The Impacts of Gardening and Plants on Healing and Recovery – 2024 Guide

While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic did little favors to anyone, it did one good thing to many people – it turned them towards nature and gardening. While there were no social gatherings, many had encounters with plants and their gardens. You wouldn’t believe how many people went and bought a shovel or some other tool before the lockdowns started. Preparation is always the key. Those who thought in advance already had the fruits of their labor eaten or are watching them from a window. Working with plants and getting involved in gardening is one extremely healthy hobby. In this article, we are going to talk about the impacts of gardening and plants on healing and recovery. You’ll be surprised upon seeing the connection between them.

Strength, Sleep, and Healthy Weight

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According to the CDC, gardening is defined as exercise. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says so, you must agree, and it is great hearing this. Many things involving gardening are a light exercise in their core. But, if you dig into it more in-depth, you’ll find heavy players such as shoveling, drilling, or chopping wood. These exercises are no joke, and they’re good for our body and mind. Working a whole day in the garden is a great way to involve almost all the muscles in our bodies. Work in our backyard can surpass any form of working out. The benefits go even more profound as working in a garden is connected to weight loss, fighting obesity in children, and most of all, improving our strength. If this is not the way you’d like to lose weight, you can always check out what The Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado has in store for you.


Our cognitive functions improve when we workout. This is a known fact confirmed by many doctors. So, as we said, gardening can be considered an exercise, and thus, our brain cells will be preserved more in terms of memory and cognitive skills. It is even recommended for people who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. For people who are already in foster homes, this is a must-have activity and is a standard part of any cognitive therapy. Planting fruits and vegetables and working around them showed as the right way of growing the patient’s nerves, which are associated with memory. When people are practicing gardening as a therapy for dementia, it is called horticultural therapy. It proved itself as an effective therapy for people with this type of mental condition. In some European countries such as Norway and the Netherlands, people with dementia or Alzheimer’s are often included in various Greencare programs which focus on working in gardens and farms.

Plants Boost Our Mood

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Working with plants in a garden or simply being surrounded by them is a great way to have your mood boosted and self-esteem improved. This is something that people take for granted as they don’t think of the positive effect that plants can have on anxiety and depression. Spending time in a garden is great for lowering the impact of both of these conditions. People with depression are those who should look for the help of nature and focus on participating in gardening as much as they can. Mental health and conditions such as depression are found to be mitigated by focusing on gardening chores and being surrounded by live plants. The conditions that surround depression improve while doing this. You’ll love to hear that when you improve your state by doing this, the effects last for months, which is impressive.

Plants Help Surgical Patients Recover Faster

Not all plant and gardening benefits are closely tied to the outdoors. There are even more significant benefits if the plants are located inside, especially inside a hospital room. The effect that plants can have on patients who are recovering from surgery are vast and were scientifically proven. You should know that people who spend their recovery inside the rooms with plenty of plants recover faster. They also reported that they felt satisfied during the process, and they felt optimistic about the outcome. According to some who recovered in a room with plants, it also helped them with pain control.

Helps With Addiction

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As we said, horticultural therapy is a great way to face recovery. It is also helpful with many forms of addiction. It is no wonder things are like this, as this way of healing has been around for a while now, and we’re talking centuries. People who are, for example, facing alcohol addiction are the ones who can reap the benefits of plan healing. It was recorded that they meet their issue with more positivity and more positive outcome if faced with horticultural therapy. Plants are a fantastic tool for all people who are looking for addiction rehabilitation. According to more modern studies, people who choose this therapy over some other available that do not include facing plants or gardening recovered faster from any issues they might have had. This is all that you could look for out of therapy.

Features of Healing Gardens

Of course, if you are thrilled with what can plants and gardening do for you, you must be wondering if you can combine these two things to make a peaceful area of your own. What needs to be the focus of every healing garden is green vegetation, flowers, and it would be good if there could be some water. It is not about artificial sculptures or inanimate objects. Nature is the best healer. Some forms of the abstract are should also be avoided as they’re perceived as unfavorable by most people who need recovery. This is why it is essential to rely solely on the greenery and colorfulness of plants as a path to recovery. Another critical aspect of recovery gardens should be the location. You want it out of the way of too much city noise and other sounds that could disturb the peace.