Can houseplants help with mindfulness?

Life can be incredibly busy, so busy that you feel you are constantly drawing up to do lists and planning events and doing chores that you forget to enjoy the here and now. 

But could having houseplants help us be more present and more mindful?

In this blog post I'll look at how we can find peace with plants!

Woman sitting in living room happy mindset. Mindfulness houseplants.

Life always has a way of ruining our well-laid plans, doesn't it?

We plan to make time for ourselves, book that yoga session or catch up with friends but then life takes over. Chores invade our schedules and suddenly we can feel overwhelmed and overburdened.

"The burgeoning to-do list that we feel compelled to manage, seems to squelch the true beauty and wonder of the world around us. In our constant quest to get everything done, we miss so much." (Susan Baumann)

I believe that houseplant can help ground us.

Having houseplants in your home has actually been proven to have a relaxing and calming affect on us even reducing your stress levels.

"Houseplants make us feel good due to our inherent desire to connect with nature, and because we consider the green colours of most houseplants to be calming. Adding just a single plant can brighten up a dull space and boost your mood."  University of Reading

Tending to plants can offer not only a way to beautify your living space but also act as a visual reminder to stop and care for this living green thing.


What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and engaged in the present moment.

It's about putting aside thoughts of what to add to the shopping list, or worries about the cost of oil.

It's about focussing on the moment. Not looking forward and not looking back.

By being mindful and in the present, you can reduce stress, improve focus, and enhance overall mental and emotional well-being.

Incorporating mindfulness into our daily lives can help us find balance and prevent overwhelm, manage anxiety and prevent burnout.


Woman happy underneath a hanging houseplant. Practising mindfulness.

The connection between mindfulness and plant care

A study conducted on houseplant owners in China found that houseplant carers had higher levels of mental well-being and mindfulness.

Levels were even greater when they were starting to get into houseplant buying.

But why do plants help with mindfulness?

Caring for plants can be seen as a form of mindfulness practice because they help us to become fully present allowing our minds to rest and recharge.

When we engage in plant care, we are forced to slow down, observe, and connect with nature.

As we nurture our plants, we also nurture our own well-being, fostering a sense of peace and connection.

I recently read a blog by Rachel Kable about how her indoor plants helped her practise mindfulness.

"Most days, I wander around and look at all my indoor plants. I check their leaves for dust and sometimes, I find new growth (which is always really exciting!). This simple activity of observation is a wonderful mindfulness practice and it helps me focus my attention on the world around me." Source:

Rachel talks about her plants not only bring her happiness, but also help ground her and feel more peaceful.

What really resonated with me though was the fact that plants help connect you to nature and the seasons. I feel like we have lost a bit of the order of things, now that we watch things on demand and live these fast-paced lives.

But with houseplants in our home, we are forced to focus on the present. Their present needs. We are made to observe the seasons and the changing light and react if we are to nurture our plants.

"Having a little bit of nature inside my home helps me feel connected to the environment and the seasons. When it’s warm and sunny, I take my plants outside to enjoy some light and air. When it’s cold, I move them to warmer parts of the house and provide them with less water. I pay attention to the seasons and weather, knowing it can change the needs of my plants." Rachael.


Fostering creativity through houseplants

Houseplants actually offer lots of ways to help us be creative and that creativity helps ground us and keeps us mindful too.

From choosing the right pot to styling plants on shelves to creating kokedama and hanging displays. Creative houseplant activities can keep us immersed in the present.

Rachael agrees: "Re-potting a plant, building a terrarium, creating my own plant care guides, photographing my plants and using my plants to decorate my home are all creative activities I’ve been immersed in, thanks to keeping indoor plants."

 Repotting a plant on a table.

Creating mindfulness with plants

To incorporate mindfulness into your plant care routine, start by setting up a dedicated plant care space at home. This can be a small corner or a shelf where your plants are displayed. Make this space inviting and comfortable, creating an environment conducive to relaxation and introspection.

As you tend to your plants, practice mindful observation and engagement. Notice the colours, textures, and shapes of the leaves. Pay attention to the way your plants respond to your care. Breathe deeply and be present in the moment.

Incorporate mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, and gratitude exercises while caring for your plants.

Take slow, intentional breaths, imagining yourself inhaling positive energy and exhaling any stress or tension. Visualize your plants growing and thriving, and express gratitude for their beauty and contribution to your well-being.


What are good plants for practising mindfulness?

Psychologists at the University of Reading found that "pothos, weeping fig and palm – were believed to deliver the greatest sense of wellbeing. Our findings suggest that plants with lush green leaves, high leaf area and dense canopies are likely to give the biggest boost to your wellbeing. People also believe that these plants will provide greater benefits to air quality." 

I think that any plant is good. But choose ones that appeal to you.

It may be that you go for touchable plants with big leaves like Fatsia japonica. Or maybe you would like the frothy fronds of an Asparagus fern or Maidenhair fern.

Perhaps colour is your thing.

Then a flowering houseplant would be a good choice for you. Something like an Orchid, a Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera spp.) cactus, Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii), African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha)

Woman propagating cacti and caring for her houseplants.

Air plants could hang from your computer. Twining Devil's ivy can cascade down your kitchen cabinets.

Select low-maintenance plants if you're a beginner or have a busy lifestyle. Start small and easy with cacti and succulents and maybe work up to creating a mindfulness indoor jungle!

Why not make your own terrarium?

Fill it with small plants that you can watch grow and change in their safe environment.

Remember that the goal is to create an environment that facilitates mindfulness, so choose plants that bring you joy and that speak to you.

Woman caring for houseplant

Active self-care of your plants

Its also the act of caring for your plants, not just having them that also aids mindfulness. Tasks like:


  • Watering
  • Dusting
  • Repotting
  • Pruning
  • Propagating

...can all give you a sense of focus, grounding and wellbeing.

But, plants aren't always easy. They get yellow leaves, some sulk in too much sun, others in too little. Unfortunately, plant care can present challenges that affect your state of mindfulness.

Take time to learn about your plant. Find out where it comes from and it's natural habitat. Discover how to deal with pests, overwatering, or plant diseases. The act of plant care and husbandry gives us a chance to learn new things that make us better plant parents. Even the process of learning can be an act of mindfulness too.

So don't be disheartened.

The best plantsmen and plantswomen have killed a LOT of plants. It's how they learned, and grew to love the act of caring for plants.

See these obstacles as opportunities for learning and growth, and explore different solutions to overcome them. The process of problem-solving can deepen your sense of engagement and connection with your plants.

Woman looking at a plant mindfulness.

Caring for plants will help care for yourself

The act of caring for plants can be a form of self-nurturing and stress relief.

Just the act of nurturing and helping your plant can give you a great sense of well-being.

Caring for your plant will give you something to focus on in the here and now and help distract you from external worries and outside stressors. We can instead focus on the things we can control and get joy from that.

Cultivating mindfulness through plant care is a powerful tool for finding some peace and well-being in our modern lives.

By engaging in mindful plant care, we create space for tranquillity and connection in our daily routines.

At The Green East, we are passionate about the power of houseplants. Connect with us on social media or email to find out more, or visit our Services page here.