The mental health benefits of buying plants

Departments - Hort Truths

Catering green products to the homebound office worker could pay dividends in today’s socially distant world.

March 1, 2021

PHOTO © good studio | adobe stock

As we move into what is a second spring in lockdown for many, flowers and indoor plants — both blooming and foliage — have taken on a significant role in our health and wellness. Gifting flowers and blooming plants are simple ways to brighten the day of those you love, not to mention, your own.

I am a big proponent of buying flowers and plants for oneself — no reason nor holiday needed. Given the stresses and isolation that has come with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no secret we are all seeking ways to boost our mental and physical health and wellness. As plant and flower growers, we can be an authentic and meaningful part of the remedy.

Cheer up!

It is not new news that research shows flowers and plants can have a beneficial impact on our lives. Studies have shown that when people cultivate plants, it helps reduce stress. Being surrounded by, or even just having a view of, plants and trees can be meaningfully therapeutic. Having plants and flowers in our indoor spaces has been shown to:

  • Improve mood
  • Reduce fatigue
  • Lower stress and anxiety
  • Improve office performance, productivity and focus
  • Boost healing and pain tolerance

For many who are isolated and maintaining social distance, life has become terribly stressful and lonely. Trying to balance intense work demands while at home, under these extreme conditions, is wearing everyone down. Pandemic life is taking a serious toll on both our minds and our bodies.

Home office green

Last spring, Dallas, went into a stay-at-home order. That meant my staff and I had to move our operations home. I certainly do not have the ideal ergonomic setup for working at my home that I do at my office. No doubt, most of us end up working in less-than-ideal conditions when we try to physically squeeze our work lives into our home environments. What was one thing I knew I could do to make things more tolerable? Green up and cheer up my home workspace.

Now that many of our customers have had some time to adjust to home-work life — and may now be shifted to the home office permanently — they are seeking ways to elevate their current working conditions; both for their own experience and for a more professional look while on all those virtual meetings. Adding flowers and plants to the home office, office nook or makeshift kitchen table/workspace can make all the difference. Incorporating messaging and how-tos for leveling up the home office with flowers and plants in your marketing is a must.

For those who are not really interested in getting into the plant parenting game but want to freshen up the home office on a regular basis, cut flowers are a great solution — all the beauty, none of the maintenance!

Consider partnering with nearby businesses to bundle your flowers and plants with other local products.


When it comes to wedding trends, floral has gone local and smaller in scale. Micro-weddings have been the emerging trend and brides need bouquets and arrangements that are pre-assembled and delivered ready to set up themselves.

This type of small-scale flexibility has pushed many to seek local vendors that can source local floral products. If you are not reaching out to your local florist community with your marketing right now, then you should be. Unconventional ingredients such as herbs and dried flowers are wildly used in bouquets right now. So even if you have not traditionally supplied florists, this could be a new opportunity for you.

You might also consider partnering up with other local businesses to bundle your flowers and plants with other products. For example, pairing your flowers and plants with food and desserts to create a one-stop shop product for special occasions, micro-weddings, or other events your customers are trying to pull off on a small scale with low-contact or no-contact services. Business partnerships such as these also boost marketing opportunities with cross-promotion as well as leveraging local and sustainable business practices.

If you are looking for new ways to market flowers and blooming plants online, then you need to hit up IG Reels. They are especially popular in floral and wedding spaces right now.

Budget friendly

Buying flowers and plants as gifts is technically luxury spending. Given the tough times many are experiencing, flowers and plants are often considered indulgent purchases that get scratched off the shopping list. That said, many of us are not spending the money we used to on eating out, going to the movies, vacations … you name it. So, perhaps budgeting in some regular flower and plant purchases instead is an easy trade for many.

Personally, I cannot think of a better time to sign up for a floral or blooming plant delivery subscription service. In any case, we may still need to offer some budget options or bundles that make it easier for more consumers to buy more often.

As an industry, we have an opportunity to communicate the health and wellness value of our flowers and plants clearly and authentically in this moment. Besides, plants and flowers seem like the perfect prescription we all need right now to feel better, heal better and work better.

Leslie (CPH) owns Halleck Horticultural, LLC, through which she provides horticultural consulting, business and marketing strategy, product development and branding, and content creation for green industry companies.