Office plant service, interior plant service, interior landscapers…How do we define ourselves?
Well, in reality it is a matter of terminology–it’s whatever our customers feel comfortable with. But though we provide office plants, many times, the design services we provide are so much more.
The reason we as an industry define ourselves as primarily interior landscapers is because many times it’s about picking the right plants in the right planter for the space. You have to know how to incorporate the right plants in the space that’s available. Are they low or high light plants? Do they require a lot of airflow? Will they grow up and stay columnar, or will they grow out and eventually take over the area they’re in?
This row of rectangle planters with Sanseveria plants is a perfect example. Floor space is extremely limited here. One of the most effective ways of incorporating plants into an area like this is with rectangle planters arranged parallel along these rows of file cabinets. And what sort of plants should you use? Well, though it seems intuitive, you want to pick something with a low profile, otherwise they’ll simply be too tall and get in the way. And if they’re placed tightly in these rectangle planters, you’ll need a plant that can tolerate being placed close together like this in a hedge type configuration, which the sanseveria handles well.
The term “Interior Landscaper” has never really caught on with the public to become part of the popular vernacular, at least in the 20 or so years I’ve been involved in the industry. But it’s really the most accurate description of what we do. From choosing the right plants, to renovating indoor planters, choosing the right style and color planters to fit the area the plants are going in: All of these amount to more than just someone who comes in and waters your plants.
There’s a really good reason why we offer free replacement plants with any office plant maintenance program.
Let’s face it: An office is probably one of the worst environments for a tropical plant to try and thrive in. Not only is light usually limited, but the plant faces other challenges such as extremely dry air, constant whacking and bumping, overwatering from well meaning employees (and the occasional left over splash of coffee 🙁 Never understood that…) moving from one area to another, etc.
So with these challenges, there’s only so much that dusting, regular fertilizer, and pruning are going to do. Many times, your plants will naturally thin out over time, and this is why you have a plant service–so that we can provide you with new, healthy replacement plants.
At EnviroGreenery, we tend to be very liberal with plant replacements. It doesn’t have to die before we give you a new one–usually our guidelines is about 40% of foliage loss and we’ll be happy to bring you a brand spanking new plant, fresh off the trucks we get from sunny Florida.
One of the coolest plant species we get to work with is the King Sago Palm, or Cycas Revoluta.
Cycas Revoluta, otherwise known as a King Sago Palm is a rugged, long-living plant that’s actually not a palm at all, though their foliage looks like palm fronds. Sagos are in the cycad family and are native to southern Japan. This beast of a plant goes back to the Jurassic Age and is one of the oldest species of plant on the planet, and with their rugged trunk, leathery thick leaves, and ability to withstand temperature extremes it’s easy to see why they have survived so long.
they are slow growing, and can take up to 50 years to reach maturity. They like a lot of light and indoors it’s best to mist them frequently, because they’re prone to both mealybug and scale. That said, they’re relatively low maintenance, needing maybe a drink of water every month or so, since they store a lot of water in their thick trunks and leathery leaves.
As an office plant we tend to place these directly in windows or under skylights. Occasionally the tips may get brown due to lack of humidity but otherwise they’re easy to care for. They can be hard to find as bigger specimens, though–it’s unlikely your local New England garden center will have them, though they’re common in garden centers throughout the south as an outdoor shrub.
Sometimes choosing the right plant goes beyond horticulture and you need to integrate aesthetics as well.
The picture on the left is of an office we installed plants in in Waltham, Massachusetts. We needed something to go in front of this piece of artwork that would compliment it, so we chose these Draceana Limelight Plants to go in this floor rectangle. These plants are naturally chartreuse in color and it brings out the same flashes of color in the artwork. Using a dark green plant in this situation would have gotten lost with this busy piece of artwork above, whereas these plants actually compliment it.
You obviously want the right plant for the right lighting situation, but wherever possible it’s always good to take into consideration the color of the plant itself (a dark green plant will look great against a lighter colored wall, for example, but will get completely lost against a dark grey or navy blue wall) when placing your plants around your office or home.
You may have heard of the Bird of Paradise flower–these are beautiful orange and blue flowers found in the tropics like Caribbean and Hawaii.
But this plant, it’s cousin called Strelitzia Nicolai, otherwise known as the White Bird of Paradise, is just as beautiful, albeit in a different way.
It has large, dramatic banana-like leaves grown from clumping stalks and is useful in many interior landscape designs, especially when a tropical landscape look is wanted.
The “White Bird” is native to South Africa. It is used outdoors in Florida as an office or interior plant, where it can reach a height of 25-30 or more feet if given enough room.
Care is pretty simple–like all plants, they like to dry out between watering, so a good drink every couple of weeks is best. They like medium to high light, and they are resistant to most interior plant pests with the exception of mealy bug (which pretty much every indoor plant is susceptible to) and spider mites, which will weave gross looking cocoon like webs between it’s beautiful leaves. These are all easily treated with rubbing alchohol, dish soap, or for a more permanent solution, a systemic pesticide like Merit.
Did you know that plants present the best ROI of any part of your interior decorating plan for your office?
Think about it: A picture you just glance at; a chair in the lobby maybe gets sat in once and a while.
But plants–Whoah! They cover all the bases: They provide cleaner air, they add warmth, softness and life, and they’re gorgeous to look at.
Many larger companies will spend a small fortune each year on the maintenance of their exterior landscaping, all the while their employees are slaving away in a drab, featureless office populated with mowhawk carpeting and dreary cubes.
Ask yourself: Where do you and your employees spend most of their time? Walking around outside (and only 6 months out of the year here in New England, at the most) or working 8+ hours a day inside? Doesn’t it make a little sense to provide some sort of pleasant working environment?