There’s been a lot of claims about the benefits of plants in the office, from reducing pollutants and improved health outcomes to increased productivity and creativity. Regardless of how much difference plants make in these areas, it’s undeniable that plants make for a nicer work environment and that’s reason enough to get some green on your desk. Here’s how you can best be a friend to your foliage.
1. Pick the Right Plant for the Place
Which plant is right for you will depend on a few criteria that a plant store employee can help you with, especially, how much direct sunlight your desk gets. If the plant is for a home office, you’ll want to check that it’s pet friendly. Also, be honest about how much effort you’re willing to put in on a scale from orchid to cactus.
2. Get the Right Pot for the Job
When picking a pot, you’ll want it to be at least one inch wider than your plant’s root mass so it has room to grow. You also want to make certain you buy a pot with drainage holes so your plant doesn’t get root rot. As a result, you’ll need a planter saucer, unless you don’t particularly care about your desk/computer/documents.
3. Water it Properly
It’s difficult to consistently give your plant just the right amount of water. Frequency will depend on the plant and the season. You can buy a watering indicator if you’re not sure. But if the soil is dry, add lukewarm water until it runs out of the drainage holes. Drain off any extra water in the saucer.
4. Don’t Forget to Fertilize
Especially when your plant is growing, you’ll want to give it plant food feed to provide it nutrients that can be readily absorbed. Liquid concentrate feed can be diluted so you can feed and water your plant at the same time. Plus, it smells better than using raw manure.
5. Prune When Needed
Browning or dying leaves will continue to leach nutrients that could otherwise be diverted to the rest of the plant. If you see leaves that are more than half dead, give ‘em the snip. Just do so carefully for the sake of your plant and your fingers.
6. Keep the Leaves Dust-Free
Accumulated dust can prevent your plant from absorbing light and reduce its ability photosynthesize, effectively starving it. Just mist it with a spray bottle and/or wipe the leaves with a damp cloth. While you might risk looking like a plant weirdo to your coworkers, your peace lily will thank you.