Saturday, April 19, 2008

Plants for your office space

Ornamental and functional plants beautify office spaces and lend an aesthetic touch to surroundings.

According to Feng Shui, plants in the office bring better luck to your career. Scientifically, they purify the air and help create a greener ambience. There are two kinds of plants you can introduce in your office space - ornamental and functional. While ornamental plants brighten up a dull decor, functional plants remove toxins from the environment and add oxygen to stale air. You can display a combination of both types of plants to achieve the right balance.

Before you bring any plant into your office, consider the following:


See if the windows in your office allow sufficient sunlight to come in. No plant can survive without sunlight. There are certain shade-loving plants that may do well in limited sunlight and under fluorescent lamps. But there is no effective substitute to adequate sunlight. If you cannot find a spot where the plant can get sufficient sunlight, keep it outside in the balcony or terrace for three to four hours everyday.


How much time are you willing to dedicate to plant-care? Do you have someone who can care of them? Most plants in offices end up covered in dust or die after a couple of months. Make a conscious effort not to let that happen if you choose to introduce plants in your office. In case you cannot spend much time tending to the plants, opt for low-maintenance functional plants instead of flowering ones.


If you have limited floor space, you can get fixtures on the walls that can hold pots. Don't clutter up your space with big pots.

Choosing the right plant

If your purpose is to brighten up the office space, go in for flowering plants or those with colourful leaves. Crotons are easy to grow and good to look at. There are more than 750 types of crotons available in India. The leaves range from vibrant yellows, oranges, shades of reds to purple, and some incredible shades of green. Variegated patterns on the leaves are spots, stripes, streaks, and blotches. These plants require fertile soil and adequate sunlight.

Some of the popular crotons include the banana croton that has eight-inch long leaves, gold dust crotons that have dark green leaves with scattered brilliant yellow dots, and mammy or fire crotons with leaves that have beautiful waxy colours of the rainbow.

Flowering plants like Anthurium, button roses, Cat's tail, Fire cracker, and orchids can be grown in pots. All these plants require plenty of sunlight. Creepers like the money plants, Trailing Myrtle, Plumbago, Golden Star, and Creeping thyme can be allowed to grow on door archways or along window grills. Climbers such as Asarina, Hydrangea Petiolaris, and Morning Glory are beautiful to look at and easy to tend to. You can grow climbers on any kind of surface, especially the Hydrangea Petiolaris which can climb on walls, wires, pipes, etc.

When it comes to functional plants, go for low-maintenance ones.

The Philodendron Selloum does well in low lighting conditions.

The Ficus Benjamina can grow in any type of soil.

Monstera is an ideal choice for indoors as it needs less water.

The Dracaena plant is an excellent cleanser of impurities in the air.
Cane bamboo, Areca Palm, Philodendron, and Dieffenbachia are other indoor plants that grow easily.

Besides these, cacti and bonsai are great options for indoor foliage. Certain types of cacti even bear flowers. They are easy to take care of and look impressive in an office space. Bonsai, on the other hand, needs a lot of care and sunlight. They are essentially not indoor plants but can be placed indoors occasionally.
If you have the space, you can create a plant-scape within your office with a combination of plants. Consult an architect for options that suit your space.

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