Flowers, ferns, succulents, oh my! Starting a garden with kids

Kinderling News & Features

Do you consider yourself a green thumb? Or maybe you’re a hand at committing plant murder every time you approach a succulent?

Georgina Reid is editor of The Plant Hunter and she believes that everyone should have plants in their lives, starting in the home.

From acreage to a studio apartment and all budgets; not only is it doable, but science has shown that having plants in the home improves quality of life. So much show that she’s teamed up to consult on an app called Plant Life Balance; a project aimed at helping everyone pick gorgeous plants for their home no matter their space or budget.

“As part of the Plant Life Balance project we’ve worked out that five medium sized plants in a medium sized room, say a living room, can increase the air quality by up to 75 percent” Georgina explains.

Listen to Georgina on Kinderling Conversation

3 plants that can withstand a toddler tantrum

If you’re not much of a green thumb, mother nature is on your side. There are so many species of plant that can withstand scorching wind and torrential rain, so finding a bit of shrubbery to withstand irregular watering or grabby toddler hands isn’t as hard as you think.

1. Jade Plant

A post shared by Jan (@homebyfousna) on

It’s quite common and does well in well lit indoor areas, plus it’s very hard to kill.

2. Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

It’s botanical name is Sansavieria but who would bother with that after knowing it’s common name! It has a 1970s vibe to it and is a super tough succulent that, “is very hard to kill and no toddler will get near it” Georgina jokes.

3. Hanging plants: Rhipsalis and Hoya

A post shared by Jardincito SF (@jardincito.sf) on

If curious and wandering hands are holding you back from getting plants into your home, a hanging plant could be perfect. Varieties such as Rhipsalis and Hoya have a gorgeous drop to them when hung plus they also do quite well indoors.

Know your space

You can put plants anywhere. It all depends on how much light a room gets. “There’s no difference between plants that will live on your windowsill and plants that will live inside” Georgina begins.  “They might be different species but they’re all the same thing. It  is about getting a plant that is best suited to the light levels. Understand the environment that you are putting your plant into and then pick the right plant based on that. And there’s a plant for a windowsill, a bathroom, a kitchen … everywhere!”

One of the gorgeous suggestions for wanna-be gardeners created by Georgina and The Plant Hunter team for the new Plant Life Balance app.

Stay away from plants in the bathroom

Because of thew light, the bathroom is one of the most difficult spaces to grow plants. If you really want some greenery near your loo then ferns are the safest bet. “Ferns like lots of humidity and lots of shade so they will do okay in the bathroom but it’s always going to be a little bit of a tough environment”Georgina says.

It doesn’t need to be cost the earth

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars. Assess your space, make a plan with apps such as the Plant Life Balance app, and visit a local nursery. “If you go to your local nursery and you want to fill your garden with plants that's a very expensive enterprise” Georgina says. Instead, try your hand at propagating, growing small bits and pieces, or just buy plants as you go along. “Buy bits and pieces as you go and expand out from your house rather than thinking you need to do the big grand backyard makeover in a weekend.” 

Killing plants is all part of the learning process

At the end of the day, you probably will kill a few plants, and that’s half the fun! Getting a bit grubby with you kids, killing a few herbs or succulents along the way, and learning from it. “You have to kill plants in order to understand what they like and what they don’t like. And you have to make mistakes, You can’t just stop and be like 'No way no more plants' because they’re such a wonderful thing. That’s the way you learn” Georgina says.

Let the kids get dirty

There is a serious marvel and wonder in a child’s eyes when they are involved in gardening. Speaking to her own experience when her two step children came into her life Georgina says “we would go up to the little courtyard we used to have and plant things or pull bits off a succulent and grow it. They were so excited about that. It was a really a nice way of connecting with them and playing with them.” 

“I think there’s a wonder in gardening that adults don’t see. Kids access it so easily. You just find such wonder in it” she adds.

To find our more about Plant Life Balance, the app developed in partnership with Georgina and the team at The Plant Hunter, head to their website.