5 Easy Flowers for Kids to Grow

Flowers for kids - young girl inspecting a big yellow sunflower bloom.
My Garden Life
March 13, 2023
Table of Contents

Growing flowers from seed with kids is a great way to lure them outdoors and get them interested in gardening.

Kids love any opportunity to get their hands in the dirt, and growing their own flowers gives them a vital opportunity to learn how to take responsibility. It’s so satisfying to see how proud they are as their prized plants flourish.

If you choose plants that appeal to pollinators, it’s also a great chance for your kids to learn about the importance of wildlife for food production and the environment.

Tips for Growing Flowers for Kids

Choose plants that are easy to grow – some flower seeds require specific conditions such as a period of cold to germinate, and even then it’s not always successful. Choosing seeds that are easy to grow reduces the risk that your kids will be disappointed (and it’s also less hassle for you).

Choose plants that are non-toxic and safe to handle –  it is important to avoid any plants that can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.

Choose edible flowers for an extra layer of fun! Kids are sure to love the novelty of eating flowers, and a few tossed on a leafy salad might be added incentive to eat their veggies.

Flowers for kids - blue ceramic bowl with lettuce salad topped with nasturtium and borage flowers.

Start with small plants – this is a great way for kids to get their hands dirty without the pressure of having to look after a large plant. Small plants also tend to be more forgiving if they don’t get watered as often as they should, or have other minor mishaps.

Choose large seeds if you have young children who are still working on their fine motor skills, flowers that have large seeds are easier to handle, letting them get more involved in the sowing process. Gardening is a great way for younger children to practice fine motor skills, so let your kids get as hands-on as possible.

Flowers for kids - child planting pea seeds into peat pots on a rustic outdoor work table.

Choose plants that will flower for a long time so they can be enjoyed and cared for throughout the summer.

Choose plants that you can collect the seeds from at the end of the flowering season, or that can become ‘live’ bird feeders, another great opportunity to teach your kids about lifecycles and pollination.

Choose flowers that will happily grow in containers to give your kids ownership of a specific plant. This will encourage them to take responsibility for watering and give them a sense of pride when it flourishes. 

Encourage your children to water the plants regularly and if possible provide them with their own tools for gardening. This will give them a better understanding of how to best take care of the plants as well as the tools involved in gardening.

Flowers for kids - young girl in a red summer dress using a bright orange watering can to water marigolds and petunia in a flower garden.

Encourage kids to keep a journal – this is a great way for them to learn about the plants and how they respond to different conditions. It’s also a fun activity that will help them remember what worked and what didn’t as they continue their journey with flowers.

Save the memories in pictures – take photos of your child planting seeds or in the garden or, if they’re old enough, turn them loose with a camera so they can photograph their favorite flowers or try a little nature photography. Looking at your flower photos in the winter will get everyone excited about planning for next spring.

Flowers for kids - young girl holding a camera taking a photo of marigold flowers.

Routinely check for pests – bugs, diseases and pests can all affect the health of your plants. Regularly check for any signs of damage or infestation so you can take action quickly if needed.

Celebrate successes – when kids successfully grow something it’s a great feeling, so make sure to celebrate their successes even if it’s just a single flower! This will encourage them to keep up the good work. 

Finally – have fun! Growing flowers is a great way to help kids connect with nature, and it’s also an enjoyable activity that can open their eyes to the rewards of gardening. Enjoying the process together will make it more likely that they’ll continue to engage with plants in the future.

Flowers for kids - a young boy on a sunny day having fun spraying water into the air from a garden hose.

5 Easy Flowers for Kids to Grow

All the flowers on this list, except the daisies, are annuals, which means they’ll die at the first frost. Some are self-seeding, which means you’ll likely see them start popping up again next year. 

Sunflowers

The quintessential summer flower, sunflowers come in all shapes and sizes, are loved by pollinators, and are easy to grow. With their proud, cheerful flower heads and delicious seeds, they’re the perfect flower to grow with your kids.

If you’re low on space, there are many dwarf varieties of sunflower that will happily grow in small spaces, including containers. Growing in containers and starting them indoors can also discourage slugs from eating the young growth.

At the end of summer, when your sunflowers start fading, you can either collect the seeds or leave them for the birds and squirrels to nibble on. If left, sunflowers can drop the seeds, so you may get a few sunflower surprises next year too.

Flowers for kids - a smiling girl holding a small sunflower plant with a golden yellow bloom.

Nasturtiums

With their playful round leaves and bright bell-shaped red, orange and yellow flowers, nasturtiums are an easy and colorful summer flower to grow with children. They have huge, round seeds making them easy to plant, and they thrive off neglect, actually preferring poor-quality soil. The flowers also edible, and make a great addition to a summer salad.

If you’re growing tomatoes or other vegetables with your children, nasturtiums make a great companion plant because they ward away pests, such as blackflies.

Flowers for kids - close up of bright gold and orange nasturtium flowers.

Daisies

Who doesn’t love a daisy? Daisies (Leucanthemum species) can provide hours of fun, from picking the prettiest blooms to display in your home, to making daisy chains, or attracting birds and pollinators to your yard. Daisies are perennial plants, so your child can enjoy the results of their labor for years to come. Daisies are available in different heights so you should find many options when choosing a variety suitable for your landscape.

Flowers for kids - close up of Shasta daisy 'Becky' flowers in the garden.

Cosmos

Cosmos are classic cottage garden flowers that thrive in all kinds of conditions. With their fluffy green foliage and big bright blooms, cosmos add stunning pops of color to any yard. They’re also loved by butterflies, so why not add butterfly spotting to your list of summer activities?

There’s a huge number of cosmos varieties available in all sorts of colors, so make going to the store to pick out your seeds part of the fun.

Although very low maintenance and easy to grow, here’s a cosmos top tip: when your cosmos seedlings have just started to sprout their second layer of true leaves, you can pinch off the top to encourage bushier growth and more flowers.

Cosmos are annual flowers however they can reseed themselves. If you allow the flowers to go to seed and scatter naturally you may see seedlings emerging the following spring. 

Flowers for kids - young girl looking at a large clump of pink and white cosmos flowers in a garden.

Marigolds

Marigolds are another plant that will add happy bursts of color to your yard. Incredibly easy to grow from seed, marigolds have attractive feathery foliage and fluffy golden flower heads that’ll cheer you up all summer long.

There are lots of different types of marigolds, including the French marigold and their larger relative, the African marigold. Calendulas, which are also known as pot marigolds even though they aren’t actually the same genus as marigolds, are also edible and easy to grow.

Marigolds make great companion plants for tomatoes and other vegetables as they can deter pests.

Flowers for kids - a toddler boy with a plastic wheelbarrow carrying a large pot of marigold flowers.

Ready to spend some quality time planting flowers with your kids? 

Start by taking your children to the store where they can pick out their own seed packets. Set up a little planting station to plant your seeds into starter pots or directly into the ground. Make sure to keep your seeds watered as they sprout, and the seedlings get established. When your plants are big enough, repot them to a larger container or plant in the ground. Before moving your young plants, be sure to prepare them for outdoor conditions by hardening them off.   Finally, enjoy their beautiful blooms all summer long.

Flowers for kids - a mom and her daughter on a sunny day planting flowers in a garden with a green wheelbarrow in the background.

Starting seeds indoors is a great way to get an early start on spring and grow lights are the perfect solution for raising healthy seedlings. See our Grow Light Guidelines for tips on getting seeds started indoors.

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