Anyone who has opened a design magazine or home décor Instagram account has likely seen houseplants in every room. From palms, to monsteras, to fiddle leaf figs, these potted beauties are popping up everyone. In fact, as reported by Bloomberg, in the past three years, U.S. sales of houseplants have surged almost 50 percent to $1.7 billion, according to the National Gardening Association.
But a houseplant obsession might also be a healthy hobby for older adults. A study of more than 5,000 adults over 50 in Taiwan tested the hypothesis that gardening is beneficial for survival for those over 50. Gardening in Taiwan, the researchers noted, frequently means growing plants in flowerpots or other improvised containers (e.g., plastic beverage bottles) on the sun porch or in front of the door in urban and suburban areas.
The study found that daily home gardening as a leisure-time activity seems to postpone about 36 percent of mortality in people over 50 years old with mobility limitations. However, this effect was not evident in people that also had depression.
While further research is needed, gardening may be an excellent daily activity for middle aged and older adults that can not only add style, but also be protective of their well-being. So if a fern strikes your fancy or a calathea catches your eye, go ahead and enjoy the many positive benefits of plants.
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