A few things happened that inspired me to write this post. The first occurred when I shared a post on my Facebook page and someone commented about the fact that most of the pictures of plants in interiors today are staged. They also pointed out that most of the plants used will never survive where they are. So true. I share things because I so much want people to succeed with houseplants. Yet, I do know that many of the pics on Pinterest and in many articles are choosing plants that “look” good, but may not necessarily live there for any amount of time-healthy and happy, anyway. The second was an article I read about 10 plants for your office that you can’t kill that I’m quite sure are already dead. Finally, a friend of my daughter’s called and asked me about plants for his office. The picture above is the snake plant or Sansevieria he purchased for his work place.
So here we go. The point is, you can’t assume a plant will live wherever you put it. There is more to placing a plant than just plunking it down wherever you feel it should be or where it looks good. Certain things have to be assessed before you decide to adopt a plant. I’ve never worked in an office situation, but have worked in offices taking care of plants. Even if there are only fluorescent lights without any sunlight, there are plants that will work. They may not stay as full and beautiful as the day they were placed, but they will do reasonably well. Usually pothos, philodendron, ZZ plant, and aglaonemas do fine in a no-window-electric-light-only, situation. If there is a window providing some sunlight, the choice of plants increases considerably. The point being, choose a plant based on the environment you are dealing with. The following 12 plants (including the snake plant above) are low to medium light plants that would survive with only fluorescent lights on 8-12 hours a day as they would be in an office situation. As you can see, there is only one flowering plant, as the usual office situation, especially without any sunlight, will not enable plants to flower. (If you have a peace lily close to fluorescent lights, it may bloom) I show some variegated and lime versions of the plants but the solid dark green versions would do better in a low light situation. Variegated and lime plants need more light to keep their coloring.
If you have a window in your office with plenty of sunlight you can choose a cactus or succulent. (Haworthias are succulents and take less light than most succulents, so they may work). Otherwise, forget buying one. It will take a while, but eventually it will decline and most likely die. If you don’t mind buying another plant, and you like the plant, go ahead and buy it, treating it like a bouquet of flowers-enjoy it while it looks nice and then throw it away. If you want a long lived plant though, choose wisely. Research the plant you want to buy after assessing the amount of light you have.
If your boss isn’t happy about plants in the office place, let them know how good plants are for the work place. It has been proven that plants make people happier, lower their blood pressure, and clean the air. Plants in the work place also lower the amount of sick days taken by the employees. Why wouldn’t they want plants? They definitely work in their favor.
By the way, it is #NationalIndoorPlantWeek, so to celebrate, find an appropriate plant and take it to work. I sent this plant below to work with my daughter 3 years ago this week and it is still doing well today. We chose wisely.