While those out and about in the landscaping field get hands on experience with plants daily, what about your clients working indoors? Working inside certainly has its perks, but sometimes it’s nice to have a touch of green livening up the place. Plus, plants in the office can improve air quality and filtration.
Of all the water plants take in, they release around 97 percent; this increases the humidity of a room and can help decrease dry skin, colds, dry coughs and sore throats. Every 24 hours, plants remove up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxins. Studies conducted by the Agricultural University of Norway show that with plants in offices, sickness rates fell more than 60 percent.
For clients working indoors, or even other members of your company manning the office, here are six indoor plants that not only beautify the office but also provide health benefits.
Improving air quality
Rubber tree plant (Fiscus elastica)
Based on its attractive, thick and glossy leaves, the rubber tree plant is one of the most popular indoor plants. They are also very low-maintenance and can help remove pollutants from the air. It’s best to water this plant often enough to keep the soil moist during the spring. Once it goes dormant, it will only require watering once or twice a month. If you see the leaves turning yellow, water it less, and if the leaves begin to droop water it more. These require bright, indirect light so keep them close to a window with sheer curtains.
Aloe (Aloe vera)
Aloe plants not only act as an air purifier, they can alleviate pain from scrapes and burns. Soothing aloe gel is stored in the variegated center leaves. Aloe should be planted in a wide container with potting mix that will drain well to keep the plant from rotting. Soil should be kept on the dry side, and in the winter watering is required even less. Aloe requires full sun to thrive.
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
This plant is an evergreen climbing vine and requires little care. It not only filters out formaldehyde, it also can reduce airborne fecal particles. Water this plant enough to keep the soil moist while it’s growing. Once it begins to branch out, they can tolerate drier soil and low light. This plant does well in shaded areas, so for offices without windows this one is a good match.
Philodendrons are a great office plant for many reasons, such as its easy care requirements and its early signs of poor health. You can choose between the vining and non-climbing varieties, but make sure it has something to climb (bookshelf or cubicle) if you choose the climbing option. When the top inch of the soil is dry, it’s a good time to water your philodendron. If leaves are drooping, it’s time to change up the watering schedule, and pale new leaves are an indicator that the plant is lacking nutrients. In spring and summer months, water it with fertilizer. To see your philodendron thrive, place in bright, indirect sunlight.
Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
This is a bright office decoration because of its arching fronds, feathery look and abundance of leaves. The areca palm isn’t difficult to care for but they do require specific lighting. If you place them in direct sunlight, make sure to watch for yellowing leaves. In spring and summer, keep the soil moist and allow it to dry in fall and winter. Every two to three years it will require repotting to remove salt deposits. Place the palm in bright, indirect sunlight for best results.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Chinese evergreens are great for offices because they are very low-maintenance plants, as well as a toxin remover. It’s a very durable plant and adds a nice pop of color to the setting with its shiny, two-tones leaves. These plants do prefer warm temperatures and humid environments, but it still does well in moderate temperatures. It will not survive in temperatures below 55 °F. To allow the roots to dry out, stick with a moderate watering routine. These do well in low or indirect sunlight.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a sampling of some of the indoor plants that ProFlowers lists as ideal indoor plants. For the full list, click here.