Photo courtesy of Ambius

Much like landscape contractors, those in the interior landscaping industry are turning to more ecologically friendly plants and more efficient ways of watering those plant materials.

“The type of plant materials that we use and how much water they require, how well they do with making it a healthier environment is something that we’re seeing growing very strongly,” says John Myers, president and CEO of Ambius.

Lawn & Landscape spoke with Myers about this trend and what landscape contractors should know about interior landscaping.

L&L: How do you see the industry changing?

JM: There’s going to be a real opportunity to do remote monitoring of the (plant) materials, and know when the product needs to be watered or taken care of. I also think that we can build our own better understanding of that by barcoding every container, and whenever we service the container, we know what we did at each container so that we can build some trend information about plant care, lighting levels required, that kind of thing.

L&L: Are there smart controllers for interior plants?

JM: There’s certainly been components of this that have been around for five or 10 years. But the watering systems that we use now have really developed dramatically. But, on top of that, our ability to roll out barcoded devices, and, in fact, every container would be barcoded.

We’d be able to monitor the amount of fertilizer provided, amount of trimming required, amount of water required and then identify plant material that’s doing well or not doing well. Making adjustments on a proactive basis really helps the performance.

L&L: What should a landscaper know about interior landscaping?

JM: If we’re providing a company that wants to be leading edge in the look and feel of things, and they talk to us about their interior design, the exterior design has to reflect the interior design. I think sometimes that’s missed. But our more innovative customers realize that those two pieces fit together. The interior landscaping we’re providing is meant for two constituents. The first one is the employees.

As we all know, the look and feel of the interior landscaping that we provide has a very important impact on the feelings of the colleagues that work in that facility. Sometimes that’s direct, of course because it’s beautiful. And sometimes it’s just indirect because there’s sort of a cleaner more, you know, healthy environment to work in.

An exterior that doesn’t have those elements, I think is missing a key part with that constituent. When they’re walking from the parking lot in through the front door, either directly or indirectly, they’re feeling positive about their workday.

And the same I think could be said about the second constituent which is customers, who have a very strong set of opinions that occur based on what they’re observing inside and outside. I would say they have to be connected from a design standpoint, not necessarily connected from a maybe a plant material maintenance standpoint.

Interviewed by Brian Horn