What is Plantscaping?

When renovating an office space, doing a tenant build out or moving into a brand new office building, the focus is often on architectural elements, furniture and color schemes. Too often, indoor plants and decorative containers are forgotten or added as an afterthought. Many people don’t realize that there is an entire industry that revolves around providing and maintaining indoor plants for commercial building environments called plantscaping. While this is good news, you may ask yourself, what is plantscaping?

Plantscaping is the specialized field of designing, selecting, installing and servicing indoor plants inside of buildings and offices. The process requires careful selection of plants according to light exposure, soil composition, mature size, and drought tolerance to ensure health and longevity.

green wall living wall with bright foliage plants in lobby with irrigation

Sounds simple enough, but there is a lot that goes into it. Plantscaping isn’t simply picking up a bunch of pretty potted plants and putting them around your office at random. It involves making carefully balanced decisions that blend the aesthetic desires of the people in a space, the needs of living plants, and the physical climate to create the perfect marriage of living art in an indoor environment. Striking the ideal balance under imperfect circumstances can be a challenge. Climate conditions like artificial lighting, fluctuating temperatures, and well-meaning people pouring out their coffee are par for the course in the world of plantscaping.

Interior plantscaping involves multiple disciplines, combining the skill sets of interior designers, landscape architects, and horticulturists. Plantscaping uses plants to add nature and life to spaces, highlight architectural features, drive foot traffic and so much more (not to mention keeping people from walking into that floor-to-ceiling glass pane of the conference room that your architect elected to not have partially frosted).

There are so many factors to consider when it comes to hand-selecting plants for the indoor environment that it can seem like an overwhelming challenge. Whether you are a building manager, property manager, or just looking for interior landscaping for your corporate space, District Green Plants is here to act as your guide in the world of Plantscaping.

What is an interior plantscaper?

An Interior plantscaper is a professional that will design your indoor office plant project, sell or rent you decorative containers, and then install them into your workplace environment. Once your well-placed plants are installed, an Interior Plantscaper will then provide proper care and ongoing maintenance for your plants on a regularly scheduled basis. 

Most Interior Plantscapers will also guarantee that the plants they service will always look great by replacing any whenever there is a decline in their quality..

What services are offered by interior plantscapers?

Interior Professional Plantscaping is part of a larger group of services called urban horticulture. Some Interior Plantscapers offer other urban horticulture services which include:

flowers and plants colorful orchids mini orchids and peace lilly

Interior plantscapers like District Green Plants work on various commercial spaces, including hotels, hospitals, office buildings, and restaurants. They create full plant installations with mosses, decorative rocks, and blooms. 

Interior Plantscapers, like District Green Plants, work in various commercial spaces, including office buildings, residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, retail spaces, and restaurants. They create full plant installations incorporating all kinds of plants and flowers and even use mosses, decorative rocks, and sculptural elements. They also offer indoor plant maintenance agreements.

Exterior plantscaping

First impressions last. Interior plantscapers also work on making outdoor spaces, such as the entrance of a building lobby or residential property, walkways, roof patios, and green roof gardens, memorable spaces to enjoy. Using the elements of landscape design, they select unique foliage, colors, and exterior elements to improve curb appeal dramatically.

bright beautiful native pollinators and sustainable flowers at commercial office building in washington dc
summer flowers and tropical palms and pink begonias and creeping jenny in sidewalk planter in Arlington VA

Seasonal rotation

For an all-year-round impact, interior plantscapers will offer to rotate foliage seasonally. This ensures there’s a lively and fresh plant selection and flower display in your space all year long. Beautiful plantscaping is a year-round job!

Service and maintenance

Service and maintenance of plants are key components of successful plantscaping projects. Aside from watering and fertilizing, interior plantscapers also understand plant pests and disease problems. They will intervene and treat your indoor plants early. If they notice a plant is struggling, they can return it to the nursery for care and install a new plant in its place to prevent the unattractive sight of a crashing plant.

Holiday Décor

Interior plantscapers can brighten your season with premade or custom designs ranging from a couple of poinsettias to traditional large holiday trees and displays. District Green Plants will rent and install scenes, props, trees, branch displays, wreaths, garland, seasonal lighting, and wall charms.

Special occasions require special lighting to create stunning displays. District Green Plants provides a wide variety of non-programmable and programmable lighting displays and products for different seasons or year-round use. They can create customized lighting displays for your space to enhance its beauty and draw in foot traffic.

Along with these services, interior plantscapers also offer:

  • Interior and exterior design work and consultation, including the selection of decorative containers and plants
  • Rotational Programs, including Custom Arrangements, Bromeliads, Orchids, Living Art, Floral Arrangements and Succulent Gardens
  • Artificial Plants/Silk Plants/Fake Plants
  • Green Walls and Moss Walls- Design, Installation and Maintenance
  • Green Roof Maintenance

Benefits of plantscaping

Some benefits of plantscaping include:

Health benefits

Plants make humans feel better. It’s not just anecdotal; there is a lot of research to back up this assertion. There are a myriad of benefits to having office plants and research continues to prove it again and again.

Plants extract harmful, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in the air into carbon dioxide, water, and other harmless compounds, which the plants then use as food.

Researchers have discovered that the potted plant, which includes its soil microbes and its root system, was effective at reducing at least 70% of all air-borne, high concentration VOCs within 24 hours. What’s even more amazing is that the more VOCs that are present in the air, the more efficient the plant becomes at eliminating them.

There is also evidence that plants can reduce indoor carbon monoxide levels by 90%.

These are just a few of the many ways that scientific study has proven the health benefits of plants. Plants reduce stress levels and improve mental health. In an office environment with plants, workers experience 30% fewer headaches, 30% fewer sore throats, 40% fewer coughs, a 20% reduction in fatigue and a 25% reduction in skin irritations. A separate study found that sick leave was reduced by an astounding 60% when plants were present in offices.

Potted plants also reduce dust levels, stabilize humidity levels and make indoor air more comfortable for occupants.

Moreover, there’s evidence that plants can help improve memory and concentration. They have been proven to create feelings of calm and reduces anxiety which leads to a reduction in the fatigue caused by intense concentration.

Wherever there are plants, humans enjoy a healthier environment.

Aesthetic appeal

Ask a landscape architect and they will tell you that beautiful plants will enhance any space. Adding plants to your space can alter the feel and mood of a space, and they can add color to complement any style of décor. Plants can create a focal point when used as a primary design element.

They can frame a view drawing your attention towards something you want people to pay attention to, or they can be used to screen a view and obscure something unsightly.

Plants can create visual depth and delineate spaces. They can be used to lower the perception of a ceiling in a cavernous indoor atrium, and they can make uninviting corporate settings feel warm and hospitable by breaking a large area into smaller, more appealing spaces.

Traffic control

Plants can affect how people move through an environment.  When used as a focal point, they draw people in towards specific places that you want them to go.

Plants in containers can also be used to create walkways where there are no walls.

Did you know that when people see a variety of plants with different textures, shapes and sizes they walk more slowly? Orient those plants in containers along a curved path and people will walk even more slowly. If you want people to move more quickly through a space, like for a line or in a transitional area, you can use identical plants in a straight row.

Well placed plants can even keep people safe. They draw your attention away from your phone just before you miss that little half step into the cafeteria or before you walk into that conference room glass panel.

Change the acoustics, muffle sound, and create privacy

Plants will reduce noise levels without changing the way your space is designed.

Hard surfaces, like walls, windows, floors and even furniture, amplify sound. Noises reverberate off these hard surfaces and people will often talk louder to be heard, which only adds decibels to the environment.

Indoor plants are incredibly effective at absorbing higher frequency sounds (like voices) especially in commercial spaces with lots of hard surfaces. Additionally, smaller leafed plants can be used to diffract and reflect sound waves when placed strategically, such as between you and your cubicle mate.

Another sound and privacy barrier is a living wall. Green walls serve as a unique way to divide spaces, especially in restaurants and offices. In addition, studies reveal that living walls can absorb 41 percent more sounds than traditional walls resulting in a significantly quieter indoor environment.

Cost effective and improved economics

Plants add a living element that is portable and ever-changing while costing only a fraction of what you would pay to move a wall, add a window or for artwork or sculptural elements.

Additionally, research has shown that when people see plants in a shopping area, they perceive that the value of the goods being sold is higher than when the same goods are sold in a space without plants. In one study, researchers found that consumers were willing to spend 12% more for merchandise in an environment with plants. People also tend to spend more time and buy more products when plants are present.

Many people associate a sense of stature and luxury to spaces with plants. Tropical plants, in particular, are subconsciously associated with success. People feel more confident when they work and have dealings with companies that have beautiful plants in their office spaces.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance of plants is at the core of what District Green Plants does. After installing plants in your corporate environment, it takes them several weeks to adjust. Plants experience an acclimation period after they’re moved, and this is especially true when they are placed in spaces with lower lighting than they experienced as they were grown for market.

Expect a couple of leaves to yellow and drop and some plants to thin out as they acclimate to their new environment.

District Green Plants has a dedicated and knowledgeable team of professionals trained in indoor plant care. The basic plant care and ongoing maintenance services include:

  • Watering – several factors, including temperature, size of the pot, and ambient humidity, influence the amount of water a plant needs. Our professionals can project the amount of water every plant uses between service intervals. These projections may change based on a variety of factors, including a building’s air conditioning and heating system, sunlight exposure due to time of year, and even the plant’s natural growth cycle.
  • Fertilizing – We use soil with the right nutrients and minerals and fertilize plants just enough to keep them healthy and stable.
  • Trimming and pruning – many tropical plants continually shed leaves, and new ones grow in their place. Interior plantscapers remove yellow leaves and trim brown leaf tips. We prune plants both for the overall health of the plant and to control its growth and shape for its built environment.
  • Insect control –insects like mites, aphids, and mealy bugs, can be real pests for foliage plants. Interior plantscapers use a mix of natural controls to control insect problems. Biological controls, including natural predators, are preferred in larger interior plant projects but more often than not, afflicted plants are simply removed from your space and replaced with new, insect-free plants.
  • Disease control – tropical plants can sometime experience viruses, fungus, and bacteria problems. District Green Plants technicians are trained to recognize and eliminate diseases before plants are installed, as well as later, before they get out of hand.
  • Cleaning – It’s shocking how much everyday dirt and dust can collect on plant leaves. We dust and wash plant leaves regularly. Cleaner plant leaves translate into healthier, more beautiful plants. Additionally, they are less susceptible to disease and insect problems and will be able to absorb more light for photosynthesis.
  • Moving plants – if you need to move offices or relocate your plants within your office, interior plantscapers will come in to identify appropriate new locations and then relocate the plants to the suitable new spaces.

 Schedule your plantscaping consultation today

To get the best value for your investment in Washington D.C. and the greater DMV area, you should work with a professional interior plantscaper. District Green Plants is excited to collaborate with you to design and create a beautiful space through plantscaping.

Whether you want a living wall or a couple of decorative containers, we are the team for you. We are proud to work with some of DC’s finest designers, landscape architects, property managers and facility management teams.

Contact our design team today to review your needs and to start you on your journey of beautifying your space with plants.

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