Apartment Garden Blues (Blog): 5 "Hands-On" Plants for Touch Gardens

Sensory gardens (gardens with plants that appeal to the senses) are usually geared toward kids, but even adults like to reach out and feel an interesting-looking plant! Everyone loves a touch garden, so let's learn about 5 "hands-on" plants that you can include in your sensory garden.


Lamb's ear touch plant

1. Lamb's Ear. I've never felt an actual lamb's ear before, but I've touched the lamb's ear plant, and it's exactly what I expect a lamb's ear would feel like! The 'Silver Carpet' variety of Stachys byzantina is commonly grown for its big, soft silver-colored leaves.


Jerusalem Sage Touch Plant

2. Jerusalem Sage. This perennial yellow flower has thick, fuzzy leaves that store water. If Phlomis fruticosa's flowers are in bloom, look for bees before grabbing the Jerusalem sage plant!


Mexican Feather Grass Touch Plant

3. Mexican Feather Grass. The super thin blades of Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima) feel almost like hair.


Chenille Touch Plant

4. Chenille Plant. The chenille plant (Acalypha hispida) will draw you in with the sight of its long, brightly colored flowers that range from purple to bright red. The flowers can grow to 18 inches long and are fuzzy to the touch. This plant can even be grown indoors.


Sensitive Plant Moves to the Touch

5. Sensitive Plant. The sensitive plant is my favorite touch plant because it moves right in front of your eyes! Shake the plant or gently touch its leaves, and they will fold in on themselves. Why would a plant do this? During a hurricane, a plant with a lot of leaves might get seriously damaged. But if a plant can fold in its leaves and has less surface area, it is more likely to survive the storm!



Alexandra is a professional writer from Southern California who grows vegetables, herbs, lots of aloe vera and one giant Boston fern in her balcony garden. She also grows dracaena, pothos and English ivy indoors. She loves traveling and birdwatching in addition to gardening.

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