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What makes a good office plant?

Written by: phs Greenleaf

phs Greenleaf has been providing planting and landscaping services to businesses for over 25 years, including indoor and outdoor plants, artificial and live planting, living walls, grounds maintenance and Christmas trees and decorations.

Office plants not only look good and create a pleasant working environment, they have a range of health and wellbeing benefits too. This includes their potential to boost productivity, improve air quality and enhance workplace satisfaction. Plants have even been proven to lead to higher workplace commitment, increased happiness, better concentration and even to reduce stress and anxiety.

If you’re already convinced about getting office plants, don’t just rush out and buy whatever immediately looks good. You need to consider the environment they’ll live in and get the right plants for your office. The wrong conditions could end up killing off your new plants which may have the opposite effect than intended.

How much light do plants need?

Think about how much light you’d be offering your plants. Are the spots you’ve got bright and sunny by a south-facing window or tucked away with low, artificial light levels?

You’ll need to be aware of your office temperature so your indoor climate suits your plants’ requirements. Some thrive in warmer more humid conditions with lots of sunlight while others prefer keeping cooler in the shade. In the wrong spot, it’s actually possible for plants to get sunburn or to wither away from lack of sunlight.

Sun friendly plants include Yuccas, Guzmanias and Petras while plants that enjoy minimal light areas which are a good fit for offices include spider plants, snake plants, ferns and bamboo.

What are the best-sized plants for offices?

Note the size of the space you’re looking to put your plants into and what it’s used for. If space is limited, you’ll want a plant which stays relatively small while if you want to fill a space, you have a larger option of fast-growing leafy plants or even trees.

A huge planter may look fantastic but your staff may grow to loathe it if it’s in the wrong location; for instance, if they’re constantly tripping over it in a thoroughfare, if it usurps a frequently-used storage spot or if its leaves and branches start taking over a workspace. Observing the dynamics of your office will help prevent potential issues and ensure they’re being fully enjoyed.

Best smelling plants for offices

While making your offices smell better is always appealing, take care not to create any issues through over flowering. While they look beautiful, heavily-flowering displays may attract bees or stimulate pollen allergies and intolerances including hay fever. Therefore, the most popular office plants are ones with only a faint, fresh aroma or artificial plants which can be as floral and extravagant as you like without causing any offence.

Plants with purpose

We’ve already touched on the health and wellbeing properties of office plants but the benefits can also be functional too. Throughout the pandemic, phs Greenleaf has been working with businesses to get creative with plants to support with social-distancing measures. The new products developed include directional planters to form one-way systems, plant-integrated hand sanitising units and bins as well as moveable living walls to divide rooms and promote social distancing.

These bring a fresh, green design to the functional objects now needed for everyday office life to provide hand sanitising stations, create queuing and one-way systems and keep people a safe distance apart. Not only are these long-term functional products, they look infinitely better than the makes-shift solutions many have implemented to date such as bollards, stickers and tape.

When to consider artificial plants

Long gone are the days where artificial plants looked fake and even cheap. Today, thanks to advances in technology, artificial plants can be just as good and realistic as real plants and still maintain many of the benefits. In fact, research reports artificial plants have the same sorts of psychological benefits as seeing real ones, as long as they truly look real. Three separate studies have also concluded artificial plants reduce stress and increase workplace productivity by up to 12%. Of course, real plants have additional benefits such as their ability to clean air but artificial plants are suited to even the least-friendly plant environments and are easier to maintain. And if it’s looks you’re going for, you can choose the most floral and extravagant displays going without having to worry about pollen. phs Greenleaf offers a huge range across varying colour and seasonal themes in planters, vases and bowls so you can brighten up your office and even complement your brand with displays which last.

Low-maintenance plants for offices

Buying your plants is only the beginning of your office plant journey. Once they’re in place, they’ve got to be looked after – and some need much more love than others. Watering your plants is essential, taking care not to overwater or underwater according to how much moisture they need. Next is monitoring growth so it doesn’t outgrow its pot as well as regularly trimming dead leaves and overgrowth. Some plants will also need extra nutrients through plant fertiliser while most will also need dusting so the leaves aren’t suffocated; best achieved by wiping them with a wet paper towel. While some staff are happy to be nominated to look after plants, it can be easy for plant maintenance to be forgotten, neglected or even mistakenly done incorrectly.

If you want to take the hassle out of office planting, consider bringing in an expert. phs Greenleaf not only sells and rents the best indoor plants and trees grown in our own specialist nurseries but offers a maintenance service so they’ll be looked after according to their specific need, thriving day after day.

For more details about how phs Greenleaf can transform your office with its corporate planting range, get in touch today.

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