Ten Ways to Banish the Blues with Green

By: Kathleen Payne

In spite of the glorious fall colours we are now enjoying, the changing season means that greenery will be reduced over the coming months. Many studies have concluded that even brief access to green space, trees, flowers, lawns and plants enhances emotional stability, assists in intellectual and educational pursuits and increases general productivity (check out another blog post on the topic here). So now might be the time to consider brightening the low-light seasons ahead by bringing some plants to the office.

Not only can plants enhance the overall appearance of the office, they can reduce stress and help eliminate air pollutants. Office plants can also create focal points or provide screening. Below are ten plants that are easy to care for and very suitable for any office environment, large or small.

Easy to care for office plants:

1. Succulents – These fascinating plants, often tinged with blue and mauve, are currently very much in fashion. They can go for weeks without water during the fall and winter but need sun.  Some are tiny, taking up no space at all, but all have a geometric shape and ethereal structure that will provide moments of serenity and contemplation.

2.  Spider plant – A spider plant is an intriguing office plant producing small spiderettes, which cascade down. It is one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. Place it up high on a bookshelf, cabinet or windowsill and admire the dangling new baby plants that will form over time. Just make sure you can reach the pot for easy watering. 

3. Cactus  – When regular watering can’t be guaranteed, turn to the trusty cactus family. Just be sure to place them where no one is likely to be injured. Cactus can serve as a beautiful metaphor for any thorny issues and are quite likely to spark conversation.

4. Philodendrons – Philodendrons are great for providing height in small areas. Place them on filing cabinets or suspend them in their hanging baskets. These plants are easy to grow and suitable for a wide range of indoor conditions. They are quite forgiving of occasional neglect.

 5. Pothos – Pothos adapts well to a variety of office conditions, from low light levels to brighter ones. This easy-care plant, with heart-shaped, white-splotched leaves will brighten up any desk, shelf or mood.

Air enhancing plants:

Some of the best plants for an office are those that reduce air pollution and raise humidity. Good ideas for indoor air enhancers include the following:

6. Dracaena – Dracaena is a great choice for eliminating pollutants. It’s easy to care for and makes a unique focal point or screening plant.

7. Peace lily – Peace lily is also known for refreshing the air. It’s tolerant of low light and is a vigorous grower. Peace lily is well named as it will lend a calming influence, especially when in bloom.

8. Rubber plants – Rubber plants are an excellent addition to nearly any office décor and they are well known for effectively removing indoor air pollutants. They can grow large enough to act as dividers and space definers.

Short term plants:

Office plants needn’t necessarily be thought of as long-term companions. Much enjoyment is to be had by keeping seasonal plants for a short time and then sending them home with any interested colleagues or simply consigning them to the appropriate bins when their bloom or aesthetic appeal is finished. Nurseries, IKEA, and many grocery shops are well stocked with these and they usually come with information about their requirements. Here are two more beneficial plants you will easily find:

9. Lemon cypress - While avoiding fragrant flowering plants is strongly suggested for the office, one delightful easy-care long-lasting scented plant to consider is lemon cypress. A little office aromatherapy comes with this tiny evergreen tree as it will release a delicious lemon fragrance only upon request, when gently touched.

10. Orchids – Orchids are a wonderful long-lasting choice for scentless office bloom. Surprisingly easy to maintain, purchase orchids with flowering stalks still in bud and everyone in the office will enjoy many beautiful mindful moments over the indoor season ahead.

 What plants do you have in your office? Let us know! 

Cover image source: greenliving4life.com