Last week when my grandchildren were here spending the day with me, a small little lavender watering can with a silver ring around the top caught my granddaughters eye. It actually had been the vase in a floral arrangement my husband had sent me.
Of course she liked it very much, I mean what little girl wouldn’t have! And what did grandma do? Of course I gave it to her! Her next request was to decorate it with a silver marker.
As she decorated it with her silver marker, she began talking about how she wanted a plant. She tried to talk me out of a basil plant I had just purchased, but I remained strong and held on to my basil plant. After all I needed fresh basil for a recipe!
I did tell her that the next time she came over we would get her a plant. I began talking with her about how you care for plants. After she went home, lavender watering can in tow, I thought more about getting her a plant and decided to create a plant care sheet for her.
Maggie just turned 6, so I wanted this form to focus only on the basics of what plants require to stay healthy and what she would need to do to care for her plant.
The days went by and soon it was time for the grandkids to come and spend the day with me again. True to my word, off we went to purchase a plant for Maggie and one for her brother, Jacob.
We went to Lowes and each of them picked out a brightly colored pot and a golden pothos. I steered them to these plants because they are hardy and easy to care for.
Once home, the kids were anxious to put their plants in their new pots. I took the opportunity as we worked to teach about plants and how to care for them.
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1. We mixed some potting soil in a bucket with water and they placed some of the soil in the bottom of their pots. I showed them how to gently loosen the plant roots before placing it into it’s new pot and filing in all around with the newly mixed potting soil.
2. I explained to the kids how most house plants are killed by over watering and how they could check their plants to see if they needed water by sticking their fingers into the soil and feeling to see if the soil was still wet at the depth of their small fingers. We walked around the house and checked my house plants to see if they were ready to be watered.
3. I went one step further to help them with knowing when to water their plant. I have never had any type of soil moisture meter, but I did purchase one for the kids. Because of their ages, I thought a visual gauge would be helpful.
I found for them a “Greenscapes Water Check”. With this particular gauge, it is inserted into the soil between the plant and the edge of the pot and you then water the plant. There is an indicator strip in the gauge that is white and after you water it, it turns to green. So we watered our plants and watched the gauge slowly turn to green. Then I explained to the kids that as the soil dries out the gauge will slowly turn back to white and when it is all white again it is time to water your plant.
4. I encouraged the kids to always double check the gauge by checking the soil with their finger. We also talked about how much heavier the pot feels when it is wet versus when it dries out. And they each lifted their pot to see how heavy it was.
5. We talked about their house and the best place for them to place their new plants so they would receive the sun light they need. We decided the kitchen table would be the best place at their house.
6. Last, we reviewed the plant care sheets that I had made for them. First it explains that plants need soil, sun, air and water to grow and be healthy. Then we went over the section where they document each day if the plant received sunlight and when it was watered.Want to pass on your love of #houseplants to your kids? Start with these plant care printables. #plants #garden Click To Tweet
The kids happily headed home with their new plants and plant care sheets!
Do you have any young budding gardeners at your house? Try these plant care sheets to help get them started. And take the opportunity to provide some teaching about plant needs and how to care for them.
Most of all, have fun with your little ones while you inspire them to have a love of gardening and plants!
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