What Types of Office Plants Can Grow at Work?

A potted ficus tree. (Credit: Wikimedia)
A potted ficus tree. (Credit: Wikimedia)

Why Decorate the Office with Indoor Plants?

Office plants help create soothing, calming environments in the workplace. Well-maintained plants in the common areas of the office can make the atmosphere more relaxing, give employees more focus, and improve the air quality of the office. Below is a list of the most common houseplants used to decorate offices. They are easy to care for, require little moisture in the atmosphere, and are less likely to bother employees who have plant allergies.

Indoor Trees, Shrubs, and Bushes

Many trees have been adapted for indoor use. These container trees can survive in low humidity enviromnents with normal lighting.

  • Ficus Trees: Ficus is a large genus of trees species that includes many varieties of figs. The most common species of indoor ficus trees are Ficus benjamina, Ficus altissima, Ficus elastica, and other species that do well in pots indoors.
  • Club Palm: Shrubs in the genus Cordyline have large leaves and can grow quite large if the root system is given room to expand.
  • Asparagus Ferns: Ferns in the genus Asparagus make excellent office plants and can grow to become very bushy and lush.
  • Umbrella Trees: Woody, leafy shrubs in the genus Schefflera are commonly grown indoors. Schefflera actinophylla and Schefflera arboricola make excellent office plants. They need medium humidity, so if your office is dry, mist the plant with water occasionally.
  • China Doll (aka Serpent Tree or Emerald Tree): The Radermachera sinica tree is commonly grown as a houseplant.  It has beautiful glossy leaves, and like umbrella trees, it needs moderate moisture.

Indoor Cacti and Succulents

Small potted cactus plants and succulents make great office plants because they can go for a long time without watering, and are very low maintenance, in general.

  • Aloe: Succulents in the Aloe genus thrive indoors and outdoors. The most common species of aloe plants that have been adapted as houseplants are Aloe vera, Aloe barbadensis, Aloe ferox, and Aloe brevifolia.
  • Jade Plant: The jade plant belongs to the genus Crassula, which includes many other succulents with delicate, bright green leaves.
  • Devil's Tongue (aka Mother-in-Law Tongue or Snake Plant): Sanseveria trifasciata is a small cactus-like plant that has succulent green leaves growing from a center point, much like an aloe plant. Each leaf looks like a tongue with a sharp thorn at the end, hence the various common names.
  • Lobivia: Compact cacti in the Lobivia genus, such as Lobivia jajoiana, make excellent potted plants for the office. They are globular and have spikes all over the surface, yet are very pleasing to the eye. Some varieties may flower indoors.
  • Prickly Pear: Cacti in the genus Opuntia are easy to care for, but need special potting soil.

Pothos (top) and Arrowhead (bottom) [Credit: Morguefile Photos]
Pothos (top) and Arrowhead (bottom) [Credit: Morguefile Photos]

Indoor Vines and Hanging Plants

Climbers, vines, and hanging plants are great or decoration since they can be mounted on the walls or ceiling.

  • Pothos Vine: The scientific name of this common house vine is Epipremnum aureum. Pothos vines are low maintenance, but the leaves may be toxic to pets.
  • Common Ivy or English Ivy: This plant is an aggressive climber and needs moderate moisture to thrive. Hedera helix needs to be cut back frequently to keep it from taking over. Works well as a hanging plant.
  • Spider Plants: The Chlorophytum comosum resembles grass, and has long, skinny leave blades that hang over the edge of a hanging basket.
  • Arrowhead Vine (aka Goosefoot): Syngonium podophyllum looks very similar to pothos, and grows well in a basket hanging from an office ceiling.

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Comments 3 comments

KevinTimothy profile image

KevinTimothy 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

Of the species mentioned in this hub, Pothos and Spider plants are my favorite for inside the home. According to NASA they both provide some of the best indoor air purification benefits. These two also come in many varieties and not just solid colors. Both are extremely low maintenance as I have tried to kill spider plants several times with no success. They like moist soil, and make sure you pinch and prune these freely.

Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

Very interesting - I'm always looking for plants that will grow well indoors without much light from windows. Do you have any pictures you can post of the the Pothos and Arrowhead vine? I've probably seen them before but I'm not sure.

paxwill profile image

paxwill 5 years ago from France Author

Thanks for the suggestion. I added more pictures.

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