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Teacher needs help with houseplants!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by J. Edward Barr on September 24, 2004 10:32 PM
I'm teaching kindergarten and it's that time of year when we start to focus on plants and their roots. But I'm having a hard time finding the appropriate plant to use in the class. I purchased some of the clear plant gel so that the kids can see through the glass planter and see the roots. At least that's what I'm hoping!

So, I need a plant that:
Is Non-Toxic
Can grow somewhat quickly
Not need to be repotted for a long time
Can survive in a flourescent lighting situation
And finally, has an easily identifiable root structure.

I've been told that a prayer plant would meet these conditions, but that might be bad advice. Do you folks have any ideas?
by afgreyparrot on September 24, 2004 11:15 PM
Sounds like a good plant for it! I have a zillion prayer plants. I don't think you can kill them! [Big Grin] Got a few in a basket from the florist a few ears ago for my birthday, separated them and the more you separate, the more and bigger they get!

So glad to know they teach stuff about growing plants in school these days! Wasn't sure what was happening there, since I've been out for quite awhile! [Big Grin] My grandson is in kindergarten and I pick him up every day to watch until my daughter gets off work. He's my gardening buddy for SURE! Every day he asks what we're going to do today in the garden! Yesterday when I picked him up I had our shovels in my truck, and we stopped on a country road to dig up wild flowers to plant by the pond when we got home. I gave my daughter some irises last year, and she asked me, "How do I plant them?", and Brennan said, "Don't worry, mommy. I'll show you!"

Thanks for being a teacher! [kissies]
And, welcome to the forum!
Very nice to meet you!


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Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by weezie13 on September 25, 2004 03:38 AM
J. Edward Barr,
I know Marigolds' are very easy to start...
Our kindergarten class used them..
They root unbelievable easy....

and so do Radishes????
And they sprout really quick...

Ageratums are good too, and they can root along the stems so no matter how high those wee~ones pile the dirt on the "stem", they'll keep rooting up the stem... *Little white hairs*
(*And so do tomato plants....)

I think the Coleus rooted pretty easy for me, and are low light too!

Hope this helps some...

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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by J. Edward Barr on September 26, 2004 09:42 PM
Thanks, this is very helpful!
by Ruishi Nanki on September 27, 2004 02:37 AM
Hi! I'm a "kid" myself and I have a little brother who just was in kindergarten...
I remember that we used lima beans...I suggest you get them from a proper plant store because some of ours never sprouted...a bit dead...due to that our teacher used the cooking kind...hope my info helps...^_< [thumb] [tongue] [teacher] [wayey]
by rue anemone on October 03, 2004 04:47 PM
Here is an idea for you to use next year to help save money on the plant gel.

Plant seeds in regular potting soil, in clear plastic cups wrapped in a paper towel. Plant the seed close to the side of the cup.

The paper towel allows the roots to develop naturally in darkness withoout sunlight. The towel can then be removed when it is time to reveal the roots.

We had a whole theme around Johny Appleseed. We painted with the apples cut lentghwise(to show the shape of the apple)and also crosswise (to show the star). I would carve an apple head. We saved the seeds wrapped them in a wet paper towel and put them in the frezer for a few weeks. Then we would plant the stratified seeds.

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by rue anemone on October 03, 2004 04:52 PM
I just remembered something else we did. Carved pumpkins,saved the seeds and let them dry. Some I would wash and the rest I took home and roasted. The kids would have the seeds at one of their snacks.

We were able to keep both the pumpkin and trees in the class room all year. The pumkin would even bloom!!

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by rue anemone on October 03, 2004 05:12 PM
LOL I just thought of something else. We had an old aquarium with a lid that snapped on. I planted it out like a mini rain forest.

I put a plastic lizard in the terrerium. Every day I would move it around. The kids were so cute trying to figure out if it was real or not. They had all kinds of ideas of why they never saw it move, what it was eating, etc. When a ladybug or fly was caught we would put it in the terrerium. They even showed their parents their class pet!

The kids would ask me is it real? My answer to their questions; "Now what do you think?", "Have you seen it eating?", and "Let me know if you actually see it move."

Yes I did finally did tell them that it was plastic and that I was moving it around. The ones that finally figured it out felt very good about being able to reason it out and crack the mystery. All had a very good laugh at how I had teased them.

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