Adding plants to your office space is an easy way to brighten things up, add some visual interest, and purify the air. Many office owners shy away from the idea because they worry plants are too fussy – which is not at all true! While it is true that some of us have a knack for killing plants, if you pick good plants and follow some easy-peasy steps, you’ll have gorgeous plants that’ll look great year-round.
In today’s blog, the folks at Blau & Berg want to share some plant care tips for business owners who are new to gardening. With these simple tips, the plants at your retail space in NJ will stay looking lush and lively throughout the year.
Choose the right plant –
Before you learn care tips, you need to find the right plant(s) for your office space, so let’s talk about that. While you could just run out and grab a pothos or a fiddle leaf fig, it is a good idea to put some thought into your selection, so your plant will be happy, and so you can ensure it is low maintenance and visually pleasing.
Take note of the office conditions, and your requirements. Do you want a flowering plant? A big plant? One with color? Something super low maintenance? List these qualities on a sheet of paper.
Next, evaluate the space where the plant will be residing. Does it get much sun? What are the humidity and light levels like? Are there any office pets to keep in mind? What’s the color scheme of the room or area?
Once you’ve written down your answers to all these questions (and any others you can think of), it’s time to consult your local garden center and see which plant fits all the criteria you’ve listed. Or, if you prefer to buy online, look at a local nursery’s website and see what works for you. Remember to take your time, and to start small! Plants are gorgeous and it’s easy to get carried away and end up brining home more of them than you should, so make sure you put a cap on the number of plants you can get.
Plant care tips for your retail space in NJ
Now that you have your plants, it’s time to learn about plant care. We’ll cover the basics and provide a few extra tips that’ll help you keep your plants super healthy. This list may seem long but working through it won’t take much time at all!
The most important step! Find out what the plant’s watering needs are, and make sure you fulfil them. Some plants like pothos like to dry out between watering and stay in fairly dry soil, while some others like to have their feet moist. Depending on your plant’s needs, the container and the weather, you may have to water anything between once daily to once a month!
You don’t have to buy a fancy watering can – just use a bottle, mug or anything else that’s handy to water your plants. When watering, you want to give the soil a good soak, so as the soil dries, the plant’s roots reach down to get water, and so get well-established. Watering shallowly will make your plant susceptible to drying out because the roots will be concentrated on the surface, so if you ever forget to water, the plant will dry out quickly.
It’s a good idea to have glazed saucers under the containers, so any excess water stays under the container instead of running off and ruining your office floors. If you can’t find glazed saucers, just buy a regular terracotta saucer and spray it with a glazer.
While this isn’t strictly necessary for houseplants and other indoor plants, it’s certainly a good idea to fertilize your plants once a year – especially if they’re flowering plants. Even leafy plants will benefit from fertilizer. It will enable them to be stronger, and to put out lush, green growth.
Buy some organic fertilizer (a small bag will do), and sprinkle it onto the soil and scratch it in. If you want to keep your hands clean, use a mini trowel to work it in. Next, water the soil from above so the fertilizer finds its way down. If it is liquid fertilizer, make a solution as directed, and water the plant with the solution. Liquid fertilizer tends to be more effective, as they can be absorbed directly by your plant.
To keep the plants in your retail space in NJ looking nice, you’ll need to prune them regularly. Now, before you get the pruners out, do make sure that your plant is a variety that needs pruning. Grasses and many indoor plants don’t need it at all, unless they have damaged leaves.
Vining plants and most flowering plants will need pruning, however. So, grab your pruners, and give your pothos, ivy and petunias a prune. The general rule of thumb is to never cut off more than 30% of the plant’s total growth, or it may not be able to bounce back. When pruning, try to cut right above a growth point, so the new growth can shoot out from there and take off. You don’t want to leave long stems butting out at angles.
If you have flowering plants at your retail space, you’ll need to deadhead them. This means cutting off the bloom stalk once the flower has finished blooming. This does several things – first, it removes dead, scraggly looking blooms from your plant. Second, it prevents the plant from forming seeds, which takes a lot of energy away from your blooms. Thirdly, it encourages the plant to bloom more.
Deadheading is super simple. Just grab a pair of pruners and cut off the flowering stalk, making sure to not damage any buds or leaves in the process. If this seems like a lot of work (which it can be, with plants that flower a lot), opt for plants that do not require deadheading. These plants either have flowers that drop off once they are done flowering, or they have bloom stalks that still look pretty without the flower.
- Pest control
Some plants are natural-born pest magnets, and some others fall prey to a freak occurrence. But whatever the case, if you have plants at your retail space in NJ, you must be prepared to do some pest control. This can be time-consuming and sometimes slightly icky, but bear in mind it isn’t something you’ll have to do often. In fact, if you choose pest-resistant varieties and your luck holds, you might never have to bother with pest control at all!
The commonest bugs on indoor plants are spider mites, aphids, and scale insects. These can all be removed by spraying organic pest remover on the plant. All you need to do is buy the product and spend five minutes thoroughly spraying it all over the plant – focusing on the undersides of the leaves and on new growth. Some bugs can also be removed by simply rubbing them off, but you might not love that process!
Mulching is the process of putting down organic material on top of the soil. It serves two purposes: first, it adds organic content to the soil, which can slowly break down and feed the plant, and secondly, it makes the soil surface look nice. You can choose a basic mulch that makes the soil look nice and rich, or you can opt for mosses or hay, for a more or less formal feel, depending on your preferred look.
You’ll need to top up the mulch once or twice a year. Depending on the number of plants you have and the size of the containers, one or two bags of mulch a year should be enough.
- Leaf shampoo
If you have doors and windows that overlook a busy street, dust can fly in and settle on the leaves of your plant, thus making it look dirty and old. Plus, it affects the plant’s ability to breathe, and can cause health issues in the long run. So, to get your plant looking nice and to make sure it stays healthy, you may need to occasionally shampoo its leaves.
The process is simple. Just grab a mild detergent solution (even plain water will do) and a rag. Dip the rag in the water, squeeze any excess water out, and gently wipe down dusty or dirty leaves. You may see brown spots on leaves near the soil level – that’s splashback caused when soil is splashed onto lower leaves during watering. Just scrub the leaves gently, and the dirt should come right off.
Let the plant air-dry, and voila! It looks as good as new.
These were some tips for taking care of the plants at your retail space in NJ. For more office-related info and tips, follow our blog, which we update monthly. Blau & Berg is a trusted real estate company headquartered in Short Hills, NJ.