Featured Image from: Surf Excel
It’s always a good thing to keep the kids busy when they are at home. Some of the parents prefer to distract the children with a few board games and arts & crafts. Others go down the trusted route: buy a cuddly pet to teach them about discipline in a fun way. But what if you don’t have the time to play a couple of board games or adopt a pet?
Plants might be the next best thing.
Like some hobbies, your kids can get involved in plant care and gardening at an early age. You might think, “But won’t they get bored with plants? Aren’t animals more fun?” On the contrary, indoor plants are one of the best ways to get the kids eager and enthusiastic about gardening and science. They can care for houseplants all year-round. Also, plants are straightforward and very affordable (that’s a big yes for you, Mom and Dad!).
But what kind of plants do you get them?
You Don’t Just Get Any Plant
Putting any plant in front of the kids isn’t the way to go, parents. When searching for plants for the kids, focus on foliage plants that grow slower and can tolerate lower light. Plants like these require lower light and water demands.
Select plants that are relatively trouble-free and not prone to pests, shedding, or leaf tipping. Good starter plants for the kids to include:
Also known as the devil’s tongue or mother-in-law’s tongue, this plant’s long leaves grow straight from the ground. It’s better for your child to care for plants that have hard leaves since they do not require frequent watering.
Snake plants also grow from cuttings. If you have a friend with this plant, ask for a part of it, which you can place in a pot of soil. This can get you started and also saves you money.
This indoor plant also removes xylene, formaldehyde, and toluene from the air. The leaves, however, can be toxic. Place the pot out of reach of small children who like to nibble.
This kid-friendly vine has a number of names; one of the most popular ones are devil’s ivy and money plant. Philodendron is another name, but there is a common misuse of store labeling.
Golden Pothos has heart-shaped leaves on a climbing vine. It is also popular for its ability to remove indoor pollutants, such as xylene, formaldehyde, and benzene.
This plant is a wonderful addition on top of your aquarium since its roots can help clean the tank. The kids can place this plant on top of the tall shelf where they can watch the vines grow.
Also known as the ‘airplane plant,’ this indoor plant sends out its plantlets at the end of stems as its way of reproduction. When these plantlets drop down from the main plant, they start growing into another mother plant.
The children don’t have to worry about temperature. This houseplant species comes in two varieties: the white-laced green leaves and the one with white-striped green leaves. They can grow each plant indoors or outdoors, as long as the temperature is as cool as 35°.
Similar to the previous examples above, spider plants also remove indoor pollutants. Unlike the plants above, however, its leaves are not toxic to animals or your children.
Your kids will love caring for this indoor plant.
First, it doesn’t require any soil so they are free to unleash their creativity with its container. They can put it in a wooden crate, a pretty seashell, or a personally decorated box.
Second, watering doesn’t pose a problem. The children can either dunk it under the running water from the kitchen faucet once a week or spritz it using a water spray bottle. The plant absorbs the water through its leaves in small amounts. Just keep them in an area with plenty of air circulation and good lighting and they are good to go.
Succulents are becoming one of the most popular indoor plants. This category of houseplants refers to a variety of species that have fleshy leaves that are designed to store water even in the hottest environments. One of the most popular types of succulents is the cactus, which comes in cute pots the kids will love. Other well-loved succulents include aloe vera, jade plant, and the century plant.
Succulents will thrive in warm and well-lit areas and will not require a lot of watering. They are slow growers but do not die easily. This plant is perfect for kids who often forget to water the plants or put them out under the sun.
Cast Iron Plant
The name alone says it: this plant is a tough one! Also known as the barroom plant, the cast iron plant can tolerate irregular watering, low lighting, and temperatures fluctuating. Should your kids forget about it for a while, it won’t die easily. The closest thing that can kill cast iron plants is exposing it to direct sun exposure and over-watering.
The different types of cast iron plants include the ones with striped leaves, green leaves speckled with white, and chocolate brown leaves.
This indoor plant is not a bamboo; it merely looks like one. Still, many people love this plant because, as Feng Shui states, it can attract positive energy and bring you luck — hence the name lucky bamboo.
The kids can grow this plant in either water or soil, although it is easier if you use water. Select a clear and tall container with marbles or decorative stones to keep it from falling. The plant will need at least three inches of water to grow well.
Similar to the other indoor plants mentioned above, bamboo plants will thrive in warm and well-lit areas. Don’t let the kids leave them under direct sunlight otherwise, the leaves will burn. Lucky bamboo is more sensitive to temperature changes compared to the other plants so keep it away from heating vents.
Plants are good for kids who want a new hobby or just want to see something new in the house. Consider getting them these child-friendly plants and watch them develop a new passion for Mother Nature’s children — with your guidance, of course.