Plants and gardening offer countless mental, physical, and emotional health benefits, no matter your age. But kids, in particular, can learn so much from plant care — the benefits span from sensory, motor, and cognitive to social, mental, and emotional. Depending on your child’s age, helping plants grow can help them develop essential skills, including communication, following directions, working with others, asking for or providing help, and more.
Most importantly, plant care is fun! And that’s something we could definitely use more of in 2021. In this article, we’ll provide you with the criteria for selecting plants for kids to grow, and we’ll also share our favorite kid-friendly plants to bring your children’s gardening ideas to life.
What to Look For in Types of Plants for Kids
When it comes to selecting indoor houseplants for kids, not all plants are created equal. The plants you bring into your home should be safe, size-appropriate, relatively easy to grow, and, depending on your kids’ age, non-toxic (a plus for your pets, too!).
You should also consider your child’s unique interests when selecting a plant for them — the right botanical can pique their interest for longer periods of time.
Plants for Kids That Are Educational, Safe & Fun
The low-maintenance Philodendron Heartleaf is a great non-toxic indoor plant for adults and children alike. These hardy plants are fast-growing, easy plants for kids to grow, and incredibly adaptable so they can certainly handle whatever any child throws at them. Plus, these trailing plants are eye-catching and fun to style — a great choice for the young creative!
What could be more entertaining than growing tropical fruit in your living room? Kids will love watching their Bromeliad Pineapple plant progress through each stage of growth, and they can enjoy the fruits of their labor once ripe (literally!).
With fiery red, orange, and yellow blooms, the Red and Yellow Dahlia Accent Kit is great for the budding outdoor gardener. Each kit comes with young annuals and foliage plants so your kids can watch these plants grow throughout the spring and summer, and you’ll get beautiful new blooms for your porch, patio, or outdoor garden.
As a bonus, Fireball Dahlias’ blossoms may attract pollinators such as butterflies to your garden.
For kids that are a bit younger, consider our Sunny Succulent trio. These textural plants are low-maintenance, kid-sized, and squishy to the touch. Younger children will enjoy exploring the various leaf shapes, patterns, and textures.
For the child in your life who’s easily bored, try the Oxalis Purple, a plant that “dances” in response to bright sunlight each morning and low light each night. With its deep purple leaves that open and close throughout the day, our Purple Oxalis is an excellent choice for teaching the effects of light on plants.
Featuring purple and white blossoms resembling a starry night, the Purple Petunias Accent Kit is another option for kids who want to learn about outdoor gardening. With young plants your child can watch grow throughout the season, our Outdoor Bloom Kits are perfect for teaching outdoor plant care.
These flowers may also attract pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden.
Put your little one in charge of watering your tallest, most prominent plant in your home, and they’ll swell with pride. A large Bird of Paradise is easy to care for, stylish (for your benefit), and can grow up to eight feet tall!