One of my favorite, most durable indoor office plants is the Yucca plant.
Yucca Plants are a rugged, long-living plant that’s not ideally suited for indoors, though in the right spot, with the right light, they can last forever. This beast of a plant is part of a genus native to the Southwest and Mexico, though the office plant version is slightly different and mostly grown in Florida in a subtropical climate.
As such, they are cold and heat resistant, making them an ideal choice for areas in offices such as entryways/vestibules where the temperatures can be extreme from heat to cold, much like the desert.
They have a thick woody trunk that stores plenty of water so they only need watering about once a month, and are grown in either cane form, shown here, or in bush or “stump” form (the cane actually being a stump in the soil that the fronds cover so that it’s practically invisible). They are disease resistant as well as pest resistant, with the exception of a pervasive scale type insect that can quickly spiral out of control if left untreated and kill the plant, but controllable if it’s identified early on.
Moss is everywhere in Ireland. In the forests, on rocks and trees, on headstones and ancient castles, and especially on little used secondary roads!
We often get asked by clients why we don’t use live green moss in the groundcover of our office plants and big interior plantings.
I think these pics from Ireland illustrate why: Ireland is rainy and cool in general, and green sheet moss needs an outdoor environment to live in. We could install it in the soil at the base of our office plants but it would brown and die because an indoor environment lacks the temperature, light level and humidity to support it.
Still, it looks pretty cool growing on these trees!
So just having returned from a vacation in Ireland, I knew I wanted to do a series of blog posts on the plants and flowers of this beautiful island.
This first post will be on the Connemara portion of Ireland, northwest of Galway.
This area actually gets more rainfall then the Dublin or Cork areas of the Island (this is strictly anecdotal, told to me by many of the Irish people) and so it seemed a bit greener and lusher.
One of the highlights of this area is Kylemore Abbey, an beautiful castle perched on the side of a mountain, on the shoreline of Lough (Lake) Pollacappul. This is actually a recently built castle, from the mid 1800’s and is now an actual functioning Benedictine monastery.
The pictures I’ve taken here are on the grounds itself, the castle from the side of the lake, as well as an interior shot of the amazing walled garden on the grounds. I’ll go more into the garden itself on another post, but this was an incredible property as you can see–these pics were taken just with a cell phone–you don’t have to be an expert photographer to get great photos at Kylemore.
Anyway the grounds were full of beautiful old trees covered in stunning moss (more on that later) as well as flowers and plants tended carefully by the staff. The abbey is open to the public and the ground floor is a museum of the castle’s glory days, full of period furnishings and interesting displays. Well worth a visit.
An exciting innovation to develop in the Office Plant industry in the last decade or so have been new hybrid Agloaonema plants that have beautiful colorful variegation.
There are very few lower light plants that exhibit natural color in their leaves, and some new strains of Agloaonema plants that have come into the market in the last 5 to 10 years have been the most exciting.
These varieties have been around for a while, but in years past it was only one or two. As demand has picked up, we’re seeing more and more choices coming from the nurseries we purchase from in Florida, including the ones shown counterclockwise, starting top left: Etta Rose, Red Siam, and Sparkling Sarah, shown here at the bottom.
These are their common names; all belong to the Aglaonema genus of indoor plants also commonly known as “Chinese Evergreens”. Since these plants are found on the jungle floor in their native tropical environments, they get very little natural light, and as such make great office plants.
They are a bit more expensive, and as a species Ags (our industry nickname for them) don’t grow quickly so they tend to be on the smaller size as far as a floor plant goes. But they can be worth it if you’re looking to add a colorful plant to your office environment that doesn’t require a lot of light, tolerates pests well, doesn’t require a lot of water, and stays short and bushy.