At Vantage Spaces, we care about plants and the environment they inhabit. That’s why #NaturallyCaring is one of our core values! Vantage Spaces believe that the simplest things can make a real difference. Connecting with nature through flowers, plants and green walls can make workplaces a truly great place to be.
When designing the layout of an office or workspace, it’s important to consider the environmental factors at play.
Choosing the correct greenery can be just as important as choosing the right sustainable materials for desks and other office furniture, after all, plants have multiple design and health benefits.
When you see a potted plant in an office block or coffee shop, chances are that it has been grown and kept in either soil or compost. But, did you know that there is another way to grow plants without using soil? One that takes better care of your plants, is more environmentally-friendly, and honestly – a bit less messy than soil!
It’s called Hydroculture.
You may have already heard of ‘hydroponics,’ which involves growing plants in a liquid growing medium solution. This method has become popular in growing vegetables like tomatoes and lettuce.
Hydroculture is similar to hydroponics, but instead of using a nutrient solution containing water as a growing medium, it uses an inorganic solid growing medium (or inert). These tend to be made of rock-based clay pellets. This hydroculture method can deliver ample water and nutrients to the roots of plants while simultaneously providing abundant oxygen to the root zone.
In other words, this means that plants can be grown without the use of soil, bark or peat. Free from the weight of soil, plants grow better and stronger due to an aerated root structure.
Once plants have become acclaimed to hydroculture, they are easy to care for. Many hydroculture plants can go more than six weeks until the next watering!
Most importantly, hydroculture allows our for peat-free planting, helping to protect natural peatbog landscapes and the animals that live in them!
The benefits of plants go far beyond their obvious visual appeal, helping improve air quality, productivity, and much more. Architects and interior designers have introduced biophilic design after seeing the benefits it can provide, including improved mental health and wellbeing, and increased work performance.
As for hydroculture plants, they have a variety of benefits over their compost counterparts when it comes to office life:
Interior plants can be the perfect breeding grounds for small flies called fungus gnats, which can be irritating and quite difficult to control. They thrive in moist or damp organic matter and more typical soils provide this environment. With hydroculture, the plant grows with a rock-based growing medium, so fungus gnats cannot reproduce or thrive in this environment.
Maintaining interior office plants can be a hassle, especially when the office staff forget to water them. One of the most common and easiest mistakes made with soil is over-watering, which can lead to the death of the plant. With hydroculture, it’s still possible to over-water or under-water plants but the margin for error is greater. The abundant air present enables a stronger root system that is also more forgiving if over-watered.
Hydroculture plants also have a longer watering cycle, as the length of time between watering is typically tripled compared with a soil-based plant. Some can go six weeks or more without having to be watered again. This can be especially helpful for plants in offices and other work environments.
Hydroculture is the ideal growing medium for interior office plants because the roots are healthier and more robust. Healthy root systems support longer-lasting plants, meaning you’re not constantly having to spend more money on replacing dead ones!
Peatbogs are a type of scarce habitat, that is often home to a wealth of living creatures and plants. Peat is hugely important to our planet and the environment for a variety of reasons including:
Peat is used in modern gardening due to its fertile properties. It is often the main ingredient in most store-bought composts which came into common usage in the mid-20th century. In fact, many commercial composts are made up of almost 100% peat.
Unfortunately, peat is not a sustainable material. The peat that is used to produce the garden compost is mainly derived from natural peatbogs, which are being destroyed to meet rising consumer demand.
The peatlands of the UK have hence become some of the most endangered natural habitats in the country, as the intensive mining of peat has destroyed these valuable ecosystems.
It’s also extremely damaging to the climate, as estimates believe that removing and processing peat for composts release around 630,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the planet’s atmosphere. That is why Vantage Spaces offer hydroculture as a sustainable and more environmentally friendly alternative to compost!
We can help you specify the correct solution for your individual requirements. With decades of experience, our team can assist during design specifications and refurbs/updates to your space.
Vantage Spaces offer a completely bespoke biophilic design service, with specialists on hand to offer advice and help you choose the best hydroculture plants to suit your office.
Supported by our maintenance team, we take the stress out of sourcing and managing plants in workplaces.
Get in touch today to see how we can help you incorporate sustainable planting into your workspace.