We spend a large portion of our lives sitting in our work space, whether it is at home or in the office. If that space is mundane and without any life it can be pretty unmotivating and uninspiring. Now, if that space is filled with greenery and life, it could make your work life a bit more enjoyable. Science has even proven it. A study from 2011 highlights that plants in the office space can prevent fatigue when given demanding work. Just by taking a couple seconds to look at the plants, you can feel rejuvenated and reinspired.
Photos from plant installation at Empower Illinois
Kaplan’s attention restoration theory (ART) asserts that taking even a minute break from looking at your screen to look at some greenery can restore attention back to the main focus. “ART hypothesizes that nature has the capacity to renew attention after exerting mental energy, for instance, after spending sleepless nights studying for exams, or working tirelessly on a project or assignment.”
Office plants make a great difference in the work environment, just like team bonding. They have been proven to help boost productivity and help companies retain employees. Not only do plants visually bring light and color to the office space, they also bring a meditative experience that ultimately leads to happier and healthier employees.
Photos from plant installation at Imagine Healthcare
Biophilic design explores the importance of connecting humans to nature. Office spaces that portray some part of nature have been seen to generate physiological responses such as increased brain activity and lowered stress hormones.
However, plants cannot just go into any office and be expected to thrive. Sadly, not all of us are lucky enough to have a brightly lit work space. Thankfully, there are plant varieties that thrive in lower light settings. The rest of this article will talk about what plants will do best in what spaces depending on the amount of light, humidity levels, and the amount of care they will be given.
Plants For Your Office
1. Snake Plants
The Sansevieria family is best to put anywhere you want, especially in an office where people may not be tending to it regularly. This plant thrives on neglect and needs to dry out completely before being water. It could be watered every month and be happy. Low light is totally okay for this plant baby, making it a plant almost anyone can grow.
Because this plant converts carbon dioxide to oxygen overnight, it is an excellent source to increase air quality and its long, tall leaves are pleasing to the eye. This plant could boost morale in a work space that has minimal light while also thriving in a brightly lit space.
Also known as the “mother-in-laws tongue”, this plant can grow to great extent so be sure you have the height space for it and it is in a pot sturdy and large enough to encourage more growth.
2. ZZ plants
Very similar to the snake plant when it comes to care, ZZ plants thrive on neglect and can be placed in a low light space. If you are looking for a plant that you can ignore for a few weeks but will still provide gorgeous greenery, this may be the plant you wish to put in your office space. Even if you have a brighter space, this plant will thrive in almost any light setting. Just be aware that the brighter the light is, the more often you will have to water it. Another great source that provides good air quality to the space.
Almost every plant parent owns a pothos, whether it is growing in water (propagation) or potted beautifully into a pot, these plants thrive in almost any setting. If you are looking for a good hanging plant or a plant for the top of a shelf, pothos is the one for you.
Pothos vine down and can tolerate almost any level of light. For lower light office spaces, you may see slower growth but that does not mean it’s unhappy. They also are very good at letting you know when they need to be watered. They droop excessively when they are thirsty but after a good soak, they will pop right back up and show you how happy they are. Pothos come in many varieties, meaning you could have several that all look a little different and add wonderful greenery to the work space.
Similar to pothos, philodendrons also are vining plants that do well in almost any light setting. Because they make for good hanging plants, you can hang them in high-traffic spots throughout the office to add a pop to the work setting.
If you are looking for a tall tree that is low-light tolerant to add greenery into a corner in your office space, Dracaena could be the one. Just like the plants discussed above, these plants can tolerate brighter light as well. There are many different types of Dracaena that all have their own type of leaves. These plants can go almost anywhere and are drought tolerant, so watering doesn’t need to be constant. In the winter time, you can go almost a month without watering. Popping your head up from the screen to see a tall, happy Dracaena can increase your productivity, science says.
6. Ponytail Palm
Being in the succulent family, ponytail palms like a dry environment but bright light. If you are lucky enough to have a work space with a lot of sunlight, ponytail palms could add a fun, green look to your space. Drought tolerant, actually prefer to dry out, these plants do not need constant watering so you can leave them be for weeks at a time. They can even take direct sunlight. They grow to be pretty tall, 3-4 ft, so another good option for a tree in your office.
Drought tolerant, small, and easy to care for, succulents make for a great desk plant in a space that is well lit. Depending on the size they may only need to be watered every 2-4 weeks. Succulents like a dry environment and want to dry out 100% before being watered again. Having one on your desk can add some color and something cute to look at while also working
8. Ficus Elastica/Rubber Trees
If you have a space that gets medium to bright light, a rubber tree may be a good option for you. They come in bush or tree form and they are pretty easy maintenance for a ficus. Ficus Burgundy’s are able to thrive in medium light and can grow to be 6-7ft tall as a house/office plant. Making sure you have good humidity in your office space is important for not only your plants but yourself as well. This ficus comes in many different varieties so if you want more color, you can find that but make sure you have the light for it!
Another low-maintenance, low-light tolerant plant that will add color and greenery to your work space is the aglaonema. Another plant that has many different varieties so you are able to have multiple that all look a little different. They produce eye-catching variegated leaves with pink, white, and green. Aglaonemas do not require much at all and can grow beautifully with only a little bit of light. Just like the pothos, they will tell you when they are thirsty when they droop and perk right back up.
10. Norfolk Pine
Norfolk Pine’s are a fun plant that resemble a christmas tree. So if you are looking to add some holiday love to your office without the hassle of getting a large evergreen tree, the Norfolk Pine may be the one. And they can be there year round! As a tropical plant they do love humidity and bright light so if you are able to provide that, a Norfolk Pine would be a great plant to add some greenery to your space.
11. Bird of Paradise
A low maintenance plant that has insanely large leaves that will add a very tropical look to any work space. BOP thrive in medium to bright light but can also take direct sunlight. If there is a spot in your office that gets direct sunlight, that may be the perfect spot for the BOP to thrive. They do not require too much water, especially in the winter so I would consider this plant to be low maintenance. And if you are lucky enough to perfect the environment for this plant, you may see it bloom.
12. Lucky Bamboo
One of the easiest plants that can thrive almost anywhere. The Lucky Bamboo lives in water and rocks and just needs to be refilled once the water is absorbed. They make for an amazing desk plant that will give you some ease throughout your work day and will not stress you out when it comes to maintenance. And it is said to bring good luck!
13. Spider Plant
Said to be low maintenance while still providing a bright green and white pop to a space, the spider plant is a good option for an office plant. They make for an excellent hanging or pedestal plant and often shoot off little offspring that are so easy to propagate.
If you are looking for a plant that needs an extra amount of love and doesn't require much light, a calathea or maranta may work well for you. These plants can tolerate low to bright indirect light but do require consistently moist soil and high humidity. So if you feel that you would over love your plant, they would make for a perfect desk plant.
15. Pilea Baby Tears
Pilea Baby Tears are cute, vining plants that can bring some happiness to your desk or shelf in your office. They do require brighter light so if you are lucky enough to have a brightly lit spot in your office, the pilea may work well for you.
Overall, office and houseplants are benefical when given the right environment. Visit our website or shop to find the right plants for you and your space! As we say, there are never enough plants!