Color Rotation for Indoor Plants

indoor plant color rotationsFew interior plantscaping staffers work harder than on the days when new plants arrive and older plants in commercial installations are replaced or “rotated.” Usually, the plants on rotation schedules are flowering varieties included in interior landscape designs to add color. The most typical of these plants are bromeliads (plant family Bromeliaceae) and orchids (plant family Orchidaceae).

Plants “on rotation” are maintained by office plant services firms for a shorter period of time than other tropical plants and trees. As part of an interior plantscaping contract, they are replaced on a set schedule to ensure that they continue to look fresh and vibrant.

The versatile bromeliad

The bromeliad is a South American tree dweller often used in commercial installations to underplant tropical trees. This tropical will happily tolerate living in a small pot indoors with little soil, light or water. Its exotic flowers add a pop of color to plantings in restaurants, hotels and office buildings. As this plant will not rebloom, it must be replaced after several weeks. After blooming just once, it will form “pups” or side offshoots that become new plants. Inside Outside Services adheres to an 8-week rotation schedule for bromeliads.

The torch-shaped Guzmania species is especially popular for indoor color installations, particularly the intense bright red and yellow varieties. “Color bowls” containing a group of bromeliads of mixed colors have become popular recently. Another bromeliad, the Vriesea species, offers striking variegated striped leaves surrounding colorful paddle-shaped flowers.

Aside from their good looks and ease of cultivation, bromeliads offer the added bonus of cleaning the air. According to a 2016 study at the State University of New York at Oswego, bromeliads excel at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. VOCs are compounds emitted as toxic gases often released into the household by paints, furniture and cleaning products. Bromeliads were found to remove 6 out of the 8 VOCs studied. This information, along with previous data from a NASA study, makes the bromeliad a top houseplant performer.

A touch of seasonal color

Other colorful plants included in rotations are those that add seasonal interest. Inside Out Services’ seasonal plant list includes azaleas, caladium, chrysanthemums, croton, and kalanchoe. These plants are rotated every 2 weeks and bring color to installations, both inside and out, mass planted in beds or as accents in containers.

To provide an even more exotic and upscale look in the reception area, hotel suite or spa, the orchid is another flowering plant that requires rotation. The moth orchid’s (Phalaenopsis) graceful stems and delicate flowers have traditionally symbolized luxury and beauty. White, pink and lavender are the most common varieties, but a wide range of novelty colors are also available.

orchid color rotation

Inside Out Services replaces orchids on a 6-week schedule or as required. Our bloom rotation services are provided in conjunction with our core interior plant maintenance services which consist of regular watering, cleaning, and replacement of underperforming plants.

The final touches

Additional care and attention is required when performing rotations – both for the plants as well as for accommodating the operating needs of our clients. Acclimating plants to a new environment requires care and it’s important that they be properly “watered in” to assure good health.

Our Interiorscaping team also works around the business hours of many of our clients, especially those in the restaurant industry. Since many of these establishments open at 11 am for lunch our team arrives at 6 am to begin the plant rotation process. This allows them plenty of time to get the job done right and then clean up and depart prior to the start our client’s work day. The final result is a beautiful – and colorful – indoor plant installation for both our clients and their customers to savor all year long!

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