Indoor Plants + Kids- doable?

talya_2010April 10, 2012

I would really like to have a potted plant for my living room- like a small palm in a low wide vase that sits on the floor. However, I have 2 very active boys- 3 and 1 yrs old. Is there any alternative to filling the pot with something safer than dirt (they'll eat it and/or throw it around all over my living room) or pebbles (major choking hazard)? What about certain plants that I should avoid since they may be poisonous if ingested?


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I have a 2 yr old little boy and I was seriously doubting how this would play out too... However, I think all in all having my plants indoors this winter has been a success. I have one large pot on the floor and several smaller containers on low window sills within reach of small children. I think the key part of the process was having him help me plant the seeds and water them. He seemed to be excited for the plants to emerge and when they finally did he did pull a few out of the pot in an angry temper tantrum, but for the most part I think that it has helped him develop a small sense of responsibility. He loves to help me water and gets excited when new things come up. Even if you are not starting your plants from seed, I think most kids would like to help water.
Now, when his small friends come over all bets are off and I am not surprised if I have to clean up at least a little dirt. Much to my dismay most kids never get to play in the dirt, so maybe this is my contribution to their agricultural education.
Oh, and regarding edible plants I would research the varieties that you want to grow. I have mostly vegetables, some edible flowers and herbs, so it's not a big deal if they devour a leaf or so - my 6 month old has totally taken me up on this!
I hope this helps you make an informed decision regarding the hazards of combining indoor plants and kids :)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Small pebbles won't cause choking. Avoid poisonous plants and teach them not to throw.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 4:15AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

A small child could absolutely choke on a small pebble.

I've always had plants and when my kids were little, I just put the plants on higher surfaces and in rooms where I could close the door and keep the kids out. I did the same thing with all items I didn't want to be played with. Just put them away and in other rooms until the kids are big enough not to do that stuff. It beats the heck out of saying "no" all the time and nothing gets ruined or broken that isn't a toy.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:13AM
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My kids are young and I do have issues with them playing in the plants sometimes. We started seeds inside, and my younger three kids ( 2, 3, and 4 years old) helped me plant. But when they sprouted, they kept wanting to touch them, and broke a few off.

Its mainly my 2 year old - my 3 and 4 year olds love the plants and are intensely interested in gardening. I may have the only preschoolers who can identify most plants by their latin names! LOL

I would probably start with something easy to grow and un-killable, if you're doing house plants, like pothos. It IS poisonous but only in very large quantities. Personally none of my kids have ever tried to eat a plant, but we are hardcore garden people and even at their young age they know what's edible in the garden and what's not. (They are always chewing on lemon balm! lol)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:49AM
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