There are so many reasons we love houseplants for interior design—they clean the air, bring green inside all year round and add color and visual interest to any décor. They are perfect for any room, but really shine in kids’ bedrooms, where they have the added benefit of being a science or craft project for the budding gardener. But not every houseplant will do for a child’s bedroom.
It’s important to get a houseplant that’s not toxic to humans or pets, and that’s easy to keep healthy. Here are 10 plants that fit that bill:
1. Ponytail Palm
Kids will love the wild, tropical tangle of the ponytail palm, the houseplant that seems always to be having a bad hair day. Even better, the ponytail palm isn’t a true palm at all, but a succulent native to Mexico and Central America. That means it requires little in the way of watering or other maintenance and is perfect for a child who wants to learn to care for his or her own plants.
2. Spider Plant
Another easy-to-grow houseplant with that wild look so many kids adore is the spider plant. It works great on a shelf or hanging near the ceiling so its trailing leaves can turn your child’s room into a jungle oasis.
3. Air Plants
Kids can’t get enough of these tiny Central and South American natives. True oddities of the plant word, air plants take in nutrients and water from their leaves and only use their root-like appendages to attach to their perches. They are easy enough to grow and display that even a grade-schooler can be put in charge of their maintenance.
4. Christmas Cactus
The succulent Christmas cactus adds some holiday color to your child’s room with its winter blooms. The rest of the year, it’s a low-maintenance houseplant with interesting evergreen foliage.
5. Carnivorous Plants
Carnivorous plants are a favorite for scientifically-minded kids interested in botanical curiosities and for those who just like the idea of keeping a green insect-eater as a pet. Venus flytraps are readily available and the easiest to care for of the meat-eating houseplants.
6. Hen and Chicks
The Latin name of this type of succulent (Sempervivum) means “live forever,” an accurate description of these low-growing rosettes that constantly regenerate through smaller, baby rosettes (the chicks) nestled around the mother plant (the hen). Hen and chicks come in all varieties of colors and patterns and are, like most succulents, low maintenance.
7. Boston Fern
Ferns add a lush green note to any interior design scheme, but many types of ferns are toxic to humans and pets, and so are not appropriate for a kid’s room. One exception is the popular Boston fern, which is a hardy houseplant perfectly safe for prominent display in your child’s room.
8. Prayer Plant
Prayer plants are low-maintenance houseplants with colorful and patterned leaves that look like something created by Pixar Studios rather than found in nature. At night, the plant’s leaves fold shut, as if in prayer.
9. Burro’s Tail
You don’t have to look twice to figure out how this cute sedum got its name. A typical succulent, burro’s tail (also called “donkey’s tail”) just needs a sunny spot and an occasional watering to thrive.
10. Swedish Ivy
Ivy grown as a houseplant, especially when allowed to trail down from a pot, is a great way to introduce swaths of greenery to any wall. But the ivy we’re most accustomed to seeing is English ivy, which is toxic to humans and pets. Replace that with Swedish ivy, equally attractive and easy to grow, and you’ll have the perfect vine for your child’s bedroom.
If your budding gardener is enjoying growing succulents in his or her room, consider learning together how to propagate succulents, an awesome botany experiment and craft project wrapped into one!