Potted Plants Boost Mood Best

While this winter’s weather may be rapidly shifting between periods of snow, rain and ice, the season is long from over and many people, especially older adults, may be feeling a little cooped up, even a bit depressed.  For those not lucky enough to have a trip planned somewhere warm and sunny this year, indoor plants may be just what the doctor ordered to boost mood and encourage creativity. 

Besides helping to clean the indoor air we breathe by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, leafy green plants have been linked with an elevation in mood and improved creative thinking. According to NASA research, houseplants can remove up to 87 percent of air toxins within a 24 hour period.  And looking at greenery helps people feel more relaxed and calm, reduces stress levels and improves concentration. 

For the bedroom, look for plants that release oxygen at night such as orchids, succulents, snake plants or bromeliads. Moisture-loving plants like mosses and air plants will thrive in bathrooms. Plants such as ferns, succulents, ivy or cacti are easy to care for and make good gifts for older adults living in retirement or assisted living communities.  Caring for plants, and watching them bloom and thrive can be very rewarding for seniors who may not be able to garden outdoors any longer.  

An indoor herb garden can improve mood with scents like basil or rosemary that taste as wonderful as they smell.  Geraniums which have a mild scent and bright colorful blooms give a home a peaceful and relaxed feel.  And peace lily is known to help remove mold from the air, acting as a natural and elegant air purifier.  Plants also release moisture vapor, improving the humidly of a room and lowering the risk for respiratory problems and dry skin. 

And if all that wasn’t enough, patients in hospital hospital rooms with plants have been found to require less pain medication, have lower blood pressure and heart rates and experience less anxiety and fatigue than patients without plants in their rooms.   Learn more about what plants purify and oxygenate indoor air best by following this link to the Lung Institute blog, Exhale.