Adding a touch of green to your work space carries proven wellness benefits, from boosting productivity to purifying the air. But windowless cubicles and wacky watering schedules can bring most plant varieties to an early demise.
Which makes picking the perfect office plant challenging.
Avoid getting stuck with a sad plant cemetery on your desk by choosing one of these air-cleaning, mood-boosting varieties that are also nearly impossible to kill.
For a little extra guidance, click through to the last page for a list of plant-at-your-own-risk picks you should skip at work.
The 5 Best Office Plants
1. Spider plant
Perfect for high shelves and hanging baskets, the low-maintenance spider plant thrives in partial sun or shade – making it ideal for your cubicle or windowless office.
As an added bonus, spider plants carry loads of benefits for improving indoor air quality and reducing stress at work, as noted by researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Air-cleansing plants also boost relative humidity and decreases particulate matter (aka dust), which can have a relaxing effect on workers and reduce common allergy symptoms, according to the report.
Indoor air pollution is a major problem in many offices and the spider plant is highly effective in cleaning that air. This makes the spider plant our number one office plant pick!
Care instructions: Plant your spider plant in a size-appropriate pot or hanging basket with rich potting soil. This pick is resilient enough to withstand infrequent watering and thrive with little more than fluorescent light. But if you notice droopy or brown leaves, simply move your plant to a brighter location for a few days to bring it back to its full glory.
Short on time but need some new office plants? Order a bundle of the four best air cleaning plants.
2. Lemon Balm
Super-fragrant lemon balm plants can tolerate full sun or full shade, meaning they’ll be happy even if the nearest window is all the way across the office. In addition to being seriously hardy, research suggests that having a lemon balm plant around may also improve your mood and boost workplace wellness.
An Ohio State University study showed that while the scent of lemon doesn’t carry the medicinal healing properties touted by some aromatherapy proponents, its sweet smell did show a clear mood enhancement. So, for the often stressful office environment, it certainly couldn’t hurt.
Care instructions: Plant your lemon balm in a size-appropriate pot with good drainage and rich potting soil. Your plant will thrive in almost any light conditions but it should be kept moist, so don’t forget to water it!
Order a live lemon balm plant.