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There are many plants you can enjoy with your kids without worrying about their safety.
Here is our list of safe and rewarding plants for children, and a few tricks to help introduce them to the wonderful world of plants and gardening.
Kids love experimenting and getting their hands dirty. While my two young boys love gardening both indoors and out, I didn’t try to teach them everything at once. I gave them each one plant that they were in charge of and could experiment with. They potted it up, fed it, and asked me questions as it grew.
We make a game of cleaning up the leaves in Autumn, and plant veggies together in pots and planters around the garden. It’s great to show kids where food comes from and they enjoy going out and picking herbs for dinner!
Let them make their own mistakes (and learn from them)
I gave my kids a small greenhouse to pot up seedlings and plant seeds in. They love going to water them, feed them and watch them grow. If one plant doesn’t make it, we think about what happened to that plant that didn’t happen to the others.
Encourage even the littlest of budding gardeners to get their hands dirty.
The next step is to make sure you’re picking plants that are not only safe for kids but also exciting enough to keep them coming back for more.
I’ve come up with a list of our favourite plants that are safe (non-toxic) for kids. These are great options if you’re worried your child is just as likely to eat their plant as they are to water them.
1. African Violet (Saintpaulia)
African Violets are a great child-friendly, indoor plant – they’re long-living, low maintenance and they flower, making them the perfect choice for young busy families.
2. Aluminium Plant (Pilea cadierei)
Aluminium Plants are a terrific indoor plant with interesting foliage that reacts well to pruning.
The Plant Runner Kids Indoor Plant Potting Kit includes everything your children need to begin their botanical adventure.
3. Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa)
This is a wonderful plant to teach children about the effects of seasonal changes on plants. To keep Zebra Plants happy, you need to reduce watering over winter to watch it bloom in the spring and summer!
4. Begonia (Begonia obiqua)
Colourful, varied foliage and flowers… what’s not to like? Begonia’s come in an array of leaf shapes, sizes, patterns and colours – with flowers ranging through white, pink, red, yellow, orange and many others.
5. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Boston Ferns are relatively tough, easy to propagate, indoor plants that filter the air and transform any space in the home with its foliage and beauty. It’s also a great plant to recreate that jungle feel for the kids, and to fill that neglected, shady corner of the house.
6. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
Another child-safe plant that’s easy to propagate is the Christmas cactus. This easy-going plant flowers in the winter, and is a great one to teach kids how to get into plants as it doesn’t need too much watering or attention.
7. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
The Spider Plant is one of the easiest to care for and safest plants for children. They are hardy, fast-growing, and can tolerate lots of abuse, making them perfect plants for children to take care of and watch grow.
8. Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula)
A plant that attracts and catches flies – the Venus Fly Trap is a must for young green thumbs! The small carnivorous plant is both fascinating and surprisingly easy to grow, and a great plant to spark the kids’ interest in gardening.
The Plant Runner is Australia’s first mobile greenhouse, a bespoke indoor plant care range, and lifestyle hub.