Indoor Gardening for the Elderly

Indoor Gardening for the Elderly



People living in big cities have a lot of different activities and amenities available. However, one thing which is notably missing is the chance to have a garden. Elderly people, in particular, enjoy a bit of gardening as a light, non-demanding activity which can have a therapeutic effect.

Home care professionals suggest that just because your senior lives in the city, that doesn’t mean that they cannot enjoy a bit of gardening. The relatively new trend of indoor gardening might be the right thing for them, and you can help them set everything up with very little cost and effort.


Potted Plants

The most basic and simplest way to enjoy having some greenery in your senior’s life is to get some potted plants. Chances are that they already have at least one of these and that they are taking good care of them. Potted plants are not just a good pastime activity, but they can really improve the atmosphere of a room, giving it some color.

What’s more, there are plants which can actually help with the quality of the air in the room, which is always a nice bonus. NASA conducted a study about various plants and their effects on air purity for their own purposes and found that a number of plants have different beneficial effects on the air quality. Caring for most potted plants is simple and non-demanding, as they only require an occasional watering and pruning, which can be done by anyone, be it the senior themselves or their caregiver.

If your senior is really dedicated to growing a veritable garden, you can help them pick the best plants for different rooms. For instance, plants which are resistant to excessive moisture will feel right at home in the bathroom, whereas those which enjoy plenty of sun can find their place on the windowsill.

Spices and Herbs

Not all plants need to have a decorative value in order to be grown indoors. For instance, a lot of people enjoy fresh herbs and buy them any time they can. They just taste better than the dried versions. Things like basil or thyme are very easy to grow in small pots and kept close at hand when needed.

What’s more, some plants can have a two-fold purpose – as a decorative plant and as a food addition, like rosemary. People who work with seniors are usually particularly fond of this kind of gardening as they are very pleasant-smelling and can be put to good use.

Vegetable Gardens

If your senior is ready for a bigger challenge than a few potted plants, they might enjoy having their own little vegetable garden. This kind of indoor gardening tends to be more purposeful, as there is an end goal, which is vegetables they can use for food, but it also requires more dedication and time.

First of all, this indoor garden will need to have a dedicated spot in their apartment, some place with plenty of sunlight to ensure that they will grow well. Your senior might need to get some specialized soil and some basic gardening equipment in order to properly care for these kinds of plants.

The simplest plants to start growing are peppers and cherry tomatoes as they require very little actual care except for some basic watering and fertilization. However, the yield can be quite abundant, so you may end up with a lot of cherry tomatoes and peppers in your diet.

Small Trees

The most advanced level of indoor gardening is growing small trees. There are specialized pots which are large enough and strong enough to contain the roots of trees. Some people prefer to start with palm trees as they seem to be the least demanding, but there are many options to choose from.

A particular favorite of many seniors are citrus trees, particularly lemons. These trees tend to remain small, under 6 feet in height, so they will never take up too much space, and having fresh lemons in the house is always a plus. The leaves of lemon trees also give off pleasant lemony smell, so the air will always smell fresh.

It is not only seniors who enjoy indoor gardening and anyone can take it up if they have enough time and dedication. There is something intrinsically soothing in caring for plants which can deal with the daily stress, so it is sometimes recommended by therapists as well.


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