Taking care of a garden is one of the best ways to keep seniors active and engaged, among many other benefits. But depending upon your climate, most of the outdoor gardening season lasts only through the warm months of spring and summer. Therefore, if the garden is indoor, it can yield plants anytime and can ensure enjoyment for seniors all year round.
What are the benefits of indoor gardens for seniors? Firstly, gardening has many benefits for seniors. But while gardening has its limitations due to the climate, by gardening indoors, plants can grow all year without worry of temperature changes or harsh conditions. In addition, indoor gardening requires less of a financial and time commitment. Besides, it allows seniors that are beginner gardeners to ease into the hobby.
So on this post I will talk about the main benefits of gardening for seniors and how to start an indoor gardening, including which plants to choose.
What are the Benefits of Gardening for Seniors?
1. By gardening, seniors can improve their immune system.
Gardening can be a little messy, with all the dirt involved. But as it turns out, this dirt won’t harm you, and it might actually benefit you. Further studies have shown that the bacteria that is found in garden soil (Mycobacterium vaccae) can improve your immune system, alleviating symptoms of allergies, asthma, psoriasis, and even depression.
2. Gardening relieves stress and anxiety in seniors.
Besides, studies stated that gardening can lower cortisol levels in your brain. To clarify, cortisol, also known as “the stress hormone”, is necessary for sustaining body functions. So when there’s too much cortisol, your blood pressure and glucose levels may fluctuate. Therefore, mental health benefits of gardening are extensive. Not only can regular gardening reduce mental health problems like depression and anxiety, but it can also reduce stress and blood pressure.
3. Gardening provides a great exercise, improving seniors overall physical fitness.
Furthermore, while gardening might not seem to be as vigorous a workout as swimming or riding a bike, it is a hearty physical activity. In addition, it’s been proven that even light exercise can help slow down the aging process. Besides, you’ll want to add some light stretching before or after spending time in the flower bed to avoid hand injuries common to gardeners, like tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
4. Gardening can improve seniors mood all around.
In addition, fresh air can do wonders for your mood and your health. So can sunshine. Therefore, the sun’s rays not only cause your body to produce vitamin D, but it also boosts the serotonin levels in your brain. That is to say, serotonin is a chemical that improves your mood and helps you feel calm and centered. So this is a big deal for individuals who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that occurs as the seasons change throughout the year.
5. Gardening may reduce the risk of dementia in seniors.
Moreover, a study shows that gardening may lower the risk for dementia by as much as 36% percent. Thus, this could be because gardening requires the use of many critical functions, including dexterity and sensory awareness. Therefore, by spending even a short amount of time gardening on a regular basis, seniors can maintain their motor skills and improve their endurance and strength.
In addition, indoor gardening is especially therapeutic for those that were already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. So it provides a sense of purpose to their day and working with nature is a nurturing experience.
6. An indoor garden can make your home more pleasant and beautiful.
Moreover, an indoor garden in full bloom can brighten up your home by bringing the beauty and fragrance of nature inside, so it can be really pleasing to the eyes and nose.
7. An indoor garden can provide all sort of organic food.
Additionally, food gardening can particularly be gratifying and an excellent source of fresh produce.
8. An indoor garden can provide fresh oxygen.
Besides, all these plants from the indoor garden can give off a ton of fresh, clean oxygen. Certainly, plants are one of the best ways to improve air quality. To clarify, they act as natural air filters, removing certain harmful chemicals from the air and providing fresh oxygen in return.
Indoor gardening has other benefices that need to be considered as well, despite of being be a fun, stress-free hobby.
Which plants to choose to start an indoor garden for seniors?
One of the simplest ways to start is by planting a bulb. They flower fairly quickly and make a perfect complement to dark, dreary, winter days.
Edible gardens are also a great indoor option as they are easy to grow and then enjoyed when added to a meal.
Cacti make wonderful houseplants as well as they do not require much care and live for a long time.
10 plants very easy to grow indoor:
- Spider Plant
- English Ivy
- Jade plant
- Rubber Tree
- Piece Lily
- Snake plant
- Areca Palm
10 edible plants to grow indoor:
- Heirloom Tomatoes
- String Beans
10 plants for cleaning indoor air:
- English Ivy
- Bamboo Palm
- Chinese Evergreen
- Gerbera Daisy
- Dragon Tree
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
- Pot Mum
- Peace Lily
- Spider Plant
- Mass Cane/Corn Plant
What do I need to start an indoor garden?
- A sunny, south-facing window or a grow light.
- A shallow container with drainage holes.
- An organic potting soil.
- Some seeds.
- Mister or watering can.
To sum up, starting an indoor garden is as simples as this and with all these benefits… then what are you waiting for?
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