Top 26 Positive Effects of Flowers and Plants: How to Use it During COVID-19

House without flowers and plants should be considered

as an unhealthy environment


We all know flowers and plants have a good influence on our mood. We as an industry all knew this but didn’t use it (enough) to promote our flowers and plants. Yes, some individual growers are promoting it already, but this unique position we have we should utilize much more.


The times have changed, and are still changing. We are going to more and more online sales. The frequently heard phrase ‘flowers will sell themselves’ doesn’t fit anymore. All products look nice in webshops, we don’t have the advantage anymore of the look of a shop filled with, and the smell of flowers. We need to adapt to this situation.

Over the years there have been lots of studies about the influence on flowers and plants on people's behaviors, and health. As an industry, we should get these results into consumers' minds. Healthy living is not only about what you eat and taking care of your body with sports or yoga. It is also about having enough flowers and plants in your house.

People are spending enormous amounts of money on good, healthy and even superfoods. Buying subscriptions for gyms (and how many times do they go? 😉). When you see the results of the different studies, flowers and plants should also be on the list of all people. As an industry, we should get this in people's minds, to such a level that a house without plants should be considered as an unhealthy environment.

AIPH published this list, use this not only now in this difficult time, use it as well in your future promotions, so you can boost your sales once we are up and running again. It’s not only about surviving this crisis, but it’s also important to learn from it, so you can come stronger out of it, and be better prepared for the next crisis. Please stay safe, and if you would like help with making plans to get through this crisis, don’t hesitate to contact us.


Flowers help improve a positive mood

  • People who have flowers in their homes feel happier and more relaxed. Through this positive energy, the chances of suffering from stress-related depression are decreased [1,2,3,4].

  • Positive emotions help put life events from a broader perspective and so lessen the negative effects that may result from negative emotions. Positive emotions such as gratitude, hope, empathy, joy, love, pride, calmness, surprise and awe can all be associated with flowers [5].

  • Overall happiness, well-being, calm and intimacy benefit from surrounding yourself with flowers [6].

  • Flowers and ornamental plants increase levels of positive energy and help people feel secure and relaxed [7].

  • Flowers have both immediate and long-term effects on emotions, mood, and even memory in both men and women [8].

  • Women who received flowers had more positive moods even three days later.8

  • Flowers are the perfect morning pick-me-up for people who are less positive in the early hours. They are happier and more energetic after looking at flowers in the morning [9].

  • Flowers impact people emotionally at home, causing them to feel less anxious and more compassionate. Having flowers in the home gives a boost of energy that lasts through the day [10].


Flowers accelerate healing

  • Flowers and plants accelerate healing due to their stimulation of a positive outlook [1].

  • Exposure to natural surroundings has been shown to be restorative, based on measures such as self-reported mood, performance and attention tasks, and physiological measures that signify positive emotions and reduced stress. The presence of flowers in the home can deliver these benefits [4,11].

  • For those who are ill, greenery has a very positive effect on the state of mind and recovery [12].

  • Visible greenery reduces stress, stimulates the mind and moves the focus away from pain and discomfort. With plants in the room, people are able to tolerate more pain, and this can reduce the need for painkillers [11,12].

  • Indoor plants release water vapor, humidifying the air and reducing the likelihood of headaches [12].

  • Physical interaction with plants results in a significantly reduced recovery time for patients [13,14,15,16].


Flowers give older people a better quality of life

  • Flowers presented to elderly people generated a positive mood and improved episodic memory – the memory of everyday events. “Instinct tells us that flowers lift our spirits, but their effects on seniors are especially profound, if not surprising,” said researcher Dr. Haviland-Jones [17].

  • There is a strong sensory and emotional connection with flowers. Simply the sight and smell of flowers improved mood in 69% of consumers. People who receive flowers say that they are less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction [17].

Flowers give happiness to both the giver and the receiver

  • The most common reason for flower purchases is as a gift. There is great power in giving the gift of flowers. 9 in 10 people remember the last time they gave flowers as a gift. Females are more likely than men to remember the last time that they received flowers as a gift (77% compared to 34%). Flower givers are considered to be caring, personal and sentimental [18].

  • Both men and women who give flowers are considered to be happy, achieving, strong, capable, and courageous people [5].

  • Flowers induce positive emotions which can be measured by the type of smile. When presented with flowers, women always respond with a ‘true’ smile. The ‘true smile’ is where both the mouth and the eyes smile, and this generates a reciprocal positive response. Both the giver and the receiver benefit. Other common gifts, such as fruit or a candle, generate less of a positive initial response in the receiver and have no lasting effect [5].

  • Despite most flowers being bought as a gift for someone else, the tendency to buy flowers for home decoration or as a gift for oneself is increasing. This tendency to buy flowers for home or self is particularly noticeable in GenY (26 to 34 year-olds) [18].

  • Gen Y and Gen X are more likely to purchase houseplants than Baby Boomers [18].

  • Being surrounded by flowers brings benefits of overall happiness, well-being and calm [3].

  • 2/3 of people feel very special when receiving flowers as a gift [18].

  • 64% consider flowers to be a very emotional gift [18].

  • 3 in 5 (60%) believe that flowers have special meaning, unlike any other gift [18].

  • 92% of women say that the best reason to receive flowers is “just because” [18].

References:

  1. Hall, Charles R., and Knuth, Melinda. 2019. An Update of the Literature Supporting the Well-Being Benefits of Plants: A Review of the Emotional and Mental Health Benefits of Plants. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 37(1):30–38.

  2. Collins, C.C. and A.M. O’Callaghan. 2008. The impact of horticultural responsibility on health indicators and quality of life in assisted living. HortTechnology 18:611–618.

  3. Dunnett, N. and M. Qasim. 2000. Perceived benefits to human well-being of urban gardens. HortTechnology 10:40–45.

  4. Taylor, A.F., A. Wiley, F.E. Kuo, and W.C. Sullivan. 1998. Growing up in the inner-city — green spaces as places to grow. Environment and Behavior 30:3–27.

  5. Hall, Charles R., and Dickson, Madeleine W. 2011. Economic, Environmental, and Health/Well-Being Benefits Associated with Green Industry Products and Services: Journal of Environmental Horticulture 29(2):96–103.

  6. Society of American Florists: Be Well With Flowers https://tinyurl.com/tv552nv

  7. Hall, Charles R., and Knuth, Melinda. 2019. An Update of the Literature Supporting the Well-Being Benefits of Plants: Part 2 Physiological Health Benefits. : Journal of Environmental Horticulture 37(2):63–73.

  8. Haviland-Jones, J., Rosario, H.H., Wilson, P., and McGuire, T. R. 2005. An Environmental Approach to Positive Emotion: Flowers Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Department of Psychology, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ. 08903, Evolutionary Psychology human-nature.com/ep. 3: 104-132

  9. Society of American Florists: Flowers and Morning Moods study https://aboutflowers.com/quick-links/healthbenefits-research/flowers-and-morning-moods/

  10. Society of American Florists: Ecology of Flowers https://aboutflowers.com/quick-links/health-benefitsresearch/home-ecology-of-flowers-study/

  11. Park, Seong-Hyun and Mattson, Richard H. 2008 Effects of Flowering and Foliage Plants in Hospital Rooms on Patients Recovering from Abdominal Surgery. HortTechnology 18: 563-568

  12. The Green Agenda Fact sheets: Greenery and Healthcare. https://edepot.wur.nl/418845

  13. Kwack, H.R. and P.D. Relf. 2002. Current status of human issues in horticulture in Korea. HortTechnology 12:415–419

  14. Park, S. and R.H. Mattson. 2009. Ornamental indoor plants in hospital rooms enhanced health outcomes of patients recovering from surgery. J. Alternative & Complementary Medicine 15:975–980

  15. Raanaas, R.K., G.G. Patil, and T. Hartig. 2010. Effects of an indoor foliage plant intervention on patient wellbeing during a residential rehabilitation program. HortScience 45:387–392.

  16. Sherman, S.A., J.W. Varni, R.S. Ulrich, and V.L. Malcarne. 2005. Post-occupancy evaluation of healing gardens in a pediatric cancer center. Landscape and Urban Planning 73:167–183.

  17. Society of American Florists: Flowers and Seniors Study https://aboutflowers.com/quick-links/health-benefits-research/flowers-seniors-study/

  18. Society of American Florists: 2016 Generation of Flowers Study. https://endowment.org/generationsstudy/

  19. Factsheet is by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) www.aiph.org

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