Have you ever watched someone open a present and become more interested in the packaging than in the present itself? I have two little girls at home, and many times, the new shirt or coloring books are set aside, and the box that contained them is thoroughly examined for its usefulness as a fort, a car, or some other imaginative purpose.
This phenomenon is not limited to people. Our cocker spaniel puppy, Pearl, has been offered a variety of delightful toys: unicorns, bones, and rope toys just to name a few. Even with all of those options, her favorite thing to play with is an old pot from the veggie garden. She will run after that thing for hours on end. Every time one is nearing the end of its usefulness as a toy, we bring out another and she is excited all over again. Strange what pets (and people) focus on.
And that's not all she is interested in. I have a monstera adansonii with vines at least 4 feet long, that is still in its original six-inch pot. When Pearl isn't attacking her plastic pot, she is constantly trying to find a way to get at the vines of the monstera. Which, of course, we try desperately to keep her away from, because we love our plant, and we know that monstera are not good for dogs to eat.
Many of you probably have fur babies as well as plant babies, and we know that you want both to coexist. So here are a few tips for keeping pets away from favorite plants, or who knows, maybe distracting them with one of your old plant pots will keep do the trick.
Deter Pets From Plants - Mix up a spray of lemon juice and water and carefully spray the leaves and the top of the soil, or put some fresh citrus peels on the top of your plants. Cats especially, usually stay away from citrus.
Give Them Options - Our dog is pretty distracted by a plastic pot, but if your pet is more discriminating (like almost all cats), cat grass or catnip can be a way to distract them if they have a habit of chewing on plants.
Pets Getting Into Soil - If your pets are getting into the soil, they may be attracted by the smell and organic material that comes with rich, healthy dirt. One possibility is adding a top-dressing to cover the soil. Pebbles or moss can cover the soil and hide odors that may be attracting pets.
Plants That Are Pet Safe - Of course, if your pet is still curious, be sure that the houseplants you have indoors are pet-safe. The ASPCA has a list of plants that are safe and is our go-to reference. And for some of the pet-friendly plants that we have available in the online shop, click here. We promise your pets and plants can live together.