Nearly everyone agrees that houseplants in the office bring natural beauty to the space, but you might be surprised to learn of their other amazing benefits too. Office plants reduce stress, improve concentration and productivity, and create an overall sense of well-being. But that’s not all. According to Ambius, office plants help to reduce noise levels, improve air quality by removing toxins from the air, and raise the humidity levels in winter, too. Check out this list of best office plants.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
The Spider Plant, also known as the airplane plant or spider ivy, is one of the most popular indoor plants suitable for the office environment. Young spider plants produce grass-like leaves that arch over the sides of a hanging basket, but they are most striking at maturity. Dozens of tiny white flowers appear at the ends of arching stems. New plantlets, called spiderettes, soon sprout and grow, replacing the flowers. The young plants grow quickly creating a mass of tiny spider plants.
Spider plants are easy-to-grow with few problems. Hang this trailing plant in an area with bright indirect light and water it when the soil is dry 1 to 2 inches below the surface.
Snake plant (Sansevieria spp)
Snake plants, also known as a mother-in-law’s tongue, encompasses over seventy varieties that range in size from eight inches tall to an amazing twelve feet in height. This makes the snake plant ideal for either a small space or to fill an entire corner, depending on the variety. Its sturdy spear-like leaves can be solid green, but most are mottled or striped with yellow, gold, white or even red.
Mother-in-law's Tongue plants require very little care and will survive in low light conditions, but they prefer bright, indirect sunlight. They will suffer in direct sun. They do not require frequent watering and do best if the soil is allowed to dry out before you water them. They benefit from occasional fertilizer during periods of active growth.
The snake plant makes NASA’s list of plants that help to remove toxins from indoor air.
Aloe (Aloe sp.)
The Aloe plant, also known as the Wonder Plant, is known for both its beauty and its medicinal purposes. Aloe Vera plants are the most common, but there are nearly six hundred different species of aloe plants to choose from. Aloe plants are succulents and produce thick, fleshy leaves that fan out from the center of the plant. These low maintenance houseplants will reward you with consistent growth with very little care.
Aloes prefer bright, indirect light but can be grown under fluorescent lights, too. Try an aloe as a desk plant and supplement the natural light with fluorescent lights during the day.
Water your aloe plant to moisten the soil and then allow the top one-third of the soil to dry out before watering it again.
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Pothos are delightful vining plants ideal for hanging baskets or in pots where the vines can flow freely over the sides. In the office, pothos looks amazing cascading over dividers, on top of filing cabinets or perched atop bookcases.
Pothos has heart-shaped leaves and may be bright green or variegated with yellow, white or light green splotches on the leaves. They prefer bright indirect light from bright windows which makes the variegation more pronounced, but they will thrive under fluorescent lighting or in low light conditions as well.
These office plants are often called the Devil’s Ivy as all parts of the plant are toxic to pets and small children.
Water pothos when the soil feels dry 1 to 2 inches below the surface or whenever you see signs of wilting and fertilize it once a month from spring until fall.
Bonsai plants aren’t really a specific type of plant. Bonsai refers to the art of shaping and maintaining a shrub or tree in a small container in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. This art form allows you to maintain the size of the tree so that it can be displayed in either the home or office environment.
The best bonsai trees for growing in the office are tropical trees such as Ficus, Dwarf Jade, Hawaiian Umbrella and Sweet Plum, says the Bonsai Empire. You can purchase bonsai trees via many online sellers or from the home and garden section at home improvement centers.
Bonsai plants are low maintenance office plants and make attractive additions to the workplace, but they should not be considered a care-free plant. Bonsai trees require consistent care.
Bonsai trees need bright light from a southern window and do not do well with low light. They also need high humidity and should be grown on a pebble tray filled with water. Misting several times a day is also recommended.
Water your bonsai tree when the soil feels dry ¼ inch below the surface. Fertilize your bonsai tree with plant fertilizer designed for bonsais following the manufactures recommended application and timing.
Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
The rubber tree plant is also known as an India Rubber Tree, an India Rubber Plant or an India Rubber Fig. It is an evergreen shrub that grows up to one hundred feet in the wild. But its size can be controlled when it is grown in a pot with well draining potting mix.
The Rubber Plant produces thick, glossy green leaves that may grow to twelve inches long and five inches wide. While some varieties have solid green foliage there are variegated varieties, too.
Rubber plants prefer bright indirect light but will grow in less light. These plants require little care other than regular watering and occasional fertilizing once or twice a month from spring until fall. Rubber Plants make excellent low light office plants as they can be small enough to grow on a desk (when kept in a small pot) or large enough to fill an entire corner.
ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
The ZZ plant earns its name from its difficult to pronounce botanical name. This tropical plant is the brown thumb gardener's dream as it can take weeks of abuse and still look like a dream. Waxy green leaves line slightly arching stems and change from lime green when they are young to deep emerald when they mature.
These plants can be grown in the office with little concern for light as they are one of the best office plants for low sunlight spaces and do amazingly well in shaded areas where other plants can’t survive. Water them every few weeks or whenever the soil dries out and fertilize them once or twice during the summer.
Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
Lucky Bamboo isn’t really a bamboo at all, although it looks like one. This plant is a member of the dracaena genus. It is often used in Feng Shui to symbolize good luck and happiness.
This plant grows well in low light conditions and doesn’t even need a pot of soil. Lucky bamboo is equally at home in a vase of water with a few decorative stones in the bottom. Watering is as easy as keeping the roots covered with fresh water and emptying and refilling the stale water once every two weeks.
Lucky bamboo makes a bold statement in the office space, as centerpieces in conference rooms or simply in the break room where you can get in touch with nature.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
The Chinese Evergreen is a versatile plant that can be grown in nearly any light (except direct afternoon sun). It can even be grown under fluorescent lights, making this plant a good choice as an office plant.
This slow-growing plant produces beautiful green foliage splashed with silvery hues and is small enough to grow on your desk when it is young. Large, mature plants can be grown in corners, beside dividers or next to furniture to enhance the comfort of your office space.
Water Chinese Evergreen plants when the soil dries out, and you can enjoy years with these impressive low-maintenance plants.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
The Peace Lily is one of the most popular office plants because of its beautiful foliage (and flowers) and its easy to care for nature. These plants are equally at home in bright indirect light, low light or even fluorescent lighting, although they do produce the biggest and most abundant blooms when grown near a bright window.
These versatile plants come in many varieties making them suitable for growing on your desk with larger varieties ideal as floor plants to fill a corner or near furniture to create cozy seating in office environments. Peace Lilies can even be grown in water if the base of the plant (and foliage) remains above the water level.
Water potted Peace Lilies when the soil dries or when you notice the leaves beginning to droop. Peace Lilies are on NASA’s list of 18 plants known to promote clean air by filtering pollutants from indoor air.
Philodendron (Philodendron spp.)
Philodendron is a family of plants that includes over four hundred species with many varieties within each species. These plants range in shape, size and overall appearance, but they all have one thing in common: they require very little care.
Grow philodendrons in bright, indirect if you can, but don’t worry if your office has low light. These plants will do fine without much light. Variegated varieties require more light to bring out their beautiful coloring, but they will grow in low light if need be.
Water philodendrons when the top inch of the soil has dried.
Philodendron also makes NASA’s list of plants that improve indoor air quality.
Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)
If your image of a fern is graceful, feathery fronds you may be surprised to learn not all ferns look the same. The Bird’s Nest Fern has wide, flat fronds that are crinkly or wavy. It earns its name from the resemblance to a bird’s nest. It is sometimes called a Crow’s Nest Fern.
This low-maintenance houseplant grows in low light and requires little care. Although it prefers evenly moist soil, it is a bit tougher than ordinary ferns and will tolerate occasional neglect or soil that dries out between waterings.
This attractive plant is ideal for the desk, on counters or conference tables or even tucked into a corner to brighten the room. Some varieties make excellent floor plants as they can reach heights of five feet.
Peperomia Obtusifolia is also called the Baby Rubber Plant as the shape and growing habits are similar to the Rubber Tree Plant. Its waxy, green leaves are held upright. There are variegated varieties with white or yellow marbling, too.
This plant does best in bright indirect light but will grow in low light. It grows to a height of twelve inches, making it ideal as a desk plant in the office setting or as a centerpiece on conference tables. This beauty can also be used to brighten a dark area of the office.
Monstera (Monstera spp.)
Monstera is a genus of plants that includes more than twenty species. They are often called Swiss Cheese Plants because their leaves have lacy holes resembling the holes in Swiss Cheese. Most are solid green, but there are some lovely, variegated varieties, too.
Most Monsteras thrive in medium to low light making them ideal as an office plant. They are climbing plants that benefit from a moss-covered totem that provides a good surface for their aerial roots to cling to. Water your Monstera plant when the soil is dry to the touch one to two inches below the surface. Fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer once a month from spring until fall.
African violet (Sainpaulia)
African Violets are great office plants for adding a splash of color. These blooming plants produce flowers in a range of colors from soft pink to deep blue or purple with several bi-colors available, too.
African violets are small enough to grow on your desk. Although they are considered a low-light plant, they do require bright indirect light to bloom. They also require at least 8 hours of darkness at night to promote blooming.
The trickiest part to caring for African violets is keeping the soil moist without over-watering them. Fill a saucer with room temperature water and place the pot in the saucer so your African Violet can absorb the water it needs to thrive.
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
English Ivy is a woody climbing vine that can be grown as an office plant. Grow it in a hanging basket or in a container where its long vines can cascade over the sides. It can also be trained to grow on a trellis.
English Ivy is a great plant for a sunny office as it requires moderate to bright indirect light. Variegated varieties will lose their striking colorations if they are grown in low light.
Water English Ivy when the soil dries ½ inch below the surface of the soil. Fertilize them once a month from spring until fall.
Arrowhead Plant (Maranta arundinacea)
The Arrowhead Plant is prized for its attractive foliage that can be either solid green or variegated, depending on the variety. It can reach heights of three feet making it a great choice for filling a nook or corner or placing it near furniture. Arrowhead does well in moderate to very little light and cannot tolerate direct sunlight. Place it where it receives bright, indirect light.
Arrowhead does best in evenly moist soil and will suffer if the soil is allowed to dry out. Likewise, it cannot tolerate soggy soil. Arrowhead requires a little more care than most office plants, but its beauty makes it worth the effort.
Air plants (Tillandsia spp)
Air Plants are delightful indoor plants with the amazing ability to grow without soil. In the wild, they grow on tree branches, but you can grow them in hanging glass globes, in decorative containers or even in an empty vase or coffee mug. Place Air Plants in an area that receives bright light, and they are practically carefree.
Air Plants do need occasional watering. Just pop them in a basin or bowl of water before leaving the office at night and return them to their containers in the morning. They also benefit from misting to moisten the roots.
The Cactus includes approximately two hundred species of plants, which means you have a lot to choose from if you want to add cacti to your office. The most common are desert cacti with their fleshy ‘leaves’ that are covered in spines or hair. Cacti enjoy bright sunlight but like most plants, the foliage can scald if placed in direct afternoon sun. If you want to grow cacti in a sunny window, especially if it faces west or south, make sure the light is filtered by sheer curtains or light shades.
These easy to care for office plants need little care other than regular watering. Water them about once every 10 days or whenever the soil dries completely.
Adding easy-to-care-for low light plants to your office is sure to improve your mood and sense of well-being, but don’t forget its effect on clients, too. According to Natura, thriving office plants send the message to clients and visitors that your company is capable of helping things flourish.