The most popular office plants are easy-care houseplants. Low-water succulents that thrive on neglect are a natural choice. Large floor plants may be great for office décor, while miniaturized plants can live on desks and narrow windowsills without consuming a potential workspace. Especially if you don’t have large windows, consider low-light office plants including aloe vera, snake plants, kalanchoes, and pearl plants/zebra cactus. Office plants that need more regular watering or specific conditions may be a worthwhile team-building project. Other office managers lean toward low-water plants with drier soil to guard against mold and fungus growth.
Here is a rundown of how to choose indoor plants for the office. Find specific recommendations below.
Indoor Plants for Office Décor and Productivity
Offices plants should improve mood and productivity, but they require thoughtful planning that works with the layout of the office. If you have lots of natural light in your office or general workspace, take advantage of it! Lots of indoor plants that like full sun also thrive on neglect. It’s great to have a reliably quiet space to stay productive, but unchanging office décor can also lead to amplifying the tedium and ruts that employees may fall into.
Office Plants and Healthy Work Environments
More than mood and mental health, some indoor plants may contribute to environmental and physical health as well. It’s a myth that houseplants can substantially improve indoor air quality in a holistic sense. While plants do consume carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, the ventilation system in most every office environment cycles the air too quickly for plants to make a difference. However, targeted plant selection may make a difference on the margins. Azaleas, aloe plants, gerber daisies and weeping figs are plants that can filter pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene from carpets, printers, and furniture.
Matching Plants with Office Culture
If your office is pet-friendly, you need to guard against potentially toxic plants especially if placed in an easily accessible spot. Toddlers, too, may only need to escape for a moment before chewing on plant leaves or tipping over a floor plant. The peace lily is a great choice as a kind of team-building exercise. This plant needs regular watering and is hard to kill, but also requires good care practices to produce its pistil and stamen blooms. Taller plants densely placed can also serve as living partitions for individual cubicles or workspaces.
Popular Types of Office Plants
- Spider Plant: This resilient plant will tolerate low-light conditions well, but can thrive and produce lots of baby plants, or spiderettes, in ideal conditions. You can set this plant up to be a climber or cascading growth. Incredibly easy to propagate, you can have a large spider plant in the office that provides employees with smaller desk plants as needed.
- Parlor Palm: Give your office a tropical-looking plant that also doesn’t need a ton of light to grow. This modest palm tree can grow up to 3-4 feet tall, making it a good candidate for a floor plant or as a large desk plant in low-light conditions where it might not get quite as big.
- ZZ Plant: This plant is known for thriving on neglect in low-light conditions. It’s a simple but effective plant that mostly grows straight up, while staying easy to manage. Just be sure to keep this away from children and pets that might try to eat this toxic plant.
- Pothos: If you have a large desk or shelf that’s available for a cascading plant, the easy-care pothos could be just the plant you’re looking for. You can also aggressively trim this plant if it starts to get out of control. With tons of colors and subtypes to choose from, you’re bound to find something you like between the golden, neon, marble queen, or other pothos plant.
- Umbrella Plant: This is a popular choice for tall plants that can serve as privacy barriers. The growth can be somewhat sprawling. Looking for taller plants that can be placed in rows without entangling themselves? The snake plant is another great option as a living partition.