Plants and flowers are popular in school classrooms. Teachers like flowers and plants because they help brighten up a classroom, giving it more life and color. Additionally, plants form the basis of many science experiments. Children can learn much from observing the growth of plants and flowers. However, teachers should be sure that the plants and flowers they have in their classrooms are safe for children.
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African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) are a cheery addition to the classroom, with their fuzzy leaves and their small, brightly colored flowers. They're easy for students to grow. Each child just needs a single leaf to root in propagation mix. Two to four months later, the baby plants will be established.
With their long, green leaves, which vary in color from solid greens to stripes, spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are another good choice for the classroom. Spider plants fill a space with greenery, and they are also quite easy to grow. They also flourish in light or shade, and can go several days without watering.
Spider plants are also a safe choice for students to grow. Healthy parent plants produce "babies" that children can plant. The babies are hardy as well and do not require rooting in water before being planted in cups.
Begonias (Semperflorens cultorum) are another colorful plant choice that is good for the school classroom. Begonias have beautiful flowers and richly colored, vibrant leaves. Spider plants thrive in most light conditions and they do not require daily watering. There are hundreds of varieties of begonias available, so your choices are almost unlimited.
Don't overlook herbs when looking for classroom plant ideas. Many herbs provide a variety of interesting leaf and plant structures to entice students. Herbs are safe for the classroom; in fact, most herbs are used in cooking and food preparation.
Basil, chives, rosemary and oregano are some ideas to consider. You may want to start a small herb garden inside or outside the classroom. Students can enjoy learning about the individual herbs and harvesting them for use.
The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) fascinates children and adults alike. It is a carnivorous plant, devouring insects and spiders that get too close. However, the Venus flytrap is safe for humans, and will not attempt to capture or digest human parts that approach it.
Students will be fascinated by observing the Venus flytrap. It is trickier to grow than many houseplants; however, it requires an environment similar to its natural habitat, which is found in nitrogen-poor bogs and wetlands.