11 Outdoor Plants Safe for Dogs

by Sydney Hess

Yorkie dog breed outside in garden with flowers and grass

Bring your garden to life while keeping your dog in mind with these safe outdoor plants for dogs.

With most gardening zones in the US passing their last frost date, dog parents are leashing up their pups to head to the local garden center. But before you fill your cart with greenery, double check that your plant list is non-toxic to pets. Many dogs will bite or even eat plants out of excitement or boredom, so it is important to be aware of what you are planting.

Luckily, there are many beautiful non-toxic plants to choose from, so keep reading to see if any of them will help you create your dream landscape. 

Colorful and safe outdoor plants for dogs:

  • Crape Myrtle: Crape Myrtle trees thrive in warmer climates and produce vibrant blooms in the late summer. They require full sunlight, well draining soil, and are very hardy trees once well established. 
  • Canna Lily: Not to be confused with other varieties of toxic lilies, the Canna Lily is not actually a true Lily. This plant can be great for beginner gardeners and does well in full sun, but can tolerate partial shade. Canna Lilies have lush green leaves with bright blooms from Summer to Fall. 
  • Hibiscus: The hibiscus plant will reliably come back every year, and as a bonus, the flowers are edible! Hibiscus comes in a wide variety of colors, and does best in tropical climates with full sun and moist soil. 
  • Pansies: This flower prefers a more mild climate and will bloom best in the early spring or fall. Pansies prefer morning sun with shade from the afternoon rays, along with well-draining fertile soil to stay happy. 

Fragrant plants for your garden or yard: 

  • Dill: Dill grows best in well draining, slightly acidic soil. Dill prefers full sun and does not transplant well, so pick a spot and stick with it! This herb will give a fresh scent to your garden and will keep your fridge stocked with pickles all spring. 
  • Sage: Common sage can be a great addition to decorative garden beds as it gives the appearance of a small shrub, while boasting its herb family benefits like pest prevention. Sage prefers a lot of sunlight, and well draining soil. Sage does not tolerate harsh summers well, but in more mild climates this plant can be perennial. 
  • Rosemary: Rosemary is a fan favorite, especially for those that tend to have an abundance of mosquitoes in their yard. The strong smell of rosemary will deter unwanted bugs, while making your yard smell pleasantly fragrant. Some varieties of rosemary will also take the appearance of a small shrub, so this plant is also a great addition to any garden bed or decorative pot. 
  • Marigolds: Marigolds are a great addition to any raised garden bed or decorative pot. This flower will attract beneficial insects and pollinators, but are thought to repel the pests that will wreck a summer garden. 

Leafy and luscious dog-safe plants: 

  • Spider plant: Spider plants are a common indoor plant known for producing an abundance of babies to propagate. This plant is truly the houseplant that keeps giving. Spider plants can tolerate spring weather, but prefer to come indoors when the temperatures get too high. This plant can tolerate bright to moderate light and prefers slightly moist soil. 
  • Holly Fern: This common fern tolerates all kinds of lighting making it the perfect outdoor potted plant that can also transition indoors during the harsher months. This plant likes evenly moist soil, but not overly dry or soggy to avoid root rot. 
  • Banana Plant: Most species of banana plants grow best outdoors and with proper care, can grow 12 to 20 feet tall. Picking the best variety of banana plant for your gardening zone is essential to success, but generally this plant needs 6+ hours minimum of sunlight with well draining soil to thrive. 

Filling a garden with pup-safe plants can seem daunting at first, but google is your best friend when it comes to browsing the plant nursery. Your dog will thank you for doing due diligence!

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