Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bring your plants to work day

I'm not actually suggesting a new holiday.  It's just a clever name for my post.  Although I wouldn't mind this being a holiday - I already celebrate it everyday.

The National Weather Center - across the street from where I work.
[For those who are interested, I work on the research campus at the University of Oklahoma.  The research campus is made up of about six buildings built over the last 5 years.  These buildings are filled with academics, government groups and private companies (like the one I work for).  The anchor of the research campus is the National Weather Center.]

Aglaonema and a palm tree in the foyer of my office building
My office building (like the others on the campus) is a nice, new facility that has lots of plants in the hallways and office suites.  Plants are added for decoration, as well as to help purify air in the office environment.  This is a pretty trendy thing nowadays, and I guess it has been for quite a while.  What's cool for me is that some of my favorite plants are those common plants kept as easy-care foliage plants (such as the Aglaonema pictured above).

Ficus tree, Sanseveira (short pot) and a very cool Philodendron
All of the plants are in really nice, huge pots.  And the plants are grouped in twos or threes.  This is my favorite grouping.  I walk by it each morning on my way up the stairs.  The Philodendron is so cool.  I think I might have to ask one of the plant maintainers if I could get a cutting...

Close-up of the really cool Philodendron in the stairwell.
Other common plants in the office building are Dracaenas, Epipremnum ivies and large Bird of Paradise.  Here is a nice grouping of two Dracaenas in the hallway.

Two tall Dracaena warneckii plants in the hallway.
Of course, being the planty guy that I am, all of these great plants scattered throughout the building aren't enough for me.  I have my own set of plants on my desk: Philodendron hederaceum ('Micans'), Polyscias scutellaria, Scindapsus pictus, Aglaonema sp.  I used to have a Philodendron 'Brazil' on my desk, but it got too large and had to be taken home.

A shield Aralia (Polyscias scutellaria) on my desk next to the computer monitor.
The shield Aralia was a birthday gift the first year I started working here, so it's now about 2 years old and has grown a lot.  I've heard that these plants are a little finicky and hard to keep.  No doubt it probably would not be as healthy as it is today if I wasn't looking at it 5 days a week!  The office environment (and my constant watching eye) has apparently suited it well.

Philodendron hederaceum 'Micans'
My Philodendron 'Micans' is starting to grow as rapidly as my Philodendron 'Brazil' did.  It had to be taken home when our company moved and my desk space was reduced.  I really like it's rate of growth, but I hope the 'Micans' can stick around a while longer.

Scindapsus pictus and Aglaonema on my desk.
In addition to all sorts of health benefits in the office space, plants just make me happy and my work space would be depressing without them.

Do you keep any plants in your workspace?  Or does anyone else in your office?


  1. I have an Aglaonema Maria in my windowsill at work that I'm very proud of! When I brought him to work he only had one solitary leaf but he now has FIVE beautiful leaves. He seems to be very happy in the dental atmosphere. :)

  2. Zach, it's great! I would hate to work in a building without plants! I would love to have my work place near yours! Does anyone ask you for cuttings? I would!

  3. I have had a couple of requests for cuttings, but not many. I am in an office full of guys who aren't necessarily interested in plants. :)

  4. Love the plants in your new office building---their pots are awesome, too!
    Your shield aralia is beautiful, and big---it makes your office space look exquisite! I would definitely be sneaking by for a little snip. ;-)

    I had an ivy in my office many moons ago and it trailed so long that it became attached in so many places it was quite a task trying to move it when I was relocated to another area of the building. It never seemed as happy in my new spot....

  5. I wish I'd known about your interest in the Philodendron when I mailed you the other one: I have one; I could have sent cuttings. It hasn't done terribly well for me indoors, but a lot of that is because I've never known quite what to do with it. I have yet to give it something to climb (hard to do originally, because it was in a 4-inch pot), I let it get rootbound without meaning to, and until we moved it was in a somewhat dark, cold spot (or at least colder and darker than it would have preferred). Easy enough to keep alive, though. I've never had a name for it I was particularly confident in, though I've seen something similar called 'Red Emerald' before.

  6. What great looking plants. I am retired so work from home so to speak and am surrounded by plants - everywhere!

  7. what great looking plants.

  8. I have three plants in my office. I only work 3 days a week. The rest of the week the blinds are partially closed. So I have to put low light plants in there. I have a Philodendron Scandens, a wax plant and a wonderful Kangeroo Paw Fern that grows profusely. I am gonna have to bring the Philodendron home to repot it. It is very root bound. I want to bring in a large low light specimen plant in a month or so. I love plants and have over 50 plants at home. Every window is full of plants. I especially love that in the winter. It is great to read the posts!