“I have one colleague who, whenever she’s going into a very important meeting, places a small potted plant on the center of the table. She says it has a really calming effect on everyone around,” says De Young.
That would probably freak me out. (Actually I am afraid it would just give us something more to talk about, thus—shudder—prolonging the meeting.) But I do get the plants in the office=good part, and so does Kim Mickenberg, who wrote the syndicated article on a healthy office atmosphere that I quote from above and that appeared in yesterday’s Buffalo News.
The article also states:
Research shows that the more plants in an office, the happier the employees. Adding plants to the office does more than promote goodwill; it also promotes health. Plants in the office help reduce complaints of cough, hoarse throat and fatigue.
Pet plants can elicit the same kind of emotional connection that a pet animal does—lowering stress and feelings of loneliness, and extending longevity … Plants thrive in areas with large windows and lots of natural light, so keeping a plant happy and healthy means ensuring your own proximity to a window and sunlight.
My indoor plants are not my “pets;” I don’t anthropomorphize them in any way. Tough love is the rule; if I give them the proper treatment I expect them to thrive, and if they won’t thrive, then out they go.
At the office, we have a company, Botanicus, that takes care of all the plants, including some very attractive six-foot-tall dracaena marginata, as well as all our various epipremnum and ficus. Office plants will always be … office plants. They’re just not that exciting, though when the company has a large area it places them on masse, giving the illusion of an indoor planting. But I believe their absence would be noticeable, and no matter how boring they look, the fact that they’re green and alive makes them welcome.
At home, I can afford to have a bit more variety, including a large number of plants that I bring in from outside before frost (gardenia, jasmines, alocasia, musa). I’ve grown quite fond of many of the year-round houseplants, including some that have been with me way longer than most of the plants in my perennial garden, including some cyclamen, saintpaulias (African violets), and schlumbergera bridgesii (Christmas cactus).
And recently, orchids have been creeping into the mix. I’ve killed one, but I have had another rebloom, so the jury is still out. Does all of the above, plus the (many) bulbs I force every year add up to gardening? Not quite. If I added a seed plantation, I’d be close!
What are you growing indoors this winter? I’ll be drawing from comments for 2 lovely orchid books from Timber Press, and I’ll announce the winners tomorrow (Thursday) at 4 p.m. EST. So let’s hear it! Maybe I’ll get some ideas.