Choosing the Right Plant

One of the most important decisions to make when planning an interior landscaping project is which plants to use. There are numerous factors to consider when making this decision. This includes, but is not limited to, the amount of light in the space, walking-traffic patterns, and aesthetic intention. If you carefully consider all of these aspects then you should be able to find the most suitable plant for each and every space.

All plants are considered to be either low, medium, or high light tolerant. This is arguably the most important factor when choosing the right plant for your interior landscaping project as it will often determine whether the plant flourishes or deteriorates over time. Loosely speaking an area can be considered a low light zone if it is more than 6’ away from a window, 6’ to 3’ is considered medium light, and 3’ or less from a window is considered high light. Any area can become a medium to high light zone despite proximity to a window if the correct artificial lighting is provided.When installing plants in a high walking-traffic area, such as an office suite, the traffic patterns must be considered before choosing a plant. Ideally you should place the plants in an area where they won’t often be bumped into or brushed against as this disturbance can contribute to leaf deterioration over time.

However, the reality of the situation is that at least some of your plants will likely be in a high-traffic area and encounter human contact throughout the day. This happens especially when your client has requested a plant in a particular area in order to help direct the flow of traffic. Choosing a more hearty plant such as a Warneckii or a Rhapis Palm as opposed to something like a Spathiphyllum is critical in order to keep replacement costs down and minimize the amount of maintenance required for the plant. Also, the technician maintaining the account should be aware if this is the case and rotate the plant accordingly so the same leafs aren’t getting disturbed week after week.

Once you have narrowed down your selection of possible plants based on lighting conditions and walking traffic, the final deciding factor should be which plant fits best with the overall aesthetic goal of the interior landscaping project. You must consider the size, style, general décor of the space, color of the planter you are using, as well as the rest of the furniture in the area. A plant’s leaf distribution can be more sparse and scattered which is better suited for a modern and minimalist approach (such as a Janet Craig Compacta Cane, Marginata, or Sanseveria). More traditional and warm spaces may require a plant that is bushy and full (such as an Areca Palm or a Ficus Lyrata Bush).