Office Plants: Succulents, Snake Plants and Spider Plants Oh My!

It’s a sad-but-true fact. Most of your waking hours are spent behind the walls of your office or cubicle. Spending so much time behind office walls can make you feel deprived, especially if you’re the type who loves the outdoors. However, adding a few office plants to your workspace can bring the benefits of the outdoors indoors and help you grow on the job!

The benefits of office plants abound. According to a study from Texas A&M University, plants can significantly lower workplace stress and help increase productivity. Additionally, office plants can make your office space more pleasant. Plants can add humidity and remove toxins from the air around your desk and can add some style to your surroundings. Learn more about office plants and how a few green leaves can make your space a little more pleasant.

benefits of indoor plants

Benefits of Indoor Plants for an Office Environment

There are a few science-backed benefits of adding plants to your office space. From purifying the air to adding increasing your productivity, adding plants to your workspace is a great idea.

Benefits of adding indoor plants to your office environment include:

  • Better indoor air quality: Studies suggest that Americans spend up to 90 percent of their days indoors. This can add up to a lot of time breathing recycled office air. Adding plants to the indoor space where you spend the most time, like your office, can boost air quality.
  • Extra humidity in the air: Did you know that plants release up to 97 percent of the water they take in? This adds extra humidity to the air and can add needed moisture to dry, stuffy office air. The added humidity from plants and decrease ailments like dry skin, sore throats, colds and dry coughs.
  • Filtered air: Indoor air can be even more polluted than the outdoor air in some places. Compounds in building materials, paint, furnishings and other indoor objects can give off compounds which add pollutants to the air around us. Plants can help removes this pollution. According to a NASA study, indoor plants can remove 87 percent of pollution called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. This includes nasty stuff like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
  • Increased productivity: Office plants can put you in go mode. It’s science. A study from Texas A&M University proved it.  Workers who were in a room with plants brainstormed 13 percent more ideas compared to workers in a room with sculptures. A study from The Royal College of Agriculture in England had similar findings.  The research found that students in a classroom with plants demonstrate more attentiveness compared to their peers in rooms without plants.
  • Promoting good health: Because plants remove VOCs and add humidity to the air, they promote good health. According to a study from the Agricultural University of Norway, sick days can fall up to 60 percent when a workspace is filled with plants.

With so many benefits of adding office plants to your workspace, isn’t it time you go green at your desk?

Best Office Plants for a Green Workspace

There’s more to office plants than being able to post pictures hashtagged #PlantMom on your Instagram. When you’re looking to green up your office space, you want low maintenance plants that require little care and attention. They need to thrive under fluorescent lights.

You’ll find that many plants meet this criteria. Learn more about plants that will do well in an office environment.

Aloe Vera

You might rub aloe vera into your skin when you have a sunburn. But did you know it comes from a plant? An aloe vera plant is a good office plant because it requires little care and attention. It purifies the air and takes little water. Aloe should be planted in a wide pot. It’s important to use a potting mix that drains well. Aloe vera grows best with full sun, so be sure it put it in a bright spot. No natural light in your office? It will also grow under fluorescent lights.

English Ivy

English Ivy is a perfect office companion because it requires little care. English Ivy plants grow best under medium light or shade. Little water is required. It is a climbing plant, so place it in a spot where it can grow and extend its reach. While the plant is young, it is wise to keep the soil moist. When it matures, it can handle dry soil and little light.

ZZ Plant

Considered indestructible, the ZZ plant will thrive in an office environment. It can withstand months of neglect and still have lush, green waxy leaves. The ZZ plant is a succulent. It is tolerant of low light and can thrive with very little water. In fact, overwatering is practically the only way to kill this plant.

African Violet

Don’t let the delicate flowers of an African violet plant fool you - this little guy is a hearty choice for your office. This plant with fuzzy leaves tolerates the same conditions you do: average humidity and room temperature. A fluorescent light aimed at the plant is all it needs to produce blooms. Mini African violets only need a pot six inches in diameter, so you’ll find room even on the most cluttered desk.

Lucky Bamboobest office plants

Lucky bamboo can be a fun addition to your desk. Growers can shape the stems into spirals, weaves and other fun shapes. It’s also easy to care for. Lucky bamboo grows quickly. It requires little light and can even grow without soil when the stems are in water. To care for lucky bamboo, make sure the water level stays above the stems.

Snake Plant

Also called Sansevieria or mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plants are another practically indestructible option. They thrive in all kinds of light and require little care. The best way to care for a snake plant is to leave it alone. Just dump what’s left in your water bottle on it on your way out the door on Fridays and you’re good. Be sure to get a miniature variety for your desk, as some kinds of snake plants can grow to be several feet tall. Look for Whitney or Futura Superba varieties.

Air Plants

Air plants grow without soil. This means you need to think outside the pot. Consider attaching your office air plants to a rustic piece of driftwood, placing them in a terrarium or even displaying them in a seashell. There are several hundred species of air plants. Also called Tillandsia, air plants are a kind of bromeliad. Air plants require little care. Simply mist the plant with water once a week.

Regardless of whether you want to boost productivity, are concerned about air quality or just want to add some style, adding office plants to your workspace is a great idea. Transform your office environment and start reaping the benefits today.


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