Indoor gardening can make you happier and more mindful – Here’s how to get started

Want to feel happier, more creative, less stressed and more connected? Buy a houseplant.

The National Gardening Association has reported that more than a third of American homes have houseplants, which is unsurprising given the abundance of research extolling the benefits of houseplants for health and well-being. -to be. (Here are 10 low-maintenance houseplants you only have to water once a month.)

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Feel free to put a fern in the bathroom, lavender on the kitchen windowsill or a philodendron on the bedside table. You may notice the following benefits:

A better mood: Are indoor plants synonymous with happiness? Researchers seem to think so. Several studies have shown a link between indoor plants and improved mood. In paperthe researchers found that those who spent time in a room with a plant rated themselves as more confident and energetic than those who spent time in spaces without plants.

Less stress: Research Posted in Preventive medecine found that placing a plant in a hospital room reduced feelings of stress. If a potted plant can have that kind of impact in a high-stress environment like a hospital, imagine the feelings of calm it could create at home. (You can also treat yourself to these 15 fun, stress-relieving gifts.)

Enhanced creativity: A potted plant could be the key to getting out of a creative rut. Researchers at the University of Exeter found that creativity increased by 45% in spaces with plants. Go ahead and add a potted plant to your art studio, sewing room, or home office.

Improved comfort: Indoor plants do more than make your home look better; they also make you feel better when you are at home. Research shows that indoor plants improve indoor air quality by reducing air pollutants, increasing humidity levels, removing allergens and improving indoor acoustics.

When it comes to growing happiness in a houseplant, you aren’t limited to growing leafy plants in terracotta pots. Health and wellness benefits come from nurturing living things, so feel free to get creative and choose plants that match your aesthetic and lifestyle.

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Consider creating a small freshwater garden. Choose floating or submersible plants and a waterproof container, such as a terrarium pot or an aquarium. For multiple levels of interest, mix submerged plants like waterweed and eelgrass, which can be submerged in water from their roots to their tips, with emergent plants, which like their roots submerged and their foliage overhead. waterline (arrowhead and snowflake are good options), and floats, which drift on the surface. Duckweed and water chestnuts are popular floats.

A fairy garden is a whimsical way to tend to plants indoors. You can add fairies, houses, furniture, animals, plants, and rocks in myriad combinations. Choose a container (e.g. clay pots, tea cups, glass jars, birdbaths and picnic baskets), choose plants and accessories, and start creating a miniature world . The only limits are the size of your container and your imagination.

You may want to create an Asian-inspired Zen garden. The most classic designs are made of sand or gravel to represent the ripples of water. Like the tide, the arrangement of the sand is meant to change; pulling a miniature rake through the sand changes its pattern and helps create a sense of calm, hence the name “zen garden”.

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Some Zen gardens also contain succulents or trimmed bonsai. You can find miniature versions at your local garden center. Get creative with placement – ​​a single plant in a strip of sand has minimalist appeal. Remember that succulents and bonsai need plenty of light to thrive, so it’s important to place your garden in a sunny location.

Remember that adding a plant means that the Zen garden will need light and water to survive.

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Cultivate mindfulness

Caring for indoor plants also has benefits.

Scientists have discovered a soil microbe called Mycobacterium vaccae which is considered a natural antidepressant. You breathe in M. vaccae while working in the soil – through activities such as repotting houseplants or cutting dead leaves – and this triggers the release of the feel-good hormone serotonin, an ingredient in antidepressants.

Besides the increase in serotonin that comes from working in the soil, caring for indoor plants also promotes mindfulness. You need to be in tune with the plant, recognizing when it needs more (or less) water or light, when it has outgrown its current pot, or when it is unhealthy for others. reasons.

Plants also grow and change with the seasons, producing tender new shoots, flowering in spring and dormant in winter. (Be sure to follow these 7 simple steps to overwinter your outdoor garden.) Indoor plants have distinct needs at each stage of growth, such as more nutrients and water in spring and summer and resting in winter, and each has distinct needs. care requirements. For houseplants to thrive, you need to listen to and meet their specific needs.

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Growing indoor plants also promotes awareness of the interconnectedness of all living things. Plants play an important role in the ecosystem, absorbing carbon dioxide from the environment and releasing oxygen, thereby purifying the air you breathe.

Perhaps the most compelling reason behind the benefits they provide is that plants give meaning to their lives. Without your care and attention, houseplants will perish. It can be empowering to take responsibility for a living thing that depends on you.

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Whether you choose lush potted plants, fragrant herbs for your kitchen windowsill, or creative alternatives like water gardens, growing plants indoors offers benefits for your mind, body, and Your spirit.

The article “Indoor gardening for mindfulnesswas originally published on Fix.com.

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