More Than Pretty Flowers: Why Gardening Is Great For Your Health

When you think of gardening, several things may come to mind -- being outside, brightly colored flowers, and vegetables, to name a few. While there are some obvious reasons why gardening is a great hobby, there's a lot more to uncover with this health-promoting hobby that makes it a worthwhile pursuit.

More Nutritious Food

Adobe Stock Pinkyone person holding fresh vegetables from garden dirt soil on handsPin
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Pinkyone.

With greater distances between stores and farms, most produce is picked before it's ripe. This means it doesn't have as much time to fully develop those important vitamins and minerals we need to consume. Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs allows you to have fresh and organic produce packed with essential nutrients. Most gardeners find that their home-grown fruits and vegetables also taste better, so they crave these healthy foods more. Gardening is a great way to promote a healthier and more nutritious lifestyle.

Cost Savings

Adobe Stock Kaspars Grinvalds woman with glasses piggy bank groceries money housePin
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Kaspars Grinvalds.

Buying fresh produce from the grocery store can get expensive quickly, especially if you're buying organic foods. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be a great way to save money on your monthly grocery bill. Many of the most common produce items are easy to grow, so even a novice gardener can be successful.

Physical Exercise

Adobe Stock Valerii Honcharuk woman kneeling in garden flowers plants toolsPin
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Valerii.

Whether you're growing nutritious foods or beautiful flowers, gardening takes some work. Gardening is a great option if you're not a fan of going to the gym or want some diversity in your daily exercise. You'll find yourself bending over, squatting, lifting, stretching, and a number of other healthy motions to keep your body active and strong. Plus, you'll have a beautiful result from all your hard work.

Stress Relief

Adobe Stock Jacob Lund woman hat child smiling garden vegetablesPin
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Jacob Lund.

Being surrounded by nature and engaging in mindful activities, like gardening, promotes relaxation and a sense of well-being. Gardening requires active attention when repotting, checking for pests, and moving plants around. This can help take your mind off of other stressors and help your mind and body to reset. Other activities, such as watering or simply looking at beautiful flowers, can help you be more present and mindful, calming an overactive mind.

Improved Mental Health

Adobe Stock Halfpoint woman with dog on bench drinking coffee surrounded by plants gardenPin
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Halfpoint.

Studies have shown that spending time in nature, especially while gardening, can have a positive impact on mental health. Gardening helps alleviate symptoms of depression, boost your mood, help increase self-esteem, and provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Most plants require consistent care to thrive. Often this can help contribute to establishing routines and give purpose to getting up and outside each day.

Social Interaction

Adobe Stock Halfpoint grandparents with grandchild woman man in garden repottingPin
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Halfpoint.

Whether it's going to the local nursery to buy new plants, having friends over to help work on your yard, or simply sharing your latest plant success with a friend, gardening helps bring people together. Even for those who don't love social interactions, many people find it easy to talk about the plants they're growing or ask questions about others' gardens. For those growing vegetables, sharing fresh produce is a great way to build relationships with family and neighbors.

Learning Patience and Perseverance

Adobe Stock Sukjai Photo young girl looking at seedlings in potsPin
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Sukjai.

While most things around us provide instant gratification, gardening helps us slow down and appreciate small growth over time. It's a great way to practice delayed gratification and also teaches lessons on problem-solving and resilience. Very few, if any, gardeners have had a perfect crop or 100% success rate with their plants. This enjoyable hobby helps us develop a desire to try new things and keep going even if things don't turn out perfectly.

The Worst Gardening Mistakes Beginners Make Regularly

Aobe Stock Pressmaster woman holding vegetables in greenhousePin
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Pressmaster.

Gardening is a lot of fun but can also be quite overwhelming if you're just starting out. Naturally, new gardeners often learn from what they see more experienced growers doing. Sometimes this can lead to mistakes as beginners don't have the same knowledge and experience. These mistakes can be avoidable, but you have to know what to look for.

Butterflies Can't Resist These Flowering Plants

Adobe Stock Margaret Burlingham swallowtail butterfly on marsh milkweed plantPin
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Margaret Burlingham.

Watching butterflies around your garden is a great way to relax and unwind. Encouraging these beautiful insects to come into your yard is as simple as growing plants they're attracted to. While nearly any flowering plant will bring butterflies into your garden, the plants in this list are tried-and-true butterfly favorites.

12 Popular Plants to Absolutely Avoid Growing In Your Garden

Adobe Stock goodluz senior woman gardening in hatPin
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Goodluz.

While gardening can be fun, make sure you avoid the plants on this list unless you want a headache. Some plants can become quite invasive, and others have roots that can destroy the foundation of your house or break up sidewalks. Keep these plants out of your garden, and you're on your way to a more pleasant and low-maintenance gardening experience.