Office spaces are notorious for having low light conditions that can kill most flowering plants. The problem is that most corporate offices select the wrong plant for the environment! For a smart and professional office, you need a plant that can handle indirect light and is blissfully low maintenance, so you won't come back to brown leaves and droopy stems after a Bank Holiday weekend.
From Snake Plants to the Peace Lily, there are more varieties that fit these criteria than you might expect. And if we haven't already convinced you that office plants are a good idea, then you should read our top three benefits below to find out how your workforce can take advantage of a few leafy friends.
Amazing benefits of office plants!
From the eye-catching ZZ Plant to the green leaves of the Cast Iron Plant, there are plenty of low-light-loving prickles that thrive in the light conditions of office space. According to numerous reviews and studies, adding plants to the corporate workspace can even improve air quality, boost staff morale, and inject your décor with new life (impressing business partners and customers at the same time).
Improve air quality
The air quality in an office space is notoriously poor, especially when your office is on a high floor level with windows that don't open. But this is where an office plant is your best friend. Certain air plant varieties can enhance the air by absorbing small levels of airborne chemicals and toxins - the kind emitted from wall paints and plastic furnishings.
According to NASA, air-purifying plants like the Peace Lily can destroy pathogenic viruses and bacteria by absorbing them through the soil and root system. This can help to keep the office air fresh and perhaps even negate a few sick days too. Numerous other plants have these air-purifying properties including the Snake Plant - look for the Air-Purifying Plant label on any plant at Prickle to find varieties with this air-cleansing property.
Did you know that plants boost morale? This is especially true when you fill your office space with low-light and low-maintenance plants that won't die easily - nothing is sadder than a droopy prickle! Adding plants can break up the monotony of an office space while still maintaining a professional, corporate atmosphere.
One study found that adding office greenery can improve employee productivity by 15% and many plant-lovers swear by the stress-relieving effects of caring for a happy plant. Seeing Peace Lilies flower for the first time is extremely rewarding. Encouraging your employees to have a desk plant (our Lil' Pricks are desktop sized) or a breakroom plant to nurture can be a good way to get started.
Plants add much-needed life to your office space - the visual element shouldn't be underestimated! Using plant varieties to spruce up dull corners and liven up the area around the water cooler is an effective way to decorate your office space and make it a little more unique. You may just impress your clientele and business partners with an unusual plant too.
The problem with having a vast decorating budget is that no matter how much you spend and how you furnish your low-light office, in a few year's time it will feel out-of-date. Plants, on the other hand, are timeless.
Furthermore, many plants are long-living when they are kept in perfect conditions. For example, the Devil's Ivy (see below) can live for decades and the Snake Plant has an average lifespan of five to ten years. It's a long-term investment!
Air plants for offices
Some of the most popular plants for offices are air plants. But not every plant is an air plant! Many people confuse plants with air-purifying properties for air plants when there is actually a key distinction.
Air-purifying plant: any plant that can utilise toxins from the air to grow, thus cleansing your office.
Air plant: any plant that grows without soil, thriving best when it can float in mid-air.
Air plant varieties are popular for offices as they are accustomed to growing in low-light conditions. This is because, in their natural habitats, these plants grow on other plants rather than in the soil. In the rainforest, for example, you will find air plants growing on the trunks and canopies of trees. However, air plants aren't the only option and you would be missing out on some interesting and beautiful plants, like the ZZ Plant, if you didn't explore all the low-light plants available. Let's take a look at those next.
Best prickles for bright and low-light offices
These eight prickles are our best-sellers for office spaces.
The Snake Plant, Sansevieria Laurentii, is one of the best plants for low light conditions. This slow grower will require soil that's allowed to dry out between watering - minimal watering is key for this easy plant! It also prefers low humidity, so dry office spaces will be ideal so long as they have access to bright light. For Snake Plants, bright indirect light is perfect.
We love the deep green Snake Plant for offices as it is blissfully easy to care for. It doesn't matter if you forget to water it, as this succulent naturally prefers dry and arid conditions. The Snake Plant is also an eye-catching addition to the workspace, with tongue-like spear leaves and yellow markings.
Curly Spider Plants
Curly Spider Plants, Chlorophytum Bonnie, are a wonderful trailing plant option! These hanging plants thrive indoors in office spaces. They are ideal for small office spaces too, as you can perch one on a high shelf and let it trail downwards. As for requirements, this office plant prefers indirect sunlight and can handle minimal light with ease. As one of our low-light plants, make sure the Curly Spider Plant doesn't get exposed to direct sunlight! You should also water it when the top soil is dry rather than trying to keep the soil moist.
One of the reasons we recommend this plant for office spaces is that while it is low maintenance, you can also do a little plant maintenance service when you see baby plants emerging from the plant parents. Separate these curly babies and plant them up in other pots to share around the office (or even give away as leaving presents).
If you want to bless your office space with flowering plants, then the Peace Lily is your best option. As one of our most popular office plants, Spathiphyllum has glossy leaves and iconic white flowers with a gentle scent. Peace lilies are, after all, peaceful! This variety makes for an excellent floor plant in the corner of an office, as with the right lighting conditions it can grow to heights of two metres quite quickly.
The Peace Lily can survive happily in low lighting, so long as there is some natural light available. Offices with low light or limited natural light will be best. Of course, the Peace Lily is also an air-purifying plant variety that can freshen up the indoor air quality too. It is a popular choice for breakrooms and reception areas thanks to this property and the general peaceful vibes it emits.
Cast Iron Plant
Next is Aspidistra Elatior, better known as the Cast Iron Plant. This prickle is a notoriously hardy plant and can thrive with very little maintenance in your office environment. The trick is to make sure it is not left sitting in too much water. There's also no such thing as too much space - these leafy low maintenance plants like to make a statement and although they are slow growers they can reach heights up to a metre.
The Cast Iron is also extremely tolerant of low-light office settings. So long as there is a natural light source somewhere in the room, the Cast Iron Plant will do well in low-light areas and shady corners. The elegance of the slender stems and broad leaves naturally carries a professional vibe too. It will fit in perfectly next to the photocopier.
Chinese Money Plant (not the Money Tree!)
Although sometimes mixed up, the Money Tree and the Chinese Money Plant (Pilea Peperomioides) are totally different indoor plants. The Chinese Money Plant is one of the best office plants for improving the air quality and bringing visual interest to dimly lit office spaces. While it may look like an air plant, this is actually a succulent. The Chinese Money Plant is particularly popular for offices as it thrives in low light conditions (even fluorescent light) and is also associated with luck. The perfect office plant for anyone in finance!
With enough light and humidity, the circular fleshy leaves will thrive and the plant will grow to a maximum height of 50cm. This is naturally a fast grower, so adding brighter light won't speed up the growing process. In fact, too much light can burn the leaves.
The ZZ Plant is one of our unusual office plants. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, as it is formally known, is another of the best office plants for low-light office conditions. It really doesn't need much light to thrive! Just place the succulent leaves in a shady spot and watch them grow. We aren't joking when we said it needs very little light. Just like a vampire, it wants to be kept out of direct sun at all times. It is perfect for low-light spaces.
How many plants do you know that like to be root bound? This is another great advantage of the ZZ Plant - even if your colleagues or employees forget to repot this plant, the ZZ Plant will be unfussed. It also doesn't need much humidity or frequent watering.
The Chinese Evergreen is shade tolerant but a bit of a diva. Also known as Aglaonema Commutatum, the Chinese Evergreen has pink leaves rather than green leaves which do well in low light rather than bright light or direct sunlight. Like most plants, consistent watering is key. You'll also need to artificially raise the humidity by spritzing it with water. It's not as low maintenance as other indoor plants, but it's still an excellent option for offices with bright indirect light conditions.
We like the Chinese Evergreen as one of the best plants for adding colour to your office space. Furthermore, it is part of our Lil' Pricks collection. Explore the full range to find more plants for your office that can fit comfortably on the edge of a shelf or desk corner.
The final plant on our list of office plants is Devil's Ivy, Epipremnum Aureum. The lush green leaves of this office plant trail down in spectacular fashion and don't need much light to flourish. Low light or indirect sunlight should suffice. Devil's Ivy is an excellent low-maintenance variety that adds elegance and style to office spaces without being too flashy.
Like most plants on our list, Devil's Ivy doesn't need much watering. This is a common feature of low-light office plants - with little bright sunlight, the plant needs less water to survive. If your employees might be tempted to water the plants you place around the office, it may be wise to print some signs with each plant's care requirements to place nearby! This should prevent over-watering, under-watering, and poor light placement.
Discover more at Prickle
At Prickle, we have plants for every room in your office and your home. A plant here and there can really make a difference to the quality of the air, productivity and workplace happiness, and is a great way to decorate too.