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4 steps to preserve plants for your home or office

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Putting plant life inside your work environment is a great way to add some natural decor. For many, the indoor shrubbery can significantly improve mood and ambience -- even morale, especially in office buildings where plant life offers a welcome shade of green as contrast to white slabs of concrete, dry walls, "zombie lighting," and stale carpets.

However, real plants and trees come with a (recurring) cost. In downtown settings, interior landscaping services can cost building administrators tens of thousands of dollars in annual contracts for both plant supply and maintenance. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median pay for general maintenance and repair workers is nearly $17 an hour, and these workers typically have to water the plants and remove dead leaves every day.

Preserved plants can reduce or eliminate the need for such maintenance, while improving your workplace (and home office) design.

Here's how to preserve natural plants.

1. Get the following materials: sealer, big pot, drill, contact cement, and spray insulation. If you need ideas on types of green used indoors, here are examples of silk trees and other artificial plants.

Clean and seal the tree limbs and scrape off the loose bark. Next, spray them with a sealer.

2. Add weight to your pot to make it sturdy; this prevents your artificial tree from being top-heavy. It also mitigates the risk of having the tree falling over a passerby or desk. Use materials such as soil mixed with rocks.

3. Spray the pot and insert the limbs. Before you put the limbs in the pot, cover the inside with spray insulation. The spray will hold the limbs in place once it hardens.

Next, drill holes in the stalks where you can place the branches. The holes should be in a downward angle so that the branches can steadily arch upwards.

Then, place some contact cement at the end of the branches so they will stick to the drilled hole. Take caution: The glue will dry in a few seconds!

4. Finally, cover the insulation to make your newly-preserved tree look more natural. You can use moss, soil, or even (green-colored) egg shells. You have plenty of flexibility here.

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