Posted: 05/10/2016 at 13:49
Hi Bixer and welcome
It's really good to have plants in the office; it's a shame the Kentia palms didn't make it, but we live and we learn.
I've never yet come across a self-watering system that really works - different plants need different conditions. It will probably be easier to learn to judge when they need the water.
I would try Kentia palms again - they don't need a lot of water - try sticking your finger into the compost up to the first joint - if the soil is dry at that level then water them, but if the soil is moist then leave them. If the heating is off at the weekends then don't water them on a Friday - cold and wet is far more harmful to the roots than just cold on it's own. Most palms can cope with a degree or two of dry cold for a few days.
A few drops of Baby Bio or similar in the water from March through to the end of July will be good, but don't feed when the plants aren't in active growth.
Repot with fresh compost in late Feb/early March.
And try not to let too many people take it upon themselves to water the plants. So often people try to be helpful and end up killing them with kindness.
I used to work in a Social Services office - I took over responsibility for all the plants - social workers are well known for their ability to kill plants - I always said that if a social worker can't keep a plant alive why should they be responsible for a child - that didn't always go down well