This article explains 5 recommended plants that will thrive in your Saskatchewan office. We have also included a quick reference chart for those of us that like visuals!
For some of us we are at the office before the sun is up and head home by the time the sun has already set – especially during those short Canadian winter days. For those that love nature this can be a challenge. Even for people that don’t love nature, there is still an instinctive tendency to seek connection with nature and other forms of life, referred to by scientists as Biophilia. So how can we bring certain elements of the outdoors indoors to experience the great benefits that nature offers? Indoor plants are a great solution!
While there may be some apprehension about caring for plants if there is lack of experience there are still ways to support plant parenthood. For those that may have a “black thumb” like I used to and killed any plants I tried to care for – don’t fear, we beleaf in you and there are many indoor plants that are easy to care for that I too have learned to keep alive and are thriving. Let’s take a look at 5 different plants that are great for low to medium light office spaces, as well as a bonus plant for those that are lucky enough to be in a south facing office with large windows or a space that has a high amount of sunlight.
For more information on the advantages that plants can offer in the workplace, see our 3-part article series: Benefits of Plants in the Workplace.
Also known as Devil’s Ivy, Epipremnum aureum are great plants to have if you enjoy seeing quick growth. These trailing vines can grow on average 12-18 inches per month! Pothos have heart-shaped green leaves that can also be variegated with white, yellow or pale green striations, and are native to southeastern Asia.
Pothos do well in areas that don’t get a lot of sunlight and can also survive in fluorescent lighting, yet also light bright sunlight making them a versatile plant. For watering generally once a week is good however, let the soil dry out before watering again. As a general rule of green thumb, ALWAYS use pots with drainage for your indoor plants as this will help with the soil being able to properly drain and will prevent root rot from happening. Root rot occurs when the roots have too much constant moisture and are unable to absorb the water properly, causing a literal rot including growth of molds. When the leaves begin to droop you will know it is time for watering, however, don’t wait until the leaves start to curl up and shrivel!
Sanseveria, also known as a Snake Plant or a Mother-In-Law’s-Tongue are a great way to spice up the visual stimulus for an office space. The leaves of these plants are straight, long, and thick with a point at the end. Snake plants have a very unique look as the entire plant are leaves coming out of the soil with no stems they branch from and grow vertically. Snake plants grow naturally in densely canopied forests where little sunlight filters to the ground.
These plants are arguably one of the easiest plants to care for. While they are slow growing, with little care they can continue to grow longer than their owners! They require low light and can go up to a month without watering (please note: low light doesn’t mean no light!) They are also versatile as they can also be fully exposed to sunlight for long periods. Water only when the soil feels dry at least 3 inches deep. It is important not to overwater these plants, so ensure the soil has a chance to dry out. It is also important to note that generally for all plants, they will require more regular watering during spring and summer months, while they need more time to dry out during the winter and autumn months.
Chlorophytum comosum are commonly known as spider plants due to their leggy foliage and their offspring, called spiderettes. The spiderettes grow from shoots off the mother plant and resemble spiders hanging on a web, usually beginning from a small white flower. These plants are a perennial flowering plant that are native to tropical and southern Africa, however, have also become naturalized in other parts of the world such as western Australia. The long, thin, pointy leaves of this plant are solid green, and can also be variegated with yellow, white, or lighter greens.
Spider plants are considered one of the most adaptable houseplants that are the easiest to grow. These hardy plants can take quite a bit of neglect (although obviously not recommended), which makes them excellent candidates for new plant owners and caretakers. These plants can be kept in low light conditions, although will also thrive in moderate to bright light as well. It is less likely however that the plant will develop the spiderettes in only low or bright sunlight conditions, as it is the seasonal change in light that signals the flowering process. These plants can be watered approximately once weekly to maintain moisture in the soil.
The Zamioculcas zamiifolia, most commonly known as a ZZ Plant, is native to the drought-prone Africa. They grow their shoots from large underground stems called rhizomes which resemble potatoes. Rhizomes store water, which allows the ZZ plants to be resistant to drought (and forgetful owners). The characteristic shiny and laddered leaves of the common ZZ plant are a visually pleasing addition to any office setting.
The complicated scientific name of this plant is not indicative of its care routine, as ZZ plants are very easy to take care of. These plants are popular in office settings as they require very low light, can thrive in fluorescent lighting, and also require very little watering. Generally, you can water these plants every 1-3 weeks, allowing the soil to dry out in between watering.
Succulents & Cacti
If you are lucky enough to have an office with plenty of bright sunlight or a south facing window (they get the most sunlight here in Saskatchewan), then cacti and succulents are a plant-tastic idea! Succulents and cacti are native to desert environments, growing in hot and dry environments with little moisture. There are thousands of different varieties of cacti and succulents, many of which have beautiful colours and even flowers that can brighten up your office space.
As succulents and cacti are used to desert conditions, this means they are used to A LOT of sunlight, and very little water. Most succulents and cacti will need to be in areas with bright sunlight for an average of 12-14 hours of light a day! Both of these plants store water in their leaves, which makes them very resistant to drought. In fact, overwatering is the most common killer of both succulents and cacti. During the summer they require watering every 1-2 weeks, then drop down to every 3-4 weeks for winter. Ensure the soil completely dries out in between watering, then completely soak the soil when you do water. This watering style replicates the dry desert environment where they go weeks at a time without water, then have a heavy downpour to replenish their water holds.
We’re Rooting for You!
The plants listed above are great starting plants for any new plant parents and are also enjoyable for those with more experience. With simple care tips for each plant anyone can be well on their way to growing healthy plants in the office. It’s also relieving to know that most store bought plants will come with a care-card stuck in the soil which gives the sunlight, water, and fertilizer required to keep that plant happy and alive. Don’t be afraid to take that leaf of faith, we’re rooting for you!
Download our Quick Reference Guide: Plants for the Office which shows a picture of each plant with general care tips including sunlight, watering, and fertilizer.