Turning Over a New Leaf – The Changing Face of Indoor Plants

Creating bright office spaces has been an issue of intense focus amongst corporations around the globe. There are persuasive benefits to enlivening a work-space. The brighter and livelier the work space, the more productive and energetic are the workers. These bright, lively office spaces also have grounded importance which indirectly enhances the profitability of the business.

Indoor plants are a classic element of indoor decoration. They are an effective way to liven up the space around you and have been used by interior designers for many years. In fact, the history of indoor-plants goes back to 1000 BCE China. Over the ages there have been proven benefits of plants improving ones health and mind. So, indoor plants have become a core competing factor of office space decoration not just for rising lifestyle trends, but also because of the goodness of green living.

The culture of indoor plants as decor has been refashioned with innovations of interior designers from time to time. Globalisation has further fuelled this essence of interior decoration. Novelty has become the key of competition for interior decorators and experts although much to the pain of the indoor plant hire companies. The Japanese Bonsai is now a global sweet-heart and everyone seems to want ‘trees’ in their office! The changing trends of indoor-plants are strongly evident from office spaces which have transcended the ‘norm’ of décor.

Ten years ago indoor plants were decorated in their simplest forms. Their presence inside rooms yielded the basic benefits – some refreshing green close to the inhabitants, and to impress their clients. But the same hasn’t remained as the only objectives. Today indoor plants have become a symbol of stylish living as well as healthy living. Particularly in office spaces, the goodness of indoor plants has been numerous and they are manifested with creative décor ideas. Apart from cleaning the air these plants are focal points of peaceful contemplation in a hectic environment. Today’s designers are desperately trying to unite nature with modern living. Some of them are trying to create the closest experience of being surrounded by nature by dismissing the borders of indoors and outdoors while the others are trying to redefine nature within modern office spaces.

This is where the diverse trends of indoor plant decorations arise. The space for growing plants is no longer limited to simple wedge-shaped ceramic pots. Today pots vary from modern shapes and bright colours, to green walls and vertical gardens! The most common vertical system is the Traditional Vertical Garden which is a wire frame which usually reaches from floor to ceiling with pots installed either in every space or every second space to form a chequered pattern. They are extremely versatile and often used to partition a room without closing it off. Green Walls are a much livelier way to bring the outdoors in, with lush plants covering the entire section of the wall and often giving the feeling of a rain forest. Vertical planting now also includes Woolley pockets that house from 3 to 12 small 150mm plants and can be grouped together on any wall, Live Pictures which involve a picture frame surrounding living plants on an irrigation system and Hexagonal wall planters which simply hold one plant and hang as easy as a clock on the wall. Designers are also including hanging plants in their fit outs, from bowl shapes to macramé hanging systems to match the look and feel of the design.

Apart from many and varied new pots and styles of planting available, indoor plants have also evolved to a variety of breeds. Botany has done wonders over the years from plant layering to cloning. Plants of different varieties have evolved from lush green ferns to variegated creepers. Some of the all time favourites are the Fiddle Leaf Fig, Pothos, Zanzibar Gem, Dragon Tree, Sansevieria, Umbrella plant but the list does not end here. These plants have striking variations in terms of leaf colour, texture, shapes – such as Tri Coloured Dragon Tree and Sansevieria Superba as well as some which cascade down over hanging baskets such as Devil’s Ivy and others which have pink and red variegation such as Lady Valentine Aglaonema. Whatever the type of the plant, there is a simple universal need to bring them indoors to offer a greener, healthier more natural place to work.

There is no established rule of decorating with indoor plants. It’s a subjective issue which varies depending on the personality of the inhabitants, the architecture of the room, the wall and floor colour, lighting and other decorative aspects of the room. With lighting being a major factor to the health of the plant, there will always be limits on the plant choice, but this is being transformed with the use of artificial lighting, ensuring more choice of plant species while at the same time enhancing the overall aesthetics of the space. The indoor plant must blend well with all the other elements of the room and yield a feel of natural living. Decorating indoor plants in corporations should clearly express the company culture. To make it easier for an indoor plant marketer, the average needs of corporations must be researched. The first three considerations are usually:

  • Creation of an impressive ambience to please customers as well as workers.
  • Soothing sensation to the eyes and minds of workers
  • A sense of being seen as ‘green’ as a company

Though these needs are common their solutions might vary depending on the architecture of the office building, the culture, the budget etc. So it’s best for the indoor plant vendors to have flexible solutions at hand. If the budget does not allow for large quantities or sizes, then perhaps using bright coloured pots can help to make the overall look more impressive. Alternatively, clustering plants will give a feel of more value for money, rather than individual pots placed on their own around the office.

Remember, while it’s a good idea to have a good stock of low maintenance plants and standard pots, there should also be a spectrum of plant breeds from delicate trailing Ivy to large tree-like Ficus Sabres, ensuring a supply of products to suit different corporate cultures and designs. A lush ambience with less input can make corporate customers happy with lower costs, but more and more the designs are asking for something different. Make sure you have the ability to quickly obtain a variety of pots and vertical planting systems to offer. If you are a supplier, indoor plant companies are always interested to hear of any new plants that will not just survive, but thrive indoors. Especially if they are a new variety not commonly used. Large plants that will survive in medium light is one of the biggest demands. Who knows what will be next. Are you ready?


Article by Julie Watson – Green Design Indoor Plant Hire