intensively from mid-March to October (depending on species)
  • Location ranges from shady to sunny
  • non-toxic to cats
  • with edible fruits

from G to I

Garden slipper flower (Calceolaria integrifolia)

  • up to 120 cm high
  • annual
  • loose growth, hairy foliage
  • golden yellow flowers, resemble slippers
  • blooms from mid-April to September
  • stimulates the cat's play instinct due to the color differences

Money Tree (Crassula ovata)

  • between 50 and 100 cm high
  • extremely uninteresting for cats
  • easy-care succulent, evergreen
  • intense green, fleshy leaves
  • flowers very rarely in Central Europe
  • Level dependent on vitality
  • prefers sunny to semi-shady locations
  • sensitive to cold

Bluebells (Campanula)

  • available in numerous varieties and colors
  • up to 100 cm high
  • ideal for planting in balcony boxes
  • Location should be light to semi-shady
  • Absolutely avoid the midday sun
Dalmatian cushion bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana)

Cockscomb (Celosia argentea)

  • 30 to 60 cm high
  • blooms in white to red from mid-July to mid-September
  • large flowers encourage play
  • can be chewed on with ease
  • sunny location recommended
  • not hardy, annual

Horned violet (Viola cornuta)

  • Growth height between 15 and 20 cm, perennial
  • ideal for balcony boxes and hanging baskets
  • Flowering time from March to October, usually flowering twice
  • Flower color and pattern strongly dependent on variety
  • Location sunny to semi-shady
  • can be eaten without hesitation
  • further flowering could fail as a result

from J to K

Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans)

  • Scent stimulates velvet paws
  • Growth height of 30 to 40 cm
  • 5 to 10 cm large, light blue flowers in panicles
  • Flowering period from May to mid-June
  • prefers sunny to partially shaded west or east balconies
  • avoid direct midday sun

Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)

  • Climbing plant for south-facing balconies
  • wonderfully fragrant
  • Growth height between 40 cm and 10 m
  • depending on available climbing frame or trellis
  • pure white flowers from mid-May to late August
  • bright to sunny location, protect from intense midday sun
  • not hardy

Camellias (Camelliae)

  • 150 to 600 cm high flowering shrub
  • suitable for balcony planting
  • often uninteresting for cats
  • blooms from mid-September to early May (strongly dependent on the variety)
  • extremely decorative flowers in white to pink (depending on the variety)
  • not completely hardy
  • Winter protection or quarters necessary
Camellia (Camellia japonica)

Cat Germander (Teucrium marum)

  • is one of the most popular scented plants for velvet paws
  • beguiling scent
  • dried, can be used like catnip
  • up to 30 cm high, compact growth
  • ideal for window boxes and Mediterranean pot gardens
  • Flowering time from July to early August
  • delicate flowers in pink
  • full sun preferred
Source: H. Zell, Teucrium marum 001, edited from Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Kentia palm (Howea forsteriana)

  • reaches heights of growth of up to 300 cm in the bucket
  • upright growth, often forms several stems in pots
  • large, rich green fronds, evergreen
  • are often eaten by cats
  • light to semi-shady location, avoid direct sun
  • ideal for bright east, west and north balconies
  • not hardy

Coriander (Calathea)

  • 15 to 50 cm high
  • Intensely green leaves, up to 15 cm long, with wavy margins
  • white to yellowish variegated or striped
  • are often nibbled on
  • semi-shady location, protected from direct sun
  • not hardy, winter quarters at least 18°C

Cornflower (Cyanus segetum)

  • 30 to 80 cm high flowering perennial
  • slender growth, annual
  • juicy green leaves, hairy grey
  • blooms from mid-May to October
  • decorative basket flowers, colored blue
  • Cats use flowers as toys
  • full sun and warm locations are ideal, tolerates partial shade
  • little sun reduces the number of flowers
  • popular species for pot gardens

from L to R

Love curls (Juncus effusus 'Spiralis')

  • Growth height from 15 to 60 cm
  • loose growth, up to 50 cm wide
  • evergreen culms are twisted
  • reminiscent of hair or corkscrews
  • Location should be in full sun
  • inconspicuous panicle blooms in July
  • Straws serve as an ideal cat toy
  • very robust, culms are rarely damaged by cats
  • absolutely hardy
Source: Photo by David J. Stang, Juncus effusus spiralis 5zz, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Maiden's Eyes (Coreopsis)

  • decorative flowering perennial for the balcony
  • available in numerous varieties
  • Growth height from 10 to 200 cm (depending on variety)
  • dense growth, ideal for balcony boxes
  • plentiful, basket flowers from mid-June to early October
  • most common flower color is yellow
  • numerous varieties in colors from white to red
  • extremely easy to care for
Maideneye (Coreopsis grandiflora)

Marguerite (Argyranthemum frutescens)

  • popular balcony plants for cats
  • Flowers and leaves are eaten with pleasure
  • Growth height of up to 100 cm
  • well branched, spherical growth, bushy
  • blooms from May to mid-October
  • Wicker flowers in white, yellow or pink, have a strong scent
  • ideal for sunny south and south-west balconies
  • tolerates prolonged drought
  • easily educable as a standard

Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

  • Growth height from 20 to 60 cm
  • upright growth, bushy, annual
  • Flowering period from early June to October
  • creamy yellow to intense crimson daisy flowers
  • Flowers can be used as a tea infusion
  • Full sun to semi-shade preferred
  • at least 4 hours of sun daily
  • Support rods protect against wind damage

roses (pink)

  • all types of roses are non-toxic to cats
  • small or climbing species well suited for the balcony
  • Available in a variety of colors and flower sizes
  • flowering from spring to autumn
  • 2. Many species can flower
  • Wild species form rose hips
  • Location sunny to shady, suitable for all balcony orientations
  • Midday sun not suitable for every species
  • airy cookie is preferred
  • Caution: Spikes can cause injury
Ground cover rose 'Larissa'

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

  • Growth height from 100 to 200 cm
  • slow growth, upright, deciduous
  • medium green foliage, glossy, interesting for cats
  • blooms from June to July
  • Flowers 10 to 15 cm in diameter
  • Colors dependent on variety
  • Location in full sun, protect from midday sun in hot weather
  • protected from precipitation and wind
  • not hardy

from S to V

Pubic flowers (Aeschynanthus)

  • Growth height 10 to 60 cm
  • shrubby growth, overhanging, dense
  • Flowers from June to mid-September
  • 1 to 10 flowers per shoot end
  • red, yellow or orange-red flowers
  • Flowers interesting for cats
  • bright location, no direct sunlight
  • suitable for balcony boxes and hanging baskets

Tilted plate (Achimenes longif.webplora)

  • 20 to 60 cm high
  • hanging or upright growth, dense
  • Flowers July to mid-September
  • zygomorphic flowers in white, yellow, red, lilac, blue
  • hang askew
  • stand out clearly from the green of the leaves
  • bright location, warm, sheltered
  • avoid direct sun
  • not hardy, tubers overwinter
  • ideal for balcony boxes, hanging baskets, potted gardens
Source: Vinayaraj, Achimenes longif.webplora 05, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

  • Growth height from 25 to 300 cm
  • choose small variants for balconies (e.g. Sunspot, Gelber Knirps)
  • Flowers 10 to 20 cm in diameter
  • yellow flowers from mid-June to late October
  • Location sunny to light, warm, protected from strong winds
  • at least 5 to 6 hours of sun daily
  • Leaves like to be nibbled on
  • annual, perennial varieties

Shrub veronica (Hebe andersonii)

  • Ornamental shrub with a growth height of 40 to 60 cm
  • upright growth, dense, evergreen
  • fresh green leaves, lightly variegated
  • flowers from July to the end of October
  • white, red, blue or violet rosette flowers, large
  • Flowers encourage play
  • Leaves are often eaten
  • Location sunny to semi-shady, protect from midday sun, warm
  • not hardy

Marigolds (marigolds)

  • up to 70 cm high
  • upright growth, bushy, perennial
  • rich flowering from June to mid-October
  • Flowers 10 to 13 cm in diameter
  • flowers in yellow to dark red
  • Extremely robust, rain and windproof
  • sunny to partially shaded location
  • not hardy, winter protection necessary
  • excellent plants for balcony boxes or pot gardens

from W to Z

Wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca)

  • about 25 cm high
  • ideal for hanging baskets
  • Location sunny to off-sun
  • pure white flowers from April to mid-June
  • dark green foliage encourages nibbling
  • Cats like the smell of flowers and fruits
  • Small amounts of fruit are edible for cats
  • Harvest time from mid-June to the end of August

Wollziest (Stachys byzantina)

  • Growth height from 20 to 60 cm
  • silver-grey leaves, soft, hairy
  • no risk of injury for cats when nibbling
  • flowers red to violet from mid-July to late August
  • completely hardy
  • excellent for Mediterranean balcony concepts

Room fir (Araucaria heterophylla)

  • in the pot up to 200 cm high
  • slim growth
  • lush green needles quite soft, no risk of injury for cats
  • prefers bright places without direct sun, warm
  • cool winter quarters in winter, not hardy

Notice: Be sure to remove the thorns or spines of non-toxic balcony plants such as roses so that the animals do not injure themselves on them. Also watch out for sharp-edged leaves that could cut your mouth.

Non-toxic balcony herbs for cats

Many harmless balcony herbs are not only beautiful to look at, they also taste particularly good for you and your cat. We introduce you to 10 balcony herbs.

from A to J

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

  • popular balcony plants for cats
  • has a stimulating effect on velvet paws
  • can be eaten easily
  • used as a medicinal herb
  • must be sunny to shaded
  • Caution: several cats can fight over valerian

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

  • Mediterranean culinary herb
  • promotes digestion in cats
  • Flowers and leaves are easily edible
  • Regular harvesting replaces pruning
  • sunny spot is desired
Shrub basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

  • Fronds and flowers encourage exploration
  • Location should be sunny to semi-shady, protected
  • usable as a kitchen herb
  • Harvest possible from spring to the end of summer

Large nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

  • big flowers
  • yellow to red in color, spotted
  • Flowers edible by humans and cats
  • Harvest 4 to 6 weeks after sowing
  • annual
  • Protected and sunny location, ideal window box plant

from K to L

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

  • perfect balcony plants for cats
  • stimulate cats to euphoria due to the ingredients
  • relaxes nervous house cats
  • Flowering period from June to mid-September
  • Leaves can be dried, shredded and given to the cat

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

  • forms intensively yellow rhizomes
  • Rhizomes are preferably used as a spice and superfood
  • can be used in cats as a preventive measure against cancer
  • not hardy
  • Rhizomes need winter protection

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

  • popular, non-toxic balcony plants with an intense aroma
  • decorative purple flowers
  • Scent relaxes cats and relieves anxiety
  • Smell deters ticks and fleas
  • Flowering period from early June to late August

from M to Z

Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

  • popular kitchen herb
  • pleasant smell
  • Harvest time just before flowering from mid-June to mid-August
  • dried leaves are stimulating to some cats

Melissa (Melissa officinalis)

  • Velvet paws do not like the intense scent
  • can be used as a barrier on the balcony
  • Medicinal and spice plant
  • Harvest time from May to the end of July before flowering

Thyme (Thymus)

  • popular scented herb
  • Available in numerous colors and fragrance intensities
  • has a stimulating effect on many cats
  • similar effect as catnip
  • Harvest time possible over the entire vegetation period
  • particularly intense aroma shortly before flowering, usually from June or July
Broad-leaved thyme (Thymus pulegioides)

Notice: In addition to catnip, other types of mint, such as spearmint or peppermint, are considered non-toxic balcony plants for your house cat. An exception to this is the Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) represent that due to the included pulegons poisonous for people and pets.

frequently asked Questions

Is cat grass suitable for the balcony?

Yes, you can easily cultivate the different varieties of cat grass on the balcony. Just make sure that you do not place the grass directly in the intense midday sun. Otherwise they burn and are then no longer suitable for consumption. They must also be protected from rain, otherwise there is a risk of waterlogging.

Are citrus fruits considered non-toxic balcony plants for cats?

Miniature citrus trees are popular, non-toxic balcony plants. Only the essential oils that are in the fruit peel can be problematic poisonous are for cats. Velvet paws with a poor sense of smell can chew on the fruit and become poisoned. Normally they are deterred by the intense smell of the fruits and flowers and do not approach them.

What are the symptoms of poisoning in cats?

Once cats have come into contact with poisonous balcony plants, a variety of symptoms can occur, depending on the intensity of the poison and the amount of plant parts eaten. The most common include stomach and intestinal problems, vomiting, diarrhea, increased salivation and tremors. In the case of more severe poisoning, cramps, movement and balance disorders as well as unconsciousness or cardiac arrest can follow.

What should be considered when purchasing non-toxic herbs?

To avoid intolerance, only organic specimens should be planted. They are treated without chemical pesticides that could get into the body of the house tiger via the leaves and other parts of the plant. Optionally, you can purchase high-quality seeds and cultivate the non-toxic balcony plants on your own.

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