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Pot plants helping businesses stay on Gold Medal form Medal form

Air conditioning Aberdeen

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.


Health benefits

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.


Plant care

Look after your little green friends comes down to three things: temperature, light and water.

1. Temperature
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.

2. Light
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.

3. Water
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.


Plant choice

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:

  • Low-maintenance plants
  • Pothos – this easycare plant adapts well to a variety of office environments – from low light levels to brighter ones. It has heart-shaped, white-splotched leaves and makes a lovely addition sitting on a desk, shelf or table.
  • Philodendrons – these are mostly climbers and ideal for adding height to small areas. Place them on filing cabinets or in a hanging basket.
  • Spider plant – this is one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. Often displayed in hanging baskets, it can create some visual interest in an office space – place it high up for visitors to admire.
  • Snake plant – also known as Mother-in-law’s tongue, it can make a huge statement in the office. The shooting dark green leaves have bands of bright yellow-green on the outside and a healthy snake plant attracts the eye. A few together make a natural screen.
  • Cactus – for the truly non-green-fingered, there’s always the trusty cactus. But they do require a significant amount of sunlight, so they’re not for dimly lit offices .There are many types to choose from.
  • Air-cleaning plants
  • Rubber plants – these not only make an excellent decorative addition, but they’re renowned for helping a good air conditioning system remove indoor air pollutants.
  • Dracaena – also known as Corn Plant, this combats pollutants found in varnishes and oils. If your space has hardwood floors, this would be ideal. It’s easy to care for and makes a good focal point or screen.
  • Peace lily – known for its air cleaning, this can grow vigorously even in low light environments – ideal for a space without big windows. It also works well as a focal point and for screening.

Others to consider

  • English ivy – ivy is easy to grow and helps eliminate mould. Thriving in nearly any light conditions, it looks great climbing up a pole or hanging from a basket.
  • Umbrella plant – the umbrella plant (technically a tree) is perfect for providing privacy, as it grows quite tall. The amount of light available dictates its care – low light, dry soil; brighter light, more water. You can buy dwarf versions for desktops.
  • African violet – tight for space? Look at the African violet. While these cheery little plants need a little more TLC, such as plenty of light and moisture, they’re ideal for adding a splash of colour.