August 29, 2016

20 Indoor Plants That Can Improve Your Office Environment


Office PlantsEDIT

Plants can add a lot of organic character to an otherwise drab office environment.

They can improve air quality and remove impurities.

They can add a focal point to your work environment.

They can even create helpful separations between workplaces — and a source of peaceful contemplation during your hectic day.

Here’s a list of 20 indoor plants to consider for your office environment. Be sure to choose one that fulfills the needs of your work space. Enjoy!

Jade Plantindoor office plants

Jade, or Crassula ovata, is a small, succulent plant with small flowers. It requires minimal watering.

In Japanese folklore, the jade plant is known as the “money plant.” Legend has it that its presence brings financial success. The reason for having this plant in your office should be crystal clear!

African Violet

indoor office plants

The African violet, or Saintpaulia, is a flowering plant that requires a bit more maintenance than some of the others on this list. However, it takes up very little space, so it can be perfect for small desktops.

Peace Lily

indoor office plants

The peace lily, or Spathiphyllum, is a large, space-filling plant that can also clean the air.

Better yet, it can grow even in low office lighting. The peace lily is ideal for an office space that lacks big windows.

Chinese Evergreen

indoor office plants

Chinese Evergreen, or Aglaonema, makes a great office plant because it requires very little maintenance. It can also thrive in low light and remove toxins from the air.

English Ivy

indoor office plants

This plant, also known as Hedera helix, is a clinging evergreen vine that can reduce airborne fecal matter particles and filter out formaldehyde.

As disturbing as it is to know those airborne particles exist, it’s good English Ivy can take care of it. This is another plant ideal for those stale office environments lacking a lot of fresh air circulating.

Parlor Palm

indoor office plants

The parlor palm, or Chamaedorea elegans, is actually a small palm tree. This plant is ideal for creating natural separation of space in your office. And on those cold winter days, it can also add a bit of a tropical feel. The parlor palm is perfect for offices because it doesn’t require a lot of light either.

Snake Plant

indoor office plants

The snake plant, or Sansevieria trifasciata, has leaves that can grow fairly tall. The shooting dark green leaves have bands of a bright yellow-green on the outside. A healthy snake plant definitely attracts the eye. And a few together make another natural partition.

Gerber Daisy

indoor office plants

This flowering plant, also known as Gerbara, is a plant that can filter toxins like benzene, a substance that can be emitted by some printing systems.

Philodendrons

indoor office plants

These plants are large climbers, which means they can add some height to small areas. Philodendrons can also survive without a lot of maintenance.

Cactus

indoor office plants

These plants are small and come in several different varieties. They do require a significant amount of sunlight, so they are not recommended for dimly lit offices. If you’ve got a window sill that gets a lot of sunlight and tend to be forgetful, a cactus or multiple cacti would be ideal. More often than not, they’d prefer you forget to water them once in awhile.

Warneck Dracaena

indoor office plants

This shrub, also known as Dracaena reflexa, can grow to be very tall. It’s another plant that can provide separation of different office areas. And it also combats pollutants commonly found in varnishes and oils. If your office space has hardwood floors, this shooting plant would be ideal.

Ming Aralia

indoor office plants

The Ming Aralia, or Polyscias fruticosa, is a tall, bushy plant. It’s perfect for offices that require a bit of privacy between workstations. It also only requires water every couple of weeks.

Spider Plant

indoor office plants

This plant, also known as Chlorophytum comosum, is one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. It is often displayed in hanging baskets, so it can also create some visual interest in an office space.

Weeping Fig

indoor office plants

The weeping fig, or Ficus benjamina, is a large plant that can filter pollutants from carpets and furniture, such as formaldehyde and benzene. The waxy green leaves on the weeping fig even look the part of the plastic jungle that this plant should help replace.

ZZ Plant

indoor office plants

The ZZ Plant, or Zamioculas zamiifolia, is one of the most low-maintenance plants you can find. In addition, it can add a tropical feel to your space. And, as a bonus, some of the plants even produce flowers.

Aloe

indoor office plants

Aloe plants are small enough to easily fit on most desks. They also have air-filtering qualities, with the ability to remove things like formaldehyde and benzene from the air. The gel inside the plant can also be used to treat cuts and burns.

Umbrella Tree

indoor office plants

The umbrella tree, or Schefflera arboricola, can grow to be quite tall. It’s perfect for creating office privacy. But there are also smaller dwarf versions for desktops.

Fittonia

indoor office plants

This plant, which is sometimes also referred to as the nerve plant or mosaic plant, can work well in offices because it actually thrives on fluorescent light.

Plus, the over-sized, inside-out look on the leaves of the Fittonia ca serve as quite a focal point in your office space.

Pothos

indoor office plants

The Pothos Plant, or Epipremnum aureum, is a flowering plant that can fit perfectly on most desktops, though it may require occasional trimming. Aside from that, it’s very low maintenance and can be left on a desk for lengthy periods without needing much care.

Azalea

indoor office plants

This flowering shrub is not only visually appealing, but it can also filter the air to combat formaldehyde. The plant thrives mainly in cool environments, so keep that thermostat low.

Whether your concern is air quality or simply a bit of visual appeal, there are a variety of choices for office plants. Start thinking about transforming your office environment today.

Plants image via Shutterstock, Images: Wikipedia

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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24 Reactions

  1. Anita Campbell

    Hi Annie, Great article!

    I love Ming Aralias. They are elegant plants. I got one in 2001 as a gift when I let my corporate employer, and it lived in a pot (repotted a few times) until 2013. Twelve years and it was gorgeous. I put it out on my deck during the summer months in a semi-shaded spot. I highly recommend them.

    But the easiest to grow indoors has to be the Pothos. They will even grow in water for a time.

    – Anita

    • Annie Pilon

      Thank you! I’m all about low maintenance so I pretty much stick to cacti and succulents. But I did learn a lot about some other good options writing this post.

  2. That’s actually really interesting, Annie. I didn’t know some plants could clean the air. My friend has several plants in her kitchen. I recognise one of them as the first on your list.

  3. Martin Lindeskog

    I have had a Jade (Crassula ovata) plant in the past. I didn’t know it was called the money plant! 🙂

    I have had several cactus plants and liked that kind of sticky style! 😉

    How about a chile pepper plant?

    • Annie Pilon

      I have a couple of jade plants too, and I actually didn’t know about them being called the money plant either until I wrote this. Hopefully it actually works 😉

      • Martin Lindeskog

        Annie,

        Growing chile pepper plants lead to a potential money making idea that I have “planted” (pun intended 😉 ) to chile-head and owner of an orangery / hothouse. We will be marketing a new olive oil with chile peppers.

      • Anita Campbell

        I have a jade plant that I’ve had inside for almost a decade. It now looks like a small tree. It can withstand a lot of neglect — not that I neglect my plants. 🙂

  4. Nice article! However, I have always known the plant you call “Snake Plant” as the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” …for obvious reasons!

  5. If anyone is hoping to improve the office environment with live plants, they would be well advised to consult a professional. These can be found by searching “plant care companies”. Unless someone in the office happens to be especially knowledgeable about indoor plants, using a DIY approach is unlikely to be successful. For instance, some of the plants in this list – azalea, gerbera, english ivy, fittonia – would never be used by a professional interior landscaper (the actual name of the industry that supplies and cares for plants in offices, hotels, etc.) because they have been proved to fail rather rapidly, usually because they require more light than is commonly available, or because they don’t withstand the challenges of office life. Investing in live plants has many benefits. You’ll be happier with the outcome, however, if you use a professional service.

    • If it is your own personal cube or space like the offices of today I disagree – just replace them. It’s cheaper than a cut flowers. An orchid for 3 months is worth it even if it doesn’t live.

    • Don’t you love it when a “professional” comes out of the woodwork giving you all the reasons you should hire someone else to do your hobby right? Please, your advice would be helpful. But your sales approach is offensive. Why can’t you make comments about the right or wrong plants, or how to grow them without the sales pitch?

  6. Just bookmarked it and try to find plants that more colorful to fill my desk.

  7. Hi I just bought a ivy plant and a fern plant and would like to know if it’s ok to put in my small office space it’s like a room size 8 by 8 will it be ok to keep them there I am making like a yoga room is it ok to have them.there in a tight space

  8. All of these are always in demand on our website… my favourite are the Gerber Daisies, they just add a great feel to the office! Plant and flower displays always look superb and we can also help with their upkeep. Plants take in carbon dioxide from the air, and emit oxygen through their natural growing process. Humans do the opposite. So when you have an office full of humans emitting carbon dioxide, they are going to need more oxygen in order to stay productive. Research suggests that those sitting at computer monitors will be 12% more productive when there are plants nearby. You simply can’t introduce a better method of making people more alert.

  9. margarita medina

    That’s so funny, I have both an aloe vera and a spider plant at the office. They certainly make the room more cheerful! I’ll look for a jade plant as well at my local garden centre. Thanks fore the article!

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