Can plants grow under office lights?


There are millions of offices around the world that have plants in them.

There’s a whole industry – called variously Interior Landscaping, Interiorscaping, Professional Plant Care.

This industry is built on the installation and long-term care of plants in office buildings!

The industry has existed officially since just after WWII.

A special type of plant is used in offices – known as houseplants, indoor plants, or interior decorative foliage plants.

These plants are native to tropical forest floors – so they are naturally adapted to low light conditions, and to a constant human-comfortable temperature year round.

However, not all tropical shade plants will do well in offices; only those with a wide range of adaptability prove successful for the long haul.

So these are the most common indoor plants, and are, incidentally, also the most successful for home use.

Of course, the plants don’t grow so much as stay beautiful. They live, they thrive, but they don’t increase in size so much. This is a requirement of interior design.

I’ve read here and there that some people think the reason all these plants look so nice is that people come in at night and put in all new plants. Not so, Figero.

Plant care technicians come in on a regular schedule – usually weekly or bi-weekly – to care for the plants.

Plants that are “less than beautiful” or “too big” are replaced at that time.

Here’s the thing – plants are expensive. Replacement plants are one of the Interiorscape company’s main costs.

So the technicians are trained to care for plants properly, keeping the plants looking beautiful for as long as possible.

Probably the average for indoor plants in offices would be around 2.5 – 3 years; but many, especially bigger plants, live in the same spot for decades.

There are several sorts of lighting in offices. Of course, most offices have areas close to windows, so that’s always a place to put plants with higher light requirements.

In addition to windows, the main areas of offices, whether open floors or individual rooms, are lit by ceiling fixtures, cool white fluorescent or LED, with government mandated minimum light requirements. 

These light levels are perfectly sufficient to support all low light and medium light plants, and some high light plants.

Finally, many people have desk lights under which small plants can be kept.

If you’d like to know more about lighting for indoor plants, how to measure it, and what plants do well in what light levels, check out How much light do houseplants need?

Here are some more pictures of plants in offices –

Offices everywhere should have more plants.

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