10 foolproof plants for kids to grow this summer

We have always encouraged our kids to love the outdoors, and one way to get kids interested is by letting them grow a small garden of their own. Whether they want to grow flowers, vegetables or fruits — kids love playing in the dirt!

My favorite Bird & Garden Magazine, Birds & Blooms , just put out a top 10 list of plants for kids to grow this summer, so I had to share. We have grown many of the plants on this list, over the years. Purple Coneflowers and Shasta Daisies are two of our favorites, but every plants on the list truly is foolproof for children, or adults, who may not have the greenest of thumbs. You could even get all fancy and build a raised garden bed for each of your kids to plant in!

I alway say that I can grow any plant that thrives on neglect — these will do it!

10 foolproof plants for kids to grow this summer

10 foolproof plants for kids to grow this summer

(1.) Shasta Daisies (2.) Milkweed (3.) Nasturtuims (4.) Petunias (5.) Elephant’s Ear (6.) Sunflowers (7.) Hens and Chicks (8.) Zinnias (9.) Purple Coneflowers (10.) Lamb’s Ear

Elephant’s ear – Photo by Jeevan Jose/ CC BY

About the Author

Henrietta Newman is a self-loving empty-nester into smudging, nature, yoga, fitness, healthy living, hunting, camping, hiking, tech, video games, gadgets, recipes, reviews and more.
With a love for the outdoors and visiting local attractions in and around NW PA and Lake Erie, you never know what you'll find in my nest! Subscribe to A Hen's Nest so you don't miss the fun!



  1. 1

    Great list of foolproof plants! We have brown thumbs here..except for basil. We can keep that alive!

  2. 3

    My two LOVE to grow things. Sadly their mom has the blackest thumb of all time, so hopefully they don’t inherit that from me!

  3. 4

    My grandmother used to have a pot of Hens and Chicks. Thank you for the post- it jogged my memory! I need to plant some of those with my kids. :)

  4. 5

    We like to get packets of wildflowers. Red likes to pick them, so those work best for us, and grow naturally!

  5. 7

    I have Hens and Chicks but I don’t like how they are such surface rooters. My kids can pull them out way too easily. Dandelion weeds are also kid proof. I swear they multiple when my kids pick them!!

  6. 8

    We actually have a planting playdate tomorrow! I love the names of some of these plants, perfect for kids!

  7. 9

    I have the complete opposite of a green thumb, so I am glad to know that there are some plants that should still make it. My kids would love to plant a garden and I will be sure to give a few of these a try!

  8. 10

    Screw kids, this list is useful to me! I have a black thumb!

  9. 12

    I love this list. We did Snapdragons last year, but they were NOT easy to keep going (they died). I’m hoping they come back up this year (squirrels have been all over their resting spot so we’ll see). It’s nice to see a list of things that ARE easy for the kiddos!

    • 13

      I cannot get snapdragons to grow either, so don’t feel bad! I should have added Tiger Lilies and hostas to the list as 11 and 12 because I have awesome luck with them as well. Good luck with your snaps this year!

  10. 14

    This is a great list! My daughter is helping in our veggie garden, and also has some flowers (pansies and marigold) that she is responsible for caring for. I’m going to add more color to our garden, and these would be beautiful and foolproof choices!

    • 15

      Aww, that is wonderful! I always enjoyed gardening with my kids when they were small, too. Pansies are one of my favorite Spring flowers, sometimes they will even reseed themselves and come back the following year! happy gardening!

  11. 16

    I have a vegetable garden and this year my toddler wants to “help.” I bought him a toy wheelbarrow last week, and while I garden, he picks up sticks. I’ve bought some plants for him to help tend to, and I’m excited to have him outside with me!

  12. 17

    Thanks for sharing this list. I am trying to learn more about plants. Good to know which ones are hard to kill!

  13. 18

    This is a great list. We have a few of the plants you mentioned already. My 6-year old loves to garden, she helps me around the yard, she has since she was old enough to walk.

  14. 20

    I think that’s such a great list. I love the coneflowers because they’ll bring the butterflies too. :)

  15. 22

    Awesome ideas. Great plants to get the gardening bug going for kids

  16. 23

    I would love to plant some flowers with my boys. They would love it!!

  17. 24

    I love hen and chicks. Mainly because it is hard to kill them since they are succulents. My kids have no interest in gardening :-(

  18. 25

    I’m trying to get my son into helping me with gardening this weekend. He seems very excited every time I asked him to water the flowers.

  19. 26

    I love the hens and chicks. I haven’t heard of them before, they look beautiful!

  20. 27

    I wouldn’t mind a pot of daisies on my balcony! Especially if they are easy for kids to grow… then I definitely could :)

  21. 28

    That’s a terrific list! Great not only for kids, but adults with less then green thumbs too!

  22. 29

    How fantastic! I need something that’s kid foolproof and I think I found a few great plants to start out with. LOL
    I have the worst luck with growing things and actually keeping them alive!

  23. 30

    Wow! I never thought that these flowers are very easy to grow! Any child would surely be happy to see how there fruit of labor blooms when the right time comes. I’d surely share this with my mom friends. :)

  24. 31

    This is a great idea. My kids love planting things, but it doesn’t always work out so well. I could use some easy to grow ideas.

  25. 32

    I need foolproof plants for myself!! I plan on planting some with the kids this summer!

  26. 33

    I definitely needed this list! The kids love gardening and our flowers did horribly last year! I will give some of these a try!

  27. 34

    Thank you for this list! I do NOT have a green thumb, so we need some plants that will live L:)

  28. 35

    We have elephant ears beside our front stoop, and our 3 year old loves them! He is amazed at the size they get and always has to check on them when we are leaving our house.

  29. 36

    This is great. Kids can learn so much from gardening. We will have to try some of these.

  30. 37

    We just finished planting our first garden! We are doing some herbs, strawberries and tomatoes.

  31. 38

    I need to show these to my daughter. She really wants to plant some things so these would be great for her.

  32. 39

    What an awesome list!! I may have to go pick a couple up as a gift for Summer :)

  33. 40

    I can never grow anything in my yard! I should try some of these foolproof ideas…for MOMS! ;)

  34. 41

    Great tips! And what a great way to cultivate the love for nature from childhood on.

  35. 42

    These are what I need to grow then. I’m the worst gardener ever. Right now I hope what I have planted will grow. We’ll soon find out!

  36. 43

    I found lambs ear growing by the road one year. My girl and I walked over and dug it up and planted it in our bed. It looks so pretty now!

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