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Indoor Succulent Plants Guide

Whether you are just starting with house plants or have been growing them forever, succulent plants are a fantastic plant to have around the place. There are lots of different varieties, but regardless of the type, you have succulents that require a similar style of care. This guide gives you some helpful tips about how to grow healthy succulents indoors so that you don’t have to worry about them.

What Are Succulents?

Succulents are plants that have thick, fleshy leaves or large stems that retain water. The word “succulent” derives from the Latin word sucus, which means juice or sap. Because succulents have thick, fleshy leaves that can retain water, it means that they’re a perfect option for people who are out of the house a lot or just aren’t green-fingered!

Common types of succulents

care for succulents plants

Succulents can really make a home pop. There are plenty of fantastic succulents that can thrive indoors including;

  • Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
  • Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
  • Medicine plant (Aloe vera)
  • Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi)
  • String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
  • Burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum)
  • Pebble plant or living stone (Lithops)

See our range here

How to Grow Succulent Plants Indoors

Growing succulents indoors is easy, even for someone who isn’t an avid gardener. Because of their ability to keep water in their leaves, succulents tend to do best in warm, dry areas of the house with a good amount of sun exposure.

If you have recently purchased succulents and want to ensure you keep your succulents alive, follow these steps below.

Choose the right succulent for your property

Succulents tend to thrive in dry climates with plenty of direct sunlight, but if you are planning to put a succulent in the corner of your house which barely gets any direct sun then we advise you to opt for a succulent that thrives in cooler, shaded areas such as a snake plant.

Water Succulents seasonally

We don’t mean only water them once a season, but rather you should water your succulents more in the hotter seasons and less in the colder months. If you notice the topsoil is particularly dry, it is time to consider watering your plants.

The main mistake people make is watering succulents too much. Although you might be thinking you’re helping the plant, you are actually killing it. The right approach is to water more but less frequently. You want to water the soil properly (ensuring that water flows out of the drainage hole) and allow the soil to dry out before watering again. If the soil is always wet, this can lead to root rot and you can wave bye-bye to your lovely indoor plants!

Water the Soil

When watering your plants, you want to water the soil until it runs out of the drainage holes on the bottom of your plant pot. If your plant pot doesn’t have drainage holes, consider using less water as succulents don’t like to sit in excess water as this causes root rot.

As tempting as it can be to use a cute water spray bottle, you should refrain from watering anything other than the soil as this can lead to mouldy leaves that brown and fall off.

potting soil

Plant succulents in the right soil

When you purchase succulents from DIY stores or garden centres, the soil that they are in is far too rich for the plants. It’s for this reason that you should re-pot your succulent plants as soon as possible.

The best type of soil is one that is coarse and has good drainage. We recommend either using a specific cactus or succulent mix with added perlite or pumice to help improve drainage and aeration.

Place in a sunny location

Most succulents thrive in warm and sunny conditions, and like about six hours of sun per day, so ensure that you position your succulent near a window that gets the most light. If you begin to notice that after a few months your succulent is growing in a certain direction it usually means it’s not getting enough sunlight and you should move it further towards the window.

Remove bugs

Bugs are usually not an issue for indoor succulents, but sometimes bugs can make their way into wet soil and cause a problem. Mealybugs are a particular cause for concern as they can cause the plant to decay over time and eventually die.

If you notice fuzzy white substances over your beautiful green leaves, you should treat this immediately. By spraying 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol on the soil you can ensure that you get rid of eggs and larvae. Ensure that you move plants infested with mealy bugs away from other plants to stop cross-contamination.

User fertilizer annually

Fertilizer is incredibly important for encouraging healthy growth in succulent plants and although each plant varies when is best to fertilize, a good rule of thumb is to do it in the spring or summer, when the days are longer and you can help to promote new growth.

You want to ensure you are using a well-balanced, water-soluble fertiliser and dilute it to the manufacturer’s specifications before adding it to your soil. You should never add fertilizer to the soil when it’s dry as this can burn your succulents and cause them to die.

Causes for concern with Succulent plants

Soggy leaves

If you notice your succulent has soggy leaves, then you are watering it too often or you need to change the container it’s in to one that has better drainage.

Sunburnt leaves

If you notice brown spots on your succulent leaves, this is its way of telling you that it’s getting too much sun exposure. To prevent this, move your plants to a more shaded area away from full sun exposure. Once your succulent leaves are burnt, you won’t be able to bring them back to life, but your succulent will still grow despite this.

Rotting

If you notice that your plant has started to rot and die, then there is a problem with your soil. Where possible, you should consider cutting off any healthy leaves and propagating them in the appropriate soil so that you can continue to get plenty of joy from your Succulent plants.

 

For more inspiration, for your home, our office check out our biophilic design page.

 

Benefits of a Greenwall

Living greenwalls, sometimes known as vertical gardens or plant walls, are a fantastic way to bring more greenery into urban environments. Considered to be a leader in biophilic design, living walls offer many visual benefits to any indoor or outdoor structure.

What are living walls?

A living wall is a vertical garden where plants are rooted into a structure that is then attached to a wall. They are a fantastic way to introduce plenty of greenery into many buildings that otherwise do not have green spaces.

Living green walls don’t just have visual appeal, they also help with improving air quality, reduce ambient temperatures and noise levels and make people happier.

Benefits of living greenwall systems

There are plenty of benefits of living green walls, below we look at some of the best ones.

Living greenwalls purify the air

The plants in green walls can help to reduce the amount of poor air quality in a building as they naturally convert CO2 into oxygen-rich air.

Studies have shown that just one meter square of a living wall can help to reduce over 2kg of CO2 each year – an impressive statistic!

Living Greenwalls boost well being

Humans crave nature. It helps to calm us and restore our balance. By consciously bringing the outdoor in or by upgrading concrete jungles with plenty of beautiful green plants, we subconsciously connect with the natural world and this boosts our well-being and makes us happy.

natural and sustainable appearanceLiving Greenwalls reduce stress and boost productivity

It doesn’t matter if you’re working from home or in a corporate environment, productivity is key for any business and one of the best ways to boost productivity in the workplace is by creating a green environment.

Offices that have plenty of greenery in their surrounding environment help people to perform complex tasks. In fact, a study by researchers in the Nordics found that people who performed more complex tasks in a green environment were twice as likely to get things done quicker and better than those who were surrounded by concrete walls.

The reason these people performed higher was that they were able to give their minds a rest by looking at plants, which restored their ability to focus.

In addition, when you work in a green environment it also helps to reduce blood pressure, muscle tension and headaches as plants help to stimulate relaxation – bonus!

To put it simply, plants have a huge effect on employee satisfaction.

Living Greenwalls reduce the ambient temperature

Vertical gardens can offer much more than being a focal point, they can also help to reduce energy costs too. When you install an outdoor living wall, it helps to reduce surface temperatures by absorbing and reflecting light, therefore, reducing air conditioning costs in the summer and saving emissions in the process.

Living Green walls reduce noise levels

As well as helping you with your energy savings, living walls can also help to reduce ambient noise. Think about it – have you ever been in a room of people chatting away and found it hard to hear yourself think? That’s often because of the surfaces around you. Sounds have a much harder time bouncing off plants than off hard surfaces such as walls and floors.

Studies have shown that installing a green wall, acts like a sound barrier and can reduce noises by up to 10 decibels!

Living Green walls mean less vandalism

That’s right, working or living in a green environment brings people together. Studies have shown that small-scale greenery has a positive effect on how well people get on in their neighbourhoods.

Green walls help to enhance biodiversity

Green walls can be designed to help insect and animal life thrive, something that is incredibly important for urban areas where the majority of greenery has been taken away in favour of high-rise buildings.

Benefits of a greenwall

Living Walls can help with food production

Living walls are perfect for many small gardens in densely populated areas as they can help to bring life to an otherwise unused space. They can be planted with fruits, vegetables and herbs as well as plants to help transform your outdoor area.

Living walls can transform a space

While many office environments do have windows which allow you to look outside, sometimes what’s out of the window is uninspiring.

Installing a living wall can help to transform an office space by bringing the outside in. This can help to enhance employee satisfaction, especially if the office is in a built-up environment with little surrounding natural beauty.

Find out more about biophilic design

A living wall adds value to your property

Another key benefit of a living wall is that it can add significant value to your property. This is because they make the building surface stand out and help to reduce energy costs. Two factors are incredibly important to potential buyers.

A living wall improves your brand’s reputation

As well as all the other benefits of living green walls, they can also help to improve your brand’s reputation.

When clients and prospective hires visit your workplace, you want them to leave with a fantastic first impression and one thing that can help with that is a living green wall.

Living walls help to create an inviting environment and help your brand appear environmentally conscious, which is what many consumers and clients want today.

 

Benefits of Plants in Offices

Indoor plants and greenery in your workspace have plenty of benefits besides being aesthetically pleasing. In fact, scientific studies have proven the positive effects of having more greenery in the office.

Below are the top six benefits for employees and employers. 

They help to reduce stress and anxiety

Over the years there have been several studies into the effects that plants have on stress and anxiety levels in the workplace. A study carried out by the New University of Technology Sydney found that when plants were introduced into the workspace staff reported a 37% reduction in stress and anxiety levels over a three-month period. 

They concluded that when we look at plants, it helps us to connect with nature, evoking a sense of calm that we don’t usually get in the hustle and bustle of urban environments.

They help to boost productivity

According to a research study from the University of Exeter, employees perform much better in their roles when plants are introduced to the workspace. When plants were introduced to the workspace, the study found that employees were 15% more engaged with their surroundings and achieved a much greater output as they were able to stay focused for longer.

Plants help to improve air quality

We spend most of our time indoors and indoor pollution caused by cleaning products, dust, and other airborne pollutants can trigger respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis.

Reducing the use of chemicals and improving ventilation is key, but another way to purify the air quality in the office is by adding plants to your workspace. 

Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and convert it into oxygen-rich air via photosynthesis. Research has proven that indoor plants have been shown to reduce carbon dioxide levels by as much as 25% which can help to alleviate many symptoms associated with stress including headaches.

Inspire creativity

Natural features have been inspiring creative individuals for thousands of years, but did you know that you don’t need to be sat on a glorious golden sandy beach with stunning blue waters to help ignite the creative light in you? 

In fact, an eight-month study conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University found that people working in offices that had plenty of plants generated up to 15% more ideas and demonstrated more creative thinking than those who worked in offices with very little to look at. 

workplace plants

They make workspaces more attractive to clients and job applicants

Any company will tell you that they want their clients and job applicants to walk away from their office with a great first impression, and one major feature that can support that is by creating an inviting and hospitable office space with plenty of foliage. 

By adding plants to reception areas and office spaces, it can help to portray a sense of positivity and make the office a more welcoming place for visitors. 

They help to reduce ambient temperatures and noise

With the cost-of-living crisis on everyone’s mind, people are wondering how they can keep energy bills down in the office space. And did you know that installing plants and living greenwalls can help to lower the ambient temperature in your office space. By absorbing and reflecting light, plants help to take in heat meaning that you won’t have to rely on the air conditioning so much in the summer months!

As well as having a cooling effect, plants can also help to reduce ambient noise in the workplace as they act like acoustic insulators helping to keep much of the background noise down in busy office spaces. 

Which plants are best for an office environment?

Not every plant is going to be right for your workspace, so you need to ensure you get it right. You need to consider your office layout and any restrictions such as availability of light, how often they can be watered and office temperatures. 

If you’re searching for office plants that will help to boost staff morale, improve creativity and are easy to look after, then you should consider plants like the Chinese Money Plant, Spider Plants and Succulents as these thrive in a variety of conditions, don’t need regular watering, and can help to add a sense of calm to the environment.

Conclusion

Adding plants to your office space is a fantastic idea. It brings a whole array of benefits for your staff, workspace and planet and they also take up minimal space. The great thing about plants is that they have great potential to modernise many urban office environments. 

By actively removing toxins from the air and helping you to create a clean air environment, plants could be just what you need to help with wellness and boost staff morale.

 

What Is Biophilic Design?

The word Biophilia originates from the Greek ‘Philia’ meaning ‘love of’ and simply means a love of life or living things.

Biophilic design dates back to the early 80s when biologist Edward O. Wilson outlined his philosophy of biophilia, stating that humans have an inherent need to connect to the natural world. Biophilic design recognizes this philosophy and takes the idea one step further.

Because humans spend more time indoors, it’s necessary to bring the great outdoors in to create a natural environment for us to live, work, and learn in. By consciously bringing natural elements into our interior spaces or architectural designs, we are subconsciously connecting with the natural world.

What does Biophilic design include?

Biophilic design is more than just adding plants to indoor spaces. It’s a philosophy of design that is used as a way to improve the mental and physical well being of those using the interior space.

There are three core categories of biophilic design.

Nature in the Space

This concept refers to adding natural elements to the interior design. It’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways to introduce biophilia to modern buildings as it gives people instant access to the health benefits of biophilia.

Think potted plants, rooftop gardens, living walls, views of natural landscapes from the window, natural light, and access to green space and nature.

These direct connections to nature have the strongest impact on us as humans.

biophilic design

Natural Analogues

This concept refers to man-made elements that mimic natural features. Think of things like artificial plants, artwork, natural geometries, naturalistic shapes and materials that all evoke natural environments.

By mirroring natural forms through the use of textures and natural lighting, you can create a human nature connection that evokes positive responses to the outdoors.

The Nature of the Space

This concept refers to the way in which space planning and architectural design affect our moods and feelings.

Humans have evolved over millions of years, and our success as a species is due to our ability to connect with the natural habitat. As a species, we are continually drawn to inspirational and restorative places that allow us to explore.

It’s for this reason that we find golden beaches with stunningly clear waters or mountain environments with waterfalls to be the most attractive. Mysterious and risky views also draw us in, which explains our love for tall buildings, skyscrapers, spiral staircases and multi-level views such as mezzanines and atriums.

natural systems

What are the benefits of biophilic design?

Long before the covid-19 pandemic, the biophilic design was incredibly popular and research has shown that there is a direct correlation between clever architectural design and improved mental well being. Even simple changes to incorporate nature into the workplace and home can have a huge impact on how we feel.

In fact, a 2019 study found that children in Denmark that were exposed to the outdoors had over 50% fewer mental health problems as an adult compared to those who weren’t exposed to nature.

Additional research has also shown that natural materials and natural light can also help increase focus and boost immunity.

Studies have also linked greenery to increased productivity. In a series of studies, researchers from the Nordics found that people who performed complex tasks surrounded by plants improved their scores every time versus people who did not. This is because when we are surrounded by nature, we can give our minds a break, restoring our ability to focus. This research has led some of the world’s top organisations to incorporate biophilic design as a way to make employees happier, harder working, and more creative.

Incorporating Biophilic Design into Your Space

Incorporating biophilic design into your workplace or home is incredibly easy and can be done in two ways – directly and indirectly.

For a direct experience, plants and greenery are a quick and easy way to incorporate biophilic design into your urban space. Not only do they look nice, but as research has shown, they can allow us to feel happier and more productive too.

If you are struggling for space in your home or office, you can incorporate biophilic design elements into your immediate surroundings through other methods. Scents are a great way to add this to your space indirectly – things like candles smelling of lavender, or an earthy colour scheme on the walls and floors are a great way to implement biophilic design into your space subtly.

Conclusion

Designing spaces can often be difficult. But with biophilic design, it only takes a few simple additions to connect humans to the outdoors.

The great thing about biophilic design is that it’s completely flexible – you don’t have to completely remodel a room or building to reap the benefits. Positive health effects can happen by implementing the smallest changes.

By introducing more plants to an urban space such as an office, you can increase productivity by around 15%.

What are the Benefits of a Sedum Roof?

A sedum green roof helps to brighten up city areas, but they are also highly beneficial for the environment too – plants naturally purify the air, reduce ambient temperatures, and help to provide habitats for nature such as insects and birds.

The installation of a green roof on a home or office allows people to create a healthy habitat while also gaining a number of additional benefits, including:

Improved air quality

Sedum roofs can help improve air quality by reducing the amount of airborne dust and pollen. Sedum also helps to keep the roof cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, which can reduce energy costs.

Urban areas are known for their increased amount of carbon dioxide and pollutants. Green roofs reduce these pollutants from the environment by emitting oxygen and improving the overall air quality surrounding them.

Reduces the Urban Heat Island Effect

The urban heat island effect is the difference in temperature between urban areas and the countryside. In city centres, this can be as much as 5 degrees difference as large office buildings will reflect and radiate solar energy. A green roof will absorb this heat and the evaporation of water from plants helps cool and humidify the air, lowering the temperature.

Increase the lifespan of the roof

A green roof can double, and even triple the life expectancy of your rooftop. A green roof protects the waterproofing membranes that lie beneath your roof and ensure that your rooftop lasts for much longer than anticipated.

Easy installation

The great thing about green roofs is that they can be installed easily on most buildings. It’s important that the roof is installed by a professional to a high standard as this will reduce the risk of damage to your property.

How Does a Sedum Green Roof Work?

A sedum roof is a type of roof made up of succulents – these succulents have a long life expectancy, can withstand harsh weather conditions and are low maintenance.

Sedums are a great choice for roofing as they have a huge amount of benefits. Sedums are an environmentally friendly roofing material because they require little maintenance and they are resistant to weathering and decay. A sedum roof also provides a beautiful, natural green blanket on your roof that can enhance the appearance of your home.

What is the Cost of a Sedum Roof?

There is no one definitive answer to this question as the cost of a sedum roof will vary depending on the size of the roof, the type of sedum used, and any additional features (such as gutters or flashing) that may be required.

How long does a sedum roof last?

Sedum roofs are known for their longevity and resistance to weathering, making them a popular choice for roofing.

Will a Green roof protect my property?

There are many benefits of green roofs including protecting your property from external influences such as sun, wind, rain and varying temperatures. They also help to bring down the heat in your home or commercial space too – by absorbing and reflecting light, they help to reduce the high costs associated with heating and air conditioning.

Conclusion

Creating a sedum roof in your home or office space is a great idea. It brings a whole host of benefits for people, properties and the planet, it is easy to install and takes up minimal space.

Sedum roofs have the potential to modernise any urban development. By removing carbon dioxide from the air and reducing the need for heating and air-conditioning in many properties, green roofs could be just what we need to help fight the battle against global warming and climate change.

Commercial Rooftop Gardens

A leafy landscaped garden around a commercial property for users of the building to socialise and relax in is a great idea for many businesses. As great as commercial rooftop gardens are, they are incredibly complex to build as many properties have space constraints.

Studies have proven that there are numerous benefits to having greenery in the workplace including increased productivity and mood, but many businesses don’t have the room for an outdoors breakout area. Therefore, rooftop gardens are often the best option for an outdoor space in many office buildings.

Benefits of Commercial Rooftop Gardens

Roof gardens have a huge number of benefits for commercial buildings for many reasons. Not only do they provide a breakout area for those working in the building space, but they also help to insulate the building and can even control stormwater runoff.

Studies have shown that taking an outdoor break helps to boost productivity, and if many companies have these available more staff will undoubtedly benefit.

Restaurants and bars in busy cities benefit from stylish roof gardens too. Not only do they allow businesses to welcome more customers, which in turn boosts profit margins, but a commercial rooftop garden also gives your business a point of difference and may even boost your footfall if people are trying to maintain social distancing.

It’s not just office buildings and restaurants that can benefit from a roof garden, though. Schools and colleges can also benefit from rooftop spaces as it gives them somewhere to grow plants and vegetables or can even be used as an outside classroom in the summer months.

rooftop garden

Things to consider for a commercial rooftop garden

While roof gardens have many benefits, there are a few important considerations that you need to think about before going ahead.

Structural considerations and approval

Before beginning your project, the first thing you need to do is have a structural engineer confirm the load capacity of the rooftop, especially its ability to hold water tanks, furniture and any other accessories.

What if the rooftop has a limited load capacity?

If you have had your rooftop assessed and have found out that it’s unable to withstand a complete garden, consider container gardens that are much lighter. When assessing the weight, always think of how heavy your garden will be at its wettest.

Before starting any project, including a rooftop garden, it’s recommended that you complete all the formalities with your local council at the beginning too in order to avoid problems later down the line. The last thing you want is to put all the hard work in only for council approval to fall through so make this a top priority.

You need to ensure that your rooftop has things such as waterproofing, insulation and drainage features – the last thing you want is to have a leak inside your main building! You should also consider the weather elements – come win, sun, rain or shine you need to assess whether you need any additional components to block them out to ensure you’re making the space usable at all times.

Cosmetic considerations

One of the most important considerations you need to make as part of your rooftop garden transformation is the selection of live plants you plan to have.

Another consideration is whether you plan to use your roof garden to grow vegetables and herbs. Rooftop farming can be a welcome addition to any outdoor space, even in the midst of a concrete jungle, so this should be something you consider, especially if you are a bar or restaurant.

When selecting outdoor seating and furniture for your rooftop garden such as tables, umbrellas and patio heaters consider how they will withstand the elements and remain secured to your rooftop.

While there are a lot of things to consider with a rooftop garden, think about how you will make it enjoyable for your employees and customers. Adding some fun elements such as giant games, an outdoor bar or even a barbecue will all add value to your space and ensure it is enjoyed by all no matter what the weather!

 

Talk to us today about your commercial garden projects.

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