Why Have Plants In The Office?

This morning, after way to many days of dreary rain and tinted office windows I decided I needed a plant on my desk. Something live to look at and bring some life to my office. Unfortunately my green thumb is missing and I do not know any plant names unless Trader Joes sells them as a bouquet. That is not to say that I do not enjoy plants. I do. I love them. I belong to the Botanical Gardens so I can look at the amazing things other people can do with plants. But when I try things in my garden I find that I lack the patience to wait for things to bloom, and tire of watering dirt in the hopes it will sprout. Nonetheless I decided today that an office plant would improve my life so I set about researching it and found this amazing article. Not only will a plant make me happy, but apparently it will make me a better employee (I discovered after googling “why have plants in the office“). I wonder if this means I can put it on my monthly expense report…

“(NaturalNews) According to the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS),  Americans who work in offices spend about 52 hours a week at their desks or in  their cubicles. What’s more, the ASHS points out that a host of recent studies  on job satisfaction have concluded that those who work in typical office  environments, often in windowless spaces with no natural light, have increased  stress and reduced job satisfaction levels. But there could be a  relatively simple and inexpensive way to make the American workplace more humane  and even healthier. The key? Research published recently in the ASHS journal  HortScience concludes the workplace can experience huge benefits with the  addition of live plants and/or a view of the outdoors. Dr. Tina Marie  Waliczek Cade, Associate Professor of Horticulture in the Department of  Agriculture at Texas State University, and colleagues designed a study to see if  offices with windows and views of green spaces as well as offices containing  live plants increased productivity and employee happiness on the job. The  research team used a satisfaction survey posted on the Internet and administered  to office workers in Texas and the Midwest that asked questions about work  environments, job satisfaction, the presence or absence of live plants and  windows, environmental preferences of the office workers, and demographic  information. The survey results revealed that employees who worked in  office environments containing live plants or window views reported a  dramatically better overall life quality and feeling of job satisfaction  compared to employees who worked in office environments without plants or windows. The complete study is available at the ASHS HortScience electronic  journal web site: (http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/cgi/cont…).

There could be a physical reason why workers feel better in a myriad of  ways when they work in “green” offices. NASA has researched the benefits of plants on air quality for some twenty years and  found that common houseplants such as bamboo palms work as natural air  purifiers. While the original NASA research was aimed at finding ways to purify  the air for extended stays in orbiting space stations, the study has important  implications for those on Earth, too. Plants, of course, convert carbon  dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis, but NASA research has documented they can do much more for air quality. In fact, they remove  harmful elements such as trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde from the  air. Energy efficient, tightly sealed office buildings build with synthetic  building materials, producing “Sick Building Syndrome”. If you’re  interested in boosting productivity and just feeling better while working in  your office, try adding a few of the plants NASA has documented as being  especially good at improving indoor air quality:

1. Philodendron scandens  ‘oxycardium’, heartleaf philodendron.

2. Philodendron domesticum, elephant  ear philodendron.

3. Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’, cornstalk  dracaena.

4. Hedera helix, English ivy.

5. Chlorophytum comosum,  spider plant.

6. Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’, Janet Craig  dracaena.

7. Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’, Warneck dracaena.

8.  Ficus benjamina, weeping fig.

9. Epipiremnum aureum, golden  pothos.

10. Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’, peace lily.

11. Philodendron  selloum, selloum philodendron.

12. Aglaonema modestum, Chinese green.

13. Chamaedorea sefritzii, bamboo or reed palm

14.  Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant.

15. Dracaena marginata , red-edged  dracaena.

It’s important to note that NASA scientists found that some of  the plants zero in on specificchemicals. For example, English ivy,  gerbera daisies, pot mums, peace lily, bamboo palm, and Mother-in-law’s Tongue  are best for eliminating benzene while the peace lily, gerbera daisy, and bamboo  palm are effective in treating trichloroethylene. NASA research also revealed  the bamboo palm, Mother-in-law’s tongue, dracaena warneckei, peace lily,  dracaena marginata, golden pathos, and green spider plant are good at filtering  out formaldehyde. For more information on NASA studies related to plants  and air quality, click here: (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/ssctrs.ssc…)