This Doesn’t “Suc”: The Benefit and Care of Having Office Plants

As I approach my six month anniversary of working at Tribu, I can’t help but remember my first day as a member of the Tribe.

I walked into the office, bright eyed and bushy browed, only to be welcomed by a group of thoughtfully purchased plants. To be exact, there was five succulents and one orchid. My first reaction was “aww, well that’s sweet,” followed by a, “shit, I am going to have to keep these f-ers alive.”

Historically, I don’t have a good track record with keeping things alive. There is a special place in the pet afterlife reserved for all the gold fish that perished under my care as a child. To give you a better idea of my lack of horticultural ability, in my first apartment in college, I killed a cactus. A cactus! More water seemed like a good idea at the time.

Cut to twenty years later when I am confronted with five adorably potted alismatales and an orchidaceae. Tribu, is my first job as a personal assistant. For Sara, it was also the first time having an assistant. I thought, hmm, what impression am I going to make on this woman if I can’t even manage to keep a low maintenance plant alive?

Since then, I have made it my personal mission to make sure these little guys thrive. Turns out, it really isn’t that difficult to keep a plant alive with minimal time and minor attention to detail. Here are a few methodical and slightly unconventional ways I have managed to keep, as I now refer to as my “lil babies,” alive.

 

Methodical

  • Create a task. Tribu affords me the luxury of wonderful organizational software that reminds me the lil babies need water or occasional sun exposure. However, a simple reminder or calendar event on your phone can do the same thing. Although they only require water once, I’ve found it is easy to neglect or forget about watering a plant during a hectic week.
  • Is. King. This statement is debatable, but I’ve found the lil babies do better with tap water. The City of San Antonio is also notorious for having a great public water system (thank you SAWS). Research your cities water source and see if tap or purified water works better for your plants.
  • Find the right spot. The motto, “succulents will thrive anywhere,” is bullshit. My “office” has moved around a few times in the last six months, ergo my plants have as well. Not all of them fared well with the move. Direct light is definitely not good for succulents, but neither is a dimly lit room. Not to be morbid, but the darkness ultimately resulted in one casualty. Find the right balance of light at your desk space, or be content with having your lil babies in another area of the office.

 

Unconventional

  • Name’em. Call me crazy, but not only is personification my favorite literary device, it is also something I occasionally use in my everyday life. I don’t name every inanimate object, but there are a few. For instance, my Prius is named Penelope, and she is a sassy little hatchback. Anyway, I digress. I found naming my plants created a deeper attachment to them and therefore elevated the degree of attention I gave them.

Roll call: the dinosaurs are named Frances and Earl (shout out to Jim Henson), blue and cream are Grace and Anna (cc Vogue), and the orchid is named Juliana Marguiles, no explanation that is just the orchid’s name. The fifth plant was Martha, may she rest in peace.

 

You may be asking yourself, why does any of this matter? According to Psychology Today, having plants around you is a good thing for your health and productivity. As a Tribe of creatives, productivity is our jam. Our space, like our culture is one that harvests and nurtures talent. The literal and figurative atmosphere at Tribu is what allows us to create compelling content and elevated design to drive the success of our agency and our partners.

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