The best plants for an office setting don’t require much light, and can withstand drying out a bit too much when someone forgets to water them.

Some plants provide more benefits than others, and maintenance levels vary widely between species.

Small potted plants have all the benefits of large plants, but on a smaller scale. If an office contains a large number of small plants, the benefits will be just as obvious as if the office had one or two large plants instead.

What are the best office plants that are easy to care for?

Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

As plants go, snake plant is a tank.

It’s very resilient, and very tolerant of low light.

That makes it one of the most popular choices for offices, as well as public spaces like shopping malls and hotel lobbies.

Dragon Tree

A member of the dracaena genus, this one tolerates just about any light conditions. Looks neat, too.

Other types of dracaena are similarly hardy.

ZZ Plant

Similarly indestructible as snake plant.

It’s a rarer plant, though…it may be harder to find at garden centers.

Spider Plant

Spider plant really requires a spot in a window, but any window will do.

It’s often planted in hanging baskets because of the hanging baby plants that grow from it.

Peace Lily

There aren’t many flowering plants than will bloom easily in an office setting, so peace lilies are a nice choice.

It will do best in a window, but should survive being a little further away as well.

Philodendron

There are different varieties of philodendron with different looking leaves, but the pictured variety is a classic choice.

One of the most enduringly popular office plants because of its nice glossy leaves and tolerance of low light.

Varieties like the one above like to either hang or climb, and grow like vines. Others are more firm, and grow more vertically.

Cactus plant

The office cactus plant can be a great plant for individual desks keeping a small robust plant around your personal desk space is a good start to enriching your office.

Cactus plants are known for their hardy nature and require little watering, but they will need to be near sunlight – yet not in direct sunlight.

English Ivy

A hanging/climbing vine that does okay in low light.

You may have seen this stuff covering the side of an old Victorian manor or stone cottage in photos.

Bamboo plant

It also grows incredibly densely, absorbs up to 5x the amount of CO2, and produces 35% more Oxygen than other plants.

Once potted correctly with satisfactory drainage, pebble based pots will grow really well. If you have a larger communal space, these are perfect.

Place them near indirect sunlight and away from air conditioners and heating sources. They thrive on filtered water as the chlorine in regular tap water can damage them..

Areca palm

Considered the most efficient natural air humidifier available, Areca palms keep offices pleasantly humidified.

Offices that have room to spare frequently invest in small potted trees. Most office trees stay small enough to thrive comfortably in areas with limited space.

While trees generally cost more than smaller office plants, no office plant outperforms trees when it comes to keeping temperatures comfortable and cutting back on pollution.

Ficus

The ficus variety is the most popular type of office tree. Ficus trees lose their leaves as a warning sign of stress.

While this is sometimes messy, it is a clear sign that it needs maintenance. You might even consider a small fruit tree for a bit of fun.

Benefits of office plants

The benefits of office plants go far beyond reducing stress and noise levels.

  • Offices with an abundance of plants improve employee health by significantly reducing the levels of airborne bacteria. In fact, statistics show that employees who work in offices that do not have many plants use more sick days than employees who work in offices that do.
  • Office plants also play an important role in relieving dust and mold allergies. Their leaves and soil naturally collect the dust and mould particles that would otherwise float freely through the air. Employees who suffer from allergies at work can also suffer from a weakened immune system and lower productivity.
  • Plants cool office air, saving a significant amount of money and energy by reducing the workload on air conditioning units. So environmentally conscious offices keep a variety of live plants to cut down on indoor pollution and energy use. (Offices that do not typically focus on green living capitalize on these financial benefits, too.)
  • The water evaporating from the leaves of office plants creates a humidity level that office workers find very comfortable. Without plants, office air is not humid enough. Low humidity levels damage expensive materials such as wood.

In spite of their differences, all office plants cut back on energy usage and contribute to the overall health of an office space.

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