This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show begins its five-day run on May 23.
The world’s most prestigious gardening show immediately brings to mind the complex and colourful Show Gardens designed by horticultural professionals.
Of paramount concern to the exhibitors, who are competing for a Gold Medal, is ensuring the plants in their gardens are in peak condition, not just for when the forensic gaze of the show judges is on them but also for when the public are viewing them afterwards.
Commercial premises as well as business centres, hotels and offices also have to care about the health of the pot plants they have inside them as they’re used to create a more pleasant and healthy environment to visit or work in. As well as a more productive one.
Research by Cardiff University found productivity improved by 15% within three months of plants being brought into two large commercial offices.
One of the factors was less distracting noise – plants can help quieten workplace environments by absorbing sound waves, with a small indoor hedge able to reduce noise heard by someone working by up to 5 decibels.
Even in an office or industrial environment, pot plants can shrivel from the cold or wilt from too much hear and it is something to avoid. Keeping the right temperature in the workplace will help to keep our little green friends happy, as well as staff and customers.
Plants are a great feature in the workplace. They are pretty to look at and some even have health benefits, by purifying the air through removing the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in office spaces from carpets and furnishings to solvents and ink.
Indoor plants also contribute to good air quality by increasing humidity, absorbing carbon dioxide and making us feel better.
In that way, they work in harmony with a good air conditioning system – which by natural or mechanical ventilation can replace stale air with fresh air, replenishing the oxygen we need as well as preventing the spread of airborne bacteria and the irritants which can trigger asthma attacks.
So, in summary, having healthy plants in your premises will complement your air conditioning system, keeping the quality of the air just right for the comfort and health of staff, visitors and customers. And in return, air conditioning systems can also help to moderate temperatures to make our plants happy too!
For more information about temperature control in the workplace, give us a call on Aberdeen 01224 917242 or Dundee 01382 699300.
Look after your little green friends comes down to three things: temperature, light and water.
Controlling the temperature is crucial because some plants will naturally be less tolerant of heat or cold than others and suffer Temperature Stress.
It affects their growth and ability to carry out photosynthesis (how they make the oxygen we breathe from carbon dioxide) and respiration (the opposite). When temperatures are too high for the plant, the two processes become unbalanced.
The effect of temperature on plants varies considerably by type and is influenced by factors such as exposure to sunlight, moisture drainage, elevation and difference between day and night temperatures.
So ensuring your workspace has a professionally-installed and well-maintained air conditioning system is important all year round for your plants as well as the humans enjoying them and benefitting from their presence.
To ensure thriving office plants you have to have the right amount of light. A light meter (borrowed from a photography fan) will help you get an accurate idea of how much light you’re getting in various places, as our eyes compensate for high and low light levels.
Next, when buying read the labels carefully and ask questions if necessary about the light needed for the plants you fancy. In general, the plants best suited for office life require low amounts of light.
With watering, it’s crucial to remember to water each plant when it needs it and that varies by plant type.
The simple test is to touch the soil – does it feel dry? It probably needs watering. Does the plant feel heavy? It probably has enough moisture. Water meters can be very helpful – as they display how wet or dry the soil is as a number.
The most common problem with office plants is overwatering. But when a plant needs water, it’s vital to water it thoroughly but not let it sit in water.
Choosing the right plants for your indoor workspace is important. The best indoor plants are typically those which will thrive in low light, dry or dusty conditions and will be fine if you forget to water them sometimes.
Here are a few classic office plants to consider:
Others to consider