Adding a touch of green to your work space comes with proven wellness benefits, everything from boosting productivity to purifying the air. But windowless cubicles and wacky watering schedules can often mean that any plant brought into your office space may be headed for 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, even if you are known for not having the greenest of thumbs.
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.
A report published by the university’s Cooperative Extension Service cited the humble spider plant as one of the top varieties for removing VOCs and other pollutants from indoor air.
Air-cleansing plants also boost relative humidity and decrease 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.
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!
Peace lilies love the shade, so they’ll do just fine even far away from a window. This eye-catching variety is also one of the best plants for improving indoor air quality, according to NASA research.
A 1989 study published by B.C. Bill Wolverton, an environmental scientist working with NASA and the U.S. military, concluded that peace lilies removed more VOCs from the air than nearly any other houseplant.
Since then, its cleansing properties have been recognized by researchers at the University of Minnesota, Penn State University and National Chin-Yi University of Technology in Taiwan, just to name a few.
Care instructions: Plant your peace lilies in rich, loose potting soil, and make sure the pot provides adequate drainage. Check the soil every few days and water as necessary. To ensure healthy leaves and frequent flowering, never allow the soil to dry out.