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Grow Edible Flowers with Kids: Fun and Flavors in the Garden

grow edible flowers with kids

Nurturing Young Gardeners: Grow Edible Flowers with Kids


Gardening isn't just for grown-ups; it's a fantastic adventure that kids can embark on too! And what better way to ignite their green thumbs than by introducing them to the world of edible flowers? In this guide, we'll explore the wonders of growing and enjoying snapdragons, bachelor buttons, violas, nasturtium, and marigolds—five delightful flowers that are not only easy to grow but also add a burst of color and flavor to your child's world.


Getting Started: What Kids Need


Before we dive into the specifics of each flower, let's equip our young gardeners with the essentials. Gardening is a hands-on experience, so let your kids roll up their sleeves and get a little messy.


Here's what they'll need:


  1. Seeds: Start with high-quality seeds for each flower. You can find these in this article, at local nurseries or garden centers (Psst! Opt for organic whenever possible!).

  2. Soil: Choose a well-draining potting mix suitable for flowers. Make sure it's lightweight and fertile.

  3. Containers: Small pots or containers are perfect for individual flowers. Let your kids choose colorful containers to add a personal touch.

  4. Watering Can: A small watering can makes it easy for kids to water their plants without making a mess.

  5. Sunshine: Most edible flowers love the sun, so find a sunny spot for their mini garden.





Meet the Stars: Snapdragons, Bachelor Buttons, Violas, Nasturtium, and Marigolds!


Even grownups love the magic of watching colorful flowers come to life in the garden or windowsill. Imagine the joy of then being able to eat them on top of a slice of cake or add them to an omelette!?


If you're just getting started helping kids grow edible flowers, there are five flowers that should be your first to grow! Snapdragons, Bachelor Buttons, Violas, Nasturtium, and Marigolds are easy-to-grow favorites in every garden - not just edible ones. In addition to learning about how to grow each of these varieties, I'm sharing with you my recommended varieties to share with kids today. The links will take you to my favorite edible flowers one can find.


Variety of wildflowers in a meadow pollinator garden

Edible Superstar #1 - Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus).

Snapdragons are not just captivating to look at; they're also a fun interactive experience for kids. The name comes from the unique dragon-shaped blooms that snap when squeezed.




Here's how to cultivate snapdragons with your young gardener:


  • Planting: Sow the seeds in early spring, spacing them a few inches apart. Keep the soil consistently moist.

  • Care: Snapdragons are hardy and forgiving. Encourage your kids to water them regularly and watch as these vibrant blooms emerge. Since you plan to eat them, no not use pesticides or chemicals on your flowers that you would not eat. Fortunately, snapdragons are not prone to pests!

  • Harvest and Storage: Snapdragons can be eaten at any stage of their blossom development. Simply grasp the blossom firmly and pull the bloom off of the stem. Rinse with cold water - and enjoy! These can be stored in a cool fridge for up to 5 days. Simply store them in an airtight container with a paper towel inside to absorb extra moisture and keep them crisp longer.

  • Taste: The flowers have a mild, slightly sweet taste with a gentle crunch and fun texture. Kids can enjoy them fresh or add them to salads or sandwiches for a touch of whimsy and color.


Buying Snapdragons


As with all edible flower purchases, it's important to purchase from reputable companies that use health-conscious practices when growing and harvesting their seeds. I always choose organic seeds that are non-GMO certified to start with. These companies charge slightly more for their seeds, but I'm confident that my family is not eating harmful chemicals that are known to cause health issues.

Our family frequently buys from High Mowing Organic Seeds, a family-owned seed company based in Vermont. After countless purchase from this reputable seed company, we come back time and time again thanks to their quality seeds, high germination rate, and the quality of their plants. Read more about the High Mowing story here and see why I'm such a fan!

grow edible flowers with kids snapdragons

I recommend Lion's Mouth Blend Snapdragon from High Mowing Organic. The color variety checks all the boxes, and the grow tall and hardy each season. They reseed themselves each fall, bringing them back year after year for your family.


Kids will have a blast making rainbow rows of edible treats out of these beautiful blossoms.





Edible Superstar #2 - Bachelor Buttons (Centaurea cyanus).


Bachelor buttons, also known as cornflowers, are a breeze to grow and offer a stunning hue to the garden. These blossoms sit proudly on top if sturdy stocks, and dance when the wind blows. I commonly add these flowers to cut flower vases; they are an all-around great flower to have in the garden. AND you can eat the blossoms!


Let's explore how to cultivate these beauties:

  • Planting: Sow the seeds directly into the soil in spring or early summer according to planting instructions on your seed packet. They thrive in well-drained soil. Fortunately, they reseed themselves and will come back year after year.

  • Care: Bachelor buttons are low-maintenance and grow in USDA hardiness zones 1 - 11 with ease. Your young gardener will enjoy watching them bloom with minimal effort.

  • Harvest and Storage: A simply snip with a scissors make these really fun for kids to harvest. The blossoms are easy to cut off; rinse them in cold water and set them on a towel to dry. Store for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I add a paper towel to the container to absorb extra moisture.

  • Taste: The petals have a subtle clove-like flavor. Add them to desserts, on top of milkshakes, or mixed into salads for a delightful mild yet sweet twist.


Buying Bachelor Buttons 


Again,I prefer to choose organic seeds that are non-GMO certified.

grow edible flowers with kids bachelor button

Although I've grown these flowers from a few sellers, my favorite variety is High Mowing Organic's Polka Dot Bachelor Button blend (shown here). It's the perfect combination of colors for all kids - pinks, whites, purples and blues. They reseed themselves each fall, bringing them back year after year for your family.


These are a favorite among our kids! It's always a treat for them to show their friends and cousins that they can eat them straight from the garden. Their friends are amazed.


Edible Superstar # 3 - Violas and Pansies.


Kids of all ages grow violas and pansies because they are SO easy to grow from seed! When my daughter was in kindergarten, she brought me home a hand-painted pot with a budding viola growing in it from seed. The teacher knew that these were so easy to grow and had 5-year-olds experience the wonder!

grow edible flowers with kids viola

With their charming and colorful blooms, violas are perfect for introducing kids to edible flowers.


Here's how to get started:

  • Planting: Violas and pansies don't mind cooler temperatures, so sow the seeds in early spring or late summer. Keep the soil consistently moist. They love sunlight, so be sure to give them plenty of sun.

  • Care: These flowers are resilient and pretty "hands off" once they're established. Teach your kids the importance of regular watering, and they'll be rewarded with a profusion of colorful blooms.

  • Harvest and Storage: There's no need to wait for these flowers to get big; they can be enjoyed at any blossom size. Simply pinch off the blooms or snip them with a scissors. Rinse them in cool water and enjoy! Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  • Taste: Violas have a mild, slightly sweet wintergreen flavor. They make a lovely addition to desserts or as a garnish for soups. They can also be enjoyed straight from the garden!


Buying Violas (and their close relative, pansies) 


If you're not familiar with Territorial Seed Company, I'd like to introduce them to you! They are in Oregon (like me) and are a reputable seed company that we are proud to call "local."


Territorial Seed's Nature Antique Shades (Viola x wittrockiana) are simply gorgeous! These pink, peach, mauve, and red violas are show-stoppers and entirely edible. They are very tolerant of both hot and cool environments, making them resilient and great for growing with kids.


We purchased the smallest pack available (50 seeds) three years ago and are STILL enjoying these edible flowers! A little goes a long way - and the kids enjoy them year after year.


Edible Superstar # 4 - Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus).


Nasturtiums are not just captivating to look at; they're also a flavorful addition to salads and other dishes. Their vines are fun to watch grow, and they're even more fun to harvest! These are favorites among pollinators, too, like bees and hummingbirds.


Here's how to cultivate nasturtiums with your young gardener:


  • Planting: Sow the seeds directly into the soil in late spring. These are quick growers, with only 60 days to maturity! Nasturtiums thrive in well-drained soil. Some seeds require a "nicking" by using a nail file on the hard outer shell to expose the tender inner seed before planting; see seed packets for specific guidance. (Adults should help with this part.)

  • Care: Nasturtiums are known for their resilience and ease of growth. They have a vining growth habit and benefit from something to climb up (like a small kid-friendly trellis or a branch). Encourage your kids to water them regularly and watch as these vibrant blooms emerge.

  • Harvest and Storage: Nasturtium can be eaten at any stage of their blossom development. Simply grasp the blossom firmly and pull the bloom off of the stem. Rinse with cold water - and enjoy! These can be stored in a cool fridge for up to 5 days. Simply store them in an airtight container with a paper towel inside to absorb extra moisture and keep them crisp longer.

  • Taste: Almost every part of the nasturtium is edible - leaves, pods, and flowers! The flowers have a peppery flavor, similar to arugula, making them a unique addition to salads, sandwiches, or as a garnish.

Buying Nasturtium Seeds  

grow edible flowers with kids nasturtium flowers red yellow orange

A great organic option is the Nasturtium Blend from High Mowing Organic Seeds. This stunning mix includes crimson, rose, yellow and orange blossoms on viney trailing plants. The flat lilypad-like leaves are edible, too! The slightly peppery flavor reminds me of arugula or watercress. It's a great addition to any salad or with cheese.


There are countless other nasturtium varieties available to try! Again, I recommend starting with an organic non-GMO variety whenever possible.


flash sale on one year garden planner bundle


Edible Superstar #5 - Marigolds (Tagetes spp.)  


Last but certainly not least are marigolds - the classic flower from gardens across the world. They're so famous they're even featured in centuries' old nursery rhymes:

orange marigolds edible flowers with kids

Inch work, inch worm

Measuring the marigolds

You and your arithmetic

You're bound to grow old.


Marigolds are not only simple to grow - they are deliciously edible! They have a slightly spicy citrus flavor that goes great with countless dishes.


free edible flower word search for kids printable

Marigolds, with their warm hues, are not just pretty; they also have a place in the world of edible flowers.


Here's how to cultivate marigolds with your young gardener:


  • Planting: Sow the seeds in spring after the last frost. Marigolds thrive in well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight.

  • Care: These hardy flowers require minimal care. Encourage your kids to deadhead spent blooms for prolonged flowering.

  • Harvest and Storage: Marigolds have lots of little folds in their blossoms. Be sure to rinse them well in cool water and let them drip-dry onto a towel. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. I always add a dry paper towel to the container to absorb extra moisture.


  • Taste: Marigold petals have a slightly citrusy flavor. They can be used to infuse honey or add a unique touch to rice dishes.


Buying Marigolds


Territorial Seeds does not disappoint with their marigolds, especially their Bonanza Marigold Mix of yellow, golden-red, and bicolor blossoms.


marigold variety grow edible flowers with kids

These beauties bloom all summer and are so easy to harvest and enjoy in salads or other dishes. We mix a batch of marigold sugar each summer with the fresh citrusy petals, and enjoy it sprinkled on cinnamon toast.


Delicious!



Flower-Growing Kids Make The World a Better Place


What are some other edible flowers you've grown with kids? Please share on Instagram @planterboxgarden or in the comments below.



Check out other great reads on raising the next generation of gardening lovers and nature kids!


30 ideas for rasing nature loving kids


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