Plant lovers know that adding some foliage to your living space can improve your mood, offer some health benefits, and spruce up the area’s aesthetic. Since people spend a lot of time at home, it makes sense to make the atmosphere as positive as possible.
But home isn’t the only place people spend their time. A workspace is a place many often spend 40 hours a week or more, and is usually a stressful, fast-paced environment. So why not allow plants to offer the same home benefits at work? A few colorful additions can do wonders for a workspace, provide fresh air, reduce some harmful effects associated with office life, and help people tap into our affinity for nature. Large species can really transform an area, but even little plants can make a big difference.
Stop Sick Building Syndrome
Sick Building Syndrome is a lot more than people not feeling their best when they have to go to work. It’s a measurable, significant change in health and health-related symptoms, recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency, and caused by consistent time spent confined in a building. Symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, and dry throat or cough, tend to develop after prolonged time in a building. The syndrome is often attributed to indoor air pollutants and poor air circulation. Over time, the effects on health and morale can be devastating to a business.
Fortunately, the solution doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Rooms filled with plants have significant improvements in air quality, as well as corresponding reductions in airborne molds and bacteria. And, not surprisingly, studies have shown that plants help reduce the very same symptoms associated with Sick Building Syndrome, such as headaches, dry throat, cough, fatigue, and dry facial skin. In other words, plants are a living solution to a very real problem occurring in offices all over the world.
Mental Health Benefits and Biophilia
The advantages of having plants in your office go beyond physical improvements. Bright colors and scents stimulate our senses, and the color green has been found to be especially effective in boosting creativity. An office with a generous amount of plant life encourages positive mindsets and reduces negative emotions and behavior. Studies have shown plants reduce anxiety, fatigue, depression, and even violent tendencies in office settings. Employees are more creative, more motivated, and even more productive when plants are introduced into an office setting.
The reasons for these benefits aren’t magical; they’re natural. Humans are innately programmed with biophilia, a desire to connect and commune with nature and other living things. Have you heard of people who feel refreshed and energized after spending time in a tropical environment, or wanting to “get away” to a cabin in the woods? Humans are driven to seek out nature. It makes us feel relaxed, comfortable, and creative. While you can’t move your office into a forest, you can invite a bit of nature into your workspace via plants.
When you add a variety of plants into a space, people want to stay there longer. That benefit shouldn’t be overlooked at a time when many people are returning to office settings after a long period of working remotely. And with the prominence of “quiet quitting” — workers reluctant to go the extra mile and doing the bare minimum required for their jobs — any positive adjustment to the workspace can only help the transition back to office life, and boost morale at a time when it’s sorely needed. Plants can accomplish all that and more.
Perfect Office Plants
Here are a few suggestions for plants that can improve any office setting.
Ficus Audrey – The Audrey isn’t a high-maintenance plant. It can survive in lower-light conditions than the Fiddle Leaf fig (though artificial or filtered light helps it thrive), has good soil moisture tolerance, and features a sturdy look with plenty of green on its healthy leaves. It’s a popular houseplant and makes a perfect addition to your office.
Plantz offers the Audrey in two sizes and 10-inch and 14-inch grow pots. It doesn’t require complicated care, either: Clean dust from its leaves with a wet cloth, or use a mild soapy solution in the rare event that pests find their way to it. You can prune the stems and branches that are out of form, or let them grow in a variety of directions for a more natural look.
Drooping or dropping leaves means it’s getting too little (or too much) water, or not enough light. It can also shed leaves if there’s a dramatic change in lighting. Browning leaf margins (under-watering, not enough light) and brown or mushy spots in the leaves (too much water or cold temperature exposure) can be corrected easily.
Giganta – The Giganta features multiple trunks, wide leaves, and a large, colorful radius of foliage. Also offered in 10-inch and 14-inch grow pots, the Giganta doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Pruning isn’t usually necessary, and cleaning just takes a wet cloth, or a soapy solution for pests, which shouldn’t be a big problem here.
It grows best with medium or bright light but can handle lower-light settings as well. And watering can be infrequent by making sure the entire soil profile is moist, and then letting it dry over the course of days or even weeks.
Bamboo Palm – Known for its good luck properties, it also offers more scientific benefits such as adding moisture to the air. A natural humidifier, it’s the perfect solution to stuffy office spaces where dried-out noses and throats are common. It’s available in a 10-inch grow pot for three feet, or a 14-inch grow pot for five feet and up.
The Bamboo Palm’s rich, green leaves add a tropical look to any space and can tolerate lower-light levels better than most palms. But for best results, find an area with filtered, natural light or bright, fluorescent light. Its soil moisture should remain damp, but be careful of overwatering. Yellowing and dropping leaves means it’s getting too much.
Pruning usually just requires pulling the yellowed, older leaves at the bottom of the plant. If a stem gets out of line and needs to be pruned, do it at the base; never cut a stem in half, or you won’t see any new growth there.
The Bamboo Palm needs a little extra care when it comes to cleaning and bugs. For the former, a feather duster can be a good accompaniment to a solution of water and light soap. And for bugs (especially mealybugs and mites), a spray bottle with light soap and water, administered daily, should take care of the problem.
The Plantz Difference
Not only does Plantz.com have all of the answers you need for the care of your new office plants, but they also have a convenient website where you can order plants for delivery right from the comfort of your own home (or office). For those who want to gift a plant, but are unsure of what plant is right for their friend’s space, Plantz.com offers gift cards that can be used for plants and supplies, including a wide variety of decorative containers. Contact Plantz.com today to find the right office buddy for you!