The Ultimate Guide to the Best Office Desk Plants


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It’s essential to create a comfortable and productive workspace. One way to achieve this is by incorporating office desk plants into your daily surroundings.

In this article, we’ll explore the best office desk plants to brighten your mood. We’ll guide you through the process of selecting the perfect plant for your space, provide essential care instructions for each plant, and delve into the numerous benefits and importance of having these green companions at your desk.

So, get ready to transform your workspace into a thriving, calming oasis that nurtures productivity and well-being.

Importance of having plants at your desk

Having plants at your office desk offers benefits that can significantly enhance your work experience.

First and foremost, desk plants have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, promoting a sense of calm and well-being. They also improve air quality by absorbing toxins and releasing oxygen, contributing to a healthier work environment. Furthermore, desk plants can boost productivity and creativity by providing a visually pleasing, natural element that breaks the monotony of the office space.

Caring for plants can instill a sense of responsibility and foster mindfulness, ultimately enhancing overall job satisfaction and work-life balance.

office desk plants

Top 20 Office Desk Plants

Below is a list of 20 of the best office plants for most environments. These plants are all considered low-maintenance indoor plants and are comparatively easier to care for than other plants.

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

  • Pothos plants, also known as Devil’s Ivy, are popular office plants due to their low maintenance and air-purifying benefits. Their trailing vines and heart-shaped leaves add a touch of greenery to any workspace.
  • Pothos plants thrive in low to bright indirect light and require watering when the top inch of soil is dry. They can also be easily propagated from stem cuttings, making them an affordable and attractive addition to any office.
  • Buy on Etsy

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

  • Spider plants also have air-purifying benefits and make great office plants. They produce small, white flowers and spiderettes, or baby plants, that can be propagated to create new plants. Aside from being an attractive desk plant, a spider plant also works well and looks fantastic as a hanging plant.
  • Spider plants prefer bright, indirect light and can tolerate occasional drying out between waterings.
  • Buy on Etsy

Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

  • Snake plants are hardy indoor plants that release oxygen at night, making them ideal for improving indoor air quality. The tall, upright leaves and striking vertical lines of the snake plant make a bold statement as desk décor.
  • Snake plants prefer bright, indirect light but can also tolerate low-light conditions. These plants require infrequent watering and are great for busy offices
  • Buy on Etsy

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

  • A peace lily is a low-light plant with attractive foliage and the ability to thrive in low-light conditions. Peace lily plants also can remove harmful toxins from the air.
  • Peace lilies require moderate watering and prefer moist soil. They also benefit from occasional fertilization and can bloom beautiful white flowers in the right conditions. Please note: Peace lilies are toxic to pets if ingested.
  • Buy on Etsy

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

  • With their thick, waxy leaves and upright growth, ZZ Plants add a unique touch to any workspace. They are also great for improving indoor air quality, and removing toxins such as benzene and toluene.
  • ZZ plants do well in low light and can go weeks without watering. Please note: ZZ plants are toxic if ingested, so it’s important to keep them away from pets and children.
  • Buy on Etsy

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

  • English Ivy is a trailing plant with attractive, variegated leaves. It has air-purifying benefits, removing harmful pollutants from the air.
  • English Ivy prefers bright, indirect sunlight and needs to be kept evenly moist. It’s also important to keep the leaves clean and free of dust to prevent pest infestations. Please note: English Ivy is toxic if ingested.
  • Buy on Etsy

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

  • Lucky bamboo plants have long, slender stems often shaped into unique designs and are believed to bring good luck and positive energy to the workspace. They’re also not really bamboo – they’re actually a type of Dracaena plant.
  • These popular office plants require very little maintenance. Lucky Bamboo plants can grow in low light conditions and only need to be watered every few weeks.
  • Buy on Etsy

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

  • Rubber plants have large, shiny leaves and air-purifying properties. They are easy to care for and are known to remove harmful toxins such as formaldehyde from the air
  • They prefer indirect bright light and need to be kept evenly moist. Rubber plants can grow quite tall, making them a statement plant in any workspace. Please note: Rubber plants are toxic to pets if ingested.
  • Buy on Etsy

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

  • Jade plants are known for their air-purifying benefits, removing harmful toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde from the air. They are also believed to bring good luck and prosperity to the workspace.
  • Jade plants prefer indirect bright light and need to be watered thoroughly when the soil is dry. They are also susceptible to overwatering, so it’s important to let the soil completely dry out between waterings.
  • Buy on Etsy

Philodendron (Philodendron spp.)

  • Philodendrons are a popular choice for office plants due to their attractive, heart-shaped leaves and air-purifying properties. Their green foliage is an eye-catching addition to anyone’s desk space.
  • This indoor plant prefers bright, indirect light and requires moderate watering. Philodendrons can also be easily propagated from stem cuttings.
  • Buy on Etsy

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

  • Boston ferns are classic office plants. Their delicate, feathery fronds provide solid green foliage and are great as a desk plant or a hanging plant.
  • Boston ferns prefer bright light that is indirect and require regular watering to keep their soil moist.
  • Buy on Etsy

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

  • Chinese evergreens are popular office plants due to their attractive foliage and variety of leaf patterns and colors. They also contain air-purifying properties.
  • These plants thrive in low light conditions and only need to be watered when the top inch of soil is dry. Chinese evergreens are non-toxic and safe to have around pets.
  • Buy on Etsy

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

  • The healing gel that comes from the aloe vera plant is well known, and they are also great for improving indoor air quality.
  • Aloe vera plants prefer about 6 hours per day of direct sunlight and only need to be watered when the top inch of soil is dry. The soil should be completely dry in between waterings.
  • Buy on Etsy

Fittonia (Fittonia albivenis)

  • Their striking, veined leaves and low maintenance requirements make the Fittonia an ideal office plant. They are also easy to propagate and can be grown in terrariums or on their own.
  • Fittonia plants prefer bright, indirect light and need to be kept moist, but not waterlogged, so there’s no need for constant watering.
  • Buy on Etsy

Umbrella Plant (Schefflera)

  • Umbrella plants have bright green leaves and are known for their ability to remove harmful pollutants from the air. They can also grow quite tall, making them a statement plant in any workspace.
  • Umbrella plants can survive in medium light but prefer at least 4 hours of brighter light. They need to be watered when the top inch of the soil is dry. They are non-toxic and pet friendly.
  • Buy on Etsy

Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

  • Parlor plants, also known as palm plants, are popular office desk plants due to their tropical appearance and air-purifying properties. They are also pet friendly.
  • Parlor plants thrive in medium light to bright indirect light, but cannot tolerate direct sunlight. They need to be watered when the top inch of the soil is dry.
  • Buy on Etsy

Air Plants (Tillandsia)

  • Air plants are the ultimate low-maintenance plant – they don’t even need soil! Air plants have a unique appearance and can be mounted on various surfaces. Get creative!
  • Air plants can tolerate lower light, like that of a dimly lit office. They can handle some direct sunlight, but not for too long at once.
  • Buy on Etsy

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

  • The glossy green leaves of the cast iron plant add a pop of color to any workspace. They are pet friendly and have air-purifying properties.
  • Cast iron plants are extremely hardy. They do well in low light as well as different temperatures – air conditioning is not a problem! They also do not require much watering.
  • Buy on Etsy

Cactus (Cactaceae family)

  • Cactus plants come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are also great for improving indoor air quality and have been used for medicinal purposes.
  • There are several types of cactus plants, so be sure to follow the light requirements of the specific kind. Generally, though, indirect sunlight is best. Cacti only need to be watered about once per month.
  • Buy on Etsy

Succulents (Various species)

  • Succulents also come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Their thick, fleshy leaves store water, allowing them to survive in dry environments.
  • Again, check for the light requirements of the specific genus of succulents. However, most succulents tolerate low light, although they prefer bright light, and can go for long periods without water.
  • Buy on Etsy

How to Choose the Right Plant for Your Office

  • When looking for the best plants for your desk, consider the size and layout of your workspace, temperature and humidity levels, and any potential allergies or toxicity concerns. Observe the amount and quality of natural light that reaches your workspace and choose plants that are well-suited to those conditions

Plant Accessories for Your Office Desk

  • Stylish pots and containers
  • Plant stands
  • Watering gadgets

Benefits of having office desk plants

Here are 10 remarkable benefits of incorporating desk plants into your office or workspace:

Improved air quality: Plants absorb pollutants and release oxygen, resulting in cleaner air.

Reduced stress: The presence of plants can lower stress levels and improve overall well-being.

Enhanced productivity: A greener workspace promotes focus, efficiency, and better performance.

Increased creativity: Plants can inspire innovative thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Noise reduction: Plants help absorb and diffuse sounds, contributing to a quieter environment.

Humidity regulation: Plants release moisture, naturally balancing indoor humidity levels.

Enhanced aesthetics: Greenery adds visual appeal and can make a workspace more inviting.

Better mental health: Desk plants encourage a sense of calm, reducing anxiety and depression.

Strengthened immune system: Cleaner air and reduced stress can contribute to better overall health.

Mindfulness and responsibility: Caring for plants promotes attentiveness and nurtures a sense of ownership.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about office desk plants:

What are the benefits of having plants at your office desk?

Having plants at your office desk has numerous benefits for both your physical and mental well-being. Plants help purify the air by removing harmful pollutants, which can improve overall air quality and reduce the risk of illness. They can also reduce stress and improve mood, making for a more positive work environment. Studies have shown that the presence of plants in the workplace can increase productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction. Additionally, plants can add a touch of nature and visual interest to an otherwise dull desk.

Can having plants at your office desk help reduce stress?

Yes, having plants at your desk can help reduce stress. Studies have shown that the presence of plants in the workplace can have a calming effect, reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. This is because plants can help regulate air quality and add a natural element to the workspace, creating a more pleasant and relaxing environment. Additionally, caring for plants can be a therapeutic activity, providing a break from work-related stress and promoting a sense of accomplishment.

How do I know which plant is best for my office environment?

Choosing the best desk plant for your workspace depends on several factors. First, consider the lighting conditions of your workspace. Some plants, such as succulents, thrive in bright, direct sunlight, while others, such as snake plants, prefer low-light conditions. Also, consider the amount of care and attention you are able to provide. Some plants, such as cacti, require minimal watering and care, while others, such as peace lilies, require more frequent attention. Additionally, consider the size of your workspace and choose a plant that will fit comfortably on your desk or shelf. Finally, consider any potential allergies or toxicity concerns, especially if you have pets or children in the office.

What are some low-maintenance plants for my office desk?

Some examples of low-maintenance office desk plants include snake plants, ZZ plants, pothos, spider plants, jade plants, and cast iron plants. These plants require minimal care and attention, making them a great choice for busy workspaces

How can I ensure my office plants thrive and stay healthy?

To ensure your office plants thrive and stay healthy, it’s important to provide them with the proper care and environment. This includes providing the right amount of light, water, and nutrients. Be sure to choose plants that are well-suited to your office and can thrive in the lighting conditions available. Avoid overwatering or underwatering your plants, and fertilize them occasionally to promote growth. Regularly dusting the leaves can also help keep your plants healthy. Finally, monitor your plants for signs of pests or disease and take appropriate action if needed.

Image: Depositphotos


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Small Business Editor Liane Lonergan is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and a member of the team for 2 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications and is a former English teacher. She has written news articles and essays throughout her collegiate and professional careers.