Kids are curious by nature and love to explore but sometimes the environment does not cooperate. A perfect activity that kids will love to do when the winter winds blow is to grow their very own houseplants from produce.
Pineapples belong to the Bromeliad family, which can be found in the Caribbean. This plant is a slow grower and takes 2 to 3 years before a flower stalk will form. This is an important step because without a flower stalk fruit will not form.
To start a pineapple houseplant, gather together a pot, rooting medium such as perlite, vermiculite, or sand, knife and a pineapple. Once the equipment has been gathered, cut the pineapple top down leaving ½ inch of the fruit attached. Remove the rind of the pineapple down to the core along with the lower two rows of leaves. Let the top set out for 2 to 3 days before moving on to the next step. During this drying period, the pineapple core dries preventing the core from rotting.
After the drying period has passed, place one of the rooting mediums in a pot and place the dried top into the medium until the base of the leaves is reached. Water the rooting medium in and place in a room that receives bright, indirect sunlight. Keep the rooting medium moist but not soggy and wait 6 to 8 weeks before moving on to the next step.
Once the rooting period has passed, remove the pineapple top from the rooting medium and check for roots. If roots have formed, place the top into another pot that is filled with a light, well-drained soil. Return the top to the same room it was in before and allow it to remain there for 2 to 3 weeks. During this time period, monitor the moisture level of the soil and do not let it dry out.
After the 2 to 3 week period, place the pineapple top on a sunny windowsill and water as needed. Fertilize the pineapple plant twice a month during the spring and summer months and only once a month the remainder of the year.
To force the pineapple to flower, simply place a 2 to 3 year old pineapple plant in a plastic bag along with an apple. Tie the bag off and let it set for 3 to 4 days. Once this time period has passed, remove from the bag and wait 2 to 3 months. This is how long it takes for the flower stalk to form.
The next time the family is enjoying some guacamole do not throw out the pit. It can be turned into a beautiful houseplant.
The procedure is simple. Just cut the avocado and remove the pit. Wash the pit off and stick three toothpicks around the pointy upper third of the pit. Fill a glass of water and place the pit on top of the glass with the toothpicks resting on the rim of the glass. Make sure that only a small portion of the pit sticks above the water. Let the pit rest for five days. After the five days have passed, move the pit and glass to a sunny window. Once roots and leaves begin to appear, move the pit to a pot filled with an all-purpose potting soil and water once a week.
Sweet potatoes make quick and easy houseplants. To start the project, examine the sweet potatoes available and pick one that does not have any soft spots. Then get the remaining supplies needed for the project together. This includes a clear but decorative wide-mouth container, and toothpicks. Push three toothpicks through the middle of the sweet potato leaving some of the toothpicks sticking out. Fill the decorative container with water and place the sweet potato into the water while allowing the toothpicks to rest on the rim. Place in a location that receives indirect sunlight.
The vine of the sweet potato grows very quickly so expect to see roots and leaves in about two weeks. Once leaves begin to appear move to a sunny location. In about three weeks, remove the sweet potato vine from the water. Mix up a homemade potting soil mixture of 50 percent sand and 50 percent all-purpose potting soil. Fill a decorative pot with this homemade potting soil mixture and make a well in the soil. Place the whole sweet potato in this well and cover completely making sure to leave the foliage uncovered. Water the sweet potato vine once a week and place on a sunny windowsill.
The projects listed above will help address that natural curiosity that all children have and who knows maybe it can even stimulate an interest in gardening.