Sumo Gardener

10 Best Plants To Grow For Mental Health

Did you know many are growing plants for mental health reasons? When it comes to improving your mental health, it can be helpful to be open to new kinds of treatments and therapies. 

Studies have shown that growing and sustaining a plant can decrease feelings of stress. On top of that, having a plant around can help you be more productive at work. 

Not only does planting and gardening benefit the environment, it can give your mental health a boost. Check out our guide on the best plants to grow for mental health.

Best Plants To Grow For Mental Health


Best Plants for Mental Health

Having a hobby can help give you a sense of structure and meet new people. If you are going through a tough time, you could consider an online mental health evaluation to get support in finding out what could work well for you. 

Are you just starting to get into plants and need help figuring out which one is great for your needs? Check out this list of the ten best plants to grow for your mental health. 

Best Plants for Mental Health

1. Heirloom Tomatoes 

Heirloom tomatoes are fantastic options for anyone who enjoys delicious salads, pasta sauces, or pizza
  • Latin Name: Solanum Lycopersicum
  • Nicknames: Though usually just referred to as a tomato, over the course of history this vegetable has been nicknamed a “wolf peach” and “love apple.”  They can also be referred to as “open-pollinated tomato.”
  • Origin: Tomatoes were originally from South America and then later brought to Mexico. In the early 17th century, it gained popularity in Spain.  
  • Size: The plant can be 5-8 ft. A tomato itself can be anywhere between 1 inch to 10 inches.
  • Growth Time: To produce fruit, they need 60 to 80 days. 
  • Time To Grow: Tomatoes bloom in the summer. 

Heirloom tomatoes are fantastic options for anyone who enjoys delicious salads, pasta sauces, or pizza and wants to grow their ingredients in their backyard.

Since there’s a wide variety of types, you can certainly find one that fits your environment. Here are some common different types:

  • Cherokee Purple tomato
  • Amish Paste tomato 
  • Yellow Pear tomato
  • Brandywine tomato 
  • Hillbilly tomato 
  • Mortgage Lifter tomato

Since there is a wide range of tomato types, it’s recommended that you reach out to someone in your local plant store to see what’s suited for your environment.

Generally, tomatoes thrive in warmer climates. The temperature at night should at the very least be 60 degrees before you plant them in your garden outside.

According to experts, you should be giving your tomatoes plenty of direct sunlight. In addition, they should be planted in a garden bed or pot with soil that’s rich in nutrients and be given fertilizer and plenty of water.

If you are growing in a raised bed, use 50% potting mix and 50% compost. When it comes to watering, you should be careful and ensure that the plants and soil don’t get dry. To prevent damage and disease, install a drip irrigation system.

2. Daffodils

Daffodils are fantastic plants for mental health. They decorative flowers and look beautiful and stunning in vases.
  • Latin Name: Narcissus pseudonarcissus
  • Nicknames: Common daffodil 
  • Origin: They are originally from Northern Europe. 
  • Size: 12-16 inches.
  • Growth Time: 6 weeks - 6 months.
  • Time To Grow:  You’re supposed to plant the bulbs in the fall before the ground gets very cold. They are expected to grow in the spring. 

Daffodils are fantastic plants for mental health. They decorative flowers and look beautiful and stunning in vases. To plant them, you need to find a part in your backyard that’s exposed to sun or at the very least, gets some sun.

You will need soil that is moderately fertile and an area that’s able to be drained. If the soil gets too wet, the bulbs can rot. In the spring, water them regularly.  

If you’re in a place with a severe winter, plant the bulbs 3 inches below the surface.  You can plant them in a container or pot but it should be at least 8-12 inches in diameter and eight inches deep.

3. Basil

Basil is a great addition to numerous dishes. Whether it’s a pasta sauce or a roasted chicken, you can always benefit from adding a dash of this herb.
  • Latin Name: Ocimum basilicum 
  • Nicknames:  Sweet basil, thai basil
  • Origin:  The herb is originally from India.
  • Size: 12 to 24 inches.
  • Growth Time: Three to four weeks
  • Time To Grow: Only plant seedlings when the night time temperature is 50 degrees fahrenheit.

Basil is a great addition to numerous dishes. Whether it’s a pasta sauce or a roasted chicken, you can always benefit from adding a dash of this herb.

Growing it in your own backyard can be a fun way to cut down on frequent grocery trips. To grow it, choose a spot in your yard that gets anywhere between 6 to 8 hours of daily sunlight.

For draining purposes, you should plant it in a container or a raised bed. You can also grow basil in a pot. 

Seeds should be planted ¼ inch beneath the surface and each seed should be about 10-12 inches from one another. Water frequently during the summer.

Use clean soil that doesn’t have insecticides and to keep it moist, apply mulch around it. Once you notice the seedlings have created six leaves, remember to prune so there is branching and growth.

It’s crucial that you cut off any flowers that pop up and harvest your basil plants prior to when it gets cold.

4. Sunflowers

Sunflowers are towering odes to natural beauty
  • Latin Name: Helianthus Annuus
  • Origin: They are originally from North America.
  • Size: 3-15 inches high
  • Growth Time: 70 to 100 days
  • Time To Grow: Plant in the late spring or whenever the ground soil is around 60 to 70 degrees fahrenheit so they can germinate once its 70 to 85 degrees fahrenheit.

Once they grow and bloom, sunflowers are towering odes to natural beauty. Plant your sunflower seeds at a sunny spot in your backyard.

It’s important to take in consideration that since sunflowers tend to cast a shadow, that shade can impact other plants around it. Make sure your garden bed soil is well-drained and add some compost, nutrients, and fertilizer. 

Plant the seeds ½ inches beneath the surface once the climate is warm enough (60 to 70 degrees) and remember to give each seed six inches of space.

For the germination process, water frequently. However, in the growing season, an inch of water a week should suffice. 

Growing season will require some extra care. Though you don’t need to add that much more fertilizer, you need to watch out for weeds by adding mulch to your garden bed. 

5. Mint

Fresh organic mint leaves can be a great addition to a cup of tea and come in handy for a myriad of recipes.
  • Latin Name: Mentha
  • Nicknames: Spearmint, peppermint
  • Origin: Mint has been known to be native to Europe for millennia.
  • Size: 12 to 18 inches.
  • Growth Time: 2 months.
  • Time To Grow: Late spring.

Fresh organic mint leaves can be a great addition to a cup of tea and come in handy for a myriad of recipes. On top of that, growing it is reasonably simple.

Plant your mint in containers above ground so the roots are contained and don’t overspread. Place the container in a partly shady area. You should include some fertilizer in your container.

Though mint plants can be grown in a wide array of climates and environments, the soil needs to be consistently moist. Once the stems are 6 to 8 inches long, you can harvest the leaves.

If you notice that the stems are getting longer while the leaves are shorter, snip the plants anywhere between one-third to one-half so they can grow back with larger sized leaves.

6. Squash

There’s nothing like reigning in the start of fall with some fresh squash!
  • Latin Name: Cucurbita
  • Nickname: Summer Squash
  • Origin: Central America and Mexico 
  • Size: 10 inches
  • Growth Time: 50 to 65 days
  • Time to grow: mid-summer

There’s nothing like reigning in the start of fall with some fresh squash! Plant your squash when it’s warm and there’s no frosting in the ground. Sow seeds 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 feet apart from one another.

Choose an area of your yard that gets at least 6 hours of sun everyday. On top of that, use soil that’s rich with nutrients and is well-drained. You can add compost so it’s extra rich and mulch to avoid weeding.

Though squash need 1 inch to 1.5 inches of water a week, make sure that the leaves don’t get wet. When can you harvest the squash to eat? Wait until they’re 6 to 8 inches long.

Check out our guide on growing butternut squash. 

7. Snapdragons

Snapdragons are a dreamy addition to any garden.
  • Latin Name: Antirrhinum majus
  • Nickname: Dog’s mouth, lion’s mouth 
  • Origin: Southern Europe
  • Size: 12 to 36 inches
  • Growth Time: 80 to 100 days
  • Time to grow: Late spring

Snapdragons are a dreamy addition to any garden. On top of that, they are pretty low maintenance.  Sow the seeds in a sunny part of your garden with rich soil and good draining.

For the first part of their growth process, give the seedlings consistent water so the soil remains moist. Once the plants start to grow, give them 1 inch of water per week.

Use fertilizer after the plants begin to produce flowers.  To propagate, cut a 2-inch piece of stem and plant it in a pot with starter mix. Place a plastic bag over the pot so it stays humid.

After you notice the development of a rooting system, take off the bag and place the pot near a window. You can plant it in your garden once it’s warm enough.

8. Radishes

Radishes are delicious and go great with numerous salads.
  • Latin name: Raphanus sativus 
  • Origin: China
  • Size: 2 to 3 feet. 
  • Growth Time: 3 weeks
  • Time to grow: Autumn or early spring

Radishes are delicious and go great with numerous salads. To plant, choose a sunny part of your garden. Though radishes aren’t that hard to grow, you still need to be careful that the planting location doesn’t get excessive shade.

Add some organic matter such as fertilizer of composter to the soil. You’re supposed to plant the seeds ½ to 1 inch beneath the surface.

Since you are growing a bunch, you should space each seed 1 inch separate from one another in rows that are 12 inches apart. Make sure to thin the radishes 2 inches apart once the plants are a week old so they don’t overcrowd.

Get a drip irrigation system to ensure that the soil is moist. Take out the radishes once the roots are at least 1 inch.  

9. Marigold

Marigold is one of the best plants to grow for mental health
  • Latin Name: Tagetes erecta
  • Origin: Mexico
  • Size: 10-18 inches tall
  • Growth Time: 8 weeks
  • Time to grow: Early spring 

Plant your marigold seeds in a place that gets as much sun as possible. However, they will be fine with a tad of shade. Once the weather is warm and there’s no frost in the soil, sow seeds 1 inch separate from one another.

After the seeds sprout, make sure you thinned anywhere between 8 to 12 inches apart, depending on the type of marigold you got. Though marigolds aren’t high maintenance, they should be planted in well-drained soil that’s rich with nutrients.

For propagation, wait until the flowerheads are fully dried out and then shake the petals to remove the seeds.

Interested in growing Marigolds? Check out our complete Marigold growing and care guide

10. Lavender 

A woman in a field of lavender
  • Latin Name: Lavandula angustifolia 
  • Origin: India, Middle East, and Mediterranean  
  • Size: 20 inches tall and wide
  • Growth Time: One to three months
  • Time to grow: Spring

Not only is lavender pretty to look at, they also have a great scent. Plant lavender 12 to 18 inches apart in a very sunny part of your backyard. The soil should be well-drained.

Since they can’t tolerate that much moisture, plant them in a raised bed and don’t over-water ( give them water when the 2 inches of soil seem dry).

To avoid fungus, mulch around the plants with sand or pebbles. You can also use some compost or to encourage growth. Your lavender plants should bloom by the summer.

To continue growth, clip faded blooms and feed it plant food on a regular basis.  

Wrapping Up Plants for Mental Health

It is time to reap the many health benefits of gardening. Take your pick and start planting not only for your garden's aesthetics but more importantly, start gardening for mental health

Check out our Facebook page and share your ideas on plants for mental health. 

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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