office plants

office plants

Posted by Megan Nichols on Aug 21st 2020

Whether your office is currently at your location of employment or you’ve relocated to your home, growing plants in your office can provide a bevy of benefits.

Enjoy the perks of growing plants in an office space (or any indoor space):

  • Improves air quality by increasing oxygen and decreasing toxins
  • Increases humidity making for healthier throats, lungs, and skin
  • Increases focus and mental function and reduces stress
  • Boosts mental health and promotes mental well-being

When choosing which plants to grow, the first consideration is the amount and type of light a given office space receives throughout the day.

Low Light

Many traditional office spaces are low light. Desks are often far from windows and florescent lighting provides most of the light. Even at home, an office with only a North facing window or windows that are obstructed by trees, houses, or other buildings will be considered low light situation. Plants need to at least be able to see the sky. Provided they can, the following will do well in a low light office.


Also called snake plant, the highly structural growth habit complements any office space and is incredibly easy to grow and care for. Water when soil is dry throughout, about once a month. Water to run through, let drain and do not allow the plant to sit in standing water. Sansevieria like to be pot bound, so until they are practically warping their container they do not need to be replanted.


Extremely slow growing, ZZ will grow even more slowly in low light but do tolerate it. Water about once a month in the same manner as Sansevieria.

Peace Lily

One of the few flowering, low light plants, Peace lilies do fine in low light and easy to care for. Water thoroughly when the top two inches of soil is dry.

Cast Iron Plant

Like the name implies, this plant is incredibly tough, making it easy to care for. Water thoroughly and let drain when soil is dry throughout.

Other excellent low light plant choices include:

  • Neon Pothos
  • Tradescantia
  • Dracaena 

Medium or Bright Indirect Light


It’s fun to collect a variety of Pothos, especially because they are super easy care. Water when the top inch of soil is dry. Allow plant to drain and soil to dry between waterings. Pothos are very forgiving and can tolerate a missed watering here and there.


This is one of those tough-as-nails plants – it’s hard to kill even if you try. There are vining and upright varieties of philodendrons, pick one or a few that appeal to you and you’re all set. Philodendrons do not like to be too wet. Water when the top inch or two of soil is dry and empty the saucer after a few minutes to prevent rot.


Hoyas have been a favorite indoor plant for decades. Long tendrils love to climb on and around things and, over time, Hoya can encircle a room. Thoroughly soak Hoyas and let drain, then let the soil dry out before watering again. Being native to tropical areas, Hoyas like humidity. Grow them next to other plants or in a bathroom or kitchen where the air is naturally more humid.


This group of plants is a perfect choice for starting a collection. They come in a variety of leaf shapes and colors, but all are fairly compact. Water when top inch of soil is dry. They are fairly forgiving if you forget to water or go on vacation for a reasonable amount of time.

Spotlight: Syngonium

This isn’t one you hear about very often, but they are gaining in popularity, and for good reason. Highly underrated and underappreciated, Syngonium are easy care, come in a variety of colors and variegations, and have a variety of growth habits. Syngonium are fast growers, too, so they’re rewarding and fun to grow. Water thoroughly when top inch of soil is dry and let drain.

Other excellent medium light plants include:

  • Spider plant
  • Philodendron Brazil
  • Begonia maculata 
  • Boston fern
  • Calathea orbifolia 
  • Stromanthe tri-star
  • Maranta
  • Monstera deliciosa 

Bright Light

It certainly is a nice thing to have an office that has spaces of bright light. All that sunshine can really boost mood and productivity. Finding the perfect plant for a sunny space can actually be a bit challenging, however. Many plants will burn if placed in direct sun indoors.


Cactus need bright sunlight for best growth and health and prefer full, direct sun for as many hours as possible. If moving cactus from inside to outside in the summer, be sure to harden them off and prevent scorching by introducing them to a sunny area a little more each day. Thoroughly water cactus when soil is completely dry, then let soil dry again. This can often mean watering cactus only once a month.


These plants have special tissues that hold and store water, so they survive in environments that are too dry for other plants. They also survive for busy or forgetful gardeners who don’t always remember to water! Succulents prefer bright light indoors and full sun outdoors. Too much sun will result in scorched or bleached spots. Water and let drain thoroughly, then let soil dry completely between waterings. Too little light and the plants will being to stretch.

Other excellent bright light plants include: 

  • Hoya kerrii
  • Peperomia ginny
  • Areca palm
  • Bromeliad
  • Aloe
  • Euphorbia
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Fiddle leaf fig
  • Croton 

Though these plants enjoy bright light, be careful with how much direct sun they get. Watch for browning leaf tips. If this happens, and they are getting sufficient water, pull them away from direct sun and the should recover with time. 

Add plants to your office space, gaze at the greenery and enjoy the benefits. Happy office planting! 

Illustrations by Andie Hermon