Of all the ways to improve the look and feel of your office, one of the most impactful solutions is also the most simple: indoor plants.
Let’s face it: if you’re working from home or in the office, you’re seldom outside. Adding some greenery to your workspace will only reduce stress, boost productivity, and improve your overall well-being.
Why are plants good to have in the office?
Indoor plants can enrich both our environment as well as our everyday life. Here are a few reasons why:
1. They help beautify the scenery
The clearest benefit of an indoor plant is that it enhances your working environment. An office can be a dull and gray setting, but a single potted plant can bring vibrancy to an entire room. It adds much needed color, life, and nature to the workplace.
2. They boost productivity
You may be surprised to learn that plants can also boost workplace productivity! A 2014 study done by a team of psychologists from Exeter University found that by incorporating even a few indoor plants in the workspace helped employees become more productive by as much as 15%. Those who took part in the study felt better and more energized which easily translated into their performance by helping with memory retention and productivity.
3. They produce cleaner air
A team of researchers from Purdue University’s Living Labs found that humans and ventilation systems impact the quality of indoor air more than any other source. Without proper ventilation, workers can become unproductive or develop severe health issues. Plants can counteract poor ventilation by producing oxygen. Having a good number of plants around each room is guaranteed to improve the overall air quality. In fact, a study conducted by NASA has found that plants indoors reduce nearly 90% of toxins in the air.
4. They make people happier
Plants can elevate one’s mood, plain and simple. It’s no small wonder then that tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Uber incorporate greenery in their famous office campuses. Just one glance at a plant, and we immediately feel more content and more human again.
Our recommended office plants
While there are countless varieties of indoor plants, some are better suited for the office than others. Here are some of the best office plants you may want to have in your office.
Potted Plants For Your Desk
- Aloe vera
The aloe vera is a short-stemmed plant that has thick, green, fleshy leaves that spring out from its central stem. This species of plant is commonly found in a multitude of consumer products such as skin lotion, beverages, and ointments due to its therapeutic properties. Having an aloe vera plant on your desk is an excellent plant to start out with due to its form and low maintenance care.
There is a wide variety of plants that are considered to be succulents. Succulents in general have thick leaves used to retain water in arid climates and harsh soil. These types of plants are extremely low maintenance, only occasionally needing water. In fact, too much watering can actually cause succulents to rot.
Some common and popular succulents that would be perfect for your desk are the Echeveria ‘Black Prince’, Chalk dudleya, Kalanchoe tomentosa, Butterworts, and Crassula ovata or more commonly known as the jade plant.
- Peace lilies
Peace lilies have broad, wide, thick green leaves that grow small beautiful white flowers when properly taken care of. One of the easiest plants to take care of, a peace lily does not need sunlight and can thrive in artificial office light. After just a few weeks of low light and the occasional water, you soon start to see the flower grow. As a low maintenance, adaptable houseplant, a peace lily is perfect for busy office workers that have an interest in plants./’
- The Chlorophytum comosum or spider plant
One of the most adaptable houseplants and easy to tend. This plant can tolerate all levels of light so you don’t have to worry about making sure this plant is beside a window or lamp. It’s a top pick for residents in a studio loft or apartment as the aesthetic is simple and adapts well to various interior styles.
- The Dracaena marginata or dragon tree
Despite the name, this plant isn’t actually a tree but still a long-lasting plant to have in the corner of a room. It isn’t too intrusive as the stem and leaves of this plant tends to grow more vertically compared to most indoor plants. Its leaves are long and narrow, with a hint of red along the edges. They are considered strong and drought-tolerant, which is an ideal trait for indoor plants.
- Sansevieria trifasciata or snake plant
This plant also grows vertically with thicker leaves. Considered to be one of the most tolerant plants, the snake plant can survive weeks without water and still come out looking fresh and healthy. This is perfect for busy individuals that may not have the time to do proper research in plant care. It also helps that this plant is easy to incorporate in almost all aesthetics.
Ideal tall office plants
- Ficus elastica or rubber plant
A popular plant for those with a bit more space to spare. With proper care, these plants are able to grow tall and produce beautiful leaves with a waxy texture and a rubber-like appearance, hence the name. This is a great plant for those working at home looking to try and grow a plant.
- The Ficus lyrata or fiddle-leaf fig
The most popular house plant amongst enthusiasts. It is the poster child for luxurious homes in movies and magazines. A simple but elegant plant, the fiddle-leaf fig is a must for those who want to add a bit of class in their workspace. However, make sure to place this plant near windows as it needs sunlight to grow.
Bamboo doesn’t come up nearly as much as other plant suggestions, but it can be just as beautiful and energizing. Bamboos need ample amounts of indirect sunlight to stay healthy. However, too much sunlight could end up burning the plant. Otherwise, this is a great plant to have, and even pair with other plants like the bonsai tree.
For first-time plant parents, check out the Devil’s Ivy, Japanese Sago, and Chamaedorea. These plants have varying degrees of maintenance but generally easy to care for. The Devil’s Ivy is perfect for extremely busy professionals as it’s highly unlikely to rot from neglect. The Japanese Sago and Chamaedorea generally need adequate sunlight and a regular watering cycle. These two are good for those trying out a routine of plant care.
Office plant considerations
When choosing a plant, make sure to take into account certain allergies that might get triggered. It’s alright if you have to return a plant if you find out that you or your coworkers have a negative reaction to certain plants. Make sure to check with your doctor exactly what is triggering and maybe you can find a better alternative plant for you.
While plants can be inexpensive, be sure to consider the costs involved. Not only with the initial purchase of the plant, but you’ll also have to consider water and soil expenses as well. You also have your vase or pot to think about. Make sure to plan ahead and treat plant ownership as sort of like a pet that has needs and wants.
How to care for your office plant
Caring for your office plant is all about careful research, and if you’ve gotten this far, you’re already on the right path.
Each type of plant has its own water requirements that you must follow. A watering cycle is also needed for most plants, even the low maintenance ones. Some would need a quick spray once in a while. Others might need a good amount every couple of days. In order for your plant to keep you healthy, you have to keep your plant healthy as well. Check online to ensure you’re never over or underwatering your plants.
Placement is important to consider to ensure your plant gets an ample amount of sunlight, usually by a window, in a garden, or on a green roof. If this is too difficult, choose a plant that will thrive in the shade, like the Devil’s Ivy.
Finally, fertilizer provides much-needed nutrients for your plants. There two types of fertilizer, namely mineral and organic. Each one has a purpose and different fertilizers are required by different plants. Once you’ve picked out a plant, make sure to research its needs to keep it healthy and looking green.
Overall, remember to check on your plants frequently, and pay attention to how they react to the amount of sunlight and water you give them. It may take a few weeks to notice, but it’ll pay off in the long run.