11 Common Myths About Office and Indoor Plants

Have you ever heard something so ridiculous yet so commonly practiced? Well, it would be difficult to think that something everyone does or believes in is a myth unless you are a specialist in that field. There are a lot of common myths that people believe in when it comes to indoor or office plants. You may have even applied the same myths and your plants are still alive but this does not mean that it is safe to keep following them.

With the internet being a great source of information, you are also likely to know more some of these myths about office plants. While these myths are quite popular, it does not mean that they are best practices for taking care of your office plants or indoor plants. Luckily, we will debunk some of these myths to save your plants from drying up regardless of your good intentions.

Myth 1 - Indoor plants can thrive in any environment

There are a lot of myths concerning the best environment for plants to thrive. After all, we all know that plants need sunlight, water and air to survive whether they are indoor or outdoor plants.


Sunlight is critical for the development of your plants as it helps create food for them. Your plants are likely to suffer if you do not give them enough sunlight. With that being said, this does not mean that all indoor plants should be placed by the window. It is essential that you understand the amount of sunlight that your home gets and if the space allows for natural sunlight. A lot of indoor plants will actually get sunburned leaves if you expose them to too much sunlight by placing it on the window. Knowing the type of plants that you have and their sunlight requirements will help you identify their placement.


The temperature in your office is also vital to your plant’s growth. Remember, your plant is a living organism and if you are feeling cold or hot, then your plants are also feeling the same. Strive to create comfortable environment by maintaining stable temperatures and your plants will reward you with consistent growth.


Many people believe that most indoor plants will grow well with high humidity. While most of the tropical plants require high humidity to thrive, indoor plants such as plants used in living green walls do not. These plants adapt and thrive in the normal household humidity and too much humidity may actually harm them. If your indoor plants in Dubai, for example, experience high humidity and the lack of air circulation, then they may rot, get fungal infections or be attacked by pests. A good way to ensure you do not experience this unfortunate event is to buy a hygrometer that will tell you how humid your space is.

Myth 2 - A plant needs a large pot to grow bigger

This is a common myth that seems so harmless but it might be the opposite. In fact, the best and fastest growing plants are those that have a moderate size pot that allows the plant’s roots to occupy most of the pot. Furthermore, re-potting your plants occasionally makes them to tunnel much of their energy into developing the roots at the expense of the stems, flowers and leaves. Putting your plants in a pot bigger than the root ball also exposes the roots to rotting. How does this happen? Well, a large pot means that the soil will take up much more time to dry and the roots will be exposed to the water-logged soil for longer periods.

Myth 3 - Yellow leaves mean that your plant was over-watered

Although many people believe that they are at fault when their plants start to get yellow leaves, there are various reasons for this. Yes, under-watering or even over-watering can lead to the yellow pigmentation in leaves, but this is not always the case. Here are two more things that may be causing this:


Plants are also living organisms, as highlighted before. This means that they also go through the aging process over a long period. Yellow leaves that are falling may easily mean that your leaves are at the end of their life cycle. It is not bad to have one or a few more yellow leaves that are shedding but you should be alarmed if there are more. The baby leaves that are young will be lighter in color and much fragile while mature leaves are dense and greener.


Yellow leaves can simply mean that your plants are not getting enough nutrients. The nutrients are sourced from the roots and if your plants are lacking nutrients, then using fertilizer to restore deficiency can help. It is however worth noting that over fertilizing your plants will lead to more yellowing of the leaves. As a rule of thumb, you can dilute the fertilizer to half of what is recommended.

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Myth 4 - Plants need to be watered weekly

This is a popular myth that is mostly common among new plant owners. It is possible to find yourself watering your plants about once a week but this is not the recommended time that you should take to water your plants. A simple answer may be ‘once a week’ but this depends on a whole lot of variables. While the weekly routine may work for another plan, it won’t work for you if you do not have similar plants and living conditions.

So, how often should you water them? It is important for you to understand that plants do not need to go by your schedule and the plant will tell you when it needs water. You can, however, check on it weekly to confirm if it needs some water. Feel the soil and if it is not moist then you can add some water. Watering the plant when it is still moist may expose the roots to rot.

Myth 5 - You have to repot the plant as soon as you purchase it

What do most people do when they get that brand-new plant? They repot it immediately. As much as the excitement of being a plant parent may be enormous, it is important that you give your plants a few weeks before you decide to repot it. This will ensure that the plant has enough time to recover especially if you had it shipped. This will also give it time to adjust to the new environment. But how do you know when to re-pot a plant? Is the plant pot bound, not growing as it should or are the roots growing through the drainage holes of the pot? If so, you need to check the roots and either prune them or transfer them to a bigger pot.

Myth 6 - Succulent plants do not need water

One of the trickiest parts of growing succulents is knowing how and when you need to water them. Many people know that succulents do well in semi-arid and arid areas but this does not mean that they do not need water. People who believe in this myth will thus go for long periods without watering the plant and wonder why they are not doing well. Other people use spray bottles to water their succulents just because they believe the myth that succulents do not need water.

Like other plants, succulents also need a thorough soaking once in a while, especially when their soil has dried out fully. You would also appreciate a glass of water if you are feeling thirsty on a hot day. Using a spray bottle is same as offering someone a teaspoonful of water. Be sure to water your succulent plant until any excess water is drained out. However, how often you water your succulents will depend on the size of the pot, the type of the plant and how much sunlight they are exposed to.

Myth 7 - You need to have a green thumb to keep your plants alive

Taking care of plants, as with all other living things need a lot of time and effort for them to thrive. This does not, however, mean that you always have to rely on landscaping companies in UAE to keep your plants alive. As much as these companies will help you get the best indoor plants, you can also take care of your plants – just learn the know-hows. Keeping plants has nothing to do with the color of your thumb as most people suggest. This means that you can still manage to keep a healthy plant yourself.

All that you have to do is to ensure that you know the basic information that is necessary for you to take care of your plants. These include knowing when to water them, ensuring they receive adequate sunlight, knowing how to prune them, taking care of pests and others. With these, you can easily become a successful plant parent.

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Myth 8 - Applying mayonnaise or even milk makes leaves shiny

This is a common myth that always arises when people want to get shinier and greener leaves. As ridiculous as it sounds, some people do believe that applying mayonnaise to the leaves will make them greener. Milk is a dairy product and may not be the best thing to apply to your plants. If you have had the chance to smell dry dairy, then you know that it has a terrible smell. This also applies to other egg-based products such as mayonnaise that people apply to their plants.

There are a couple of horrible things that can happen when you apply these products to your leaves even if you had no intention of harming them. First, they leave a form of residue on the leaves which has “gummy” properties and attract dust. The effect of this is that the gum will clog all the plants pores, making it impossible for the leaves to breathe. Also, this dirt can easily attract pests and diseases that will affect the health of your greens. One way to make your plants shiny is by wiping them with a soft damp cloth. Before you do this, however, make sure that your plants do not look dull because of nutrient deficiency.

Myth 9 - There are living plants that can survive without windows or grow lights

Of course, there are plants that can grow without being placed near windows or using grow lights, but they are called artificial plants. As we all know, most plants need to get sufficient light in order to produce food through photosynthesis. A room with little to no natural light or a supplement of grow lights won’t do much good to the growth of these plants. If you wish to still have plants with such conditions, you can get a couple of hardy plants that can tolerate low light levels. You can then swap these plants to ensure each of them gets their fair share of light when they are not in indoor or office space.

You can also get the services of the best landscaping companies in Dubai or anywhere you are to help identify some good artificial trees and plants for you. With these artificial plants, you will be able to decorate rooms that have little to no sunlight. You will also enjoy a whole host of other benefits that natural plants do not have.

Myth 10 - Indoor plants die during winter

A lot of indoor plants require extensive care and the perfect living conditions for them to grow well.  In fact, a significant number of office plants and indoor plants come from warm and humid regions. During winter time, it would be almost impossible to replicate the same conditions and this may end up affecting the growth of your plants.

During winter, there is dry air, short days with little light and very cold days. There are also pests that love to sneak up on your plants during this time and the risk of over watering your plants. Unless you have a plant that needs low levels of light like the Sanseveria, you need to take some measures to ensure that your houseplants survive. The good news is that most plants survive if they are only given that tender, loving care. This concern may not be too familiar with those living in arid areas like Dubai but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take precautionary measures during the colder months.

Central heating

Turning the central heater in your home will mean that the humidity in your home will drop almost immediately. The result is some dry air that can easily dry out your plant’s soil. If your plants are close to the radiator, make sure that the window is open to ensure the heat does not burn the leaves.


Winter days are often short. This means that the sudden drop in temperatures will make it hard for your plants to grow. Many plants have their survival tactics during winter such as going dormant but you still need to take care of them by ensuring they are in an open place at home or in the office to allow them to breathe.

Myth 11 - Pesticides are the only way to get rid of pests

A lot of people believe that the only effective way to get rid of pests is through the use of pesticides but this can never be further from the truth. This myth arose from the need to use chemicals to get rid of everything but there are a lot of alternatives that are more effective and less harmful. These alternatives include using hot-pepper sprays, sticky traps, rubbing alcohol, horticulture oils and diatomaceous earth. Pesticides may prove to be harmful to the plants especially when applied in excess and also leave a significant footprint on the environment.

Leaving the Myths Behind

Taking care of a plant is never easy. With some of the myths debunked, you now realise that though there may be some technicalities involved, you can still care for them on your own. However if you feel that you need a helping hand, a great option is to hire the best landscaping company in your area. Planters is a reputable landscape company that provides excellent plant maintenance services in the Gulf region.

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