Garden Therapy Notes

 A Collection of Gardening Information and Inspiration



Increase Your Creativity at Work

Amplify Your Professional Creative Ability With Unusual Foliage Plants 

Looking for a different strategy at work for improving your creative ability? Find it difficult to create literary master pieces because of stress and/or fatigue? Try interiorplantscaping to create a sense of comfort!  I recommend placing 2-5 unusual plants in your work environment, depending on how much space you have. 

Research suggests that the visual presence of plants may help with recovery from mental fatigue. For example, the recovery rate of participants working in a room with plants was greater after a five minute break compared to participants working in a room without plants (1). Another study found that participants were more productive, less stressed and felt more attentive when working in a room with plants present (2). The attention restoration theory may help explain why we achieve these benefits. This theory involves focusing "effortless attention" on "soft fascinations" such as plants (3).  Allowing your brain to focus on plants gives your working brain a break, helping it to restore. 

Below is a list of plants recommended for creative professionals working in an office space.  These plants will catch your attention with their unusual qualities. They can tolerate neglect and are quite forgiving.  Try growing one of them to test out your ability to nurture them and challenge yourself by adding more when you feel confident growing them.   


1. Lacy Tree Philodendron 

Do you have a lot of space at work? Is there room to spare?  If you said yes then this exotic plant is for you.  It can tolerate a variety of light conditions but partial sun would work best since it naturally grows below the tree canopies in jungles.  The unusual thing about the philodendron are the aerial roots. You might confuse these roots with a stem or flower stalk.  Don't try to bury them in the soil or cut them off.  This plant uses these roots to absorb moisture from the air or ground surface. These  roots also have the ability to stick to things making  it possible for the plant to grow up a wall. 

Allow the soil surface to dry in between waterings.  This plant would also greatly benefit from misting with water at least once/week.

2. Pony Tail Palm 

This is a great plant for smaller spaces.  I've seen people put this on top their desk shelves close to a window.  This plant grows more vertical than horizontal making it ideal for little counter space.  It doesn't need a lot of light (partial sun) but can grow in full light conditions.  Allow the soil to dry out in between waterings. 

3. Croton 

My favorite thing about the croton are the bright beautiful colours and the unusual leaf patterns.  This plant does need more sun than the previous two.  A west facing window would be suitable but it would also tolerate an east facing window.  Don't allow the soil to dry out completely in between waterings. Keep the soil fairly moist but not wet.  Check once in a while for mealy bugs on the underside of the leaves.  Mealy bugs are white and appear fluffy.  I use a damp cloth to remove the bugs and dust the plant while I'm at it. 

4. Boat Lily

Take a close look at the leaves on this plant.  They are a reach green colour on top and a deep purple underneath.  Part of the flower structure looks like a boat with a little white flower inside.  The  more sun you can give this plant the better but it can also tolerate cooler east facing light. Allow the soil to dry in between waterings. 

5. Pepperomia

This plant comes in hundreds of varieties consisting of unusual colours, shapes and sizes.  I really enjoy the wrinkly varieties as well as the striped varieties.  East facing windows are ideal but it can tolerate a warmer west facing window. Allow the soil surface to dry in between waterings.

Happy Growing,

Trina Alix


1) Shibata, S. and Suzuki, N. Effects of Indoor Foliage Plants on Subjetcs' Recovery from Mental Fatigue. North American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 3, No. 3. (2001), pp.385-396.

2) Lohr, V., Person-Mims, C., and Goodwin, G.  Interior Plants May Improve Worker Productivity and Reduce Stress in a Windowless Environment.  Journal of Environmental Horticulture.  Vol. 14 pp. 97-100 (1996).

3) Kaplan, S.  Restorative Benefits of Nature: Toward an Integrative Framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology.  Vol. 15 pp. 169-182 Iss. 3 (1995)

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