A very wise – albeit apparently unknown – person once said, “Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years.” Ah, music to senior’s ears.
Providing a sense of purpose and focus while inspiring creativity is just part of the magic that makes gardening for seniors the perfect pastime. Gardening’s real superpower is reducing stress and enhancing physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. And in further good news, if your idea of gardening projects for seniors involves climate control, you’re in luck. Whether your garden grows indoors or outdoors, you will reap equal benefits. That Mother Nature is a crafty one.
You may be looking to cultivate a few indoor pots to brighten up your new active adult apartment or envision a more elaborate array of indoor greenery. Either way, gardening ideas for seniors abound.
Here are a few tips to get this indoor garden party started.
- Before embarking upon your indoor garden, you will need to decide on location. Do you have a sunny windowsill? If not, place a plant stand or a side table near the window that gets substantial light.
- Keep all walkways clear and make sure your plant stands or tables will support the weight of the plants.
- Make the most of your available space with hanging plants or plants that can live happily ever after on a mantle or bookshelf.
You will need some basic tools to get started. Keep in mind, newer ergonomic hand tools are designed to reduce stress on the hand and wrist.
- Small watering can
- A mixture of potting soil appropriate for your chosen plants
- Gardening gloves
- Plants, seeds or bulbs
- Pruning shears
- Small handheld shovel
Your indoor garden's success will pivot on selecting the right plants for your environment. Remember, those dramatic flowering plants you love need full sun. They will not thrive in your shady kitchen, but there are plenty of other fun options that will.
For full sun:
- Tropical Hibiscus will yield large showy blooms.
- Succulents and cacti like the sun but need very little water so maintenance is easy. Display a single plant in a small pot, or fill a large, shallow container with multiple plants. These hardy specimens do best with their own special potting mix. You can also cover the surface with grit or sand.
- African violets are low maintenance and bloom almost constantly. Put them near a sunny window and water only when the soil is dry.
- When it comes to easy gardening for seniors, mint plants check all the boxes. They are super easy to grow and will flourish indoors. Plus, once the plant is growing, you can snip a few leaves and garnish afternoon tea.
- Snake plants like bright sun but will thrive in indirect or low light.
- Spider plants appreciate bright to moderate indirect sunlight. These are great plants to hang or put on a shelf.
- Philodendrons will grow in low light but be careful to water only once a week.
- Dieffenbachia and ferns will also do well in low light.
Think Outside the Plant Box
Always a popular gardening idea for seniors: Terrariums. Instead of planting in pots, try creating an artistic collection in a terrarium. All you need is a glass container, sand or decorative rocks, some charcoal, a few small plants and a little imagination.
Talk about the perfect accessory for your new apartment in the Overture active adult community of your choice. Once you join a welcoming community of like-minded garden enthusiasts, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your plants – and your new friendships – bloom.