Express Self-Care Through Plant Care
As we celebrate self-expression and self-care this Mental Health Matters Month, we invite you to join Each Mind Matters in planting and caring for seeds, and watching them grow as part of your ongoing self-care. Gardening as self-care has been linked to many mental health benefits. Planting seeds and caring for them as they grow can support our mental well-being by encouraging us to practice acceptance and be present, and it can be a productive coping mechanism for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression.
We recommend planting Dwarf Sunspot sunflowers seeds because they are easy to grow in containers or in the ground, and they will thrive in many parts of California.
Plant these sunflower seeds this May as something to take with you into Mental Health Matters Month and incorporate this activity in your self-care routine for the year to come. Sunflowers are a heliotropic flower, meaning as they grow, they continue to turn toward the sun. Let your sunflowers be a reminder to care for yourself and take in some sunlight in times of need and growth.
To get started, follow these steps.
Find a space in your yard or next to a sunny window that you can utilize to plant your seeds, or you can visit your nearest home and garden store for a flower pot to start your seeds in. A standard terracotta pot is inexpensive and readily available. As your sunflower grows, you may want to consider replanting it in something larger or outside in your garden.
You’ll also need to get some soil that works for these seeds. You can use an all-purpose soil, or ask the professionals at your local hardware or garden supply store for help.
When you plant the seeds in your pot or garden, cover them with about a half inch of the soil and water gently.
Water the newly planted seeds frequently to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Water seedlings frequently, directing the water to the soil about four inches from the plant. Once the sunflowers are well established, water deeply but infrequently (about once per week) to encourage long, healthy roots.
Sunflowers typically take about 80 to 120 days to flower, can be planted in May and are safe for pets and kids. Learn more about caring for sunflowers here.
Keep up with caring for your sunflowers and with some water, patience, love and sunlight, and remember to do the same for yourself. Watch your flowers go and enjoy the benefits of your new self-care activity.