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There are a lot of adults out there grandparents, parents in general growing house plants. And as their children are being born and getting older we kind of want to introduce houseplants to grow with kids. It can be a little tricky and a little difficult. You probably do not want to give your most precious plant baby to your most precious baby toddler who is probably going to drop it, chew on it, or do something really crazy that you can’t really handle. So what I recommend as a parent is to give your kids plants for them to take care of themselves. Here are some plants that would do well in a child’s care.
African Violets come in just straight green foliage or you can get them variegated. They come in a variety of bloom colors and it is really fun for children to get them to bloom.
It is also really easy for them to tell whether they need to be watered or not because when the leaves are kind of soft and flexible you know that they’re going to need some water. They can also handle overwatering if you have a child that likes to water their plant every time they see it. So it’s a perfect plant for them and bonus the leaves are actually soft and fuzzy! So the children can run up and pet the leaves whenever they want and that’s a way for them to interact with the plant daily without necessarily watering them and acclimates the children to the responsibility of plant care.
Coleus gets very big and very bushy, and they come in a variety of colors. Almost every single imaginable color coleus can come in it. You can even get black ones, red ones, pink ones, or green ones. You can also have them in multiple colors in them and they all look stunning.
They will get bigger really quickly and their foliage will change colors as they do. If they don’t get very much light though you lose some of that color and if they get a lot of light then the color will increase. It is really fun to watch them grow and kids absolutely love to see those bright colors. Also, because they can see new leaves on the plant almost daily it’s one of those “come back to it and watch it grow” kinds of things that draw them in.
Another thing that is really great about this plant is that it does not need to be taken care of on a daily basis. This way if you have a crazy busy household and you are running all over the place and you just don’t have time to make sure that that plant is watered every day, remind your child to water it every day, or you have a child that just has no interest in watering every day; then this plant can go quite a long time without water.
They will kind of droop over and look really sad. It may drop a couple of leaves because it’s been too dry for too long but it will continue to grow very quickly and it will bounce back from that. This makes it fantastic for very busy and neglectful plant households. It also means it is perfect for kids who are just all over the place.
Calathea is one of my personal favorite plants. They need a higher humidity and they need to be watered all the time. If you have a humidifier in your child’s room then this is going to work out perfectly. If you have a child that absolutely loves to water constantly this is also going to work well.
Calathea leaves also move up and down throughout the day. As night time draws near their foliage will go upright and in the daytime, it will come back down. They are also very brightly colored and come in a variety of hues.
These plants grow really well. They do not necessarily grow really quickly and the lighting can be a little tricky. However, as long as there is a grow light nearby these plants are going to be fine. You can actually put daylight grow light in your child’s bedroom ceiling it won’t change anything for the lighting as far as the children being able to see to play goes but it will make a big difference to the plants. The plants will then be able to grow even if you don’t have a window in the room. Calathea is one of those low-light plant varieties that just kind of survive everything.
It is also really fun for the children to be able to water it and see the new leaves come from the center and they will unfurl in a circular motion. Almost like a little rose as it’s coming out and unfurling. It is amazing to watch and kids seem to love it quite a bit.
Next up we have a classic plant! It has been around forever for a reason. Spider plants!
They can handle all of the neglect. They don’t need a lot of water. Just water them when you can and when you feel like it or when your child feels like it. You can have them hanging just adding a little bit of esthetic to the child’s room or if you want the child to actually be able to care for it you can place it on a table or a bookshelf and have them water whenever they want. It is a non-toxic plant like all of the plants on this list so you don’t have to worry about that and the kids actually really love to grow them.
Spider plants can also teach kids the basis of propagation. They can take the little baby spider plants and put them in water or some wet soil and watch them grow a whole new plant. Which is incredibly empowering to children. Being able to go and keep a plant alive and then grow a whole new one from it. Even as adults we find it empowering.
Another fun fact about spider plants is that they are actually considered invasive in some places. So we know it is going to survive really well and be able to handle whatever your child could possibly throw at it. Also, it does not need a lot of light which is another bonus since a lot of bedrooms don’t have a lot of light.
Another low-maintenance setup is the terrarium Peperomia. You can take these high humidity Peperomia and place them in a terrarium then close it up and the child can look at it every single day and watch it grow. They do not have to interact with it regularly. This way you don’t have to worry about your little 1-year-old getting into it.
It will not need to be watered often. Only every few months maybe but even then it will not need a lot of water. So this is another one of those plants that are really great if you have younger children. If you do not really want them in interacting with the plants too much other than just looking at them this will be fantastic for that.
It will also be really great for them to be able to put it together themselves too. If you have like a three or four-year-old or even older they might enjoy placing the plants in there and then you can kind of straighten everything out and they can watch it grow over time. There are a lot of little kits out there like that and this is just one of those really cool things to be able to do.
Peperomia in particular comes in a variety of colors. My daughter has a pink one she absolutely loves. You can also get red ones or green ones. Napoli Nights is actually shiny, silver, and sparkling in the light. That’s really cool as well. There’s just a lot of variety that you can do with this and they grow very quickly so it’s really fun to kind of go and check on them and see that new foliage growing every single day too.
Another plant that could go into a terrarium but doesn’t necessarily have to is Fittonia. These plants come in a lot of bright colors as well and can handle a lot of water. You can give them as much water as they possibly could ever want and even water it daily and that will be fine. They come in greens, pinks, and reds. There is a white and green one that kind of looks like lightning bolts which is really fun for the kids to watch grow.
Fittonia grows upright and is a really good plant to teach children how to prune plants with. Because when you chop them you can see that they divide and become two when they regrow. Then they could chop those and it would become another two. Making a more bushy plant. This is a fun one that grows really quickly so that you can have children chop it back over time.
You don’t have to worry about doing anything crazy or complicated to get them to propagate. You can take those cuttings and put them in some water and the children could watch the roots form with them so this is just a really fun plant to grow with them. Even as an adult I absolutely love watching the roots grow from these propagations and just seeing how it grows when it is chopped is just so fun.
Another plant that grows incredibly quickly is Hoya Australis. It comes in these green waxy leaves and it just grows so quickly. You get one or two leaves cut in a tiny pot and you can watch it grow and vine up over everything. It is really cool to watch.
They produce these long vines and will try to grab and wrap around stuff. Then after they have reached and grabbed something they will produce these little leaves that get bigger and bigger every single day. It is really fun to watch this plant grow and you don’t have to water it very often.
They do love a lot of light through. So if you have a big window with a lot of light or a window sill that gets some really good light this is one of those perfect windowsill plants.
As long as it has something to climb there it will go so crazy and your child will be amazed to see what it’s going to grab and what it is going to do next. It is a very interactive plant. One of the few Hoya that I would recommend for children as far as easy-care goes. This is definitely a beginner Hoya and I cannot recommend it for children enough.
I recommend it because it is one of those few plants that does grow and vine that is also non-toxic as well. It exposes children to a climbing plant and just a whole other aspect of plant parenthood. Seeing how plants can kind of do their own thing and have a personality as a plant. It’s really interesting.
Hopefully, this gave you some ideas on how to interact with your children and plants. How to get Houseplants to grow with kids and just a couple of plant ideas for you and your children to both enjoy together.