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How to Stop Killing Office Plants

Written by: phs Greenleaf

phs Greenleaf has been providing planting and landscaping services to businesses for over 25 years, including indoor and outdoor plants, artificial and live planting, living walls, grounds maintenance and Christmas trees and decorations.

How to Stop Killing Office Plants

In over 25 years of experience, we’ve seen some plants be killed in some pretty creative ways.  

In fact, many of our clients have joined forces with us so that they don’t have to worry about caring for their plants any more, for the simple reason that they have tried to manage office plants internally already, and failed. 

For those with little experience or bigger priorities, keeping a plant healthy can be more challenging than you may think. 

Fortunately, we are able to take this responsibility off your hands entirely and allow you to focus on what you do best - growing your business. 

However, we’ve put together a list of the top 8 mistakes to avoid in order to keep office plants alive, in the hopes of helping those who still manage office plants internally. 

Let’s start with the most obvious: 

8 Mistakes to Avoid to Keep Office Plants Healthy for Longer: 

Choosing the Wrong Plants! 

This is easily the most important mistake on the list, because if you choose a plant that isn’t suited for your working conditions, it’s doomed no matter how much effort you put into caring for it. 

It’s so easily done too - usually when somebody in the office takes a trip to the garden centre and chooses plants based on how they look, with little thought to which plants would suit the environment. 

One common example is fig trees - they have attractive leaves and are commonly featured in gardening magazines and social media feeds, so people gravitate towards them as office plants. They then end up in dark wellness rooms or windowless conference rooms. 

This isn’t enough light for this type of plant, so they end up dropping leaves and becoming ugly very quickly. 

Greenleaf can help you avoid this by suggesting the right plants for each area of your premises, and we even have a separate office plant range full of plants perfectly suited to indoor or less bright areas. 

Use a Sensible or Well-Designed Layout 

If you work with phs Greenleaf, we will help you find the best locations in your premises to display plants and keep them healthy. 

If you do not work with us, it’s crucial to do some research for yourself to figure this out. The problem is, a lot of offices work to the recommendations of interior designers or architects. While they may be knowledgeable about arranging a space and making it look appealing, they are unlikely to be as knowledgeable about indoor plant care. 

The end result is light reliant plants being left in dim areas, light-sensitive plants being burned by strong sun next to windows. 

It is best to talk to phs Greenleaf, or get your architect to consult a plant expert, so that safe spots can be marked out where plants can grow naturally, and the appropriate plants can be left there. 

Putting Plants in Bathrooms 

Bathrooms rarely have windows, only offering unnatural light - and they’re often dark or dimmed, to make things worse. 

Restrooms not only provide too little light to keep the vast majority of plants healthy, but they often contain overly moist or damp conditions that could easily cause plants to rot. 

If your bathroom does not have windows, it’s best to use artificial plants, or not bother at all. 

Making Office Cleaners Responsible for Plant Care

Many offices are attempting to “save money” by getting cleaners to care for plants. 

In most cases, this will only cost more, as inexperienced cleaners kill plants that then need replacing. 

Not only are most cleaners untrained with plant care, but they are also unlikely to have the time or equipment to properly care for plants. 

They are already on a tight schedule with cleaning, and things like pruning leaves or checking for pests become a very low priority. 

Not Keeping Staff Informed 

Cleaning teams, as well as regular office workers, may water plants when it isn’t part of their daily duties, just because “the plant looked a bit sad”. 

While this is well intentioned, plants can often look dry and dying due to being overwatered - so the most helpful thing to do is just to leave them to dry out! 

You can avoid this by informing staff not to interfere with the plants, or even putting a “do not water” sign on them, ensuring the only people caring for the plants are those that are supposed to. 

Asking an employee to manage the plants 

This is different from the above point, because if you’re asking one specific employee to handle the plants, you can at least expect them to research what the plant likes, water on the correct schedule, and do their best. 

The problem is, if that person gets more busy, or has an urgent deadline to deal with, plant care is the first thing that will fall by the wayside. 

Even if they go on holiday for a week or two, the plant may be disregarded. 

Next thing you know, it’s time to have a meeting with visitors in a conference room full of half dead plants… 

Need Help Adding & Maintaining Office Plants? 

With over 25 years’ experience of providing planting and landscaping services to businesses throughout the UK we have the knowledge of providing our services in a variety of sectors including hospitality, retail, FM’s and public sector. Which means you can be sure that phs Greenleaf will provide you with an unrivalled plant service. 

We offer a wide variety of services including indoor planting and outdoor planting, artificial and live planting, living walls, grounds maintenance services and Christmas decorations. 

With around 8,000 customers across the UK, Greenleaf ensures each customer is assigned an account manager to coordinate every part of the process from the initial design to the installation. 

To learn more about how we can save you money and improve your employee engagement at the same time, contact us now! 

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