5 Great Office Plants: Low-Light and Low-Maintenance

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S. Yankouskaya

Personalize your work or home office with houseplants

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Given all the time you spend in your office, you may well consider it a second home. (Or, perhaps your office IS at home.) So, you want to feel as comfortable there as you do in your own living space. One easy way to make that happen? Decorate your office with houseplants!

 Not only will they add personal flair to your workspace, but indoor plants have been shown to improve concentration and productivity, relieve stress, and even make you feel happier. What’s more, they just plain look good.

What to Look for in Office Plants

  • Low-maintenance: When choosing plants for your office, you definitely want to go low-maintenance. After all, it’s easy for busy professionals to forget to water—plus, what if you score that two-week vacation you’ve been angling for? You want a hard-to-kill plant!
  • Low-light: And don’t forget to think about light. Many offices are big on fluorescents and not so big on windows (we’ve got your back, cubicle dwellers), so your office greenery should be able to thrive in low light. Just be sure to turn off the overheads when you head home—plants need night-time rest just like you do.

Ready for your workspace green-up? Here are some of our favorite low-maintenance office plants and recs for where to put them. 

5 Good Plants For Your Office

1. On your desk: Snake plant and lucky bamboo

Snake plant is one of the least fussy houseplants out there, and it will tolerate occasional neglect without complaint. 

Snake plant in white pot on desk. Credit: Dionvideo

Lucky bamboo doesn’t even require soil to grow—just add water to the container whenever it gets low.

Lucky bamboo only needs to be in a vase with water. Credit: N.Jorjee

2. On the bookshelf: Pothos

This trailing plant grows easily even under fluorescents, giving you lush leaves that will cascade down from a high shelf. Choose a variety with patterns of white or yellow on the green leaves for a tease of color. Learn how to care for pothos.

Lush, hard-to-kill pothos. Credit: Usmee/SS

3. In the corner: ZZ plant

Most large plants have large light demands, but not ZZ (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), which can grow up to three feet tall yet tolerate low light. Moreover, this shiny-leaf plant can withstand occasional stretches without watering; the soil needs to dry out between waterings.

ZZ Plant only needs watering every 2 to 3 weeks. Credit: Midtrandesigner

4. On top of the file cabinet: Peperomia

A very forgiving plant, peperomia (Peperomia argyreia) has no problem taking light from overhead fluorescents and won’t fret if you forget to water occasionally. It has beautiful foliage, too, especially if you spring for a colorful variety with touches of red or silver.

Pretty peperomia. Credit: Attomy

5. On a sunny windowsill: Succulents

If you’re lucky enough to have a sunny windowsill near your desk, group small potted succulents like zebra haworthia (aka zebra plant), echeveria, and aloe together on the sill. Yes, they’re sun-hogs but require very little water, so they’ll still be alive even after that three-week vacation of a lifetime.

Zebra plant. Credit: Fon.tepsoda

Now remember, we said easy care houseplants, not no care. Do your best to water your plants whenever the top inch of soil dries out (two inches for the succulents), give them a squirt of liquid houseplant food every couple of weeks during the spring and summer, and turn each pot one-quarter turn toward the window (if you have one) each week to distribute light more evenly.

See our houseplant care guide.

In return, these houseplants will transform your office into a leafy space where you just might find yourself stressing less and enjoying work a bit more. And if you ask us, that’s a pretty good deal.

About The Author

Su Reid-St. John

Su, a master gardener, spent many years editing and writing garden content for Bonnie Plants and Miracle-Gro. Read More from Su Reid-St. John

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