Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’sActivities Ideas Center

Plant an Herb Garden

Picture of an herb garden

What you need:

Small clay pot(s) or one large potting container, potting soil, several herb plants. Good choices include oregano, chives, thyme, sage, peppermint, lemon balm. Ask at garden centers; supermarkets with florist areas may carry them.

What to know:

  • Herbs are a great indoor-garden choice because they offer several kinds of sensory stimulation: the strong scents and tastes of the herbs, the feel of the soil, and the bright colors of the leaves.
  • Herbs are also fairly tolerant of being repotted, so your loved one can repeat the activity often, transferring from one container to another.
  • Start by arranging materials on newspaper or a worktable. If your loved one needs guidance, begin the process by transferring some potting soil into a pot. Offer help as needed.
  • Beware overwatering; once a week is sufficient. Try posting a sign to remind your loved one not to water. (On the other hand, if the plant doesn't make it, herbs are cheap and you can easily start all over again.)
  • Store herbs on a sunny south-facing windowsill if you can.
  • Cook with the herbs you plant, and talk about this.