Written by Georgina Lockwood for Life Green Group
Interior plantscaping, otherwise referred to as interior landscaping, is a branch of interior decorating that focuses on indoor plants and containers inside buildings and offices.
An interior plantscaper will design, arrange, and care for plants in and walled space. Plantscapers need to have an understanding of angles, horizons, colour, sculptural elements and focal points, just like landscapers would.
In today’s society people spend 90% of their time indoors. The majority of people’s time is spent traveling to work, sitting in offices and living in apartments without gardens. Which limits the time they spend in nature or with greenery. Enter the interior plantscaper.
Interior plantscaping is a niche job that can thrust one into the corporate world of facility management, restaurants and offices. It also has the opportunity to lead to interesting and creative projects, depending on the client’s love of greenery and potted-jungles.
If you’re a pot-plant lover and an aesthete then this is a career for you.
Services offered by interior plantscapers
- Flower arrangements
- Green roofs
- Indoor plant maintenance
- Insight into pot and containers
- Knowledge and advise on plant selection
- Pot plant and container rentals
- Silk and fake plants
- Silk flower arrangements
- Indoor atriums and gardens.
Aptitude for interior plantscapers
Like anything, it helps if you’re interested. Green fingers meets décor. Interior plantscapers need to have a good design eye and an extensive knowledge on indoor plants.
The aim is to keep plants alive and clients happy while beautify buildings and benefiting employees with the health benefits of indoor plants.
Leanne says there is also a compassionate humanitarian element to the job – you are bettering the lives of people and office staff with the health benefits of indoor plants, giving the job a real feel-good-factor.
The job can also be surprisingly physical moving and carrying plants around buildings.
What is interior plantscaping entail?
Indoor plantscaping is divided into two parts the containers and the plants.
Pots and containers
The pot plant containers is where the designer’s eye comes in and the more creative part of the job. A good plantscaper will take into account the company’s corporate identity and current office design. A good understanding of interior design and spatial planning is handy.
With countless of pots choices and varieties out there it is important to know which supplier would be suited to a client’s budget and look and feel. In areas of limited floor space gardens can now move upwards with greenwalls.
So often is it the small things we struggle to keep alive, like goldfish or desk plants. For an interior plantscaper dead plants affects the bottom-line and is not profitable. A thorough knowledge of indoor plants and the light levels and watering specification they each require is essential. The placement of plants is restricted by the conditions of the office.
A good interior plantscaper knows succulents don’t make good indoor plants and when an orchid stops flowering it isn’t dead it’s just seasonal.
How to qualify as an interior plantscaper
“There is no direct qualification for interior plantscaping in South Africa. You need to build your own qualification from reputable and relevant courses, diplomas or degrees in interior design and horticulture. After that it is about practical experience in companies that offer plantscaping as a service.”
To get a foot in the door one would need to get a qualification in spatial planning, interior design or industrial design. Then do a respectable horticultural course for a better understanding of plants.
Alternatively, one can study a horticultural or botany degree, if they are more interested in the science behind indoor plants, and then do a design course afterwards. There have been countless studies on indoor plants by NASA and the biophilia hypothesis.
Interior plantscaping industry in South Africa
As companies adopt a Google-approach to their employees indoor plants are on the increase.
In South Africa a building many not get a green star rating from the Green Building Council if there is not a certain amount of plant matter per a square metre.
For more about interior plantscaping visit Interior Plantscaping South Africa (IPSA)