The lungs of the earth will breath new life into your workspace

This modern life with all its technological trappings has us spending many of our working hours indoors, screen facing and surrounded by a man-made environment.

But through the introduction of some green leaved members of the plant kingdom you can easily offset (sometimes) toxic emissions, softening and beautifying all those hard surfaces in the process.

We guide you through this often tangled subject, discussing those that are best suited to the office, so that your weekdays can be as fresh and clean as your weekends spent outdoors.

1 Peace Lily Spathiphyllum

A resident of our studio, this slender shade lover bursts forth each spring with white crescent shaped flowers but doesnt disappoint with a year round display of dense deep green foliage. It prefers well watered soils and humid conditions.

2 Parlour Palm Chamaedorea Elegans

As stately in appearance as its name suggests, it was bestowed with an Award of Garden Merit by the British Royal Horticultural Society – a recognition of excellence. In Victorian times it became a staple of living rooms and has continued its reign throughout the 20th century, earning a place in NASA’s study of the top 50 plants known to improve air quality.

3 Fiddle-leaf Fig Ficus lyrata

Native to the tropical West African rainforests, this hardy specimen has been adopted by interior designers the world over, as much for the way it complements a room as it is for its survival skills. It prefers well drained soil, to be watered once a fortnight and a sunny position.

4 Janet Craig Dracaena deremensis

Janet was born in East Africa but has since migrated to indoor spaces across the globe. Janet does not like direct sunlight, however she enjoys its warmth. Give her a drink once a week and feed with liquid fertilizer at least twice a year to maintain her statuesque form.

5 Jade Plant Crassula ovata

Our Jade plant, nested within a white ceramic container, with fleshy green leaves and a woody stem, is almost tree like in appearance. This succulent enjoys drier Winters, with moderate watering in Summer and a sunlit position all year round. Also known as the Money Tree, it will deliver a dividend of small white star like flowers.

6 Yucca Yucca elephantipes

This hardy specimen has found a home in our studio. Although the naturally occurring plants from Mexico, Central and South America can grow up to 9 metres tall, its development will be arrested when confined to a pot. It is drought resistant and under the right conditions will produce a spike of pale yellow flowers.

7 Walking Iris Neomarica bicolour gracilis

An ethereal plant with long reed like leaves and (most commonly) white and blue flowers. It grows well in hanging pots, where the leaves can cascade easily over the edge and the flowers can be raised up for all to see. Best of all, these flowers produce a lovely fragrance.

8 Pothos Epipremnum aureum

Born of French Polynesia with heart shaped leaves, marbled yellow and green, it is a vine that will creep or climb when given support. However, its lush exotic beauty is deceptive and it should never be allowed to roam beyond the house or garden as it can become a noxious weed. Studies have proven this plant to be an affective sponge for pollution when in an indoor setting.

9 Croton Codiaeum variegatum

A name like Croton conjures images of an alien life form from the set of Star Trek. Although unusual in appearance, this earth bound plant is firmly rooted in reality. Its thick leathery two toned leaves are offset by delicate sprays of white flowers in Spring. This forest dweller from regions as far flung as Sri Lanka, Indonesia and beyond love a warm, moist position in their adopted homes.

10 Lucky Bamboo Dracaena braunii

Revered in Asian cultures as a source of prosperity and happiness, it has become a popular addition to any home or office in need of the harmonising qualities of Feng Shui. But don’t be fooled by its associations, appearance or name, because it is endemic to West Africa and is not a member of the bamboo family. You will commonly find it growing directly in water, sans soil, which must be changed fortnightly.

The Great Indoors

The physical and psychological health benefits of the natural environment are well documented. And as urban development encroaches on these habitats, it becomes increasingly important to foster small pockets of life within our newfound world.

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, they relieve stress and reduce noise levels and have even been linked to more esoteric outcomes such as boosting creativity and aiding concentration.

So, it is a logical progression to want to integrate the organic with the artificial, turning our concrete jungle into a living, breathing, leafy green beauty. You’re investing in your future and in addition the wellbeing of the people with whom you inhabit your space.