A selection of the best office plants for improving your work environment that includes improving air quality, look and feel and feng shui (flow of energy) within rooms.
Lucky Bamboo – Dracaena Braunii
Height: 10 – 36in – Type: Desk – Care: Easy
The lucky bamboo is a popular desk office plant that may bring you some good fortune (if not it will improve the look of your desk area). These plants can grow in soil or water and are sold braided for their attractiveness. Caring for them is very easy – when they are grown in a vase of water, although you must change this water once a week. Provide the lucky bamboo with a nice bright spot without direct sun, if possible.
Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum Wallisii
Height: 2ft – Type: Desks, tables, shelves – Care: Easy
Peace lilies are the ideal plants to grow within an office because they’re attractive, remove pollutants well, and survive well on basic care instructions. Up to 3 or more white spathes (flower) with a spadix in the center bloom and sit above the glossy oval-shaped elongated leaves. Peace lilies can be placed in many locations within an office including windowsills, tables, or desks. Provide these with bright light then they will flourish.
Bunny Ear Cactus – Opuntia Microdasys
Height: 8ft – Type: Tall – Care: Easy
Madagascar dragon trees are extremely popular indoor plants and they’re as tough as plants get when faced with neglect. They make a great tall tree-like office plant, although they take quite a few years to mature in height. For an office, they’re best bought when they have already grown up to 4ft or more, ready for the place they will be displayed. This is a very easy species to manage suitable for offices.
Kentia Palm – Howea Forsteriana
Height: 10ft – Type: Tall – Care: Easy
Kentia palms make a suitable reception area plant and stand tall, growing up to 10ft tall. These can be purchased from garden centers when they’ve already matured and grown up to 6ft, but they’re not cheap. The wide fronds (leaves) on the kentia arch over slightly and grow to over a foot long. Like all palms, they need good drainage to prevent the roots from rotting.
Bunny Ear Cactus – Opuntia Microdasys
Height: 12 – 18in – Type: Desk – Care: Moderate
The bunny ear cactus is a desert-type cacti plant that grows well with very little water and plenty of light, like most other desert cacti. It’s named bunny ears because of the rabbit-shaped formation of the pads. It’s also known as the polka dot cactus because of the dots that protrude and cover the pads. The only issue a grower may have is they need some time during the winter to rest.
Jade or Money Plant – Crassula Ovata
Height: 10 – 36in – Type: Desk – Care: Moderate
The jade plant is a popular house plant also known as the money, luck, and friendship plant. This is a succulent species that stores water in its fleshy leaves. For the jade to grow well it prefers a nice sunny spot and watering when the soil begins to dry, but do not over-water. The thick trunk and branches give this plant a tree-like look similar to a bonsai tree. Moderate care is required.
Choosing Office Plants: “Useful points to consider before buying and growing”
Lighting: It’s best to be aware of what kind of light your office receives before choosing a plant. Most plants grow well with bright light without direct sunlight, which is an east, west, or even a south-facing window with the plant sitting a couple or more feet back. Some plants (check above) thrive in low lighting conditions and can grow well enough within north-facing rooms.
Other care conditions: Some plants have greater care needs than others which may not be suitable for certain offices or they need too much time for the average busy office worker. Choose a plant (most of the above) which are fairly low maintenance.
Who’s maintaining them?: Plants other than personal ones on a desk are best to be assigned to one person to maintain them, otherwise, you get a scenario where either too many people are watering them or no one at all. They will also need feeding and other matters taken care of which is carried out better when one member of staff does it.
Artificial: For some offices, artificial types are the best option, which are purely for décor purposes and have no clean air benefits to offer.
Hiring: If plants are an important part of your office décor, and you don’t want the responsibility of maintaining them, or your office is visited by important people and customers – another option is to hire a company that rents plants and maintains them for you. You may only want plants for special events, which can be arranged with the hire companies.
Elyssa Goins is an experienced house plant hobbyist who maintains over a hundred plants. She is a gardener, beekeeper, and a proud mother of four. She is a member of the American Horticultural Society, has a published study in the National Social Science Association, and loves to talk about her love of plants. For the past twenty years, she’s been all about growing and caring for various fruits, veggies, herbs, livestock, kids, and houseplants. Managing a big garden to feed four growing kids and raising dairy goats has taught her so much about being an excellent plant parent and now is her time to share with you.