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Helping kids cultivate the garden within

Published on

Journal Staff

Growing plants indoors is an easy and beautiful way to clean the air in your home and keep young hands occupied.

So says Rose Wallace, a retired Sarnia herbalist who’s on a mission to get more people involved in indoor gardening.

“It’s a fascinating hobby that’s not that expensive,” she says. “Kids are glued to their computers and their telephones, and houseplants can get the younger generation away from the electronics.”

Wallace, who has more than 100 different kinds growing in her home, says houseplants don’t require much space and can be enjoyed throughout the winter.

Getting kids starting is as easy as lopping the top off a store-bought pineapple an inch below the leaves and planting it in a soil-filled pot.

Water well and place in bright, indirect light and voila, a tropical houseplant that will root and eventually bloom.

Taking cuttings from other plants and buying interesting seeds at nurseries are fun and creative ways for kids to learn, Wallace says.

“My big thing is to get families involved. You want to get them interested at a young age,” she says, noting children will look up online what their parents don’t know.

When choosing kid-friendly plants opt for interesting and easy to grow, says Wallace, a long-time member of the Lambton County Herb Society.

Here are her Top 5 kid plants:

1 – Spider Plant: Adaptable and tolerant, they produce “spiderettes” that dangle from the mother plant like spiders on a web.

2 – Air Plants: What could be easier than a plant that needs no soil? Drawing nutrients from the air, they thrive on nothing more than mist from a spray bottle.

3 – Devil’s Ivy: An attractive vine that NASA researchers say is one of the top 10 most air purifying plants.

4 – Goldfish Plant: A South American native with viney stems and unusual, fish-shaped flowers.

5 – Lucky bamboo: With straight or twisty stalks, these no-fuss plants are often grown in water with pebbles for support.

















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