What would be an appropriate hearty flower for a home craft/activity in April for kids?
I’m hoping to offer a take-home craft/activity kit in April where kids will get small flower pots and a few flower seeds to plant at home. However, I know nothing about flowers or gardening in general. I didn’t want to buy seeds and accidentally introduce a plant that is bad for Maine. In general, if I can buy the seed at a local retailer, is it safe to plant in Maine? Are there better types of flowers for this sort of activity (i.e., easy to grow, hearty, can survive in a small pot)? Any advice or insight would be very appreciated!
Tori Jackson, Extension Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources
This sounds like a wonderful activity. There are many annual flowers that will grow well in Maine without posing any risk to the environment. Thank you for being so mindful of this possibility. I find that sunflowers are a good species for projects involving small children. The seeds are relatively large and the flowers are fun and showy. They will survive for several weeks on a small pot, but will need to be transplanted outside once the threat of frost has passed. My only hesitation would be starting them in April. This would likely be too early to get them transplanted before they get too big and “leggy”. Marigolds are another great option. The seeds are smaller, but they can stay in a small pot longer. If April is set in stone, you’d probably be better off with marigolds. There are many varieties sold by local seed companies, so you should have no trouble sourcing them now.
You may find some tips in our Bulletin #2751, Starting Seeds at Home.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information.