By Mary Swaine, BA, ND, PHD, PMIAC – Montreal, QC


Plants and flowers make us feel good, not only because they’re beautiful, but because of their colour.

The colour of each plant you put in your garden has a direct healing effect on your physical body, emotions and thoughts. For example, red can give you a kick-start and energize you, while yellow helps you feel optimistic .

If you want a healing outdoor space, it’s best to plant a variety of colours – everyone needs specific colours, and those you need might not be those that others in your household (or your neighbourhood) need.

How do you decide which colours will be beneficial to you? Well, if you look and feel good wearing a particular colour, chances are the colours you surround yourself with outdoors, will do the same.

Why do colours help us heal?  Because everything is energy at different rates of vibration. Each body part, feeling, thought, and colour has a specific vibratory rate. Disease = disharmonious physical and/or psychological vibration. Healing = changing “bad vibes” to healthy ones. Colours help us retune. It works at all levels simultaneously – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Have a colourful season!



If you feel like a hermit or the grouch who stole Christmas, plant some orange. Orange is sociable, brings joy, acceptance, tolerance, and opens the mind. Orange is the colour of medicine; that is, it is the most generally healing colour, especially for assimilation, digestion and body fluids (hormones, digestive juices, blood, lymph etc.).

The red-orange Japanese maple combines the benefits of both colours – they energize, uplift, and emanate joie de vivre.


Let’s start with green, since that’s a given…unless you live in the Sahara and have a rock garden. Physically, green is good for the heart, circulatory system, problems in the stomach, liver, gall bladder and pancreas. Emotionally green gives hope, love, harmony, sympathy, stability, and balance. Mentally green offers peace of mind and soothes mental stress. Green is the colour of rebirth and eternity.

If you’ve had an intense day and get home totally exhausted, green will soothe and relax you.


If you’re exhausted and still have things to do, red will get you moving. Red gives energy, heat, courage, strength of will, and it’s sexy. No coincidence, red raises blood pressure and is good for the muscles.


When you need a little love… plant pink. It is the colour of love. Wild roses do the trick!  Both the colour pink and the scent of pink roses help us to connect to true love.