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Social Distancing Boredom-Buster for Kids: Grow Plants from Cuttings!

Social Distancing Boredom-Buster for Kids: Grow Plants from Cuttings!

Need a “Fresh” Idea for Busting Boredom?

With many of us “trapped” at home with kids during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re having to increasingly rely upon creative ways of keeping little ones engaged. While some may be reluctant to venture out for an unnecessary visit to Home Depot, Lowe’s, or a nursery to purchase plants or seeds, there are ways to get kids involved with growing things without need for a store visit.

One Idea is to Grow Plants From Cuttings!

There are many plants in the typical home landscape that can be reproduced via cuttings. There’s no need to spend money (which is in short supply these days for us all), and no need to go into public to get plants. Granted, growing from cuttings is slow, especially when measured in “kid time.” If there’s one thing we’ll all have this spring and summer of social isolation, however, it’s…time.

Succulents are Easy!

Get started by checking out the Good Housekeeping article, “5 of the Easiest Houseplants to Grow From Cuttings.” Jade is listed as a houseplant that easily grows roots from cuttings. But honestly, it is easy to encourage the leaf or stem section of almost ANY succulent to send out roots and become its own plant. Just a few succulent leaves planted in good soil and kept moist will eventually become their own little plants. It’s a fun, free activity for kids.

The Good Housekeeping Article Also Suggests a Few Other Easily-Rooted Common Houseplants:

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/a20707710/growing-houseplants-from-cuttings/

Ask Your Neighbors!

Text a neighbor and ask permission to grab small cuttings from plants growing in his or her yard. 

Does your neighbor have a pretty purple Wandering Jew growing in the flower bed? They grow very easily from cuttings. Ask to take a few two-inch pieces; your neighbor will never miss it, since this ground cover is so prolific. 

How about Confederate Jasmine? Does your neighbor have some climbing a flag pole or fence post? That one takes a little longer to root, but it’s a beautiful vine/ground cover for Mississippi homes and may be grown from cuttings (a little rooting hormone, if you happen to have it among your gardening supplies, might speed things along). 

How about some Rosemary, or other easily-rooted kitchen herbs? The photo above shows a little spring of Rosemary taken from a larger plant; this tiny cutting eventually became a new plant that went on to thrive and provide seasonings for many dishes!

Ask neighbors what’s in their flower beds, then research online to find out whether or not it can be grown easily from cuttings. There’s no reason to make contact with your neighbors to do this…once you have permission, wave at them through the window and make sure they know they are welcome to steal cuttings from your landscape as well.

Best of luck in laying down new roots!

About The Author

Kara Bachman

Kara Bachman is a Managing Editor for Parents & Kids. She's also a book editor, former newspaper reporter, and is author of the humor essay collection, "Kissing the Crisis," which deals with the zanier aspects of parenting, relationships and turning 40. She's read her work on NPR radio and over 1,500 items have appeared in dozens of literary and commercial publications, including The Writer, The Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Nola.com, Dogster, Mississippi Magazine, American Fitness and many more. She's a New Orleans native, but lived for over a dozen years on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including during 2005 when her house was flooded by Hurricane Katrina. She's a mom to two teenagers.

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