Top 6 Plants for Your Office
As the world opens up again more and more people are returning to the office. Now that you have to wear pants again after living in pajamas for two years, you deserve to have a spruced-up workspace. Adding a plant or two to your desk or office is a great way to make your space feel homey.
Work spaces often have very different conditions than our homes. You may not have control over the heating or air-conditioning. Perhaps you have a shared space so you need a plant that will fit on your personal desk. Is your desk close to a window that has lots of light? Or maybe you don't have a lot of natural light. Do you travel often for work and need something that won’t die while you’re away? There are lots of things to consider when choosing the right plant for your office.
Here are our top 6 recommendations for office plants:
- Cacti and succulents
This option is only appropriate if you have a lot of sunlight. Cacti and succulents grow slowly and will stay compact, making them ideal for desktops and window sills. These plants come in a huge variety of shapes, colours, and textures, so they suit every taste. Succulents store water in their fleshy leaves and bodies so you will only need to water them when their soil is full dry — often only every few weeks. And it's these same fleshy leaves that helps the plant to withstand drastic temperature fluctuations.
The peperomia family is as big as its name. We like to think of them as medium-light succulents because they'd rather be too dry than too wet. They also tend to stay pretty compact making them a perfect choice for a desktop. Like cacti and succulents, they come in a huge variety of colours, shapes, and textures. A neat trick for knowing when it's time to water a peperomia is to gently squeeze the sides of its leaves. If the leaf is still stiff it doesn't need a drink yet. Also pet-safe in case you need it to be.
Aglaonemas are sometimes referred to by their common name, Chinese Evergreens. These are showy plants that are prized for their interesting leaf patterns. You can find stripes, spots, and even camouflage patterns in greens, silvers, pinks, reds, and yellows. Think of them as a living bouquet of flowers! Aglaonemas do well in bright-indirect to medium light and only need a drink every 2 to 3 weeks. They aren't terribly fussy about humidity so long as they are not placed directly on or under a vent.
- Snakeplants (Sansevierias)
These classic houseplants are beloved for a reason: they're tough as nails! Snakeplants thrive in almost any light and only require watering once a month. Choose a small one for your desktop or a larger one as a floor plant. They usually max out at around 4 feet tall so add a stand if you want to cheat the height a bit more. As a bonus they tend to grow straight upright, so you won't have to worry about an ever increasing wingspan. Look for snakeplants in a variety of colours and patterns to brighten your office.
- ZZ Plants
The humble ZZ Plant is an office superstar because it thrives on neglect! This plant will tolerate the lowest light of all houseplants. Just remember that low light does not mean no light. And they are extremely drought-tolerant so they won't need a drink more than once a month. ZZs grow slower than other plants, so you can start with a desk plant and in a few years it could be a medium-sized floor plant.
Here is your chance to add a tall floor plant to your office. Dracaenas grow tall but don't get a large wingspan, so they are the perfect decor for a bare corner. They are perfect for bright-indirect to medium light and are not fussy about humidity or temperature fluctuations. And because they only need a drink every 2 to 3 weeks you can relax on your vacation knowing it will be just fine.
Bonus: Dracaenas also have shallow root systems so you won't need to repot it for a couple years. So if you are investing in a stylish pot to fit your office decor you know you'll get a lot of use out of it.
Of course your specific office conditions will vary, but as a general rule here are some plants to avoid at the office:
- Plants that require high humidity.
Unless you are able to use a humidifier, it is unlikely humidity-loving plants will thrive in a dry office. And you may not want to mix your electronics and paperwork with misters or humidifiers. This means that palms, calatheas, ferns, and aralias are out.
- Plants that have very thin or delicate leaves.
Generally plants that have delicate thin leaves are more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Choose plants that have thicker, more fleshy leaves as they will be able to withstand air-conditioning and winter heating systems.
- Plants that are high maintenance.
If you are out of the office for several days to weeks at a time, you won't want to choose a plant that needs water every few days. Stay away from thirsty plants that need to stay constantly moist like fittonias, polkadot plants, calatheas, and ferns.
- Plants that need high light or full sun.
This one only applies if you don't have great natural light in your workspace. Nothing is more disheartening than a plant that is in decline. Be sure to choose the right plant for the lighting conditions you have.