Don’t kill the office plant! Let The Plant Lady care for your greens

TRAVERSE CITY – If you’ve got a brown thumb around the office, The Plant Lady is just a phone call away. Specializing in interior landscape design and indoor plant maintenance, The Plant Lady can brighten any space and keep it green.

Lorie Nugent and her husband, Dave, are the new owners of The Plant Lady, Inc. and have moved to a new location off of Hammond Road. The business currently has 63 clients, most of them in Traverse City, but a few in Grayling and Petoskey. In Traverse City, the work of The Plant Lady can be seen at Cherry Capital Airport and 310 Restaurant.

Nugent has a professional background in indoor plants and was thrilled when she got the opportunity to buy the five-year-old business last May. Among the services available are “interiorscape” design, installation, weekly maintenance, and pest management. She also offers a seasonal blooming rotation that removes blooming plants once they drop their flowers and replaces them with blooming ones. She even works with dried and silk flowers and plants.

An office environment can be a challenging place to grow plants, what with an overabundance of artificial light and dramatic shifts in temperature as the seasons change. The water requirements of plants drop considerably during the air-conditioning season and then increase when the heat comes on in the fall. So what indoor plant thrives in these conditions?

“Pothos,” Nugent quickly says, adding that they are very durable and quite beautiful. “You can’t kill them. You can grow them in a closet.”

What about the most difficult indoor plant to grow successfully?

“The ficus tree is the number one most difficult plant to grow,” she says. “It doesn’t like to be moved.” It also is greatly affected by the change in seasons and differences in light and temperature. Nonetheless, it is a very popular plant and is frequently requested by clients. Nugent says good alternatives are the fiddle leaf fig or the rubber plant.

The podocarpus plant is another finicky plant, but is Nugent’s favorite.

“It’s a very dainty plant,” she says, but needs lots of light, is very sensitive to overwatering and prefers a consistently warm environment.

Aside from the obvious indoor challenges, Nugent says plants can also suffer from the occasional shot of cold coffee which, she adds, is not good for plants.

Other than office beautification, plants add a dose of health to any office. They add oxygen and even help remove toxins from the air, improving indoor air quality.

Nugent adds that it’s been proven that fewer airborne molds and bacteria can be found in an environment with live plants, leading to healthier employees, less sick time, and increased productivity.

The Plant Lady is busy getting ready for holiday displays and can be reached by calling 231.932.0744 or emailing