Choosing the right plant for your office
It’s a fact. Plants make you feel good. Plants can also increase your creativity and productivity and your general enthusiasm for work. This can mean a stark reduction in absenteeism. If you’re an office manager, then we suggest you log on to Bloombox Club and get our Indoor Plants box on order!
Offices that struggle to get enough light are the perfect home for large foliage plants which fill a space and do their bit in cleansing the air too. If you want to grow more showy blooming plants then they’ll do better in lighter conditions. Follow my guide to the 5 types of office and find out which plants will thrive for yours!
1. The Bright and Sunny Office
The best office of all - although you’ll either feel happy and enthused to work or itching to get outside and lay on the lawn with an ice cream!
However, the world is your oyster in terms of growing flowering plants, and a whole long list of plants from Azalea to Jasmine on Hoops will thrive on a sun-kissed desk. The Azalea can also withstand a few icy drafts too, so won’t complain about the air conditioning!
You’ll also find that Cacti and Succulents will also be as happy as pigs in mud on the corner of a sunny desk.
Plant Geek picks:
Norfolk Island Pine
How’s about an indoor conifer? The Norfolk Island Pine tolerates sunny offices and makes a neat little tree which requires zero maintenance. They are a tropical plant, so sit them on a tray of pebbles to increase humidity for them.
Adenium (Desert Rose)
A curious plant with a swollen (caudex) trunk topped with pretty red blossoms, giving it the nickname Desert Rose. Place this onto your sunniest windowsill and it’ll be super happy!
Echinocactus (Golden Barrel Cactus)
If there’s one cactus you don’t want to fall on, then this is it! The Golden Barrel Cactus keeps itself safe in the wild thanks to it’s spiny welcoming. Might be safer placed onto a shelf than at floor level, however...
2. The Dark Office without Windows
Big, shady foliage plants will thrive in an office that has very few - or no- windows. They’ll grow slower due to the shady conditions, but will be generally undemanding and architectural, and you’ll be surprised at how little water they’ll need.
Given the lack of flowers, you can add a splash of colour to your chosen plants by experimenting with a range of decorative containers, from striking silver to marbled white. Philodendron are vigorous choices for upright containers, whilst Pothos can be used to trail from wall planters.
Your choice of flowering plants will be mostly limited to plants from the Aroid family, such as the well-known Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily).
Plant Geek picks:
Calathea makoyana (Peacock Plant)
A lack of light will only bring out brighter colours in this showy plant. Avoid leaf damage by using rain water (or bottled water) to water the plants with, and make sure the compost is constantly moist.
A tough indoor plant for areas away from windows. Often filling its container quickly with its chunky rhizomes, the fancy foliage adds a fantastic touch of interior decor.
Vriesea splendens (Flaming Sword)
The perfect injection of colour for a sunless office, the Vriesea is a Bromeliad and is easy to care for, despite it’s exotic appearance! Watered via the central vase of the plant too, fun for your office pals to have a go at!
3. Plants for Shelves and Desks:
Invigorate your immediate office area with compact plants in a range of colours and textures. You may be able to pick the little gems up from your local florist or supermarket too.
Air plants are a great choice if you want the ultimate low maintenance plant- they don’t even grow in a pot. Watering is super simple, just mist them every few days with water! Or, perhaps start yourself off with an air plant on your desk and work your way up- you’ll soon be surrounded by foliage!
Plant Geek picks:
A hard to find specimen, but well worth hunting down! Monstera obliqua is the Cheese Plant with the most holes! A slow-growing plant, it looks best twining from a pot on a shelf.
Another high shelf specimen, the String of Hearts Plant needs space to trail down to it’s maximum potential. Each string is adorned with marbled hearts, and in summer, occasional purple blossoms.
No pot, no soil, no mess! These silver rosettes can be placed straight onto the desk, and just need a dip in water or spray every 10 days.
4. The Office with Occasional Sunny Days
The ‘partially shaded office’ doesn’t have to mean you can’t find plants that’ll thrive there. Bright, filtered light is actually the preference for many indoor plants, and such an office space opens up many flowering and foliage plants you can obtain.
Orchids particularly enjoy such a filtered light environment and you’ll often find they sit discreetly in a corner and re-flower without you even doing anything!
Plant Geek picks:
Fiddle Leaf Tree
Effortlessly vintage in appearance and a doddle to grow, the Fiddle Leaf looks like a small indoor tree. Another one like Monstera obliqua, it can be tough to find but is well worth the hunt!
I often call this the Spiderman Plant, thanks to the webbing on each of the metallic leaves! It is an office plant with great architectural presence, and would look amazing in a crisp white outer container.
Whilst most orchids enjoy filtered light, the Phalaenopsis is perhaps the most well-known and recognisable, and is available at pocket money prices. Often only needing an ice cube’s worth of water per week, these orchids can be shifted around the room, taking centre stage when in flower and resting on sideboard at other times!
5. The Plant for the Office Toilet
With a toilet that has a window, you’ll find that ferns will thrive. However, without a window, you’ll need to think more cleverly, as there will be zero light available for your plants!
It isn’t the end of the word if there’s no light available, but you may need to replace your office plant every few years, as the environment isn’t ideally sustainable.
Rather than having the disappointment of a failed plant, why not even try some fake plastic or silk plants? The quality has really improved over the years!
Plant Geek picks:
Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)
A popular plant from times gone by, the Aspidistra can almost grow in the dark! You shouldn’t expect any flowers, but you will get leathery, deeply glossy foliage all year round. Look out for the variety ‘Milky Way’, which has white flecked leaves.
Nephrolepsis exaltata bostoniensis (Boston Fern)
Ferns usually enjoy a most environment, so are your best choice for bathrooms. However, the Boston Fern can cope with a slightly drier environment so is a good choice for a small toilet. The arching habit means you could also hang them from the ceiling in a hanging basket or macrame container too!
Cissus rhombifolia (Grape Ivy)
Another popular indoor plants from the 70’s, the current houseplant revival has meant Grape Ivy is once again doing it’s thing in our homes. A billowing plant, which looks best tumbling from a shelf!
Don't forget - BloomBox's Indoor Plants Subscription would supply your office with all the unique and easy care plants you could ever need!