Archive for January, 2011

by Susan Fiscarelli

I have been exposed to the benefits of plants on air quality for over 30 years. Plants and interior plantscaping have been a family business for over 35 years.  I remember when our company, Growing Expectations, created its first website in 1982, it had a page devoted to a NASA study done by a Dr. Wolverton which clearly showed how plants cleaned the air of pollutants.

As time went on there were many studies done on the health benefits of plants in many countries around the world. As I researched these studies for Growing Expectations I discovered that other countries were doing more to use indoor plants for health benefits than in the United States. The major reason for using plants in lobbies and offices was for the aesthetics not health benefits. I found video that I want to share with you that illustrates the extent that businesses in India use plants to grow fresh air.

There are many colleges, universities, and environmental organizations who are working to spread the word about the benefits of plants and are pushing to have indoor plantings part of the LEED certification for new buildings.
We have to change how we view the value of plants in the workplace by focusing on the health benefits and not only as a part of the decor. For more information on how plants can improve your workplace, schedule at a consultation at

Many of us are familiar with feng shui. Some of us study and follow its principles religiously, some follow some of the principles just in case they work, and others of us do not believe feng shui works at all.  For my readers who are interested in feng shui and plants, I found this very interesting article written by Rodika Tchi, who is a feng shui guide.  All of the plants she mentions are used regularly by Growing Expectations in their plantscaping designs.  In fact, we handed out  the “peace lily” to all the guests at the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce at the November power lunch. I hope you enjoy it. Read More→


How to Clean Silk Plants

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Silk plants are a great alternative to using live foliage. They don’t require watering or light like natural plants, and you don’t ever have to worry about them withering and dying! However, as with anything sitting in the open, artificial silk plants will accumulate dust and dirt over time and will require cleaning to keep them looking bright and lively.

Cleaning silk plants can be difficult. If you’ve ever tried it, you know it’s not always as simple as dusting the plant, or wiping it with a damp cloth. Because of the complex shapes and surfaces of artificial foliage, wiping the leaves with a cloth won’t reach all the nooks and crannies where dust can settle. And feather dusters are no better! You also want to be mindful of how much dust you’re stirring up into the air with these methods. This displaced dust will just end up somewhere else, whether it’s on you or on surrounding surfaces. Using a can of compressed air is more effective at removing dust from hard-to-reach areas, but still stirs up dust and won’t remove any built up grime on your silks. Read More→

You already know how indoor plants cheer up a dull office and beautify your house but did you know that many common plants are terrific as indoor air purifiers? It’s true, according to scientists at NASA and other respected scientific sources.  Indoor air purifiers are becoming more common as people tighten up their homes and offices in the interests of energy efficiency. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as cigarette smoke and other chemicals in the air can irritate respiratory tracts, cause headaches, and in some cases make indoor air quality worse than that outdoors – even in cities! Office plants can do wonders when it comes to cleaning up indoor pollution. Read More→

There have been many academic studies and research projects into patient recovery times and methods that speed up the amount of time patients who have just had surgery need to recover. One of the biggest outcomes of these studies was the impact of plants and nature on patients and even on the mood of hospital staff while at work.

While many of the studies looked into the effects of outside vegetation for patients who were situated next to a window and had a view of the plants and nature outside, it has to be said that even office plants have health benefits with many office workers feeling more positive and productive when in an environment where office plants are present. It stands to reason then, if outdoor plants have a beneficial effect on health and recovery times that any plants or foliage such as office plants and planted office displays can have a positive effect too.

In his paper entitled ‘Health Benefits of Gardens in Hospitals’, Roger Ulrich of Texas University identified that patients who can see or are close to plants and nature recover much quicker and suffer less stress than those who cannot. The study which monitored 2 sets of patients that had just undergone the same surgical procedures illustrated that the group of patients positioned with a view of the garden recuperated quicker and suffered less post-operative stress than those who did not. Read More→

by Keyla London

Most people spend the majority of their day at work behind a desk so you need to think how you could revamp the office to address the health issues that your dedicated employees have. And for those companies thinking about taking a new office you might as well make the most of the move to put new health practices in place.

Paying attention to the health needs of staff is especially important because our environment can seriously damage your overall health levels, with you immune system becoming reduced and your mental well-being compromised. Just think what an uncomfortable chair can do to posture and your back or what a bad desk could do to the mental well-being of Tom on reception or Jean on the main desk. Read More→


Indoor Plants for Color

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Larry O’Neil, an outside landscape designer who hosts his own garden radio show, is very familiar to listeners in the Jacksonville, Florida area.  I found his video on colorful plants for indoor use very interesting and want to share it with by blog viewers.  Growing Expectations has been using most of the plants mentioned in the video in their landscape designs since the company’s inception. There is nothing more beautiful than those splashes of color inside our building lobbies and offices especially during the winter months when the outside landscape is brown, gray and white. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did and for further information on the use of color in your indoor plantscape you can contact me at

Growing Expectations, Inc. PO Box 268 Princeton, NJ 08542 Telephone – (609) 924 – 9782 FAX (609) 737 – 2344