Preventing Allergens in Indoor Plantscapes

Pollen GrainsIndoor plantscapes generally improve air quality. However, the average business owner interested in indoor landscaping may have a few concerns regarding allergies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 1 in 5 Americans suffer some type of allergy. With this many people suffering from allergies a business owner will want to make sure that their employees can work well in their environment and stay healthy. There are a few ways you can set their mind at ease.

Pollen

The first concern is pollen. It is unlikely that many of the plants used indoors will produce much pollen. Typically, indoor plants produce more foliage than flowers. Color variety can be created with unique leaves and bracts reducing exposure to pollen. The air cleaning benefits of these plants will far outweigh any potential problems with pollen. MedicineNet suggests avoiding the weeping fig and the flowering maple indoors as these are two plants that can irritate allergies. Most tropical plants will not trigger allergies.

Mold

Most likely the biggest concern will be about mold. Mold is a common allergen for many people. Live plants need water to live, and anywhere there is water there is potential for mold. There are a few ways you can reduce the chance for mold to grow. The first precaution is to use containers that will not hold water in the container itself. For example, baskets should not be used as they can become damp and stay damp for a long time. Plastic and fiberglass can be easily dried with a cloth. Another precaution is to avoide top dressing that will hold water. Instead of using moss, consider using river rocks or light weight plastic rocks. River Rockafillers will dry quickly reducing the risk of mold. They are also “green” made from the recycled plastic of used DVDs and DVD cases.

Dust

Another concern for those who suffer from allergies is dust. Plant leaves, top dressing and containers themselves can all attract dust. You can ensure your clients that part of your maintenance of the plantscapes includes dust removal along with watering and pest management.  If you do not provide maintenance for your plantscapes you can instruct the client on how to use proper dust removal techniques. Using products such as “Foliage Wonder Live Plant Cleaner” can help remove and prevent dust. Also, you will have to be vigilant to manually remove dust from containers and top dressing. Using smooth, nonporous surfaces will make this task easier. For more tips on dealing with dust on interior landscapes see this post.

Diligence

When clients see that reducing allergens is a primary concern they will be more comfortable including live plants in their spaces. When you help clients understand that health benefits such as improved employee morale, concentration and cleaner air outweigh the potential for allergy problems they will be happy to try your services. It is important to remember that once you have earned their trust to continue to do everything you can to reduce allergens in your interior landscapes. A happy client will continue to use your business and provide excellent references and word of mouth advertising.

Photo “Pollen Grains” courtesy of mink

Fiberglass Planters

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