When your office starts feeling drab, give it a makeover in the hottest color of the year: green.
Whether you’re in an office or working from home, sitting in front of a computer five days a week can be extremely taxing, draining your creative juices and chipping away at your motivation. Feelings of restlessness and unproductivity at work abound.
Here’s where house plants enter the picture. Studies have shown that office landscaping can bring greater well-being into the workplace, improving productivity and even satisfaction on the job.
These plants do more than just enliven your desk. Not only do they purify the air in your home, they also and add a stylish focal point to your WFH set-up. If you’re ready to spruce up your space, we’ve rounded up eight low-maintenance plants that are as great for your cubicle as they are by your couch. Even without a green thumb, these low-maintenance indoor plants are likely to thrive for a remarkably long time — and help you do the same.
1. Snake plant
The snake plant (Sanseveria trifasciata), also known as the Mother-in-law’s Tongue (#whereisthelie), is a sturdy houseplants capable of thriving in dry air and low lighting conditions, the two characteristics of pretty much every office environment.
It requires very little attention, perfect when you can’t even find time to eat lunch, let alone nurture your plants. Its strappy leaves also make a bold statement and bring a pop of colour to a neutral-toned office. All you have to do is to place it under bright, indirect light and water it once a month.
2. Money plant
The money plant (Scindapsus aureus or Epipremnum aureum) isn’t only low-maintenance, it’s also believed to bring prosperity and luck to its owner, what with its round, flat leaves that resemble coins. For it to thrive, all it requires is bright light — no direct sunlight required. Regardless of whether it brings you material abundance, this is a powerful air purifying plant that will effectively freshen up stale office air.
3. Spider plant
The spider plant (Chrolophytum comosum) is another popular low-maintenance indoor plant that can make your office feel more relaxed and homey. It prefers to dry out between waterings — one less thing to worry about.
Similar to the money plant, the spider plant is also great at clearing toxins from the air, filtering out substances such as formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. It’s often displayed in hanging baskets, adding some visual interest to a dull space. When they grow longer stems with smaller spider plant clumps at the tip, you can trim them off and grow them in another pot.
If you’re a plant novice, a cactus would be your best bet. The small, robust plant requires very little water to survive and even prefers to go a few days without, asking of you only sunlight.
With more than 2,000 different types of cacti to choose from, the most common ones include the Myrtillocactus, Echinocereus schmollii, or Cleistocactus winteri species, as they do well indoors. Just make sure to keep your cactus somewhere no one is likely to be reaching across your desk.
5. Aloe vera
If you spend a lot of time out of the office or on business trips, the aloe plant is the perfect plant for you. Infrequent watering is completely fine – as long as they have lots of light, you just need to give it a little soak once every couple of weeks.
Aloe prides itself on being a multi-purpose plant that may come in handy in the future: Not only does it have air-filtering qualities, taking substances such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air, the gel inside it can also be used to treat burns and the occasional workday papercut.
Chances are you’ve seen a pothos plant (Epipremnum aureum) in offices before. This popular pick is hardy and small, perfect on shelves and in tiny corners. It’s very easy to care for and does well with almost no sunlight.
Another reason for its popularity: its aesthetically pleasing green-and-yellow leaves like to drape down over shelves, cubicle walls and file cabinets. Though it grows quite quickly, the leaves are also easy to trim, and you can plant them in new pots to grow more — or give them away to your colleagues!
Terrariums are a delightfully chic desktop accessory. Customising your own is a therapeutic activity to calm your mind and boost creativity. All you need to do is to choose a container, add a layer of gravel, some soil, and then a few clumps of moss and you’re good to go. You can even go the extra mile to add tiny ferns or other plants that like moist conditions and there you have it: a self-sustaining, Pinterest-worthy mini-garden you only have to spritz down now and then.
8. Jade plant
When it comes to office plants, we can’t leave out succulents. The jade plant (Crassula ovata) is probably one of the most popular picks for an professional setting. It does well in most environments and requires even less light than other succulents due to its dark, fleshy leaves.
Your only (plant-related) job is to water it when the top of soil is dry to the touch. If a leaf breaks off, no worries — you can replant it in fresh soil to grow a new one.
Originally By Cheryl Lim, October 2019 / Last updated by Brooke Glassberg