What are good desk plants? 7 best plants for your office desk

Every office environment can host plants, even if they lack natural light or are frequently vacant. By choosing air-purifying and low-maintenance desk plant varieties, you can add brightness to any corporate setting.
What are good desk plants? 7 best plants for your office desk

Office plants are the perfect way to add brightness and visual interest to a corporate setting without distracting colleagues or taking away from the professional décor. Whether you have an office job or work from your home office, indoor office plants can have a whole host of benefits.

You don't need to be experienced plant parents to enjoy these benefits either. Many low-maintenance plants thrive indoors with minimal watering, direct sunlight, or not much light at all. It is all about choosing the right plant for the office and leaving the other plants at home.

Furthermore, office plants also need to be small - finding a desk-sized plant will help you brighten your personal space without intruding on others. So, whether you seek a trailing plant to add greenery or need a simple bright-light-loving cacti to spruce up the room, you can find our seven recommendations for the best desk plants below.

The great benefits of plants in the office

Adding small office plants to your desk space can have numerous benefits for you and perhaps your colleagues too. Even if you are tucked away in a shady corner, you'll find that some of the best desk plants actually thrive in the shade and still perform miracles!

Some of the benefits of an office desk plant include:

  • Air purifying qualities - Some plants are capable of removing small quantities of harmful toxins from the air in your office, making the air more breathable and healthy. Look for the air qualifying stamp on any plant at Prickle.

  • Screening - A well-placed plant can block the sunlight that always reflects off your monitor, prevent nosy colleagues from copying your work, and help split up communal work spaces without throwing up permanent walls or offending anyone.

  • Mental health - If you need to convince your boss that having a plant on your desk is a must, then you can let them know that spending time near plants is linked to reduced stress and improved cognition (AKA, a recipe for enhanced 9-to-5 productivity).

  • Individualism - Plants add colour and life to any space, but unlike pop artwork or hand-painted Converse, it is totally acceptable to bring them into the workplace. Plants help maintain that professional vibe while breaking up the grey monotony. You can use a desk plant to make the space your own, without breaking the unspoken etiquette rules.

Aloe vera plant on the left side and succulents on the right side (two photos)

Of course, to reap all these benefits you will need to keep your desk plant alive! Thankfully, there are many different types of plants with unique requirements. If you are sitting in a low-humidity spot beneath the air conditioner, we have a prickle for you. If you are in the darkest corner possible, we have a prickle for you too.

Explore business plants at prickle to learn more about what makes a plant suitable for office space, as well as useful tips on keeping plants alive and details about our Business Plant Delivery service. Talk to your boss to get the entire office involved today, and you'll be working in a tropical jungle paradise in no time.

Large indoor plants for the office

If you have the luxury of an entire office room to yourself, then you can go wild! It's not just about how many plants you can fit on your desk, but how many can grace shelves and dull corner spots that need a little more life. You can choose numerous plants from our list below to fill small spaces in your office or go for a large prickle rather than a small desk buddy. Typically, any low-maintenance houseplant will be perfect for a corner in your office.

Plants like the Aspidistra Elatior Cast Iron Plant are extremely tolerant and prefer total shade over a sunny spot any day. Besides disliking natural sunlight, the Cast Iron Plant is also a tall and stately prickle that adds true elegance to any office, waiting room, break room or corridor.

zz plant close up leaf

If you have space in your office but not much natural light, then another option is the ZZ Plant. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, best known just as ZZ Plants, are shade-tolerant succulents that can reach heights of 1.4 metres when mature. They have striking emerald foliage growing along very sturdy structured branches. The ZZ Plant always makes a lasting impression!

7 best office plants for your desk

The best plants for an office desk need to be small enough to perch in one corner and sturdy enough not to need a plant doctor after a long weekend. Each popular plant listed below is a favourite at Prickle - you can find them in our nursery plastic pots or select a sleek ceramic pot to brighten the office further.

1. Snake Plant

Mother-in-Law's Tongue, AKA the Snake Plant, AKA Sansevieria Laurentii, is an incredibly easy plant to take care of. The requirements for Snake Plants are low light, minimal watering, and almost no humidity. They're perfect for office spaces! The low-maintenance Snake Plant can actually suffer from root rot if it is watered too frequently, so it perfectly suits a low-maintenance office.

Small snake plant in pink pot

For your office desk, we recommend starting with a Lil' Prick, as the Sansevieria Laurentii can reach 4 feet tall when fully grown. For a desk-size companion, the Sansevieria Green Hahnii, or the Lil' Snake Plant, requires minimal light and grows with vibrant spear-like green leaves incredibly slowly, so it will remain the perfect size for a desktop for years to come. This Lil' Prick starts at sizes of just 10cm (including the pot).

2. Spider Plant

Chlorophytum Bonnie, the Curly Spider Plant, is our next favourite office plant. This leafy green prickle is an air-purifying plant that's pet-friendly and low maintenance, so it is undoubtedly one of the best plants for home offices too. Spider Plant varieties like consistent watering and bright light, though they have been known to survive low light conditions to an extent. That sweet spot between low light and direct sunlight is their happy place, however.

As a desk plant, the Spider Plant is a trailing type so it looks great perched on the corner of a desk or moved onto a shelf. It is a fast-growing plant but thankfully it won't exceed 70cm once fully grown, and most of that will be in the form of trailing ribbon-like foliage rather than heavy stems.

3. Chinese Money Plant

Often confused for various air plants due to the iconic round leaves, the Pilea Peperomioides Chinese Money Plant is a shade-tolerant, deep green succulent that's fantastic for an office space with indirect sunlight. Not to be confused with the Chinese Evergreen or Money Tree, this prickle is accustomed to indirect light with warm temperatures and will suffer at any room temperature that dips below 10°C.

The Chinese Money Plant, like the ZZ Plant, is an eye-catching and exotic-looking Prickle. However, it will rarely exceed 50cm in height once fully grown and as a result, it is a popular desk or coffee table plant. It is thought that the Chinese Money Plant brings luck and fortune to those who care for it, so it makes for a wonderful gift for an office-working plant parent.

If you feel that a 50cm prickle is still a little too large for your available desk space, then explore our range of smaller plants. You can find the Lil' Chinese Money Plant as part of our pet-friendly range of baby plants at Prickle.

4. Peace Lily

As iconic as the Snake Plant, the Spathiphyllum Peace Lily is the epitome of elegance and an ultra-popular plant for the office. Peace Lilies are flowering plants that thrive in the lower light spaces in an office - although they quite enjoy bright indirect light, they are just as happy in shade just like the Cast Iron Plant.

Peace lily plant in white pot on the left side and close up of peace lily flower on left (two photos)

It should be noted, however, that the Peace Lily can be a bit of a diva. Rather than waiting for the soil to become completely dry, you need to water these plants on a regular schedule. We also recommend choosing a Lil' Prick for your desk, as the full-sized Peace Lily prickle reaches 2 metres in height. Take a look at the Lil' Peace Lily for a more manageable size.

5. Aloe Plant

Like the Snake Plant, Aloe Barbadensis Miller which is best known as simply the Aloe Plant, is a succulent that draws attention with a spiky structure rather than lush green leaves. It has a fantastic exotic vibe that adds visual interest without making an office space too feminine. Loving the spotlight (direct sunlight, to be precise) and requiring very little watering, it's one of the best office plants for low-maintenance plant parents.

Another benefit of Aloe Plants is that they are incredibly slow-growing, so you won't come back to your desk after a holiday to find that the jungle has taken over! Reaching a maximum height of 1 metre, you can move it to the corner of the office when it eventually outgrows your desk space.

6. Devil's Ivy

Devil's Ivy, Epipremnum Aureum, is another trailing variety that is popular for offices... and homes. And anywhere in between. Like the ZZ Plant, it is a low-light Prickle, however, it is decidedly less maintenance and much smaller in size. It will grow anywhere!

Devils Ivy in pink pot

Sitting pretty on the corner of your desk, it will trail down freely as it spreads vine-like foliage. Devil's Ivy can actually reach lengths of 20 metres, but you needn't worry. Simply cut the vines back to the perfect size for your desk whenever it gets too big for its boots. You could even use these clippings to propagate the plant. Read our guide to propagating houseplants for some helpful tips.

7. Chinese Evergreen

The Chinese Evergreen, Aglaonema Commutatum, is a beautiful choice if you like the allure of the flowering Peace Lily but crave a plant that's a little easier to figure out. While the Chinese Evergreen has some diva qualities, it will tell you exactly what it needs through the unique colours on its leaves. The lighter the leaves, the more sunlight it needs.

When this plant is happy, the leaves are a sweet candy pink colour with mottled green edges. Although they might remind you of candyfloss, the foliage is toxic to pets and babies so this is best for a pet-free business office rather than a reception room or home office.

Another reason the Chinese Evergreen is a popular choice is the size. Available only as a Lil' Chinese Evergreen at Prickle, the initial size is from 10cm to 20cm - including the pot! Even when matured, this plant will typically only reach a height of 50cm, and this can take years due to the slow-growing nature of the Chinese Evergreen.

Office plants at Prickle

Whether you have been charmed by the Spider Plant, fallen for the Peace Lily, or just can't deny the beauty of the Chinese Evergreen, you'll find that our Lil' Pricks at Prickle are the perfect plants for even the smallest desk spaces. Alternatively, if you have space for a larger plant but still suffer from a gloomy light office space, then the Cast Iron Plant or ZZ Plant will be the perfect corporate companion.

Orbifolia Prayer Plant | Prickle

At Prickle, we know a thing or two about plant care. All the prickles in our collection, large and small, are organised and clearly labelled. So, if you are hunting for a sun-loving plant, need a home office plant that is pet-friendly, or don't want to be stuck watering a plant every day, you can quickly find what you need on our website.

Choosing a desk plant for the office is a joyful experience and we are ready to prickle about with you to help you find the perfect variety. Like the Cast Iron Plant, we are here for you whenever you need advice, growing tall and reliably whatever the weather. DM us on social at @prickplantsuk to get started.

Plant StylingSmall house plants
Next article