By Rachel Harveland
Becker County Master Gardener Intern
I have a around 20 houseplants in our home and I’ve noticed that when children visit, they always gravitate towards them. They look around at the different plants, feel their leaves, and usually ask me why I have so many. It’s the perfect opportunity to tell them why I love my plants and what they can do for us like cleansing our air, adding to the aesthetic of our home, and bringing lots of joy. Children are innately drawn to plants and nature which makes houseplants a perfect way for them to be closer to nature year-round while also teaching them how to care for another living thing—a skill that will inevitably carry with them throughout their lives.
When my 7-year-old stepson wanted his own houseplant, I was excited! We didn’t know if he’d enjoy caring for it but thought we’d give it a try and helped him pick out a plant that was easy to care for. He chose a small, bright neon green pothos that now resides in his bedroom on his toy shelf. He even helped me repot the plant into a terra cotta pot he picked out. His favorite thing to do lately is play video games so I was surprised at his interest in this plant. He would eagerly pause his game to check on his plant if we reminded him of it and he’s had fun watching it grow and learning how to care for it over the past 8 months.