Ruby Bayan is a freelance writer who likes to share her simple joys.

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Watering Your Office Greenery

by Ruby Bayan

'Watering Container Plant' by Ruby Bayan Plants have something in common with humans: next to oxygen, water is their most essential requirement for survival. Humans can survive for only about 36 hours without water, and most of the hardiest plants will shrivel and die if denied the universal liquid for more than two weeks.

Therefore, while resilient and practically maintenance-free indoor plants may be the best thing that ever happened to an always-busy-don't-even-have-time-to-catch-a-cold office worker, watering is one chore that cannot be put off.

Watering indoor plants entails a different set of logistics compared to outdoor garden maintenance. While one can simply pull up a hose and sprinkle "rain from heaven" style over all the flower beds in the backyard garden, taking a more prudent and focused hosing works better indoors.

But in an office scenario, it's highly possible that plugging an indoor hose into a restroom faucet, and extending it across the room to water the cubicle container plants, will be frowned upon by the Office Manager. Although, one can always argue that using a hose would be a less messy alternative over lugging water buckets across plush carpets and dangerously-slippery-when-wet vinyl floors.

So, all factors considered, these are still the recommended watering strategies for office plants:

  • Use a long-neck watering can. Assuming that the plants are just enough to brighten up a cubicle or small office corner, a handy watering can will do the job. More than a handful of plants may take a few extra trips to the water source (or a bigger can), but everyone needs the exercise. A fancy and colorfully designed watering can will even be an attractive element of the office garden decor.

  • Water with a wick. For the busiest office person, a fool-proof wick watering system is the answer. Different types of wicks work for different types of plants, all relying on the basic principle of capillary action. The downside (more of an eyesore if not aesthetically addressed) is, a water container will have to be set alongside the plants -- like an intravenous.

  • Start off with self-watering pots. Many indoor plants are now set in self-watering pots, making the watering routine less crucial. Two-level pots drain excess water from the top container to a sealed bottom level. This arrangement helps retain soil moisture while preventing a root-rotting soak. Also, no drainage spills on tables and carpets!

Watering indoor plants could get tedious, considering the care that has to be taken to prevent spills on the office equipment, furniture, documents, and carpeting but... someone's gotta do it.

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