Ahh, children – they really do the strangest things sometimes. It may not occur to you to pluck all the leaves off your favourite pot plant and see if they taste any good, however, the same can’t necessarily be said for our little people. And while smashed avo is perfectly safe (and encouraged!) for them to smoosh all over their face, indoor plants are another story.
If you’ve got kids at home, give yourself one less thing to worry about and try these eight low-toxicity plants for styling your indoor and outdoor spaces with green.
NOTE: unless the plant is explicitly an edible (e.g. herbs), it’s still best to avoid ingestion as some still may cause nausea or skin irritation. To stay on the safe side, keep all plants out of reach of small children.
Herbs, sprouts and microgreens (kitchen windowsill garden)
Growing edibles at home is a great way to engage your kids with the magic of home gardening – particularly for beginner green thumbs. As long as they get plenty of sun and water, herbs, sprouts and microgreens are all easy-care and fast-growing plants. Perfect for small people who just can’t wait to eat the fruits of their labour!
With it’s fascinating foliage shape – do the leaves look like pancakes, or an itty-bitty alien? – the pilea will be sure to spark your kids’ imagination. A super trendy plant and easy to care for, this indoor variety is sure to quickly become one of your favourites, too.
Say hello to the hoya! This might be a plant that you remember from your own childhood home – it had it’s hey-day back in the 70s and 80s, but is making a comeback in Aussie homes.
Another easy-care indoor plant with gorgeous waxy flowers and an enticing scent, the hoya will ignite all of your little one’s senses.
The mistletoe cactus might look like a bit of a tangled mess, but trust us – this easy-growing hanging plant is a breeze to care for. Simply pop it up on an empty shelf, and let its fuzzy stems trail down.
There’s a bunch of different varieties of mistletoe cactus: some have hairy stems (these hairs protect the stems from the sun), others have flat stems, some grow longer and some are bushier. Get your child in choosing the type and then keep adding to your collection, until you’ve got them all!
From garnishing a cheeseboard to pickling your own version of capers, this versatile, entirely edible plant will have you experimenting in the kitchen all year long. With its pretty bright flowers and it’s big round seeds – perfect for picking by little fingers – it’s also a great plant for kid-friendly outdoor gardens.
Australian paper daisies
They may be small – but when grown en masse, the humble Australian paper daisy will knock you over with a wave of colour. They’re the perfect native wildflower for creating stunning outdoor garden displays or overflowing flower pots of colour.
Paper daisies also a great support for the local bees and pollinators that call your backyard home, so are a great one for teaching little people about ecosystems and biodiversity.
Aloe vera is a very easy plant to grow, and a very practical one, too – you can break off a small piece of its thick leaves and squeeze the juice onto minor burns and skin troubles for quick soothing relief. The perfect plant for introducing kids to the medicinal properties of plants.
A beautiful and fragrant addition to any outdoor space, lavender will also help keep the mosquitos at bay. Pick and dry the flowers for a range of plant-based DIY projects that you can do with the kids, including making your own plant-based cleaning products and botanical-infused oils for hydrating body and hair.
These eight plants are the perfect starting point for designing a stylish but safe home garden with, and for your kids – but the good news is that there’s plenty more low-toxicity plants you can choose from. So grab your little one, head to your nearest nursery or garden centre to have a chat with the experts, and get busy growing!