Good office plant maintenance can make the difference between a lush, vibrant office space, and a depressing work area with dead plants and crispy leaves. Having healthy plants in the office common areas can boost employee morale and create a calming environment.
Once a year change the soil in all your office plants to renew the nutrients in the soil. If the roots are in a tight tangle, it's a sign that you need to upgrade to a bigger pot.
Keeping track of the amount of water you use is helpful to a plant’s survival for a number of reasons. It will indicate the amount of water you need to use, as well as how often the plant needs to be watered. It will also indicate whether or not your plant is being over or under-watered by the dryness or dampness of the soil.
It is easy to assume that the more fertilizer a plant has the better it will grow; this however, could not be further from the truth. Over fertilization of your plant’s soil can damage your plant to the point of no return. If this were to occur, by accident, you can attempt to dissolve the fertilizer with clear water. Flush your plant out completely three or four times in half hour increments, and hopefully the plant won’t be lost.
In an office setting, plant care can often go by the wayside if no one takes the responsibility. It is a good idea to designate someone, or a few people, in the office who will take care of watering and maintenance on a regular basis.
Often times plants are sensitive to the water that we drink because of the chlorine levels. If tap water is your best option, allow a container of water to sit overnight and allow the chlorine gasses to dissipate. Collecting rain water or melted snow is also an effective method of providing your plant with natural water.
Setting up traps is a great step to take in an effort to minimize pests on your office plants. It, of course, is not a fool proof plan, but it certainly is a good start. Yellow sticky traps help to catch flying pests, like white flies, and fungus gnats. You can buy them, or simply make your own by cutting bright yellow cardboard, and covering them in a sticky material.
Spots, blotches, or blemishes on the leaves of your plant come from a variety of sources. Intense light causes sunburn on your plant, causing the leaves to blister. Make sure you know what level of sunlight your plant requires to avoid over exposure. Temperatures below 50 degrees F also cause spotting on your plant. Spray from chemicals and over watering are also causes for spots and blemishes. Keeping your plant on a strict watering schedule is an easy way to avoid that problem.
Rhapis excelsa loves moist well-drained soil, so water generously. Avoid over watering. Over watering any plant that can cause root rot. The Lady Palm can thrive in shade as well as full solar exposure. Tip burning can occur in full direct sun while the plant is in the process of acclimating. For best leaf color and optimum growth, grow in full yet indirect light. In shade the leaves will darken.
If your office plants are dusty or you see a few bugs or gnats, try cleaning your plants with a mixture of 6 oz. of rubbing alcohol, 24 oz. of water and 4 drops of ivory soap. Don't use on African violets. Don't clean more than once per week. Don't apply in direct sunlight.