Indoor Gardening for Seniors

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American House Florida

For more information about the author, click to view their website: American House

Posted on

Jul 17, 2023

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Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties , Florida - Southwest

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Indoor Gardening for Seniors

If you’ve transitioned from a home with a sizeable yard and sprawling garden to an apartment or condo, you may be suffering from a mild case of the green thumb blues.

Relax. Downsizing doesn’t mean you have to give up growing your favorite veggies, herbs and flowers. In fact, indoor gardening allows horticulturalists to plant and harvest year-round!

Gardening has many benefits for older adults. It encourages the use of motor skills, improves endurance and strength, reduces stress levels and promotes relaxation…not to mention the opportunity to enjoy nutritious, home-grown produce!

Check Out 5 Benefits of Indoor Gardening and Get Growing!

Natural Air Purification 

Indoor gardens act as a natural air filter and can help rid your home of toxins. The bigger and leafier the plant, the better. The famous 1989 NASA experiment, found that indoor plants can scrub the air of cancer-causing volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene. Since then, other research has found that soil microorganisms in potted plants aid in cleaning indoor air.

Bonus: Indoor plants are also a natural humidifier. Spider plants are able to remove toxins like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from indoor air.

Ease of Maintenance

Vertical gardens, or “living walls,” are a relatively inexpensive, low-maintenance alternative to traditional garden plots. Forget about the painstaking process of pulling weeds or ridding your plot of pesky vermin. A little nutrient-rich soil, the right amount of light and water are the main ingredients for the perfect indoor oasis.

It’s now easier than ever to create your own indoor vertical garden with modular planting systems and hanging planters that require minimal assembly. Check out 9 Best Vertical Gardens for Indoor and Outdoor Planting and get started!

Accessible to All

Unlike traditional gardens, there’s no need to get down in the dirt with a living wall. An indoor vertical garden’s ease of access makes it attractive to both new gardeners and anyone who has difficulty with mobility. Using containers also makes maintenance easier, since problems like weeds, ground-dwelling pests and soilborne diseases basically become non-existent.

Liven Up Your Décor

Imagine a wall of beautiful, tropical plants on display in your living room. How about succulents or fresh herbs, 10 different shades of green, in your kitchen? Indoor gardens are as aesthetically pleasing as they are beneficial and practical. A lush green wall has the ability to make any space look beautiful!

Easy Fresh Vegetables

Enjoy home-grown, fresh herbs, veggies and flowers all year-round! Harvesting vertically also reduces bending to pick and find vegetables. In addition, growing a vertical garden will help keep the fruit and vegetables clean. Some crops that grow well in a vertical garden include tomatoes, cucumbers, pole beans, peas, melons, zucchini, grapes and more.

Consider starting your own indoor garden and give your new abode a unique look and feel.

Life at American House

Transitioning to senior living doesn’t have to mean giving up gardening. Many American House communities offer opportunities to dig in the dirt, either in your apartment or in outdoor gardens and patio spaces.

At American House, we offer maintenance-free living at its finest. Our charming communities feature spacious apartments with a variety of amenities and services. Residents enjoy chef-prepared meals, weekly housekeeping, salon and barber shop services, fitness centers and so much more. With locations across the Midwest, Southeast and New England, you’re sure to find the proper level of care and services to fit your needs.

We offer Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care* and Respite Care. 

Contact us to find out which American House community is right for you.

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Gardening for Cognitive Health

Healthy lifestyles are usually associated with physiological aspects, such as eating a proper diet and exercising. However, taking care of your cognitive health should also be a priority. The human brain is a powerful organ, and it can decline or thrive with your activities across a lifetime. To improve your cognitive health at any age, consider gardening as a resource. Indeed, this hobby has many health benefits.Breaking Down the Science of Cognitive Health and GardeningIn a world of technology, a simple garden pulls you into the real world. That heightened sense of reality through social media, images and videos can put anyone on edge, especially senior citizens and children.By starting a garden, there are no shortcuts to growing plants. They'll grow at their own pace. As a result, you appreciate the world around you. Without a doubt, the anticipation of waiting for a flower to bloom encourages you to learn more about plants and their growth cycles.Additionally, physically working in a garden improves cognitive health because of the ample oxygen. For example, plants take in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen. Because there's a concentrated amount of oxygen in any garden, your body will inhale it. Scientific data over the years has shown that increased oxygen intake improves brain functionality.Remarkably, gardening is also associated with higher serotonin levels. The body generates this feel-good hormone when it's exposed to a bacteria found in everyday soil called Mycobacterium vaccae. Scientists continue to research the relationship between good microbes and the human body. Currently, there's research being performed on commercial soils to generate better and larger crop volumes, such as work at Microbial Insights. By understanding the soil's elemental components and microbe communities, then food volumes can be controlled and improved for future cities.Understanding Gardening's Benefits for SeniorsMany seniors have limited mobility, which creates a sedentary lifestyle. As a result, blood flow to the brain isn't as rich as before. By starting a garden, seniors get moving. For example, they till the soil, add seeds to the ground and water the area. Although these actions aren't aerobic by nature, they're still movements that bring blood to the brain for cognitive health.Inevitably, challenges will arise. Seeds may not germinate, flowers succumb to disease and other issues may haunt the garden. These challenges are beneficial for seniors. For example, they encourage problem-solving techniques to bring the garden back to life. By making people think about their hobbies, their cognitive health improves.Simultaneously, seniors also learn about acceptance. Life is full of challenges that might be won or lost. Indeed, life is more about dealing with chaos than controlling it. With even the best tools on hand, gardens will have imperfections. Accepting the challenges and trying to do better allows seniors to accept some losses and celebrate those small victories.Starting Your GardenThe best way to start your garden is by beginning small. Purchase some potting soil and gardening pots, for instance. Make sure the pots have drainage holes, too. Carefully add soil and preferred seeds to the pots. Next, thoroughly water them. As a result, you have the beginning of a simple garden.Alternatively, consider purchasing seedlings so that you have an established plant at first. As the seedlings grow, you can repot them or add them to a backyard garden. Whether you start with seeds or seedlings, the gardening benefits can help the mind.Most importantly, always start with rich soil. Most potting soil brands come with the right mix of nutrients. Avoid tamping the soil down as you create a garden, too. Roots require air pockets to spread and absorb the gas elements.As seniors work with their desired plants, they'll find out that some like more water than others. For example, overwatering or underwatering creates yellow leaves in most plant species. Experimenting with watering levels will reduce stress on the plants and lead to vigorous growth.With retirement opening up many days of free time, seniors have a chance to truly take on a hobby and stick with it. Suggest gardening to your loved one today. Beginning with just a single potted plant can grow into a huge garden in the backyard.

7 Tips for Seniors to Create a Beautiful Patio Garden

Gardening is a great way for seniors to feel a sense of purpose, gain a renewed appreciation for nature, and grow something beautiful to enjoy. Its also a fantastic way to stay active. Not everyone has the space or ability to maintain a large garden, which is where patio gardening comes into play. With these seven tips, you can create a beautiful and manageable garden right on your own patio!Start small: If youre new to gardening, we suggest beginning with a small garden that is easy to manage. Choose a few plants that are low maintenance and require minimal effort, and grow from there.Use containers: One of the biggest advantages of patio gardening is the ability to maintain your plants in containers easily. This allows you to control the soil quality, water levels, and sunlight exposure for each plant. Plus, it makes it easier to move your plants around as needed for optimal growth. You can even get creative with your containers by using repurposed items like old buckets or teapots.Ensure proper drainage: Look for containers that are the right size for your plants and have adequate drainage holes to prevent overwatering or waterlogged soil, which can lead to root rot. Also, use a good-quality potting mix with good drainage properties.Choose the right plants: It's important to choose plants that are well-suited for container gardening and can thrive in the limited space and conditions of a patio. Look for plants that are labeled as "patio" or "container" varieties, and consider factors like sunlight, water needs, and temperature tolerance. Some great options include herbs, succulents, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and flowers like marigolds, petunias, and geraniums.Provide sufficient sunlight & water: Most plants require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Make sure your patio garden is located in a spot that receives adequate sunlight. Container plants dry out faster than plants in the ground, so youll need to check the soil regularly and water as needed to ensure your plants are moist but not waterlogged.Use the right tools: The best gardening tools for seniors offer lightweight materials, ergonomic shape or design, longer handles, and electric or automated features. These tools can help reduce strain on joints and muscles and make gardening enjoyable. If you need new tools, Amazon has a great list of senior-friendly gardening supplies!Ask for help: Don't hesitate to ask for help from friends or family members if needed. Gardening can be a fun social activity, and sharing the workload can make it more enjoyable. In fact, gardening is a favorite pastime for many residents at Resort Lifestyle Community. Here are a few recent highlights.Many of our communities love growing plants and nurturing friendships along the way. If this sounds like a lifestyle youd love, contact Stone River Retirement Community today. Wed enjoy the opportunity to welcome you!

8 INDOOR PLANTS THAT LOVE LIVING INSIDE YOUR APARTMENT

For active seniors on the move, the best indoor plants are the ones that require very little maintenance. The kinds of plants that can complement the dcor of any senior apartment, but wont lose their beauty if the resident decides to embark on a last-minute getaway. Whether you have a green thumb or brown thumb, these delightful indoor house plants will elevate your space without the burdens of constant care.Low-Maintenance Indoor Plants1.PothosStarting the list is the perfect starter for any apartment. The pothos is one of the most durable indoor plants you can find. They require very little water and can thrive in limited sunlight. However, they do grow best in partial sunlight next to a window. All types of pothos are vine plants with large deep-green leaves. Other types such as Devils Ivy Pothos have a mixture of light and dark green leaves, and some even bloom beautiful, colorful flowers. Whichever type you prefer, pothos lend an airy, flowy, green freshness to any room in your apartment.2. PhilodendronLike the pothos, the philodendron is perfect for hanging pots because of their long vines that can grow up to 10 feet. Also like the pothos, its among the most durable, low-light indoor plants that require little water. Philodendron are also very easy to prune and propagate (planting a new plant from the stem or leaf of a parent plant), so you can practically create a jungle of philodendron in your apartment.3. Snake PlantThe snake plant is a highly popular indoor plant for two reasons. Firstly, snake plants maintain their stiff posture and vibrancy even after weeks of neglect in low light. Secondly, snake plants are very efficient air purifiers making them an ideal plant for senior apartment homes.4. ZZ PlantThe Zamioculcas zamifolia, or ZZ plant, is a beautiful and hearty green plant thats said to symbolize prosperity. But what makes it one of the best indoor house plants is that its drought-tolerant and low-maintenance. Its thick stalks store lots of water, so much so that you only have to water it once or twice per month.Lots of Love PlantsFor those who want to cultivate a green thumb and dont mind putting in a bit of extra work, these are some of the best indoor plants that thrive with a little TLC.5. Peace LilyThe Peace Lily is the perfect plant for taking indoor greenery to the next level. It requires slightly more attention than other indoor plants, but can bloom beautiful results. It prefers constant moisture, but hates to be over- watered, and grows best in a bright but shady spot near a window. Its lovely white flowers do carry pollen, so it may not be for those with allergies.6. GardeniaThe delightfully potent gardenia can be frustrating to deal with due to its high maintenance nature. However, its vibrant white flowers and elegant shape are well worth the effort. Gardenias love being surrounded by bright light without sitting directly in it. Theyre also particular about their soil acidity, preferring soils with a lower pH level. Further, they thrive when soil is consistently moist, but their leaves will brown and wilt if directly exposed to water.7. Fiddle Leaf FigThe Fiddle Leaf Fig is native to the rainforests of central Africa. So, as you can imagine, they prefer a humid, warm, bright environment. Place them away from any vents or drafty areas and make sure they have plenty of direct sunlight. They also need frequent watering and misting to mimic their natural humid habitat.8. Moth OrchidWhile not the easiest plant to grow in an apartment, certain kinds of orchids can thrive indoors. The phalaenopsis, or Moth Orchid, is unlike other orchids in that it blooms year-round. It requires consistent moisture and tends to absorb water quickly, so youll need to monitor the il carefully. Orchids also prefer to be up against windows to maximize indirect light exposure. With proper care, theyre the perfect pop of color for any senior apartment.Honorable Mention: Simple SucculentsIf you love having house plants in your apartment dacor, but dont want the burden, succulents may be your best option. Theyre the easiest, most adorable indoor plants you can find. Their resilience and adaptability make them ideal for a senior apartment home whose owners like to be out and about. Theyre the ideal low-maintenance, long-living indoor plant that can elevate any rooms dacor. These are the trendiest succulents you can find today:Burros TailFlaming KatyJade PlantAloe VeraPincushion CactusDudleyaZwartkopHens-and-ChicksZebra Plant

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