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Fun Plants for Kids

Eyeballs, brains, firecrackers and popcorn can help persuade the youngsters in your life to start gardening.

These plants add a bit of fun and possibly some gruesome beauty to any garden or container.

Just give the popcorn cassia (Senna didymobotrya) a gentle pet for a whiff of popcorn. Or sniff the flowers and the peanut butter fragrance will have you craving a PB and J.

The unique fruit of the balloon plant (Gomphocarpus physocarpus) will capture the attention of gardeners of all ages. This tropical member of the milkweed family can be grown as an annual in cold areas.

Include cuphea varieties like those known as firecracker plants (Cuphea ignea). The unique blooms blend nicely with other annuals and help attract hummingbirds as well as children to the garden.

Generate thoughts of Halloween with the eyeball plant (Spilanthes oleracea), some crested celosia (Celosia cristata) whose flowers resemble brains and a candy corn vine (Manettia luteorubra) with flowers named for that fall treat.  

A bit more information:  Now that you have the children excited about gardening, consider giving them a plot of their own. A few square feet in the garden or a couple large containers is all you need. Let them select the plants they want to grow and be responsible for their care. You’ll all enjoy the fun and lessons learned.

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