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The Cultural North’s Office Plant Journey

Study after study shows that plants in the office can improve the workplace. They add (literal) life to the space, can improve productivity, make for beautiful office decor, and can even have a positive impact on air quality. So, as a collective group and after much deliberation (aka persuading and begging), we decided that The Cultural North would become a plant office.

Phase 1: Procuring the Plants

While there were a variety of very nice fake plants around the office already, we had officially signed on for the real deal. The first plants were some extras that a few of us had lying around our homes. These included:

  • A couple of snake plants
  • An Ivy
  • A Chinese Money Plant
  • A Dumb Cane (which is kind of a rude name)
  • A sad, cat-eaten spider plant

While there was also a miscellaneous cactus and a (very dead) air plant, these were the first plants introduced to the space that was both real and more than a little desk trinket.

The first official investment that we made, though, was a very nice, well-intentioned plant wall.

Phase 2: The Office Plant Wall

This was a very good idea—a very, very good idea. It started with peg board. We had stumbled upon far too much peg board and came up with a few clever ways to incorporate it into our office reconstruction project. With the peg board installed, we needed to find equally clever ways to fill it. One way that a handy-dandy web developer/videographer came up with was a plant wall.

With a daftly constructed wooden, open-ended cuboid that fit perfectly around a simple, plastic window box, we were able to hang these beautiful planters on our little pegboard wall with just the right hooks.

Phase 2.5: Purchasing More Plants

Bright-eyed and chock-full of naivety, a small action team headed by a few of us ventured up to Gordy’s Gift and Garden Center in Hermantown, MN, for the perfect plants to fill our newly constructed plant wall. These plants included:

  • A couple of small Philodendrons
  • An exotic-looking Inchplant
  • Two beautiful Prayer Plants
  • A fat Heart Leaf Pothos
  • A wildly thriving Ivy
  • Two Variegated Spider Plants (one with babies)

We purchased nine plants in total to complete our new eye-catcher.

Phase 3: Growing the Collection

Since then, we’ve added a grand Monstera, some mini Monsteras, a couple of Aloe plants, a Christmas Cactus, and one plant from Costco that I’m entirely sure of the name. Our passion for plants was quickly growing, and none of our enthusiasm could be contained. We even received several compliments on the plant wall. All seemed perfect in the lives of newly added Cultural North plants.

Then came time for the maintaining of all these plants.

Phase 4: Maintaining the Plant Life

Apparently, the path to hell really is paved with good intentions. And good intentions is really what we had. Watering schedules were set and sustained. Sunshine was always welcome and streaming in. Turns out, though, these plants actually require consistent care and attention, something that requires time and remembering over the course of more than a few weeks. I don’t think I can tell you how many plants we’ve lost thus far. I also can’t confidently say that we won’t lose more, or that there aren’t currently one or two of them on their way out the door as we speak (aka the trash can).

While we’ve been able to maintain the thriving of very many of our new plants, we have lost some brave souls along the way.

Phase 5: Life, Death & Lessons

Perhaps we bit off a little more than we could chew. Twenty-one plants is a lot to maintain, even if we did add them to the office over the course of about six months.

Anyway, some lessons that we learned include:

  • Maybe don’t buy the plants that require extra care and attention
  • Maintain a watering schedule
  • Keep in mind that not all plants have the same watering schedule
  • Make sure they’re all getting the right amount of sunlight for their unique plant needs
  • Set reminders so you actually remember to water the plants
  • If you’re the person in charge of watering the plants and you’re going to be out of the office for a week, remember to delegate the plant-watering task to someone who’s still in the office

We’ve laughed, we’ve cried (maybe not over the plants), and it’s definitely added a small taste of adventure to an otherwise typical Design and Marketing agency located in Duluth, MN.

In Conclusion

While it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster, we wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s nothing like a few dead plants to help you do a little bit of office bonding anyway. Plus, the office is really a much better place with the added life, even if it doesn’t always stay alive. We’re also not quitters. We will get more plants, we will find the right routine, we will likely kill more plants, and we will continue to grow and learn in this little corner of office culture no one really thinks about.

To see the (currently sad-looking) plant wall in person, set up a consultation with one of our fabulous sales team members!