Archive for the ‘How to Choose the Right Plant’ Category

Office Plants. Should I Fake it?

September 13, 2013

Last week we talked to our founder, Heddy Salerno, about what makes for a successful office plant.  And we got great suggestions! But the truly plant-challenged among us were waiting for another type of plant to be mentioned- the fake kind. But is that cheating? Faux greenery is so realistic these days. Surely it plays a role in the world of home and office décor. We went to the plant whisperer in chief to get her thoughts.

Q: Heddy, would Mother Nature disown me if I went with silk plants?

A: Boy, big question. Live plants are just so much better for you.  Do you know that they can improve your employee productivity by over 12%?  That they reduce absenteeism and sick building syndrome?  These are actual NASA facts!  And live plants bring you oxygen.

  • The takeaway: don’t give up too easily. The benefits of actual living, breathing plants range from simple – more oxygen in the environment, to complex – fighting the effects of modern construction materials in airtight buildings. Maybe the positive effects are worth learning to work a watering can.

replica arrangement2Q: So is that a “no” on faux?

A: There is a place for faux plants.  If your lighting is really too low (a bathroom with low light, a very dark room or a conference room that rarely gets used) then a faux plant is the best choice. Why install a plant into a place where you know it just will not work?  You really don’t want it to die. And as professionals, we know what will and will not work. We can supply you with faux plants that look great.

  • The takeaway: use your best judgment. Or even better, let us use ours!  Inside Plants will evaluate the best places in your office or home to place greenery design-wise, and then choose the appropriate plants (live or faux) for the light level. We’ll make sure your space is attractive, healthy, and your plants are taken care of long-term.

To set up an appointment with one of our designers, or discuss any indoor office plant maintenance issues, please contact us. Inside Plants has been providing premiere home and office plant maintenance in Southern California for over 35 years.


Good Office Plants

September 9, 2013

ImageEmployers today are looking for office staff that’s going to succeed. Not just succeed, but thrive.  It’s no different with plants.  The good news is that getting new plants is a lot less complicated than getting new employees, and if things don’t work, getting rid of them is 100% drama free. So, what makes a good office plant? We asked Heddy Salerno, Inside Plants owner and office plant services guru to weigh in.

Q: What makes a great office plant?

A good candidate can live during the hustle and bustle of daily office life. It can stay out of the way and just look pretty. And if it happens to clean the air, that’s added value.

And Heddy means added value literally. The healthier your environment, the more productive your employees.

Q: What about light? Offices aren’t exactly solariums.

Usually a low light plant would be the best in an office situation.  Even though fluorescent lighting is okay for plants, it is still not the best for optimum growth.

When buying plants at a big box store, many plants are labeled with their light requirements. Stick to what you know will work in your space.

Q: Can you recommend a few specific types?

The more popular office plants would be rhaphis palm, (AKA lady palm) kentia palm, dracaenas (all varieties), spathiphyllum (peace lily), pothos, and ficus (if there’s a window).

These sound like big intimidating names, but the plants themselves are friendlier, take a look on the Inside Plants website to see photos of these and other great options.

Even knowing what plants work, it can still be hard to keep everything healthy in the office. Let the professionals bring the best plants, and maintain them for you. We all have a shameful story about letting a co-worker’s orchid wither while they were on vacation. Ok, maybe that hasn’t happened to everyone, but trust me, avoid it. It’s right about then you wish your office had a “ficus only” policy, or better yet a contract with Inside Plants.

To learn more about workplace plants or discuss our indoor office plant maintenance services, please contact us. Inside Plants has been providing premiere home and office plant maintenance in Southern California for over 35 years.

How to Choose the Right Plant – Plant Style

May 17, 2010

Part 2- Plant Style

Dracaena Lisa

OK, we discussed how important light is, now, let’s try to figure out what else you need when you want to choose the “right” plant. I would like to think of this section as the “designer” part, what kind of plant you will need for your location. You need to consider the space that the plant is going to go in.

  • Do you need something more vertical?
  • Can the plant be bushy?
  • Do you want it to canopy at the top?
  • Do you want foliage from the top of the soil to the top of the plant?
  • How tall do you want it?
  • Are you going to have to walk around the plant to get somewhere?
  • For a table top, do you want it upright or trailing or flowering?
  • Do you want something more architectural or unusual?

Again, you are narrowing down what plants will actually work for where you want them. If you want to put a plant next to a desk in an interior office, but don’t have much space between the end of the desk and the wall, maybe selecting a Dracaena Lisa or Dracaena Marginata would work. Another factor to consider for Dracaenas would be if you wanted “tips” or “cutback”. If you wanted something fuller and wider, go with the “tips”. For something narrower, get the “cutback”.

There is still so much more to discuss when choosing a great plant for your great location.

How to Choose the Right Plant – Lighting

May 11, 2010

Part 1-Lighting

Lighting for your Plants

How to choose the “right” plant is a huge question with so many variables. What kind of light it will get is so important. That’s where the plant makes its food. When I go to a new account, especially if it’s a take over, these are some of the question I ask myself. Here are some questions for you to ask yourself before you purchase any plant:

  • Is the light considered high, medium, low, or none at all? This is measured by Footcandles. (FYI, if you are looking at “no light”, like a dark bathroom, save yourself money and consider an artificial. Really, nothing grows in a cave).
  • Is the plant going near a window?
  • Does the light come from the north, east, south or west?
  • Are the window coverings open or closed during the day?
  • Is it an interior office with no windows?
  • Are the fluorescent lights going to be on at least 8 hours per day?
  • How about heating and air conditioning? Will the temperature be between 60F and 80F?

Once you have answered these questions, you can start narrowing down what plants will actually work for where you want them. So, for instance, if you want a plant on the opposite side of the room away from the window in north light, you may want to consider a Dracaena Lisa or Janet Craig. This would not be a great location for a Ficus Benjamina. Try a south or west window for that one, and cross your fingers.

In my next blog, I’ll discuss other factors to choosing a great plant for your great location.

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