Office Plant of the Year

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 Amazing Spaces Garden Design and Build News & Views

Earlier this month I was again invited to be one of the independent judges for Office Plant of the Year 2019 by Plants at Work.

I really enjoy being part of the judging for Office Plant of the Year as I have to admit that there are so many new varieties of plant available for indoor use, I am learning so much about a part of horticulture that is not part of the norm for me.

Working outdoors, I am often knee deep in water in my waders creating ponds so being part of the judging for indoor plants is a real treat as I can stay dry and I am surrounded by lovely exotic greenery.

The judging is held at Indoor Garden Design’s headquarters which is very exciting as I feel I am in a green forest full of  wonderful plant varieties.


The competition now In it’s tenth year is organised by Plants at Work, the Association representing Interior Landscape Companies promoting the use and benefits of Interior Plants.

As well as looking good, houseplants are known for improving air quality by trapping and capturing pollutants therefore helping us breathe better.

Indeed there is well documented and scientific evidence that having plants indoors provides a wide range of mental health benefits by reducing stress levels, increasing attention span therefore improving mood and productivity.

The use of indoor plants has spread into retail in a big way recently and a great many shops, even clothes shops are using them amongst their displays on shelves and as green walls up staircases. The ‘retro’ look has also encouraged many young millennials to introduce plants into their homes which is very encouraging.

Every year, a long list of plants is put before members and suppliers of the Association and a poll is taken to narrow it down to just three, following selected criteria. As a judge we are presented with the three plants that have received the most votes from the long list.

The criteria for judging the plants were as follows:

  1. Plants that make a statement
  2. Plants that work well in indoor green walls
  3. Plants that have made a retro comeback
  4. Plants you would like to see used more

The three plants that received the most votes were:

  • Philidendron xanadu
  • Alocassia macrorrhizos
  • Epiphyllum anguliger

Present for judging with me were, Ian Drummond, creative Director at Indoor Garden Design, Mathew Appleby of Horticulture Week, Chanel de Kock of the Flower Council of Holland and Madeleine Evans chair of Plants at Work and Tivoli Services. Along with votes from those judges who had voted remotely as they couldn’t attend, it was a close 5- 3 vote for Philodendron Xanadu which came through to be the Favourite Office Plant of the year 2019.


From left to right – Mathew Appleby, Claudia de Yong, Madeleine Evans, Ian Drummond and Chanel de Kock 

Philidendron Xanadu is a plant which originates from Brazil and is easy to care for making it perfect for installations.

The attractive deeply dissected glossy green lobed leaves form at the end of splaying stems and make for a nice bushy plant which will fill a corner, making a great potted plant.

Look out for this great plant in the garden centre if you want a virtually indestructible plant which will grow in most settings.