In recent years, indoor gardens have gained popularity. They’re much easier to maintain than large outdoor gardens, so they appeal to young people with busy lifestyles.
But indoor gardens are also useful for older adults. Seniors who have mobility issues may find it easier to take care of plants in the comfort of their own home and can experience many benefits from being surrounded by greenery. Plants can purify their indoor air, reduce their stress and anxiety, and even improve their memory and concentration.
If you want to find out more about these benefits and learn how to set up a garden in a small indoor space, then keep reading.
Plants Purify Indoor Air
Did you know that plants can clean the air? Studies have shown that plants can remove some of the potentially harmful chemicals that are found in household products, like benzene and formaldehyde, from indoor air. They do this by absorbing the toxins through pores on the surface of their leaves.
Certain plants are particularly good at purifying the air, including snake plants, spider plants, and peace lilies. If seniors keep a few of these potted plants in their homes, they won’t have to invest in expensive air purifiers.
Indoor Gardens Are Accessible
It can be hard for seniors who use wheelchairs or walkers to get out into the backyard. If their yard doesn’t have even, level pathways, it may be inaccessible to them.
But that doesn’t mean that they can’t garden. Seniors can keep their plants indoors instead of on a table or counter that’s easy to reach. That way they can enjoy all the benefits of gardening without any of the accessibility issues.
Houseplants Are Easy To Care For
Caring for houseplants can be easier and more enjoyable for seniors than tending an outdoor garden. Outdoor gardens require lots of weeding, watering, and maintenance. Performing those tasks on especially hot or cold days can be physically taxing, especially for older adults. Seniors are prone to heat stress and hypothermia, so keeping plants indoors may be better for their health.
Houseplants are also easier to keep alive because most of the aspects of their growing environment can be controlled, including temperature. Outdoor plants can get damaged by extremely hot or cold weather, which isn’t an issue indoors.
With that being said, some houseplants are harder to care for than others, so seniors should still choose their plants wisely. Inexperienced gardeners should stay away from plants like orchids and gardenias, which are known for being finicky. Succulents and peace lilies are better choices for new gardeners.
Gardening is Relaxing and Rewarding
Studies have shown that caring for plants can help lower stress, anxiety, and blood pressure, which isn’t a surprising finding. The simple, repetitive tasks involved in taking care of plants like trimming and watering can be calming and almost meditative. Tending to plants can help seniors slow down, quiet their thoughts, and connect with nature.
Nurturing a plant and watching it grow as a result of their efforts can also be incredibly rewarding for seniors. When they look at the beautiful flowers on their begonias, they’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that they helped create them.
Indoor Gardens Are Perfect for Apartments
Many older adults live in apartments or have small backyards that aren’t big enough to accommodate a garden. Indoor gardens are a great alternative that will still give seniors plenty of space to grow flowers, herbs, and produce.
Seniors can place most of their flowers, vegetables, and houseplants on a table near a bright window or on a windowsill. The only exception is herbs—being placed too close to a drafty window can cause them to wilt. Kitchen counters are a better spot for them.
Seniors can even grow fruit like strawberries and tomatoes in their apartments to reduce their grocery bills. Fruit plants require a little extra care and some grow lights, but they’re a fun project for more experienced gardeners.
Plants Improve Memory and Concentration
One of the biggest benefits seniors can experience from having an indoor garden is improved memory and concentration.
Several studies have shown that being around plants can improve memory. Researchers at the University of Michigan discovered that walking through a park, or even just looking at photos of nature, can improve memory and attention span by twenty percent. It stands to reason that admiring houseplants would have a similar effect.
Another recent study showed that spending time in a garden can improve memory retrieval in people with advanced dementia. Indoor gardens may be a useful holistic treatment for seniors who are experiencing memory loss.
Having an indoor garden can really improve a senior’s quality of life. If you have an older loved one, consider buying them a plant or two to help them get their garden started.