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Boosting Wellness in the Workplace: The Benefits of Plants in a Medical Office

Minimal classy design that prevents pests and helps retain water.
Snake plant with sand and white rocks.

"In the early stages of designing this medical laboratory, patient comfort was and continues to be our top priority!

Providing a calming environment for patients is crucial to diagnostic outcomes here at West Wave Neuro and should be a standard for all practices."

Benefits of Adding Live Plants to Your Workplace Environment

Stress Reduction for patients and staff: When patients first walk into the lobby, they observe their surroundings. When they are met with calming colors, live plants and fresh flowers, this is likely to lower their stress levels.

"Lower stress levels means we are able to obtain more accurate diagnostic results."

A study on stress and recovery of surgical patients showed that live plants and fresh flowers in a hospital setting, have been proven to provide more positive physiological responses in patients in recovery rooms. Implementing this idea into our practice was a no brainer!

The same idea was implemented for our staff. When they are able to work in a clean and calming environment positive productivity is drastically boosted!

Decoration & Design: Plants and fresh flowers serve as a lovely decoration in an office setting! Although I must admit, it's not always easy keeping plants alive, so in this article I will provide you a list of plants that thrive with little effort!

Temperatures in a medical laboratory typically have to stay dry and on the cooler side to protect the equipment, which adds an extra challenge. Most plants love a warm humid environment, but that isn't a option here at West Wave. Over the last 3 years, I have had tons of trial and error. I have finally compiled enough data to share with you all to save you time and money!

10 Hardy indoor plants that thrive in a low light, moderately cold office

I have a higher than average green thumb and in the few years we have been in this office space, I have managed to kill more plants than I can count! I have combated pests (particularly nats), root rot, over watering, under watering, not enough sun light, the list goes on.

Finding hardy plants that would thrive in a dark and chilly environment was a challenge. To save you the headache I endured, here is a list of plants that THRIVE in our office.

Here is a list of plants that THRIVE in office settings and are low maintenance

Minimal classy design that prevents pests and helps retain water.
Fishbone cactus aka Brain wave plant!

  • Snake plants

  • Z plants

  • Pothos

  • Monstera

  • Fishbone cactus aka Brain wave plant!

  • Dracaenas

  • Monstera Adansonii aka Swiss Cheese

  • Large leaf palms

  • Birds of Paradise (Will likely not flower in doors)

  • Plants Propagating in water

How to manage these plants

After taking a deep look at my mistakes, I have finally found plants that thrive in this moderately cold low light office. I have found non-chemical ways to manage pests and locked in a perfect water schedule! Having live plants in an office does have its fair share of cons. The amount of bugs they attract, was almost enough for me to throw in the towel and switch to faux plants!

Keeping pests at bay without chemicals: Adding a thick layer of clean sand prevents nats from being able to lay eggs in the soil and helps the soil retain the moisture. Adding a decorative rock on top of the sand, keeps dust low. Not to mention it is a beautiful accent to your potted plants! I purchased bags of clean sand and white rock from home depot. I added 2-3 inches of sand and topped it with white rocks. This eliminated nats almost immediately! But then came the spiders! Spiders found the rocks to be an appealing place to hide. To avoid chemicals, you can drown them out when you water and squish them (or place them outside)!

Pots with water catcher: A pot with an enclosed water catcher is more ideal for an office space. It is cleaner, takes up less space and will allow you to provide a deeper water without fear of it over flowing. If you are over watering, the bottom of the pots will have excess water which can create a place for pests to thrive. That leads us into our water routine!

Water schedule: Our water schedule is based on the time of year. This office space only sees direct sunlight in the late afternoon all year so it is relatively cold. We typically water when the soil is dry or the leaves aren't as firm. A semi deep water once or twice a month seems to do the trick! The combination of the sand and cool temperatures helps the soil retain the water. Less is more! I have killed more plants by overwatering than I have under watering. Check the soil and the water catcher prior to watering again. I like to wait until there is no water left in the catcher before adding more.

Minimal classy design that prevents pests and helps retain water.
Modern art and monstera. A classic medical office interior design must!

Air Quality Myth - Potted plant's don't actually improve the quality of air?! The amount of plants per square ft needed in a commercial building or even your home to have a positive impact on air quality, is far too many. According to the study published by Bryan Cummings and Michael Waring, 10 - 1000 plants /m2 of a buildings floor space to make any kind of impact on air quality. 

"Although these plants may not have a direct impact on the air we breathe, the smell of fresh flowers and live plants certainly outweigh the smell of an old medical office! We all know that dreadful smell!"

Jess Jenne CEO/ Founder

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