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Color Your Office Green!

November 14, 2017 / by Tommy Twardowski

We're firm believers that incorporating natural elements into your office design has tangible benefits for body, mind, and soul. One of the most effective ways to bring the outside in is to fill your office space with plants. They're naturally beautiful to look at, make your space feel less sterile and cozier and purify the air. If you're strategic about which plants you bring in and where you put them and assign one or more individuals the responsibility to water them occasionally, plants will be a low-maintenance addition to your office space.

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Low Maintenance Plants to Incorporate into Your Office Design

Filling your office space with living plants need not be a high-maintenance undertaking. If you're looking for tall plants to make a big, beautiful impact or fill in an empty area, consider rubber plants, ponytail palms, indoor corn plants, fiddleleaf fig plants, snake plants, schefflera plants and Norfolk pines (which you can decorate for the holidays with lights and ornaments).

Other plants that grow long or wide, rather than tall, include pothos, which is fast-growing and has shiny, variegated leaves; heartleaf philodendron; the umbrella tree, which is also known as a Hawaiian schefflera; and the ZZ plant that, by one description, "tolerates dark corners and neglect."

Location, Location, Location

When deciding where to add plants to your office space, you should ask yourself two questions: What makes sense to add aesthetic beauty to your office design and where will a plant thrive? The first question will depend on your space, but in general, plants will add ambiance in entryways, waiting rooms, break rooms, conference rooms and any common shared spaces. It's probably best to allow employees to decorate their own offices or individual workspaces (and hopefully they, too, will agree that plants are a great addition!).

The answer to the second question will depend on the plant in question. Fortunately, most easy-care houseplants tolerate artificial lighting very well. Some types of plants (pothos, philodendron, ZZ plant) will grow best in low-light conditions and others prefer being placed near a sunny window (the notoriously easy-to-grow cacti, ponytail palms, corn plants). Additionally, make sure to position plants away from air-conditioning and heating vents, which will dry them out.

Artsy, Unexpected Pops of Plant Life

Arguably, the ultimate in low maintenance is the air plant (tillandsia). These unique plants grow without soil! Because they need not be confined to a pot, you can create a "living wall" by securing them with hooks or twine. The only maintenance they need is a mist of water once a week. Another artsy way to showcase plants in your office design is to create a beautiful terrarium - a living landscape enclosed in a shiny glass vessel. Simply place a growing medium in the bottom of the container and fill it with easy-to-grow small plants such as spider fern, starfish plant, begonia, club moss and mondo grass. You can then landscape your terrarium with rocks, coral, seashells or other natural accents to create a pretty tableau to showcase on a desk, countertop or table.

Plants enhance the look of any office environment because they easily fit into any office design scheme! Whether your office design is stark and modern, quirky and eclectic or classic and traditional, you'll find plenty of low-maintenance indoor plant options to elevate your design scheme and bring the outdoors in, beautifully.

Topics: Office Design

About The Author

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy began his career in the office furniture installation business in 1978 and started his full-time career in 1981 with Houston Installation Services. Starting as a furniture installer, he developed a passion for the process of installation and learned to install all major manufacturers’ lines.