Plants can add a lot of organic character to an otherwise drab office environment. Having small indoor plants will improve the air quality and remove impurities while adding a focal point to your work environment.
You can also use large house plants to create helpful separations between workplaces — and a source of peaceful contemplation during your hectic day.
A research (PDF) carried out by Dr. Roger S. Ulrich of Texas A&M University and Helen Russell, Surrey University, England as well as other studies conducted by Dr. Virginia Lohr of Washington State University, have revealed plants significantly lower workplace stress and enhance productivity.
The participants in Dr. Lohr’s study were 12 percent more productive and less stressed than participants who were working without plants in their environment.
Small Indoor Plants
One of the benefits of small indoor plants is they are easy to take care of, and they are resilient. With minimal care, you can keep the plant around your desk or in other parts of the office for a very long time. Key to making this happen is choosing the right plant.
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 workspace. Enjoy!
1. Jade Plant
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 its presence brings financial success. The reason for having this plant in your office should be crystal clear!
2. African Violet
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.
3. Peace Lily
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.
4. Chinese Evergreen
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.
5. English Ivy
English Ivy, 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.
6. Parlor Palm
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.
7. Snake Plant
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.
8. Gerber Daisy
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.
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 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 a while.
11. Warneck Dracaena
Warneck Dracaena, 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.
12. Ming Aralia
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.
13. Spider Plant
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.
14. Weeping Fig
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.
15. ZZ Plant
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 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.
17. Umbrella Tree
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.
This Fittonia, 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 can serve as quite a focal point in your office space.
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.
The Azalea 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