Plants are scientifically proven to be natural stress-relievers, which makes them great for relaxation and improved productivity. In fact, according to Chirp declutter coach Amy Thompson, bringing pockets of nature indoors with you, through potted plants and gorgeous greenery, can go a long way towards improving overall wellbeing.
So, it should come as little surprise that plants are recognised as ideal additions to the office environment, whether you’re back full-time or working on a hybrid home/office model. However, not all plants make for the perfect desk mate, with some requiring constant care. Read on to discover which plants we recommend you bring to the office, and which you should leave behind!
The Top Office-Friendly Plants to Refresh your Space
Discussing why you might want to introduce a splash of nature into the office, Amy notes that taking just five minutes out of your day to tend to, water, or simply enjoy your new plant can be a great way to practice mindfulness.
Additionally, if you’re responsible for returning employees, it’s worthwhile giving them a say in the choice of plants that occupy your office, to encourage self-expression and team bonding. Our top picks include:
The first of our recommended office-friendly plants is the tumbling, climbing and weaving beauty: English Ivy. Give your working environment a breath of fresh air with this charming addition; English Ivy, also known as Hedera Helix, requires watering just twice a week and loves to be placed in view of bright light, such as beside a window.
Next up, requiring minimal effort to maintain, and a watering schedule of just once a month, we have the delightfully leafy snake plant, which can be sat comfortably beside you as you work. In terms of its need for light, the snake plant isn’t particularly picky, so long as you leave it in line of at least filtered or partial brightness.
Resembling a bushy tree, but on a much more manageable scale, the dracaena plant offers character and personality, and can quickly become the ideal computer companion. Requiring water just once every two weeks and a spot in indirect-yet-bright sunlight, this spiky-leafed delight makes for a low-maintenance addition.
The ZZ plant (short for Zamioculcas Zamiifolia) is the perfect indoor addition, as it thrives off artificial, fluorescent light. Combine that with its need for watering just once a month, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful leafy green that’s a stunner to admire and all but cares for itself.
Taking on a unique and interesting form, the common cacti is much-beloved for its sturdy frame and spiky nature. But did you know they’re exceptionally easy to care for too? Not at all fussy, your cacti will accept any kind of light, whether it be natural or artificial, and you can get away with watering just once every two weeks.
Named after its extraordinary white petals which resemble waving white flags, the peace lily is another easy-to-look-after plant you might consider for the office. Happy wherever you place it, a peace lily thrives under any light and requires watering just weekly.
Which Plants Should you Avoid in the Office?
While plants, in general, can make for great office additions, some demand a little more attention than others. The plants we suggest you avoid include:
Crotons might, at first, appear to be the ideal office candidate, perfectly placed to complement autumnal décor courtesy of their rich and vibrant leafy veins, but the reality is that they require constant maintenance. On top of being sensitive to low light and drafts, croton plants are picky about how and when they’re watered.
They might have gorgeous bright-green leaves and an enchanting, heady scent, but gardenia plants are also famously fickle. In fact, they’re among the toughest to keep alive and in bloom; unless you keep them in acidic soil and constant bright light, gardenias really will struggle to thrive.
Colourful and tender, orchids are visually stunning, but they do have a reputation for being particularly tricky to look after. Tropical by nature, orchids demand bright, indirect sunlight and struggle to stay alive if the temperature gets too hot. Watering can also become a tedious task, as the roots can quickly become waterlogged.
While the beautiful banana plant might complement your creativity, taking the necessary steps to help it flourish can be exhausting. Importantly, the rainforest plant requires near-tropical conditions to survive, lots of water, and a new pot to accommodate each step of its growth.
As we enter the new era of office working, it’s important to take steps to improve productivity and employee welfare. Read our other blogs here for more helpful advice on improving your workspace.