Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our five favourite office plants

Although we’re a fan of office plants in general and work with over 60 types of plants and trees, when it all comes down to it we have a few that are our ‘go to guys’ in terms of their ability to thrive in office environments as well as being rather easy on the eye.

Starting with the family Dracaena, there are three varieties that have proved incredibly successful in office environments. They are known for their air cleansing properties, in particular for removing formaldehyde from ambient surroundings and are perfectly happy in low and medium light environments.

Dracaena massangeana, otherwise known as the Corn Plant, has wide leaves that curve from a thick, durable stalk and are native to most of tropical Africa. They come across as sturdy yet elegant, and are very attractive with bright yellow streaks through leaf centres. When pruned to grow tall, they present long sections of stem with healthy, thick rosettes of leaves making them a great choice for floor containers.

Dracaena reflexa is a smaller, bushier plant, native to the islands of the Indian Ocean. Evergreen and suggestive of rich soils and fertility, these plants bring a tangible sense of life to any office room. The most popular Reflexa is commonly known as The Song of India, and sports beautiful off-white variegations which contrast starkly with the deep dark green.

The last of the Dracaena that we tend to favour is Dracaena marginata, otherwise known as the Madagascar Dragon Tree or Red Edged Dracaena. Growing up to 15ft in height, these plants are highly suitable for impactful visual plantscaping. With long, slender canes and vermillion edged leaves, it is also possible to train Dracaena marginata to grow in certain curves and shapes for very interesting sculptural effects.

A small tree that gets our official nod is Ficus benjamina, otherwise known as the Weeping Fig or Benjamin’s Fig. Native to south-east Asia and Australia, Ficus benjamina is a very handsome tree with glossy dark leaves and a silky grey trunk. When it is moved into different strengths of light it sheds foliage, which is what makes it adaptable to new office environments. The lower tier drops leaves, while the upper tier rapidly produces new growth that can better utilise the new available light. This shedding exposes its silvery smooth trunk, an attractive stand alone feature particularly when the trees have ornamental twisted trunks.

Lastly, we highly recommend Sansevieria, or Mother-in-law’s Tongue, which comes from tropical West Africa. Aside from the fantastic name, these plants have chunky blade-like leaves that point straight up with confidence making for an excellent centre piece. Available in subtle green with dark stripes, or with cream edgings and variegations, Sansevieria are a noticeable plant and even when grown to a large size they don’t impede on corridor space.

While we do have our favourites in terms of the balance between aesthetics and office suitability, at Servest Office Plants we utilise a vast range of plants and trees to successfully service any business profile.

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