Choose the perfect-fit plants for your office space
In our previous article called ‘The benefits of introducing plants into the workplace‘, we discussed some of the different benefits of introducing indoor plants into your workplace. Some of these include increasing the productivity, creativity, and overall wellbeing of your employees. In this article, we will go into detail about specific indoor plants you might choose to incorporate into your office space, based on the functions and benefit they may serve.
Whilst deciding the perfect plants for your office spaces, first look at what specific function you want them to serve. Is it to simply add a pop of colour to your space? Or are you looking for plants which will provide employees with a calm atmosphere and exert fragrance? In spaces with printers and a lot of carbon in the air, you could even choose certain air purifying indoor plants. And in the case of limited space, you could opt for hanging plants.
When choosing to incorporate indoor plants into your office space, it is important to decide on the placement and variety with consideration to the specific context of the space.
1. Are you looking for plants to liven up your workspace?
Opt for plants that make a statement and will grow to be a substantial size, maybe even with coloured or funky shaped leaves.
a) Ficus Lyrata or the ‘Fiddle Leaf Fig’
Ficus Lyrata is a very popular indoor plant due to its broad leaves and the fact that they can grow to almost 10ft indoors, therefore acting as prime focal plants. It needs a permanent spot in your office, so it would be perfect for an area with a lot of space, such as a conference room or a social space. This plant requires bright indirect sun, and a moderate amount of watering, especially in the summers.
b) Croton Plant
Croton plants are colourful and rainbow hued, likely to add fun splashes of colour to your indoor space. They could either have long, narrow leaves or wider oblong leaves. Crotons are best suited to be positioned near window spaces as they require bright light to grow. They are somewhat drought tolerant, requiring less frequent watering, often only every few weeks.
c) Dracaena marginate or dragon tree
Dracaena marginate grows almost straight upwards in small tufts, which is ideal when faced with limited space. It makes a striking visual statement and is therefore perfect as an indoor plant. It can also be easily maintained, doing well in artificial light and being quite drought resistant, it only needs frequent watering during the summer period.
2. Are you looking for plants which involve the senses?
Opt for plants with a strong aroma, and/or edible plants, and/or multi-use plants.
Rosemary is a blue-flowering perennial evergreen shrub. It’s a fragrant, distinctive herb with a sweet, resinous taste. It can grow into a medium sized shrub if permitted to. They require full sun and moderate watering.
b) Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the easiest plants to grow. It adds a nice pop of colour to the space and can grow quite large if allowed to. It is also multifunctional: apart from purifying the surrounding air, it can be used to treat a multitude of skin issues. It prefers bright sunlight and also hardly requires watering. It is the perfect plant to grow indoors if you are looking for an addition to your space which requires very little maintenance.
With grey-green foliage, upright flower spikes, and a compact shrub shape, lavender is a well-known and fragrant herb, that can be grown indoors in your workspace. It can be potted, or even hung in a warm spot with air circulation. It thrives in full sun, well-drained soil and tolerates most growing conditions. Though it initially requires quite a bit of watering, it is drought resistant after a while. Lavender’s scent is also known for its relaxing effects, ideal for creating a calm working environment.
3. Are you looking for plants that could help purify the air in your workspace?
Opt for one of the following varieties.
a) Monstera Deliciosa or ‘Swiss Cheese Plant’
Monstera Deliciosa gets its name from the typical nature of its large leaves with holes and spits in them, They lend an exotic yet cosy feel to your space. This species is known to grow large in size, therefore you could opt for this if you have large open spaces. It requires lots of indirect sunlight, thriving in an environment that is not too hot. It is easy to manage without much fuss, but does require watering often since it needs humid conditions to thrive.
b) Asplenium nidus or Bird’s Nest Fern
Asplenium nidus has pale green long leaves that have rippled edges, and these lend a particularly unique look to the plant. It purifies the air well and filters out chemicals. The plant also requires indirect light, and works well in humid locations. It requires little watering, but frequent misting of the fern. Doing so possibly a few times a week would help the plant thrive since it grows best in humid conditions.
c) Zamioculcas zamiifolia or ZZ Plant
Zamioculcas zamiifolia has large glossy dark green leaves and is good to be grown in indoor spaces since it increases the indoor oxygen levels and thus promotes a fresher, healthier environment. The plant needs very little maintenance and is ideal for office spaces where it might be difficult to take care of indoor plants. It requires indirect light and can thus be placed away from the windows. It requires watering only every few weeks.
4. Do you have limited space available?
Opt for vertical plants and/or hanging plants.
a) Chlorophytum Comosum or ‘Spider Plant’
Chlorophytum comosum has long leaves or ‘spiderettes’ and grows outwards. The dangling nature of the leaves makes it a vibrant and dynamic addition to the office space. This plant is known to purify air rapidly, so it is ideal for spaces used by a lot of people. It is also very easy to care for as it requires indirect sunlight. It also only needs little water, which means that this plant does not need much time devoted to its maintenance.
b) Hedera Helix or ‘English Ivy’
Hedera Helix is an evergreen perennial plant, growing to long vertical lengths. It has evergreen leaves, appearing the same all year round. It grows in partial to full shade, thus would be perfect for corners far from windows. It needs protection from both winter winds and harsh sun. It requires less watering, but a fair amount of trimming maintenance considering it is a fast-growing species.
c) Philodendron Scandens
Apart from being able to grow in tiny vertical spaces, Philodendron scandens are also known to have air purifying properties. The vining type of Philodendron often needs a support, while the vertical type can grow directly out of a pot. It grows best near windows, usually requiring partial sunlight and moderate amount of watering.
Indoor plants are the perfect addition to offices, especially in supporting your employees’ well-being and adding a bit of texture and colour to the space. Supplementing your office space in this way could provide extra encouragement when welcoming your employees back to the office. However not all plants work well in all spaces, therefore be sure to make your choices based on your specific space and the desired function you want from the plant. An effective way to do this is by comparing the benefits and attributes they each offer.
Incorporating indoor plants into your space will not only add aesthetic value but also help those who inhabit it feel better. Having indoor plants encourages creativity and promotes productivity and better-quality work from your employees (As mentioned in a study by Robertson Cooper: Human Spaces: The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace, 2015)1. Plants improve the company culture and atmosphere of your office, therefore why not choose indoor plants to spruce up your office in time for your employees’ return?
If you are considering adding indoor plants to your office space or renovating your office space all together, and would like some help to decide which plants could work best for you, get in touch with us. We would be happy to help with any questions you may have.