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  • By Caroline Shelly, CID, LEED AP, HF Planners, LLC

Headache #35 – Interior landscaping: tips for selecting and caring for plants in the office space

Interior landscaping has become a viable profession which designs, arranges, and cares for living plants in enclosed environments. Interior Landscaping is the process of combining exterior environments inside; interior spaces also have angles, plains, and horizons that are accentuated by the addition of plants. Interior landscapes enhance spaces with color, sculptural elements, ornamental, and focal points as well as the ability to help build brand awareness, and help attract and retain employees. Survey results from extensive research has proven that plants in the office space can decreases stress, boosts productivity, inspires creativity, and improves air quality by reducing carbon dioxide and filtering toxins. However, the addition of plants can bring on a host of additional headaches; from lack of sufficient lighting, insects, and mold due to over watering. In order to take advantage of the benefits that plants have to offer in the workplace, it is best to develop a strategy which identifies which plants work best for the various work environments. There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to interior landscaping or “plantscaping” the office environment. A primary factor in selecting a plant is lighting. Labels on pots or planters indicate the best environment to help them flourish. Here are tips from experts for selecting and caring for plants in the office: • Full sun plants should take advantage of window locations. • The Bamboo Palm is famous for filtering formaldehyde and flourishes in full sun or bright light. • Spider plants are easy to grow and benefit from bright, indirect sun. Partial sun plants can survive a distance from windows. • Boston Ferns are an ideal choice for this type of sun-light. They prefer the space to be cool with humidity, which can be a challenge for some offices spaces, particularly in the winter months. • Shade flourishing plants include the Peace Lily. They are easy to grow and will flower for much of the summer. While they are relatively small in sizes, they pack some major air-cleaning skills. • Windowless workers should choose shade loving plants like Jade Plants. • Keep allergy prone co-workers from outbreaks by staying away from flowering plants. • Office environments that are lit 10-18 hours a day can impact the life of plants. Additional watering may be required. Caroline Shelly, CID, LEED AP+BD-C, principal HF Planners, LLC.

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