If you feel stuck in a grey world of desks, computers and filing cabinets then maybe it’s time to inject a little life into the situation.
A study headed by Dr Chris Knight from Exeter University concluded that workers are both happier and around 15% more productive when houseplants are added to their workspaces!
Besides this and many other studies, anyone on the street could tell you that being in touch with nature in some way brings calm and joy to our lives, so it’s really important that our working environments are not sterile and lifeless, but bright, warm, living spaces that we feel connected to.
Adding plants to any space will add to the style and atmosphere, but it will also improve our mental health, and will help to purify the air and add oxygen.
I’ve chosen 5 great plants for you that will survive an office environment well, and also bring some colour and spirit back into even the gloomiest space!
Philodendron scandens, is easy to grow, tough and able to withstand neglect (so it won’t die on you).
Give it a little warmth and enough water to prevent the compost from drying out and it will even thrive.
As it is jungle plant, it naturally shoots aerial roots from its stems that allow it to entwine and scramble up tree trunks.
In your office you might prefer to grow it in a hanging basket so that it doesn’t take up valuable floor or desk space. Fixing it to the ceiling rafters means that you can take advantage of its trailing effect.
Great architectural plants, bromeliads produce a ‘vase’ of leaves that can be lilac-pink flushed or green, with chocolate coloured stripes or spots, and with a stiff ‘artificial-looking’ flower spike made up of brightly coloured bracts emerging from the centre.
Keep plants happy by filling the ‘vase’ of leaves with fresh water every month and when the flower spike fades, simply discard the plant and buy a replacement.
Tough and Terrific
If you have a taste for the unusual, you will like the ponytail palm, which is bizarre-looking with a swollen bulb-like base and a short trunk that is topped with a shaggy tuft of leaves.
It will thrive in a well-lit, cool room and also survive the dry air that’s usually associated with central heating.
When watering, thoroughly drench the compost then allow excess to drain before re-wetting.
The lower leaves will naturally die off as the plant ages and can be pulled off to reveal more of the trunk.
Crassula ovata has many names but is most commonly called the money plant because according to Chinese Feng Shui rules, they give rooms a vibrant energy and will improve your bank balance!
This iconic houseplant is tree-like, with trunk and branches, and smooth succulent leaves. It is a good choice for a sunny windowsill and will survive even if you forget to water. In fact, it is so easy to look after that plants are often handed down in families.
If you want to make a statement, then check out Cycads. These primitive palm-like plants that were around when the dinosaurs roamed, so it’s no surprise to find that they’re impossible to kill!
They make statuesque specimens with a stout pineapple-shaped stem and a terminal rosette of hard, leathery, pinnate leaves that have a spiny tip. As true survivors, they need only an occasional drink.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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