Office Plants Care Guide
Have questions about your office plants? Hopefully we have the answers. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions, but if you don’t see your question below feel free to send us an email or give us a call. We’re passionate plant experts and we love to share what we know.
There are typically two types of plants used in office settings: desert-based succulents and tropical plants that grow beneath jungle canopies. Both types require a different approach.
For tropical plants used to moist substrate and humid air, touch the surface of the soil with your finger. It should feel slightly damp but not leave any residual moisture on your skin. If your finger comes up wet, you’re over-watering. If the surface is dry, your plant probably needs a drink.
For succulents, the surface of the soil should typically be dry but slightly damp an inch below. These plants typically grow in arid environments and are used to unreliable rainfall. Think of them as the camels of the plant kingdom. Because they are built to store water over long periods, they soak up as much water as they can when they can get it. While this can be nice for the casual plant enthusiast because of the reduced maintenance requirements, it’s very easy to drown them. If your succulent sags or looks droopy, it’s probably over-watered. If its skin begins to prune, it might be time to hydrate.
Tropical and subtropical plants suffer the most from thermal shock, which is why these plants are often found in a greenhouse.
Light is the single most important determining factor in the health of a plant. Think of it as your plant’s food. If the plant becomes malnourished, it’s more susceptible to sickness and disease. When plants are deprived of light, watering and fertilization are meaningless–it won’t have the energy to process, and plants placed in dark areas can often drown because they’re too exhausted to be able to absorb water.
Plants for the office typically come in two flavors: shade-loving tropicals and succulents. Both of these types of plants are chosen for their hardiness and adaptability, but there is one key thing to look out for to ensure they maintain optimal health.
Exposure to sunlight. This may seem like a no-brainer but the intensity and duration of sun as well as the cardinal direction of the office window all have a great impact on your plant. However not all plants like direct sun. Indoor tropicals typically prefer indirect light, while succulents usually do best when placed directly at a window. At Greenery NYC, we also provide low profile LED lighting solutions to optimize growth in offices without access to direct light.
Normal household bulbs do not emit the full spectrum of light that a plant needs for good growth. In offices, plants are often subject to fluorescent lighting, which can be enough to keep low-light tolerant plants like pothos alive, although not thriving. High pressure sodium lights provide adequate light but get very hot to the touch and can dry a plant out, as well as being a little too bright for the office.
At Greenery NYC we prefer to use the latest in LED lighting technology, not only for its low profile and pleasant light, but because the energy demands are minimal in comparison to more traditional sources. LED lights are smaller and fit into more unique spaces, from desk lamps to ceiling hanging pendant lights to light strips. Contact us today for an assessment of your office space.
All plants go through a certain level of dormancy in the winter, but in office spaces or areas with centralized air there is often a rough adjustment once the winter heat kicks in. Office plants will dry out much quicker than usual, and it’s not unusual for plants to shed their leaves and go through a mild state of shock.
The watering schedule will change for your plant with the seasons. For instance, in Autmumn new growth slows as the days become shorter, resulting in the need for less water. As the indoor humidity level drops and as the winter heating season begins, you can carefully increase the watering levels until the plants appear content.
There are various reasons why there may be white powder on the leaves of your plant. One reason could simply be dust that can easily removed using a damp rag, on the other hand white residue could be a sign of an infestation. White residue is the most common first sign of a mealy bug infestation.