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Easy-to-Grow Plants for Seniors

House plants offer a variety of therapeutic benefits and can be an ideal hobby for aging adults. Whether it’s a flower, cactus, herb, or other greenery, indoor plants enable seniors to stay active while bringing splashes of nature and joy into their home. Indoor plants also reduce stress by inducing comfortable, soothing, and natural feelings and moods.

If you decide to add a plant or two inside your senior’s home, choose varieties that are suited for indoor living and require minimal care.

Health and Mood Benefits of Indoor Plants for Seniors

Indoor plants offer older adults many important health and wellness benefits such as:
  • Air Purification
    Plants recycle carbon dioxide into fresh air and remove common air toxins and indoor pollutants. Houseplants can absorb harmful air toxins associated with tobacco, cleaning products, and furnishings. Good air quality is important to maintain optimum health.
  • Dust and Allergens Reduction
    Common houseplants help reduce dust that irritates eyes and airways, causing dry eyes, headaches, or even respiratory problems such as asthma. Studies report that plant-filled rooms contain up to 60% fewer airborne molds and bacteria than those without plants.
  • Mood Booster
    Indoor plants are an easy way to bring life and color into a room. The simple act of watering plants can foster relaxation, while scents from plants help reduce tension and anxiety. For seniors who are housebound, caring for a plant may alleviate depression and loneliness. Some research indicates plants also provide companionship for those who enjoy talking and singing to their plants.

Which Plants Are Best in a Senior’s Home?

A variety of indoor plants are available for the home that offer varying benefits and decorative beauty. The following indoor plants, categorized by their functionality, can help you choose the ones that best serve your senior.

Low Maintenance (Starters)
For older adults new to caring for indoor plants, succulents can be a great option because they don’t require a lot of watering. They also grow in dry air and warm temperatures common in senior homes. According to Better Homes & Gardens, the easiest succulents to grow include:

  • Burro’s Tail
  • Jade Plant
  • Aloe Vera
  • Snake Plant

Succulents emit oxygen all night while removing toxins from the air. Placing some in the bedroom can help improve breathing for a better night’s sleep. Seniors can gain confidence in caring for these low maintenance plants before introducing new ones into the home.

Mood Enhancers
Fragrant indoor plants can add a scent to a room that serves as a mood enhancer for aging adults who spend many hours in the home. The sweet smells of indoor plants are especially appreciated during winter months when venturing outdoors is limited. Here are some popular fragranced plants to consider adding to your senior’s home:

  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Jasmine

Health Maintenance
Plants can offer health benefits by clearing the air and making it safer to breathe. Among these are:

  • Boston Fern
  • Peace Lilly
  • The Ficus (aka the Rubber Plant)
  • English Ivy

Aging adults can also care for household plants while maintaining a garden. Sometimes, plants are started indoors and then planted outside. And, flowering plants in an outdoor garden can be cut to bring the beauty indoors.

Caring for house plants is one of many ways seniors can live green. Older adults who practice green living can help the environment while fostering a positive impact on their personal health and well-being for years to come.

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