20 Best Low Maintenance Indoor Plants For Your Office
If it's backed by science, then it must be true —adding plants to your office environment makes workspaces more productive. Case in point; an Exeter University study found that employees working in an office with plants were 15% more effective than their peers in offices with no plants.
But beyond productivity, employees working in greener office spaces tend to have better problem-solving skills, better workplace morale and are typically more creative. In 2018, this very notion led to Amazon opening three huge dome greenhouses in their Seattle headquarters – giving employees more access to nature to inspire creativity.
Now, we can't all be Amazon — the brand or the jungle. So, to kick off your workplace greenery efforts, we've assembled for you an A-grade list of hardy, low-maintenance office plants, with some ideal for lowlight and restricted sunlight conditions. Whether you’re planning a new office fitout, or looking for some fresh options to revamp your industrial workspace, this collection of 20 varieties will guide you through the challenge.
Some of these plant types are small enough to fit on your desk, others serve to clean the air as you work, and a few could even make a solid visual statement within your larger office spaces.
The best part? You won't have to stress too much about tending to these low-maintenance plants when you're busy being 15% more productive.
1. Snake Plant
Also commonly known as Mother-in-law's tongue, the Snake Plant is amongst the most robust houseplant you'll ever meet. Shooting up sturdy, it requires little water or sunlight to grow, and looks excellent placed on a desk or the ground.
2. ZZ Plant
With broad, attractive, dark green leaves, the ZZ plant boasts many favourable traits for offices and homes — mainly because it tolerates neglect, accepting low-light and minimal water without throwing a fit. Its waxy, smooth leaves reflect sunlight and brighten rooms, and maxing out at two to three feet; it's not a plant monster that outgrows pots quickly.
3. Fiddle Leaf
Fiddle Leaf Figs are vigorous, tropical-looking plants with long stems and large glossy leaves. They're among the most fashionable indoor plants to have right now with office fitouts. Of course, the frequency of watering all depends on the amount of light the plant gets. And wherever possible, a little more natural light is recommended as low light conditions can cause the plant to stretch
4. Aloe Vera
If you spend loads of time out of the office (but are blessed with a sunny workspace), the aloe plant may be an excellent fit. These desert natives are all built to handle infrequent watering — so long as they have lots of light.
When you've got floor space to fill, why not make a statement with this impressive potted plant. Sometimes called the Swiss Cheese Plant (well, look at the leaves!), this beauty can grow just about anywhere with very little light — perfect for offices of all kinds.
6. Modern Bamboo
In some cultures, Bamboo is regarded as a symbol of good fortune, which may be precisely what you need in your office workspace. And lucky for you — it doesn't require much on your end to make it happen. Pop it in a spot in your office that gets moderate or indirect sunlight, and simply water it when the soil feels dry to the touch.
Finally, a little something to glow up those dull office hues. Perfect for your desk, Bromeliads are hardy indoor plants that can also grow fantastic in outdoor settings. They also come in an impressive array of shapes, sizes and foliage colours. Enjoying warmth and humidity, the watering frequency depends on the office climate, as they sometimes need a little more attention during hot weather or heated conditions.
A good office space starts with good communication. And if you're after a plant that lets you know how it's feeling, this could be your new desktop companion! Aglaonema boasts some eye-catching, variegated leaves with green and white speckles. Drooping when they need a little watering (once a week), the plant will naturally perk up when quenched.
Yuccas are among the most versatile and vigorous indoor foliage plants. With their long woody stems and large strappy leaves, they can add a particular element of architectural flair to any office space. Hearty and humble, Yucca's do prefer higher levels of light yet will tolerate neglect rather well.
10. Peace Lily
Peace Lilies are an exquisite touch to office desks because of their charming white flowers, glossy foliage and frequent blooms. But it's also the plant's active air-purifying properties that can make a significant impact on your workspace. However, they do have a preference for moist conditions. To keep your Peace Lily in tip-top shape, simply keep away from direct sunlight as they prefer lower levels of light and spritz the leaves on occasion, especially during the hot summer months.
11. Philondendron Green
Why not add a little love to your office workspace with this plant's gleaming heart-shaped leaves. In fact, why not spread the love office-wide because, given the right conditions, these trailing vines can soon grow up to 10 feet long and practically live forever!
12. Spider Plant
Arrange this impressive plant on the corner of your desk or place it in a hanging pot, so that its spiderettes (the official word for the hanging leaves) can dangle without disruption. While it prefers indirect light, this sprawling green grows well in all low-light conditions, like perhaps your dimly-lit office.
13. Bird's Nest Fern
Warning: the crinkled, hanging look of this fern may transport your office to the tropics (which isn't a bad thing, right?). Favourably, this striking plant is straightforward to care for — place it in indirect to low light and water every one to two weeks. (And crank the calypso beat!)
14. Zanzibar Gem
Zanzibar Gems are the fitting office plant for busy offices – namely because they can grow anywhere, tolerate an unimaginable amount of neglect and are virtually impossible to kill. They serve up striking, unusual foliage with thick tube-like stems — sure to brighten up any dreary workspace.
15. Walking Iris
Another one for office desks, Walking Irises, (also known as Apostle Plants), are attractive, tough indoor plants with arching, sword-like leaves. What makes them so unique? Well, they grow these dainty, fragrant, orchid-like flowers at the tips of their stems which only last a day — hopefully befitting your (one) perfect day in the office.
16. Neon Pothos
They simply love to hang around, even after hours. The Neon Pothos is among the best types of plants for hanging baskets, delivering a pop of green into the bleakest of workspaces. They're also incredibly resilient — only requiring weekly watering and fit to handle medium to low light levels. Also, these dangling beauties don't just look great hanging out in hanging baskets; they also brighten up desks and conference rooms!
17. Rubber Tree Plant
Note: Not actually made of rubber. Colourful, hardy and easy to tend to, Rubber Tree Plants not only make an attractive addition to almost any office décor, but they're renowned for effectively removing indoor air pollutants. This impressive office plant can also grow quite tall and features distinctively broad, flat leaves.
Admittedly, these miniature, traditional plants can be difficult to keep alive, but are impressive nonetheless, as nothing makes more of an office statement than showcasing firsthand resilience. While they can be finicky, if you have the time, why not try — as they make for a stunning focal point addition to conference rooms and workspaces.
Talk about living on air. If you're after a cool-looking office plant that doesn’t take up much space, consider a Tillandsia or any string of other air plants. Because air plants don’t need soil, you can adhere them to all kinds of surfaces to create strikingly attractive office plant displays. You’ll also know they need more water as the leaves curl up more than usual — simply spray water on them a couple of times a month.
20. Janet Craig
Janet Craigs are tall, brooding plants with dark green, glossy leaves. With a strong tolerance to lower light conditions, they're the most popular form of Dracaena for indoors. Now, Janet Craigs are ideal to tuck in the office corner, aesthetically pleasing yet safely away from walkways where they can get damaged by passing traffic.
Seeking out small ways to add personality to your workspace, whether it's a shared desk, cubicle or corner office, is an absolute must. And filling those empty spaces with live greenery is an easy, relatively inexpensive way to infuse living, breathing colour into your office fitout.
There's no obligation to be a green thumb, but no matter your workspace, the benefits are clear. Why not take a little time to infuse a healthy dose of plant-power to boost productivity, morale, and facilitate a naturally harmonious aesthetic.