How do plants help with seasonal depression?

As the seasons change, many people experience a dip in their mood and energy levels. This can even develop into seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for some. While there are various treatments for SAD, such as light therapy and medication, some people find that spending time around plants can be helpful. So, how do plants help with seasonal depression?

Plants help regulate the conditions in your environment. For instance, they increase humidity levels and can help regulate temperatures in enclosed spaces. This regulation creates a more comfortable and content atmosphere, which helps to alleviate SAD symptoms.

If you’re looking for a natural way to manage symptoms of seasonal depression, plants might be a good consideration. Come along as we explore more benefits of plants for SAD and provide tips for choosing and caring for indoor plants.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

bright beautiful native pollinators and sustainable flowers at commercial office building in washington dc

Seasonal depression is a type of depression that manifests during specific times in the year, typically in winter and fall when there’s little sunlight.

It is estimated that around 6% of the US population experiences SAD, with women being more likely to be affected than men. The exact cause of seasonal depression isn’t known, but it is thought to be related to the decrease in daylight hours during the fall and winter months.

Symptoms of SAD can vary from person to person but may include:

  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Losing interest in hobbies
  • Fatigue or low energy levels
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

For some individuals, these symptoms can be severe enough to interfere with daily life and last several months. If you are experiencing symptoms of SAD, you should seek professional help from a healthcare provider.

Health benefits of plants for SAD

Incorporating plants into your office space and home can offer several benefits to your physical and mental health, including:

Improved air quality

Indoor air quality can be a major issue in commercial spaces and homes, particularly during winter, when the windows and doors remain closed.

However, some common indoor plants have been shown to reduce levels of toxins in the air, which can improve respiratory health and overall well-being. For example, the snake plant, spider plant, and peace lily are popular for their air-purifying properties.

Reduce stress

Research has shown that spending time around plants can help reduce stress levels. The mere presence of plants can have a calming effect and help promote relaxation. Additionally, caring for plants can be a meditative and stress-relieving activity, which helps manage symptoms of SAD.

Improve sense of well-being

Being surrounded by plants can help improve your overall sense of well-being. Studies have shown that exposure to nature, even indoor plants, can help improve mood, increase energy levels, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Support cognitive health

Research has also shown that being around plants can help support cognitive health, including attention and memory. This can be particularly important for people with SAD experiencing brain fog or difficulty concentrating. The presence of plants in the environment can help improve cognitive function, promote mental clarity, and improve employee productivity at the office.

Improve environmental wellness

Incorporating plants into your surroundings can help improve your environmental wellness by creating a more natural and healthy living space. This can positively impact your overall health and well-being, as well as the planet’s health.

Symbiotic relationship

Caring for plants can provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment, boosting self-esteem and promoting well-being. And since plants rely on humans for care and attention, a symbiotic relationship is created, which can benefit both the plant and the person.

Types of plants that help with seasonal depression

If you’re looking to add some greenery to your home or office space to help manage symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), here are some types of plants that can be particularly beneficial:

English Ivy- Hedera Helix

English Ivy is an easy-to-care-for plant that grows well in hanging baskets or pots. It’s known for its air-purifying properties and has been shown to reduce airborne mold levels, which can trigger respiratory issues and worsen symptoms of SAD.

Chinese Evergreen- Aglaonema

Chinese Evergreen is a common low-maintenance plant known for its air-purifying properties. It thrives in low-light environments, making it an ideal choice for rooms without a lot of natural light.

Peace Lily- Spathiphyllum

Peace Lily is a flowering plant that removes pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air. It can also help regulate humidity levels, benefiting people with respiratory issues.

Snake Plant- Sansevieria

Besides air purification, the snake plant is popular for its ability to increase oxygen levels at night, making it a great choice for bedrooms.

Jade Plant- Crassula Ovata

Jade Plant is a succulent that can absorb electromagnetic radiation from electronic devices. This can be particularly beneficial for people who spend a lot of time working on computers or other devices, which can exacerbate winter blues symptoms.


Succulents are a popular choice for indoor plants due to their low-maintenance nature and aesthetic appeal. They come in various shapes and sizes and can be creatively arranged to add greenery to your space.

When selecting indoor house plants, consider factors such as lighting, humidity, and air quality to ensure that your plants will thrive and provide the most benefit for managing symptoms of SAD.

Choose your indoor plants wisely

croton plants in stone washed containers in modern lobby

Now that you know about the health benefits of plants for managing seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it’s time to start incorporating them into your commercial space. After all, most people spend a third of their lives at the office. The remaining 2-thirds is often spent relaxing or asleep. Choosing the right plant for your office and home will ensure you reap the most benefit.


If you’re unsure where to start, consider consulting with a professional plantscaping company like District Green Plants. With their expertise and experience, they can help you select the best plants for your home and commercial space and ensure that they are properly cared for.

Contact us today to learn more about our plantscaping services and how we can help you create a healthier, happier environment.

Table of Contents

Recent Posts