Therapeutic Horticulture in Depression and Mental Health

Jody Carlson


The purpose of this review is to examine available evidence for the use of Therapeutic Horticulture (TH) as a supplemental treatment of depression. For this paper, TH is defined as active or passive use of plants to achieve wellness (Sempik, Aldridge, & Becker, 2003) as applied to depression. A review of the available literature was performed using academic databases and the internet. Terms used in the search were horticultural therapy, depression, gardening, horticulture, and therapeutic horticulture. Few studies were devoted specifically to depression; applications for other mental health conditions are also discussed. Results support the use of TH as supplemental treatment for reducing depression symptoms. Further primary research to build the scientific evidence base is needed.