Resource Center Menu

Plant Care

Petco carries many types and varieties of plants:

  • Aquatic plants improve the water quality and add color and shape to your aquarium.
  • Desert plants require less water and humidity and are ideal for a desert terrarium.
  • Carnivorous plants are fascinating as they trap insects within their leaves.
  • Tropical plants are best suited for tropical terrariums and provide a lush tropical feel to any room.
  • Pet grass - wheat grass and catnip are enjoyed by birds, cats and dogs.

Aquatic plants: Plants that can survive completely submerged under water. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and nitrates, and provide shelter and security for fish. Aquatic plants are available as potted or in a loose bunch. Examples of aquatic plants include Echinodorus, Anubias, Cryptocoryne, Ludwigia, Lilaeposis, Microsorium, Vallisneria, Hygrophila and Bolbitis. Fish safe, plant food can be added as needed to the water to enhance plant growth. Good aquarium lighting is essential to the survival of aquatic plants.

  • Plants can grow in any substrate, 2-3 inches of laterite covered with an inch of gravel is ideal. Plants can remain in pots they were sold in or they can be removed from the pot and planted in the substrate.

Tropical Plants: Tropical plants need high humidity and frequent watering. Popular tropical plants include Bella Palm, Cracaena, Aglonema and Pothos.

  • Bella Palm or parlor palm can be maintained very well with lighting that you'll find in most offices or homes. Whenever you place a Neanthe "Bella" make sure that you don't place it in afternoon sun. Morning sun or bright filtered light is best. Over and under watering are common. Wait until the soil has dried down about half the soil depth, then, thoroughly water the soil evenly, making sure the soil and roots have all had a good drink. Do not let the plant sit in water!
  • Dracaena sanderiana the "Lucky Bamboo" will do best in filtered lighting but not direct sun. Use distilled water, try to stay away from the tape water as fluoride, chlorine and salts found in tap water are toxic to this plant.
  • Aglonema, also known as Chinese Evergreen, prefer medium to high light without any direct sun in the afternoon, tolerant of lower light. Water thoroughly and discard the excess water, keep evenly moist during summer. Allow the plant to dry slightly between waterings.
  • Pothos is a beautiful vining plant with its green or variegated heart-shaped leaves. It will thrive in a low light, as long as it is watered thoroughly when the top of the soil dries out. Brazilian Swords are well suited for an amphibian terrarium due to broad leaves and tolerance to high humidity.

Tropical plants do well in any commercial potting soil for indoor plants. If planted in a terrarium, rinse leaves and run water through soil to remove any chemical additives, also cover soil with moss to protect amphibians. Plant food can be added as needed to enhance growth, but ensure it is pet/amphibian safe.

Desert Plants: Plants that require less water and low humidity. Desert plants include Crassula, Haworthia and Sanseveria.

  • Haworthia "Zebra Plant" is easy to grow. Water it once every three weeks. Fertilize 3 or 4 times per year and your Haworthia will be very happy.
  • Crassula, the Jade Plant, is very popular. Its fleshy leaves and trunk-like stems give it a natural bonsai-like appearance. The Jade Plant is happy in a wide range of situations from bright or indirect light. Water sparingly. Use well draining potting soil, such as cactus mix or potting mix with perlite and sand.

Carnivorous Plants: Plants that capture insect and absorb nutrients from prey are called carnivorous. Types of Carnivorous plants include Venus Fly Trap, Pitcher Plant and Sundew. Carnivorous plants should be fed insects on a weekly basis, such as flightless flies or small crickets, however, they will survive on nutrients absorbed by their roots, only they will grow more slowly. All carnivorous plants are designed to capture insects, never feed people food or pet food. Do not use plant fertilizer as it will burn their delicate root systems. Planting mix should be porous, low-fertility type containing long fiber sphagnum moss, pear moss and/or perlite. The media should be well drained and open enough so air reaches the roots. Do not use clay pots as salts tend to build up in them. Water with distilled water only. Minerals in tap water may harm these plants. Water every 3-5 days if in a plastic cover.Keep soil damp and humidity high. Water daily if uncovered.

  • Venus Fly Traps need light to thrive. Natural sunlight is best, if direct sunlight is used you must remove the plastic cover. A healthy plant will have a bit of pink in the traps. The Venus 'traps' only close 4-5 times before they whither, if the traps are artificially closed, the trap may not be able to function when an insect enters the trap.
  • Pitcher plants like bright light without much direct sun, sunburn appears as red or dead areas. They require high humidity much the same as orchids. All require a dormant period each year for strong growth and health.

Pet Grass: Wheat grass provides a little bit of the outdoors to indoor animals. Dogs, cats and birds will eat wheat grass and it can be beneficial. Water lightly and trim as needed to keep at approximately 1-3 inches tall. Taller grass has a tendency to mold around the base of the stalks. Feed trimmings to your pets to enjoy.

Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.