How to Cut Your Indoor Plant Maintenance Costs

indoor plant maintenanceIf you’re looking for indoor plants for your office or place of business, it’s probably because you already know the myriad benefits they offer. Well-chosen palms, ferns, ficus, spider, and ivy plants bring stunning visual appeal in addition to their many health benefits. But what if you and your staff are ill-equipped for any indoor plant maintenance? What if your budget is tight and you can’t afford to purchase plants only to have them die if they’re not well maintained? Never fear. There are plenty of ways to reduce the cost of indoor plant maintenance.

How to Trim Those Plant Costs

For starters, select plants that are forgiving and easy to maintain. Matching your plant selections with your skill level means your greenery can live and thrive.

If daily or weekly maintenance seems like a hassle, try cacti. Cactus plants vary greatly in size, shape, and color and can therefore create impressive displays that require less maintenance than many other plants.

Also, research your local climate and choose greenery that will work well in your environment. Careful plant placement is crucial to successful indoor plant maintenance. For example, if you can’t put your plants near a door or window, it’s best to avoid those that require a lot of sunlight.

Another option is to hire an indoor plant maintenance service, which can lead to savings in the long run. Trusting the professionals to handle your indoor greenery means a guarantee of healthy plants with a minimum of effort. A plant maintenance service can help you choose plants that will prosper in your particular business environment and enhance your existing design concept while providing the visual and health benefits you desire. These experts will feed, water, and maintain your plants as needed and replace them if necessary or whenever you decide that a change is in order. For more information, contact Plant Interscapes at 1-888-284-2257 today.

6 Hidden Benefits of Plants in the Office

benefits of plants in the officeMany people have heard about the benefits of plants in the office: they filter toxins, giving us cleaner, more breathable air. This means better breathing, which leads to less stress and improved focus. However, the right office plants can do far more than this.

Here are six more benefits of plants in the office you might not be aware of, but can make all the difference:

  1. Human beings have a natural tie to nature and an innate desire to be outside. Having plants in the workplace provides us with the connection to nature that we subconsciously crave. Plants are also a reminder of the importance of green living, and they may encourage your employees to be environmentally conscious.
  2. Plants can change office acoustics, reducing the amount of time sound reverberates in a room. This means office noise levels can be reduced by up to five decibels. Reduced distraction isn’t something we’re likely to consciously notice, but it’s sure to lead to increased productivity.
  3. One of the best benefits of plants in the office is humidity control. Dehydration leads to discomfort, fatigue, and poor concentration. Indoor plants work to keep humidity at optimal levels, improving employee hydration and helping everyone to be more comfortable.
  4. Color therapists agree that most shades of green lead to feelings of well-being and relaxation. This is why live performance theaters have “green rooms” where performers relax before hitting the stage. Likewise, relaxed employees are more focused and less likely to make mistakes.
  5. Some varieties of plants such as citrus, lemongrass, and lavender offer subtle scents that have been shown to increase accuracy in typing and math. Fewer data entry or spreadsheet mistakes can prevent costly problems.
  6. Aesthetic appeal may not seem like one of the hidden benefits of plants in the office, but people don’t always appreciate the importance of visuals in an office setting. Healthy plants give the impression of a nurturing company that is adept at helping things thrive. This is reassuring for customers and even better for potential clients.

If you’re interested in accessing the benefits of plants in the office, contact Plant Interscapes today at 1-888-284-2257. We will be glad to assist you with plant selection and plant maintenance.

 

How Indoor Office Plants Can Improve Productivity

san antonio interior plantsEver wonder why highly productive and successful businesses always have indoor office plants in their reception area, showrooms, and wherever their office staff is working? The right indoor plants enhance every aspect of the office environment, resulting in higher productivity overall. If that seems impossible, it’s definitely time to look at the many benefits of indoor plants in the workplace.

Multiple Benefits, Minimal Costs

Did you know certain plants can filter toxins left behind by cleaning supplies, printer chemicals, furniture, and carpeting? For example, ficus, ivy, lilies, spider plants, ferns, and palms are all ideal for this function. In addition, the right indoor office plants can help regulate air humidity and even temperature. The result? When your employees breathe cleaner air, they will be more relaxed and better able to focus.

Better still, cleaner air reduces sick building syndrome, which occurs when people work day after day in recirculated air. Ever notice how once a few people around the office get sick, almost everyone gets sick eventually? Eliminating sick building syndrome with indoor office plants will keep your employees healthier and can prevent employee call-ins for illnesses. Fewer call-ins means less stress and less struggling to catch up.

Also, if you really want to get serious about productivity, try introducing indoor office plants with mild fragrances like lemongrass or lavender. These scents have been shown to improve accuracy in math and typing tests. Fewer mistakes and improved focus can only benefit your bottom line.

Investing in Your Employees Pays Off

Investing in indoor office plants means investing in the health and comfort of your employees. Not only will they reap the rewards, but you certainly will too. Not only will you save money by preventing lost work, you’ll also increase employee focus and productivity and enjoy the improved moods that come with cleaner, more breathable air.

Start by researching companies specializing in indoor office plants that will help you make great selections while staying within your budget. For more information, contact Plant Interscapes at 1-888-284-2257.

How the Right Hotel Lobby Design Increases Revenue Per Guest

Hotel Lobby PlantsIf you think of your hotel lobby as a place guests wait to be served, you could be missing an excellent opportunity to increase per-guest revenue. Your hotel lobby design helps you stand out among other businesses on your block and creates the first impression guests have of your hotel. A comfortable, multi-purpose lobby invites guests to linger longer while making use of amenities like Wi-Fi, bars or restaurants, and TVs.

Hotel Lobbies: Past and Present

In the past, hotel lobbies were a place where guests sat and waited for their room keys or for porter or concierge services. Modern hotel lobby design, however, is more about meeting the needs of every customer—from business people to vacationing families.

Planning Your Design

What makes a hotel lobby design inviting and comfortable? The moment a guest enters, your hotel lobby design should be welcoming in every way. Start with durable, functional furniture that includes sofas and a variety of chairs to accommodate guests traveling with children or those with special needs. Include a coffee table or end tables so guests have a place to set drinks or recharge phones and tablets. A television at a reasonable volume will discourage boredom and may encourage guests to purchase a drink or some reading material.

Well-chosen plants in the lobby also provide a burst of fresh air that puts guests at ease. Include some flowering plants for a pop of color and a faint fragrance and subtly improve the mood of your guests. A combination of indoor trees and ferns or ivy will help regulate humidity in the air, keeping it at comfortable, breathable levels.

Guests who feel comfortable and at home are more likely to stick around to partake of amenities rather than going out to eat, work, or meet friends or clients. This can result in increased revenue per guest for your hotel.

For More Information

Not sure you know how to select and maintain the best plants to enhance your hotel lobby design? Get some input from an indoor plant specialist. Consulting a professional ensures you’ll find plants that will enhance the look of your lobby and the experience of your guests. For further assistance, contact Plant Interscapes at 1-888-284-2257.

How an Interior Plant Service Saves You Money

Maybe you already know about the benefits of office plants but don’t think you have the time, budget, or green thumb to make it happen. What you may not know is that an interior plant service can actually save your business money in the long run.

Where the Cost Savings Come From

The benefits of greenery in the workplace are well established. However, how is it possible for an interior plant service to save money?

  • For starters, improving the air quality around the office can reduce or eliminate the effects of “sick building syndrome.” Ever notice that once one or two people get sick at a business, the illness cycles through almost everyone? This is because toxins and viruses concentrate in sealed offices, causing and spreading illnesses over time. Air-cleaning plants can combat this, resulting in fewer employee call-ins and higher productivity.
  • Some plants, like lilies, spider plants, and ferns, can filter chemicals from cleaning material residue or furniture right out of the air. Cleaner, fresher air has a ripple effect on the entire office—improving mood, focus, and alertness.
  • Certain plants even produce essential oils that have been shown to cut down on data entry errors.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, plants also help regulate air humidity via transpiration, a process that creates optimal humidity levels for humans. Comfortable employees are more focused and productive, and may even display better problem-solving skills.
  • Promoting employee health and satisfaction through plants can help reduce employee turnover, which also saves your business money on training hours.

Where to Begin

If you’re interested in creating a healthier environment that will save you money, an interior plant service professional can discuss selecting the right greenery to improve the look, feel, and comfort level of your office. This professional can also provide plant care (and replacements, if necessary) so you have dynamic and effective plant displays all year round.

It’s easy to experience the many benefits of office plants when there are professionals who would love to lend their green thumbs. For more information, contact Plant Interscapes at 1-888-284-2257.

Office Plants that are good for your health

Multiple studies worldwide find greenery purifies air and improves attitude and performance.

 

Published by DALLAS NEWS – Original Article
Published: 30 July 2014 03:39 PM
Updated: 31 July 2014 12:44 PM

 

 

 

 

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Conjure up a standard office cubicle: There is the gray desktop with filing drawers, the ubiquitous computer monitor, a keyboard and mouse, a few (or a lot of) papers. Now place a peace lily, with its dark green leaves and elegant white flower, into the mental image. With that addition, most of us would say the office cubicle has just become a much nicer place to work.

It’s not just common sense that says the addition of plants makes an office space more inviting. Decades of scientific research detail the benefits plants add to the workplace: improved concentration, performance, job satisfaction, health and mood.

Just last year, for example, a Norwegian study added further support to the idea that plants in the workplace can help improve workers’ attention. Research participants were given an attention-demanding task to complete, then given a short break, then another task. Half of the participants completed the set of tasks in a room with flowers and plants; the others were in a room without plants. The attention capacity of the workers in the room with flowers and plants showed greater improvement on the second task than those sitting at a bare desk.

In addition, a 2008 University of Michigan study found that memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after people spent an hour interacting with nature — either by going outside or just by viewing pictures of nature, as opposed to walking urban routes or viewing urban photographs.

Other studies suggest the presence of plants also seems to improve attitude. Workers primarily in Texas and the Midwest were surveyed for a 2008 study on “the effect of live plants and window views of green spaces on employee perceptions of job satisfaction.” Texas researchers found that individuals — without regard to age, ethnicity, salary, education levels or position — “who worked in offices with plants and windows reported that they felt better about their job and the work they performed.”

The particular plant that will make an office a happier place is somewhat subjective. “Orchids are among my favorites for atmosphere and mood,” says Cody Hoya, general manager at North Haven Gardens. “They’re beautiful, unique, colorful and very long-lasting.”

Both Hoya and Josh Addison, manager of Redenta’s Garden Dallas location, agree that tillandsias, also known as air plants, are natural choices for adding a touch of whimsy to the office. There are a number of varieties available due to their current popularity, and they are not expensive, unless you choose a large specimen. They require little care, and they should survive under typical office fluorescent light, says Addison. “But if you have windows, put them close by.”

If you think you might tire of looking at the same plant on your desk day after day, try Hoya’s mix-and-match technique. “I like to use an interesting basket or ceramic vessel in which I can group several different interior plants, both blooming and foliage, in their nursery pots dressed with a bit of moss,” he says. “This allows for flexibility to rotate the plants and change the composition every couple of months so that the plants get a change of location and the interest stays fresh.”

Studies of various benefits of indoor plants were perhaps inspired by the NASA Clean Air Study in the 1980s that suggested certain common indoor plants might provide a natural way of removing toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air. Hundreds of toxic chemicals can be outgassed by furniture, carpets and building material and then trapped in the closed ventilation systems of tightly sealed, energy-efficient buildings. The chemicals can lead to headaches, fatigue and allergic reactions now called Sick Building Syndrome.

Purifying the air is an often-touted benefit of indoor plants, but the plants in these clean-air studies typically have been grown in sub-irrigated soil media or clay pebble hydroculture. The author of NASA’s Clean Air Study, B.C. Wolverton, also found that the more air that moved across the plant’s roots, the more toxins could be removed from the air.

This research led Wolverton to develop the Plant Air Purifier, an air-filtration system that includes a planter with a built-in electric fan, ceramic growing medium and activated carbon. The idea is that when the planter is plugged in, it sucks dirty air down into the root area, where activated carbon captures pollutants and holds on to them until the root system can use them as a food source. At the end of the natural process, the plant releases fresh air into the room.

If living indoor plants help mood and possibly contribute to cleaner air, common sense might dictate that dying indoor plants might do just the opposite. The first tip to good plant health is to “place plants suited to various light levels accordingly, and keep them from constant drafts from heating and cooling vents,” says Hoya.

Signs of insufficient light can include yellowing or dropping leaves, says Addison. “Succulents may get leggy, reaching for light.” If you have an office with a window, it may help to rotate your office plant periodically so that it gets a more even exposure to the stronger light.

Don’t overwater indoor plants. “Water behaves differently in soil in a pot inside than it does outside,” Hoya says. “Always water deeply, until water drains freely from the bottom of the pot, but less frequently. For most plants, averaging a soil that feels mildly damp but not soggy is ideal.”

When to water will vary with an office’s environmental conditions. If the potting medium is damp, do not water until it is dry. Just know the recommended care for whatever plant you choose. Tillandsias, for instance, should be dunked in water once a week, says Addison, or spritzed with water about every third or fourth day.

Wipe plant leaves occasionally to get rid of dust, as well.

Finally, the actual action of gardening has its benefits. A 2011 study found that gardening restored a positive mood after a stressful task. Bonsai and small terrariums are gardening activities that could take place indoors in an office.

“People become pretty relaxed when they work with houseplants, because you forget your troubles. Your mind tends to focus upon the plant, and you become meditative. And that meditative state is, of course, very calming and stress-reducing,” says Richard Sunshine, owner of Sunshine Miniature Trees in Dallas.

Ming aralias and Fukien tea trees are among the plants that have the twisted, aged look and other characteristics that people often desire in a bonsai. Both do well in typical office fluorescent lighting. In fact, Sunshine tells how he learned how well the Ming aralias can survive in an office setting. Years ago, his company was caring for plants at Zale Corp.’s national headquarters. Then-Zale chairman Ben Lipshy, a bonsai collector, often came to the store to pick out new bonsai trees.

“He kept coming into the store buying Ming aralias. And we found out that he was taking the bonsai aralias and placing them all over the office where they were getting absolutely no natural light. It was an example of the student teaching the teacher. That’s how we learned that the Ming aralia was one of the very best plants for interior offices.”

Rebecca Perry is a Milford freelance writer.


 

Suitable plants

Which plants are likely to thrive in an office and help you thrive, as well? It depends to some degree on the light conditions. Most of the plants listed below have multiple species, which provide options in leaf and flower color and mature size.

LOW LIGHT INTERMEDIATE LIGHT BRIGHT INDIRECT LIGHT
Aglaonema Aralia Bromeliads
Aspidistra ‘Cast Iron’ Plant Pothos & Hedera Ivy Orchids
Dracaena Philodendron Codiaeum ‘Croton’
Spathiphyllum Neophrolepsis Ferns Strelitzia ‘Bird of Paradise’
Sansevieria Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘ZZ’ Succulents
Schefflera
For additional plant selections visit our Interior Plant Catalog

Is a Vertical Garden System Right for Your Office?

Vertical garden systems vertical garden systemare an impressive leap forward in the growing of indoor plants. Because they take up almost no space, even small or maxed-out offices can house a vertical garden system. One look through a décor catalog or Pinterest page will show you that vertical gardening is catching on—and with good reason.

What Are Vertical Garden Systems?

A vertical garden system is made up of a series of small planters embedded in a frame in multiple rows. Plants are potted in receptacles made of porous materials like felt to help control moisture. The frame is generally made of wood, although metal and recycled plastic units are becoming equally common. A vertical garden system may be freestanding or can be attached to indoor and even outdoor walls. Unless your clients include children or pets who will rip one down for fun, any office can house a vertical garden system.

How Are They Used?

Vertical wall gardens can be filled with flowers, making for a stunning and impressive living work of art. They can also be used for plants that clean the air and increase oxygen levels, which means they’re great for reducing stress and staving off illnesses. Wall gardens on the outside of an office can control insects and provide shading, perhaps even impacting heating and cooling costs.

Where Do You Start?

A vertical garden system can be somewhat of an investment upfront, but it’s also possible for you or your staff to construct one from wooden pallets or other materials. You could even install your own irrigation system. However, this isn’t necessary since vertical garden walls work just as well when watered by hand.

While some plants aren’t well suited to a vertical garden system, many more work just fine. You can also purchase ready-made wall systems and have them installed for you.

With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why vertical wall systems become more popular every season. For further information on these systems or having one installed, contact Plant Interscapes at 1-888-284-2257.

Clients Love Commercial Holiday Décor

commercial holiday decorAccording to the National Retail Federation, Americans spend about six hundred billion dollars on the winter holidays. That includes gifts, travel, foodstuffs, and yes—décor. Festive décor should be part of your holiday business strategy, and it’s never too early to begin planning. Whether it’s Halloween pumpkins, autumnal centerpieces, or cheerful wreaths and trees, commercial holiday décor is an important part of how customers see your business all year.

5 Reasons Why Commercial Holiday Décor Works

  1. Great decorations and fun plant life can put staff and clients in the holiday spirit. Never underestimate the power of a festive mood when making sales or upsells, problem solving, or attracting new clients and customers.
  2. The right commercial holiday décor can help people find your business. When you’re in the building with the impressively lit tree out front, people will remember how to find you even after your decorations are gone for the year.
  3. Eye-catching commercial holiday décor doesn’t just make your business easily findable and memorable. It also attracts attention from children—which can benefit family-focused businesses like restaurants, hotels, and stores.
  4. Doctor and dentist offices report that well-chosen wreaths, garlands, and brightly lit trees can put children at ease. Helping children feel more comfortable isn’t just helpful for them, it positively affects parents and staff as well.
  5. The right commercial holiday décor can be transformative, making any special occasion even more joyous. The company holiday party becomes extra special with small, fun favors like small plants that your staff can take home and care for all year. A decorated tree can also make a wonderful focal point for holiday photos and make it clear to your staff how much they are appreciated.

Decorating Made Easy

Don’t think you have time to buy, set up, and take down stunning commercial holiday décor? Professionals are standing by to help make your business stand out among the crowd. Let the experts set up your commercial holiday décor, leaving you and your staff free to focus on your clients and customers. For additional information, contact Plant Interscapes at 1-888-284-2257.

San Antonio Interior Plants Have All the Benefits

san antonio interior plantsIs there any environment plants can’t improve? Not really. In a city like San Antonio, interior plants can make a profound difference on the quality of indoor air, making them an excellent addition to any home or office.

Examples of Plant Usage

Consider the following examples where plants are used to benefit people and their surroundings. One might say that in San Antonio, interior plants are available to suit any occasion or environment.

  • Spider plants and ficus trees are often utilized by hospitals to freshen the air and filter out chemical residue from equipment or cleaning products.
  • Carefully selected plants placed in doorways or near windows can act as a natural insect repellant.
  • Restaurants often keep aloe vera plants to treat minor cuts and burns.
  • Therapists, dentists, and medical doctors keep plants in lobbies and waiting rooms to relax waiting patients.

NASA Study Confirms the Power of Plants

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has done extensive studies on the power of plants to clean air. NASA asserts that one plant placed every 100 square feet is usually sufficient to clean toxins from the air while adding clean, breathable oxygen. All plants breathe carbon dioxide, but some are able to rid the air of harmful chemicals like benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and toluene.

The specific plants NASA recommends include red-edged dracaena, English ivy, Japanese peace lily, and the so-called florist’s chrysanthemum. The last two can even remove ammonia residue from the air.

Improve Your Environment Today

Your San Antonio interior plants supplier should have at least a few of these varieties or be able to source them for you. Let your plant care specialist know if there are specific chemicals you’d like your plants to eliminate. Cleaner air means easier breathing, which is great for all flora and fauna in your life. In busy cities like Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, interior plants can also lessen the spread of illness—making them a great investment for office buildings or anywhere people live or work in close quarters. The right indoor plants can accomplish much more than just staying green and looking pretty.

For more information, contact Plant Interscapes at 1-888-284-2257.

Houston Interior Plants: Amazing Indoor Trees

Houston interior plants can include just about anything, since the Texas climate is well suited to a wide variety of greenery. However, a truly spectacular plant display is not complete without at least one indoor tree.

Trees can seem daunting because of their size. Like any indoor plant, though, the right materials and a little knowledge will let you enjoy indoor trees that thrive and may even grow flowers or fruit.

How to Start

Start by selecting your tree. When you’re browsing suppliers in Houston, interior plants selection should include multiple ficus trees, dwarf citrus or berry trees, and leafy indoor trees like the schefflera.

After you’ve made your selection, do the following before completing your purchase:

  • Visually inspect your potential tree to ensure that the trunk is sturdy with no soft spots. Also look closely to rule out bug or mite infestation.
  • It’s unlikely that your tree will grow too large for your home or office, but verify this with a Houston interior plants specialist at the store.
  • Once you’ve chosen a healthy tree, be prepared to purchase proper fertilizer, especially for fruit bearing trees. They’ll need to be fed as often as once a month.
  • Consider purchasing a platform on casters to help you move the tree when it grows too heavy to lift.

How to Maintain Your Indoor Tree

What about pollination? Proper budding can’t happen without helpful bees, right? Actually, indoor trees can be pollinated by hand with a clean, soft bristled paintbrush. Really! Use a paintbrush you’ve bought especially for this purpose to be sure plants won’t be contaminated. When you see open stamens, brush them lightly, moving from one stamen to the next. This will help your trees grow more flowers or fruit while leaving the bees outside where they belong.

Find Your Indoor Tree Today

Be sure to source your tree from a reliable local supplier who is knowledgeable about its care. With the right tools and know-how, an indoor tree can be a stately addition to any interior space. For more information, contact Plant Interscapes at 1-888-284-2257.