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Easy Flowers to Grow with Kids

You can garden at any skill set, novice or advanced and see results. Some of the most beautiful flowers in gardens are thankfully some of the easiest to grow, even with young children!


My favorite 'intro' flowers to grow are easy for several reasons - their seeds are on the larger side and easier for children to handle; these seeds have a higher germination rate (the seed is more likely to sprout and less likely to be a dud); and once growing they are harder to kill than other... more delicate flowers.


The first is the gold standard of flowers - the sunflower. Versatile, sturdy and available in a wide range of colorful varieties from the smaller 'Peach Passion' to the larger 'Sky Scraper' this flower can be grown year round in my garden in San Diego, CA. As with most plants, plant the sunflower seed in any potting mix at twice the depth as the width of the longest side of seed. This is a great activity to do with a child. Have them pull out a ruler and measure the longest side. Then ask them to double that length. That is the depth that they should be planting at. Set out in a sunny area and water every 2-3 days.


Personally, my favorite sunflower varieties are 'Ruby Eclipse', 'Lemon Queen' and 'White Lite'. However, at your local nursery you're most likely to be able to find the Lemon Queen variety on the shelves. The one variety I would recommend you stay away from is the 'Moulin Rouge' flower. While it is a beautiful red flower, from my own experience many adults and children can be frighted by it as it can look like a large red eye staring at you.



(Featured: Ruby Eclipse Sunflower)


Another great beginner flower is the Nasturtium. A quick growing bush like flower, it sends out vines along the ground and can quickly spread and fill up an area. The flower produced on this plant is always a stunner. It can range from vibrant oranges, to yellows and deep reds.


Nasturtiums are edible, however in my garden I use them as a 'trap crop'. I plant them near other plants I know will likely have problems with Aphids later in the season. This plant will often attract aphids to in, and away from my other (food bearing) plants. When the plant has a sizable number of aphids on it, I pull the entire plant out and put it in my green waste bucket. An organic alternative to sprays for sure!


Just as with the sunflower, plant the nasturtium seed in any potting mix at twice the depth as the width of the longest side of seed. This is a great activity to do with a child. Have them pull out a ruler and measure the longest side. Then ask them to double that length. That is the depth that they should be planting at. Set out in a sunny area with lots of space to grow and water every 2-3 days.



(Pictured: Peach Melba Nasturtium)



Lastly I recommend the sweet pea. A beautiful climbing flower, this plant produces dozens of vibrant and fragrant flowers. Planted in the late fall or early spring, you can enjoy this flower before the temperature gets too hot.


When planting, first prep your seed by soaking it overnight in water. This is a great opportunity to talk with your child about how plants come from specific regions of the world. This flower is from Scotland, a region with more rainfall and cooler temperatures than my hometown of San Diego, CA. Because of that difference, the sweet pea needs more consistent moisture than the first two flowers mentioned above, and can only grow before temperatures get consistently over 80 degrees.


This flower comes in varieties ranging from a dark red to a light white with multi-colored edges. My personal favorite source of sweet peas is the famed Floret Flowers. However, they do sell out quickly so mark your calendars for their release dates!


To plant, measure the width of the seed with a ruler. Double the width and plant at that depth. Make sure to use rich and fresh potting soil and to give the plant both a trellis or guide to climb upwards, and deep enough soil for the plant to flourish. A pot, or garden bed with at least one and a half feet of grow space is sufficient. Water every two-three days. Make sure to consistently water after they're well established.


These are 'cut and come again' flowers. The more you cut, the more flowers it will produce as long as temperatures remain cool. Flowers not cut will turn to seed for next years garden.


(Pictured: Spring Sunshine Champagne Sweet Pea)

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