Discover how plants can enhance patient recovery in clinical settings. From improved mental health to faster recovery and enhanced cognitive function, plant therapy has numerous benefits. Learn about recommended plants for healthcare facilities and best practices for incorporating plants. Improve patient well-being with the transformative power of nature.


Did you know that plants have the power to improve patient recovery in clinical settings? It may seem surprising, but numerous studies have shown the positive impact of plants on both physical and mental health. In this article, we will explore the benefits of plant therapy, recommended plants for healthcare facilities, and best practices for incorporating plants into clinical settings. So, if you’re curious about how plants can enhance patient recovery, keep reading!

The Benefits of Plant Therapy

Plant therapy, also known as horticultural therapy, involves the use of plants and gardens to promote healing and improve well-being. While specific research on plant therapy in clinical settings is limited, studies on the benefits of gardens and nature in healthcare facilities provide valuable insights. Here are some potential benefits:

1. Improved Mental Health

Studies have shown that exposure to plants and green spaces can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression among patients, staff, and visitors. The presence of plants in a clinical setting creates a more pleasing and comforting environment, contributing to a positive state of mind.

2. Enhanced Physical Health

Plants can contribute to improved indoor air quality by reducing pollutants and increasing oxygen levels. This cleaner air can benefit patients, particularly those with respiratory conditions. Additionally, some research suggests that the views of plants and trees from hospital rooms can improve patient outcomes, such as reducing the need for pain medication, surgical complications, and length of hospital stay.

3. Faster Recovery

A study conducted on surgical patients recovering from a hemorrhoidectomy found that those in rooms with live plants had significantly lower blood pressure, pain ratings, anxiety, and fatigue compared to patients in control rooms. Patients exposed to plants also reported higher satisfaction with their rooms. These findings suggest that plants in the hospital environment can serve as a noninvasive, inexpensive, and effective complementary medicine for surgical patients.

4. Positive Well-being

The presence of plants has been linked to increased subjective well-being among healthcare facility users. Patients and staff report feeling happier, more relaxed, and more connected to nature when surrounded by plants. This positive experience can contribute to a better overall sense of well-being during the recovery process.

5. Improved Cognitive Function

Access to indoor plants may positively impact cognitive performance, leading to improved concentration, focus, and overall cognitive functioning. While more research is needed to establish a clear causal link, preliminary studies suggest that plants can enhance cognitive abilities in clinical settings.

Recommended Plants for Healthcare Facilities

When incorporating plants into healthcare facilities, it is important to choose plants that are suitable for the environment and meet specific requirements. Here are some recommended plants:

1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

Snake plants are known for their ability to improve air quality by filtering out toxins and releasing oxygen. They are easy to care for and can thrive in low light conditions, making them ideal for hospital rooms and other areas with limited sunlight.

2. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace lilies are popular indoor plants that can also help improve air quality. They have the ability to remove common pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. These plants prefer medium to low light conditions and regular watering.

3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider plants are excellent air purifiers, removing toxins such as formaldehyde, xylene, and carbon monoxide from the air. They are easy to grow and thrive in a variety of conditions, making them suitable for healthcare facilities.

4. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

Aloe vera plants are known for their healing properties and can be a great addition to hospital settings. In addition to their medicinal benefits, they are low maintenance and require minimal watering and sunlight.

5. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

English ivy is a trailing vine that can help improve indoor air quality by reducing airborne mold particles. It prefers moderate to bright light and can be grown in hanging baskets or mounted on walls.

Best Practices for Incorporating Plants in Clinical Settings

To maximize the benefits of plant therapy in clinical settings, it is important to follow best practices for plant selection and care. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Choose plants that are low maintenance and can thrive in a variety of conditions. This ensures that they can withstand the challenges of a healthcare environment and require minimal care.

  2. Consider the specific needs of patients and staff when selecting plants. Some individuals may have allergies or respiratory conditions, so it is important to choose plants that are non-allergenic and do not release excessive pollen or fragrances.

  3. Ensure proper lighting for the plants. While some plants thrive in low light conditions, others require brighter light. Assess the available natural and artificial light in the clinical setting and choose plants accordingly.

  4. Provide a watering and care schedule for the plants to ensure they receive proper attention. This can be assigned to hospital staff or dedicated plant maintenance personnel.

  5. Regularly monitor the plants for signs of stress or disease. Remove any dying or diseased plants promptly to maintain a healthy environment.

By following these best practices, healthcare facilities can create a healing environment that promotes patient recovery and enhances well-being.


Incorporating plants into clinical settings can have numerous benefits for patient recovery. From improved mental health and enhanced physical well-being to faster recovery and increased cognitive function, the positive impact of plant therapy is evident. Choosing the right plants, such as snake plants, peace lilies, spider plants, aloe vera, and English ivy, can further enhance the therapeutic effects. By implementing best practices for plant care, healthcare facilities can create a healing environment that supports patient recovery and improves overall well-being.

So, why wait? Start exploring the world of plant therapy today and witness the transformative power of nature in clinical settings.


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[^2]: Potential risks and beneficial impacts of using indoor plants in the biophilic design of healthcare facilities: A scoping review: Link
[^3]: Ornamental indoor plants in hospital rooms enhanced health outcomes of patients recovering from surgery: Link
[^4]: Therapeutic Influences of Plants in Hospital Rooms on Surgical Recovery: Link
[^5]: Horticultural Therapy Program for People with Mental Illness: A Mixed-Method Evaluation: Link
[^6]: Gardening for health: a regular dose of gardening: Link
[^7]: How Hospital Gardens Help Patients Heal: Link
[^8]: Heal Me With Plants: Link
[^9]: The effects of environmental factors on patient outcomes in hospital environments: A review of literature: Link
[^10]: Health and well-being benefits of plants: Link
[^11]: Stress-reducing effects of real and artificial nature in a hospital waiting room: Link