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Ask the Expert: 10 Tips for Office Plants, from The Sill


Ask the Expert: 10 Tips for Office Plants, from The Sill

January 8, 2014

Your desk needs a houseplant. So does mine. But the last thing we need is to show up at the office one morning, in the middle of a dreary January, to find the little fellow’s leaves have shriveled and turned brown. We turned to the team at The Sill, our favorite New York City houseplant delivery service, for advice.

Queens of all things houseplant, the experts at The Sill shared the down-low on the benefits of plants in the office along with their top recommendations for office-friendly specimens. Oh, and they had some suggestions for how to take care of those plants after they’ve made their way into the workplace:

Photographs courtesy of The Sill.

We’ve said it before, and now The Sill will say it again, more eloquently: you can’t overstate the benefits of having a live, green, growing thing keep you company at work. To review: greenery perks up the appearance of a workspace; boosts morale; reduces stress, and eliminates air pollutants. Result: you will be nearly 50 percent more creative and 40 percent more productive.

Think of your next plant purchase as a necessity to boost your career, not a frivolous extra. If a lively plant in a stylish planter feels like a treat, remember: a kale smoothie can taste delicious.

Above: Two office plants in pots from The Sill’s Hyde Collection.

The Sill’s Recommendations for Office-Friendly Plants:

  • Focus on easy-care plants; they’ll be okay if you skip a watering or two due to a hectic work week.
  • If you have a cubicle (moderate to low or filtered light), that means a snake plant, a ZZ plant, a pothos, or philodendrons.

Above: A ZZ Plant from The Sill; $58.

  • If you have a sunny sill (moderate to bright light), get a jade, ferns, succulents or cacti.
  • If possible, choose a plant that reduces air pollutants. Our favorites for the workplace are rubber plants, dracaenas, snake plants, and peace lilies.

Above: If you get good light, interior window boxes can brighten a conference room.

The Sill’s Office Plant Care Tips: 

  • Get to know your plant. Put it on your desk. Check the soil. A good rule of thumb to go by is if the first 1 to 2 inches of potting soil is dry, it could use water.
  • Never let you plant sit in a saucer of water for more 30 minutes; if necessary, pour off the excess water.
  • Plants follow a seasonal schedule. During the winter season, most offices in New York City are blasting their heaters, which tend to create dry, arid conditions for plants. Consequently, sometimes the winter requires a little extra water for indoor plants.
  • First plant? Grow that green thumb by following an indoor plant blog or subscribing to a newsletter.
  • Plants, like most people, are most comfortable at temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees. Do your best to avoid placing your plant near vents, radiators, and exterior doors, which might create hot or cold spots and drafts. 

 Design tip: More is definitely merrier when it comes to office plants. 

Above: An array of office plants make their home in a midtown Manhattan office.

Are you feeling down about your own sad-sack houseplant? The Sill is starting a new “Pimp My Pot” service for New York customers to pick up office plants and give them makeovers before returning them. For more information and for pickup dates, head to The Sill

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