Homage to the Humble Houseplant to Celebrate NATIONAL INDOOR PLANT WEEK

Snake Plant

Ok honestly when was the last time you sincerely thanked you interior plants for all the hard work they are performing on your behalf 24 hours a day.  Never?  Well let me give you good reason to think again before dismissing the thought that others will think you are crazy for talking to your plants.

Are you aware the interior air you are breathing daily is 2-5 times more polluted than the air you are breathing outside?  This statistic comes from the Environmental Protection Agency.  Since the majority of us spend more time inside than outside that is not doing your body any good.  Ok I can hear you already saying really, where are all of the toxins coming from? 

Dracaena dorado

Indoor-air pollutantscome in two primary forms: particle pollution, such as dust, pollen, animal dander and smoke, and gaseous pollutants such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are emitted from sources such as building materials, dry-cleaned clothing and aerosol sprays.  You are constantly breathing in common toxins such as formaldehyde, ammonia and benzene.  Associated health problems range from headaches and asthma to respiratory diseases and cancer. 

So how does a humble little houseplant conquer such a daunting task of removing these toxins from the environment? Well it’s through a process called  phytoremediation which is the process of decontaminating soil or water by using plants and trees to absorb or break down pollutants. 

Houseplants clean the air, researchers say, primarily by absorbing pollution through small leaf pores called stomata, and via microorganisms living in the potting soil or medium that metabolize contaminants.  Scientists believe plants can begin removing pollution the moment they’re placed in a room and can be particularly useful in spaces where there’s little outside ventilation.  There are numerous studies that support this and can be found on the website for Green Plants for Green Building greenplantsforgreenbuildings.org

Dracaena pleomele

Dr Bill Wolverton, a former NASA scientist who pioneered and conducted 25 years of research on indoor plants and their ability to purify air in enclosed environments, wrote the book How to Grow Fresh Air (Penguin, 1997) which describes 50 plants that clean office air.  These plants include:

  • • Palms (Areca, Lady, Bamboo, Kentia, Pigmy)
  • • Pothos (Golden, Jade and, Neon and Marble Queen)
  • • Dracaena (Dragon Tree , Massangeana, Craigii and Peomele)
  • • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum  there are several varieties)
  • • Ficus (Rubber tree, Weeping, Alii, Fiddle Leaf) plant (Ficus elastica)
  • • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • • Sword or Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
  • • Philodendrens (Imperial Green or Red, Split Leaf and Heartleaf)
  • • Snake Plants
  • • Hawaiian Schefflera

We post pictures of almost all of these plants on our website, so feel free to take a look

Kentia Palm

Personal Plant Service ~ Plant Gallery

So this week during the National Indoor Plant Week, show a little appreciation for your hard working humble houseplants that are constantly making your world a cleaner place to breath.  Give them some water, a nice little shower to dust them off, (with tepid water of course, and no direct sun) and maybe a few vitamins like superthive to give them a boost after all their hard work.  If you don’t have a plant, go get one.  And if you need a little help or advice and you live in the Orange County Area, call us and we can assiste you with Indoor Plant Care for your home or office.  For a small investment you can do more for your indoor environment than an expensive air purifier could do, and they are prettier!

A Fresh View of Interior Plants: Plantscape Industry Expo 2011

This year I had the pleasure of attending the Plantscape Industry Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I can’t lie, I was pretty apprehensive at first.  I am only 6 months old in this industry and still learning how to maintain the plants and keep the customer as happy as possible, I haven’t even really started thinking about the business/vendor side of the plant world.  So when I was asked if I wanted to go, I was a little anxiety filled not wanting to flood my brain or overload myself with yet even more information.  I can now say after going, it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made for the job.

The lectures that I attended were very informative, motivating, and had my brain thinking of new ways to improve upon not only my job but the entire company I work for.  My favorite one was about using the iPad as a business tool, I am a firm believer that a company should utilize all of the new technology that It can, it’s proven to boost sales, engage interest, and it makes you look like even more a professional when you can present something to the client that they can visualize and create changes to immediately if needed.

I was also very motivated and inspired by the keynote speaker, Mark Hoog who encouraged all of the attendees to find the leader within you as a person.  What struck me about the presentation is that it wasn’t directed to just us as a plantscape community, it was directed to everyone, no matter what you wanted to do or were doing.  He inspired the audience to always be true to yourself and your passions no matter what they may be and use that as a catalyst to unlock and create a leadership role for yourself to motivate, encourage, and inspire others to obtain the most out of their jobs not only in work but in life as well.

The last thing that I learned at the expo was actually something I never even thought of this whole time that I have been working for a plant company and that is, that there are other businesses and people out there just like me.  It was so refreshing to hear stories from other people within the plant world, not just technicians, but vendors, business owners, next generation horticulturists, and plant lovers.  I was able to get a whole other view on my job and I learned that it’s not just about my company, it’s about everyone as a whole, we all make up this beautiful industry and each of us keep it beautiful by coming together to share ideas, stories, and lessons that we can reflect back on the world.

Written By: Michael Dykhoff ~ Interior Plant Technican for Personal Plant Service in Orange County

Orange County Interior Plant Service Goes Green!

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Here is what we at Personal Plant Service are doing to go more Green:

  1. We educate our clients on the benefits of plants, and created this website that will keep our commitment to education on going.
  2. All of our crew at the Personal Plant Service love plants and have them in our homes and our office, so we practice what we preach!
  3. We create our holiday’s gifts around giving our clients ideas in how they could be more green.

  4. We donate to and support Green Plants for Green Buildings.
  5. We are very careful in how we establish our routes and schedule our employees to conserve energy and gas. We have moved a lot of our service accounts to Bi-Monthly rather than weekly.
  6. We use  plant cleaners to keep our insects controlled, rather than using toxic chemicals. We do not use Pesticides!
  7. We use re-usable PAWS (felt cleaners for plants) and rags to clean our plants.
  8. We recycle everything we can!
  9. We use re-usable shopping bags when we do our shopping.
  10. We continue to search for and use products that are earth friendly.
  11. We  support our local Orange County Farmers Markets, and even grow some our own food!
  12. We switched out many of our lights to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s) As well as having a programmable thermostat and fans in the office.

Customer Survey Results shows that we are a Plant Service living up to our name

First off we would love to thank all of our clients who participated in our survey!  As Interior Plantscapers in Orange County we understand how important it is to keep business standards and values at the highest level possible and what better way to know this than to ask our clients!  We  appreciated all of your feedback and felt very warm and fuzzy with the pleasing results.

Our conclusion is that we are living up to our name:  The Personal Plant Service is providing quality work with a personal touch.

Below is a detailed summary of the results of our survey, please feel free to leave us any comments you have.  We are always striving to serve our clients the best way we can, so any feedback is always welcome at the Personal Plant Service.

~ Highlighted in BLUE are our top scores!  (the ratings are based out of 5 total)

OUR PEOPLE

Poor ~ Fair ~ Good ~ Superior ~ Exceptional ~ Rating

Professionalism                     0%       0%      2.2%       20%              77.8%           4.76

Plant Skills & Knowledge      0%        0%      2.2%      23.9%            73.9%           4.72

Tech’s communication          0%        0%      4.3%      23.9%             71.7%           4.67

Account left in good order    0%        0%      6.7%      26.7%             66.7%           4.60

Courteous & Friendly           0%         0%     0%        13%                  87%              4.87

OUR PRODUCTS

Poor ~ Fair ~ Good ~ Superior ~ Exceptional ~ Rating

Cleanliness & Health of          0%    0%      8.7%      34.8%              56.5%        4.48                your plants

Quality of plants &                  0%    0%      6.5%      28.3%               65.2%        4.59             containers  offered

Current design achieves         0%    0%      8.7%      30.4%              60.9%         4.52             desired results

Timely color rotations            0%    2.4%    9.8%      24.4%              63.4%         4.49

OUR PERFORMANCE

Poor ~ Fair ~ Good ~ Superior ~ Exceptional ~ Rating

Service is personalized        0%     0%       0%         28.3%              71.7%         4.72            and meets your needs

Quality of service                  0%     0%       0%         37%                  63%           4.63           meets expections

Timely response to              2.2%   0%      0%        21.7%                 76.1%        4.70            requests

Overall performance            0%     0%       0%         26.7%              73.3%         4.73

PUBLIC RELATIONS

1.  How likely are you to refer Personal Plant Service to a friend or relative?  Would you say the chances are:

Excellent        76.2%

Very Good      21.4%

Good              2.4%

Fair                  0%

Poor                0%

2.  May we use you as a reference?

Yes                   95.2%

No                    4.8%

As you can see from these results, we were thrilled to know that our customers feel that we are doing our job as Interior Plantscapers in Orange County exceptionally and living up to our name.

The highest compliment our customers give is to recommend us to family and friends, and 95% who responded said they would refer our service to others.  We are always interested in any referrals and would love to enhance your family or friends home or office.  Please let us know how we can help make more environments clean and beautiful places you’ll love to be!