How Does Gardening Help With Depression? Benefits For Mental Health

physical activity

How Does Gardening Help With Depression? Gardening is increasingly being looked at as a way to reduce anxiety and depression, improve mental health, and promote overall wellbeing.

PowerPACPlus’s Summary

  • Gardening has many mental health benefits, and gardening can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • It is a great way to help reduce depression.
  • Starting a garden can be an exciting and rewarding experience.

Definition of depression? 

Depression is a complex mental disorder, characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities that an individual once found enjoyable. 

It affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves, leading to a variety of emotional and physical issues. It can sap energy, affect sleep patterns, and cause feelings of guilt or worthlessness. Additionally, it can lead to difficulty with concentration and decision-making. 

Depression is more than feeling sad for a prolonged period of time; it is an illness that requires professional help and treatment. 

Benefits of Gardening

Gardening has many mental health benefits, and gardening can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Using gardening as a therapeutic activity has been proven to boost one’s well-being and self-esteem. Researchers have found that being around plants and engaging in horticulture can even be more effective than medication 

As a gardener, you can sow the seeds of good mental health by spending time outdoors and working around plants. Gardening can also provide an opportunity to reflect on life, plan future goals and take pride in the progress that is made over time. 

Whether it is growing flowers or vegetables or fruit trees, gardening is an excellent way to improve mental health.

How Gardening Helps with Depression 

Physical Activity 

Gardening is a great way to help through physical activity. 

It can provide both physical and mental benefits. Spending time in nature and growing plants in healthcare settings has been found to reduce slightly less anxiety and improve mental health. 

Horticultural therapy, garden therapy, or ‘green care’ as it is sometimes called, is a form of physical activity that can help people manage their depression. It allows individuals to connect with the environment, giving them an opportunity to take part in activities that are enjoyable and calming. 

Gardening also has the potential to increase self-esteem by providing a sense of accomplishment when plants start to grow successfully. In addition, being outdoors provides exposure to natural light which can improve moods and promote relaxation.

physical activity

Exposure to Nature 

Gardening is a great way to help reduce depression. Exposure to nature, particularly green spaces, can have a positive effect on the brain and mind. 

Not only does gardening provide exercise, but it also offers real learning opportunities that can be used as therapy. 

Exposure to sunlight increases the production of serotonin and dopamine, two hormones that play an important role in regulating mood. Gardening also helps with mindfulness practices, which can reduce stress levels and cortisol production in the brain. 

According to Mayo Clinic, horticultural therapy is an effective treatment for depression because it combines physical activity with exposure to nature. 

Mindful gardening has been proven to boost mood and even increase cognitive functioning in the brain. Therefore, it is no surprise that gardening is one of the best ways to help improve depression symptoms and overall wellbeing.

exposure to nature


Gardening has many benefits, especially for those suffering from depression. 

Many studies have found that being around nature, such as when gardening, can reduce stress and improve moods. Additionally, the social aspect of gardening gives people an opportunity to meet new people and interact in a healthy way. 

Community gardens are a great way for individuals to get involved in socializing while enjoying their own interests in gardening. 

Gardening helps with depression through socialization by providing an activity that combines physical activity with emotional connections to others.

Tips for Starting a Garden

Starting a garden can be an exciting and rewarding experience. There are many tips you should keep in mind to ensure your garden is successful and enjoyable. 

  • First, decide what type of plants you want to grow – vegetables, herbs, flowers, etc. 
  • Then research the best planting times for these plants in your area. 
  • Next, make sure your soil is healthy by testing its pH levels and replenishing any nutrients it may be lacking. 
  • You’ll also need to consider how much sunlight the plants will receive each day and how much water they’ll need. 
  • Finally, choose the right tools for the job – shovels, trowels, pruning shears – to help maintain your garden throughout the growing season. 

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a beautiful and bountiful garden!

Thank you for reading this post, we hope you feel useful. If you have any questions or ideas please comment below or follow our website for more information about gardening such as Occupational Therapy Gardening DementiaGarden Therapy Evidence Based PracticeIs gardening a therapy? 


In a study conducted during pandemic home orders, participants who had houseplants experienced significantly fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than those who did not.

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