12 mood lifter plants, salvia, sunflowers, geraniums, california poppies, ceanothus and chamomile

12 Mood-Boosting Plants for Your Bay Area Garden

Planting mood-lifting plants in your garden can be a wonderful way to enhance your outdoor space with color, fragrance, and even attract pollinators. In the Bay Area with our Mediterranean climate, there are several plants known for their mood-boosting qualities that thrive well. Here are some to consider for your garden:

lavender assorted varieties

1. Lavender (Lavandula):

Lavender is not only beautiful and fragrant but also known for its calming and relaxing effects. It thrives in full sun and well-draining soil, making it perfect for the Bay Area climate.

blooming rosemary

2. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis):

This herb is known for its invigorating fragrance and is said to improve memory and mood. It loves the sunny conditions of the Bay Area and requires little water once established.


3. Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus):

With their bright and large blooms facing the sun, sunflowers are known to bring joy and lift spirits. They're easy to grow in sunny spots and can make a striking addition to any garden.

star jasmine

4. Jasmine (Jasminum):

The sweet scent of jasmine flowers is often associated with relaxation and a positive mood. It can be grown as a climber on fences or trellises, providing a lovely fragrance to your garden space.

sage salvia officinalis

5. Sage (Salvia officinalis):

Beyond its culinary uses, sage is reputed for its mood-enhancing properties. It's drought-tolerant and thrives in the warm, sunny climate of the Bay Area.

pinkish purple scented geraniums

6. Geraniums (Pelargonium):

Geraniums offer colorful blooms and a variety of scents, including lemon, rose, and mint, which can uplift the mood. They prefer sunny locations and well-draining soil.

chamomile plant

7. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla):

Known for its calming effects when used in tea, chamomile can also be a mood lifter when planted in the garden. It prefers full sun and well-draining soil.

california poppies

8. California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica):

As the state flower, it's well-adapted to the local climate. Its bright orange flowers can add a cheerful pop of color to your garden and is known to have a calming effect.

bee balm

9. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis):

This herb is known for its stress-relieving and mood-boosting properties. It enjoys full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil.

ceanothus wild lilac california native

10. California Lilac (Ceanothus):

This native shrub produces stunning blue flowers that not only add a burst of color to any garden but also attract pollinators. The rich hues and the fact that it's a low-maintenance native plant can be particularly satisfying and uplifting for gardeners.


11. Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides):

With its glossy evergreen leaves and famously fragrant white flowers, gardenias are a classic choice for adding both beauty and aroma to your space. The scent of gardenia is often associated with reducing stress and promoting a sense of well-being.

sweet alyssum

12. Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima):

Sweet alyssum is a charming groundcover or container plant that produces tiny, sweetly-scented flowers. It blooms profusely and can provide a delightful honey-like fragrance to the garden, which can be quite uplifting on a warm day.

When planning your garden, consider the specific conditions of your space such as sun exposure, soil type, and water availability. Incorporating a mix of these mood-lifting plants can create a garden that not only looks beautiful but also enhances your well-being.