Do you have a child with a green thumb? This Indoor Plants Week (September 17-23) create a verdant balcony garden, with our list of lovely house plants that will grow with your children
By Sahana Charan
A little corner in your child’s room dedicated to a green space -- wouldn’t that be a soothing sight? It is always lovely to have a garden in front of your house or a small patch in the backyard, that will calm your senses as you gaze at the plants every day. But for most us living in the city, the balcony and indoor spaces that get a little sunlight, are the best bet for growing house plants.
Children have a tendency to nurture small living things around them and plants can be a great addition to their list of things to take care of. A few potted plants that bring in warmth and beauty to a corner of your balcony or even in your child’s room will help them understand the concept of caring and nurturing.
“Gardening is a healthy hobby and a stress buster. For children, it gives a soothing effect to the mind and it teaches them values like patience, love for nature and environment protection. Above all, gardening is a real time science lesson for them,” says Priya Thomas, a botany specialist and avid gardener, whose children are involved in taking care of their beautiful balcony garden.
Priya gives us a list of five indoor plants that grow well in tropical conditions and are easily taken care of by the little gardeners:
1.Money Plant (Epipremnum aureum) -- Remember how our parents told us that money plants bring prosperity into the house? Apparently, according to Feng Shui philosophy, there is some truth in that theory. Money plant is also supposed to purify the air and increase oxygen flow, so it is a good plant to have indoors. They are hardy plants and need very little care, so that makes them ideal for putting on your little one’s window sill. They can also be grown as climbers or in hanging pots. Let your little one take care of them and watch them grow.
2. Syngonium (Syngonium podophyllum) -- This is a lovely looking plant that children will be attracted to. Extremely easy to grow, they have arrow-shaped leaves and come in many varieties. The Pink Syngonium and another variant with red lines, are particularly attractive to children and they will love maintaining it in their room. Apart from being ornamental, the Syngonium is also known to be a purifying plant and according to Chinese philosophy, the leaves of the plant provide balance in the house.
3.Peperomia varieties (Peperomia obtusifolia) -- This one is from the pepper family and has shiny, oval and fleshy leaves, which come in different shades of green and even a lovely white. They are really attractive and therefore, can be kept in the living room to improve the aesthetics of the space. Get your child’s help to plant them in a beautiful ceramic dish or decorated pot and they will be happy to maintain the plant for you. It is also a good plant to gift your near and dear ones.
4.Chinese evergreen (Agalonema costatum) -- This plant belongs to the Aroid family and is native to Southeast Asia. They have shiny leathery leaves and grow well with little sunlight and fertilizer support. Since Agalonema is quite easy to take care of, it is one of the best plants to grow under your child’s care. They are regularly grown indoors because they are quite effective in cleaning the air around them, while also being pretty to look at.
5.Holy basil -- Commonly called the Tulsi plant, this is a medicinal plant that you will see in many Indian households. In Indian culture, this is a revered plant and apart from being worshipped, it is also valuable for its medicinal properties. This plant needs an adequate amount of light, so it is best kept in your balcony, where it receives direct sunlight. Make sure your child takes care of the plant by watering it regularly.
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