Where are you right now?  Whilst some are working from the office, others are working from home.  Wherever you are, you’ll probably agree that your environment is very important, perhaps now more than ever.  That’s not surprising when you consider that your environment plays a big part in impacting your frame of mind.

The World Happiness Report 2020 concludes that, globally, there is evidence to suggest that being exposed to green natural environments improves mental well-being, reducing stress, increasing positive emotions and cognitive restoration.

The report goes on to say that “The health benefits of green, natural environments may also have an indirect positive impact by encouraging certain behaviours, for example, physical health and longevity, and thereby happiness”.   Given that most of us spend around 90% of our time indoors and with restrictions on socialising because of Covid19, this is not likely to reduce soon.  We need to think seriously about how to include some nature into our indoor environments both at home and in the office (which may be the same place!)

One of the easiest ways to add some greenery to your life is with houseplants.  We take a look at our TOP FIVE plants, those that are most loved and coveted by our corporate clients.  The great news in that these plants work just as well in the home as they do in the office!

Ficus lyrata

This is a beautiful, majestic plant with large oval deep green leaves, also called a Fiddle Leaf Fig.  Could it be the plant of 2021?  This plant seems to be featured in every interior design magazine.

Don’t be put off owning one of these as they only require a moderate amount of attention.  Allow the soil to dry out between watering applications, and go easy, don’t let the plant sit in water as they are susceptible to root rot if they stay too wet. Originating from the tropics, misting the leaves every couple of days will provide a good amount of humidity for this plant to thrive.

Monstera deliciosa

Another stunner with an equally wonderful name!  This plant originates from the rainforests of Southern Mexico and parts of Central America, and is most commonly known as a ‘Cheese Plant’ due to the holes in its distinctive green leaves.  This is a firm favourite in offices as well as the home, as it provides real impact and is easy to care for.  The soil should be kept moist, but not wet, and should be allowed to dry out a little.  Despite its size and jungle origins, it is not actually heavy water user.

Rhipsalis baccifera

This pretty, frondy plant, looks great hanging up or on a desk or coffee table.  It has become a real favourite as the trend for accessory planting has grown.  This trend is all about using planting as an integral part of the design scheme, incorporating planting arranged on shelving, featuring decorative pots that pick out the accent shades of soft furnishings.

Also known as ‘Mistletoe Cactus’, Rhipsalis baccifera has long, fast-growing bright green stems. In the wild, the plant is usually an epiphyte, but it will also grow in pockets of organic matter in rock crevices (the technical term for that is lithophyte).  It is found in lowland and upland rain-forests and upland evergreen bushland, where there is often mist from low clouds.  It prefers warm conditions and dappled, not direct, light.

Rhipsalis baccifera is easy going and needs a light touch on the watering.  Don’t over-water and always check soil moisture levels first.

 

Ficus benjamina 

Ficus benjamina is one of 875 recognized species of Ficus. This evergreen plant is relatively easy to care for if positioned in the right location. Ficus benjamina, or weeping fig will add a jungle feel to any home.  It has dense foliage and a drooping habit with hard, shiny leaves, between 5cm and 10cm in length.  These are usually elongated to a distinctive tip, resembling the lip of a jug.  This is called a 'drip tip' and helps the plant shed excess water during the frequent heavy rain found in its natural habitat of the tropical rainforest.

It has been said that it is impossible to over water a Ficus.  This is not entirely true - the plants do benefit from being in moist soil (especially in warm, bright conditions), but overly wet soil will cause root damage

Calathea veitchiana “Medallion”

Calathea ‘Medallion’ is another favourite of our customers. It is equally as lovely on its own or grouped with other plants.  Its large, oval shaped leaves and distinctive green purple and pink variegation, this plant is a real showstopper. 

Calathea is fairly easy to keep. It is a jungle floor species that copes well in low light and warm conditions.  However, it does not do well in really dry air (so mist with tepid water occasionally in winter when the central heating is on). Keep out of direct sunlight, make sure the soil is evenly moist and do not allow it to completely dry out.  

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