Do you work at an office? If so, you probably have your own desk and want to make it feel like your own space. Here is one idea to help you decorate your office desk: houseplants! Office plants with decorative containers and pot stands can certainly add style to your workspace whether yours is at home or outside your home. Take a closer look at these office plants for your desk. We think you’ll like their robustness and easy maintenance.
This list of 15 office plants includes tried and true favorites, succulents, novelty plants and blooming plants. Along with being suited for drier indoor environments, you’ll find ones for low, medium and high light. Be sure not to over water your desk plant (too much kindness will do it in!) and keep it out of hot, direct sun. Although your desk is most likely out of direct sun, don’t put your plant in a hot window for a little “spa vacation” because it’ll burn.
Eye-Catching Office Plants
- Light Requirements: They’re definitely versatile in this department! Snake plants prefer medium light (which is about 10′ away from west or south-facing windows), but they’ll also tolerate low-light and high-light. Be sure to keep them out of the direct sun because the leaves will burn in a heartbeat.
- Water Requirements: Easy does when it comes to watering. Don’t overdo it because your plant will rot out. Make sure the soil is almost completely dry before thoroughly watering again. Water your Snake Plants every 2-6 weeks, depending on your office’s temperature, light levels, and humidity. So, if you travel or tend to ignore plants, this is 1 of suitable office plants for you.
- Why We Like Them: These spiky beauties can put up with almost anything. They handle dry air like champions and come in a wide variety of foliage colors, patterns, forms and sizes.
2.) ZZ Plant
- Light Requirements: Moderate or medium-light is key for a ZZ Plant to look its best. They’re often billed as a low-light plant but they simply tolerate it and won’t grow much if at all.
- Water Requirements: I give mine a thorough watering every 2-3 weeks in summer and every 4-5 weeks in winter. Like all the other plants listed here, adjust the watering frequency accordingly for your office’s conditions.
- Why We Like Them: The main draw of a ZZ Plant is it’s gorgeous, glossy foliage which will really attract the attention of onlookers!
- Light Requirements: Moderate light is the sweet spot for Pothos, especially those with variegation in the leaves. They’ll tolerate low light but won’t grow much if any. The Jade Pothos, with its solid green foliage, handles low light conditions the best.
- Water Requirements: It’s best to let the soil go almost dry before watering your Pothos again. As a general rule, every 7-10 days in summer and every 14 days in winter.
- Why We Like Them: Besides being easy to maintain, they’re easy to find and will barely put a dent in your wallet. You can buy a beautiful pothos in a 6-inch pot with long tails for under $10.00. This is a trailing plant – make sure you have room on your desk for it to spread out and hang down.
- Light Requirements: Many of the Aglaonemas are known for their tolerance of lower-light conditions. Aglaonema Maria in the photo below on the left), with its deep green foliage, handles low-light the best. Those with color and pattering in their foliage (like the pink one you see on the right) need higher light. Just be sure keep them away from windows with the strong sun coming in or they’ll burn.
- Water Requirements: Water Chinese Evergreens when their soil becomes dry. That tends to be every 7-9 days in the warmer months and every 2-3 weeks when winter comes around. Don’t water yours too often and back off on the frequency in the winter.
- Why We Like Them: Chinese Evergreens are the epitome of fabulous foliage and run the gamut when it comes to color and patterning! Not only are they easy on the eyes but if you’re a beginning gardener, they’re one of the easy maintenance indoor plants.
- Light Requirements: Peace lilies prefer moderate or medium light. They’ll tolerate lower light but look and do better with more. They need the brighter light to induce flowering.
- Water Requirements: This is one plant which likes regular watering. The top should relatively dry out before watering again. Never to let it go completely dry because the leaves, stems and flowers will go limp.
- Why We Like Them: We love their dark green, glossy foliage but most of all the long-lasting white flowers rise above. It’s best to buy your Peace Lily with blooms and buds because it can be tricky to get them to bloom again indoors.
- Light Requirements: They do best in moderate or medium light conditions. That being said, many Peperomias will tolerate low light and do just fine but you won’t see a lot of growth.
- Water Requirements: You’ll need to water yours every week or 2 in the warmer months & every 2-3 weeks in the winter. Let it go almost dry before watering again.
- Why We Like Them: They’re tougher than they look (especially the Baby Rubber Plant) and are available in a wide range of leaf textures and colors. They certainly add personality to any space!
- Light Requirements: Hoyas need bright, natural light to do their best. It’s fine to have them near a window but not in it. Just keep them away from hot, sunny windows and direct afternoon sun.
- Water Requirements: Hoyas are succulent-like and prefer to be watered again when almost dry. Every 1-2 weeks in summer and every 3 weeks in winter will be fine.
- Why We Like Them: Hoyas run the gamut in regards to leaf form, color and variegation. Some trail more than others so you’ll need to have room for it to spread out a bit on your desk. They’re easy maintenance, long-lasting, durable and oh so attractive. What’s not to love?!
Succulents as Office Plants
Note: Succulents growing indoors need medium to high light. They store water in their leaves, stems and roots so be sure not to over water them. Depending on the size of the pot (smaller pots will need watering more often), the soil mix it’s planted in, and how warm your office is, you’ll only need to water yours every 2-5 weeks.
8.) Aloe Vera
- Light Requirements: Indoors, it needs as much light as possible, like a south or west exposure. Aloe vera, like other succulents, isn’t a low light plant. If it’s not getting the light it needs, the leaves will droop downwards. Just be sure to keep it away from hot glass (like a west exposure) because it’ll burn. It can be near that hot sunny window but not in it.
- Water Requirements: No matter where you have it growing, you want your Aloe Vera to nearly dry out before watering again. Water it thoroughly and make sure all that water drains out. You don’t want it to be sitting in any water. Indoors, watering once a month should be plenty. In the winter, it might need it even less, maybe once every 4-8 weeks. Those fleshy leaves and roots are full of water so they can easily rot out.
- Why We Like Them: These plants are fun to look at and easy to care for. Just be sure not to overwater this popular succulent. And, if you have any kind of skin irritation, just cut off a leaf and use the healing gel.
- Light Requirements: A Ponytail Palm does best in high light indoors. Just make sure it’s not in any or against any hot windows. It’ll tolerate moderate light levels but the growth will be even slower. They don’t do well in low light.
- Water Requirements: Ponytails store water in their bulbous bases and thick roots. Water yours every 3-4 weeks in the brighter, warmer months and every 5-7 weeks in winter.
- Why We Like Them: Ponytail Palms are a tabletop succulent and grow slowly indoors so it won’t take up too much space. They make great accent plants so you can use them to jazz up your desk!
10.) Jade Plant
- Light Requirements: As an indoor plant, Jade Plants need as much sun as you can give them. At least 6 hours if you want yours to do its best. They aren’t suited for low-light conditions, but if your office has a sufficient amount of it, this is another easy succulent.
- Water Requirements: You want to thoroughly water your Jade Plant no more than every 2-3 weeks in the warmer months. Once every 4-5 weeks is enough in the winter months. They store water in their leaves, stems and roots just like other succulents making them subject to root rot if kept too wet.
- Why We Like Them: The thick, fleshy leaves are gorgeous to look at and so unique too. Looking for something a little more unique? Jades are suitable to bonsai and can be found in different shapes. If your workspace has plenty of light, then you can easily grow this plant.
Blooming Office Plants
- Light Requirements: Like many other tropical plants brought indoors, bromeliads like nice, bright light but no prolonged periods of direct, hot sun. If the light is too low, the flowers won’t properly open.
- Water Requirements: Bromeliads like a good watering every month. You can keep the vase (center part of the plant) about 1/4 full of water. If the vase stays full, the plant might rot out. More on watering bromeliads.
- Why We Like Them: Bromeliads are tough, interesting and don’t require much fuss. You can choose from Aechmeas, Guzmanias, Neoregelias, Pink Quill Plants or Vrieseas. Something for everyone!
- Light Requirements: Flowering kalanchoes like bright, natural light. A medium or high light situation is best as long as they’re not getting too much direct sun. If the light is too low, the flowers won’t open up. And, be sure to keep them out of any hot windows because they’ll burn.
- Water Requirements: These plants are succulents with fleshy leaves and stems which means you don’t want to keep them constantly wet. They need good drainage. Water yours well, let it all drain out & then water again when almost dry.
- Why We Like Them: They’re succulents that bloom, and boy do they bloom! Each stem is covered with many flowers so if you get them when the flowers are partially open they’ll have a long bloom time. Kalanchoes come in a variety of colors (white, yellow, orange, red, and pink) so they’re sure to brighten up your office space.
13.) Phalaenopsis Orchids
- Light Requirements: Make sure the light for your Phalaenopsis Orchid is as bright as possible but without any direct sun. Think of a greenhouse that has lots of nice, natural light but the glass is whitewashed to diffuse the direct rays of the sun – that’s the exposure they love. They need this light so the closed flowers buds will open up.
- Water Requirements: These orchids aren’t as delicate as you might think. Water them every 7-10 days and like all these other plants, let the water thoroughly drain out of the pot.
- Why We Like It: Their flowers are fascinating, gorgeous and intriguing. They come in a wide array of colors and are are definitely a beautiful sight to see!
Novelty Office Plants
14.) Lucky Bamboo
- Light Requirements: Lucky Bamboo does great in bright light. It’ll tolerate lower light levels just fine but it won’t grow much. Be sure to avoid putting it in direct, hot sun as it’ll burn baby burn.
- Water Requirements: Make sure the water completely covers the roots of your Lucky Bamboo stalks or arrangements. Add a bit of water as needed, every 7-21 days depending on the temps. If the water is smelling bad, then change it. They prefer distilled water if tap water has a lot of chlorine and minerals in it.
- Why We Like It: Yes, this plant can grow in water or a soil mix. It’s a great one to get started with because it’s easy as pie to keep looking good and sure to become a topic of conversation as you’re busy showing it off. And, you can find it in many forms from straight to twisted to woven.
15.) Air Plants
- Light Requirements: Bright, indirect light is best. Air Plants don’t do well in low light or in direct sun.
- Water Requirements: It’s best to spray or soak (for 15 minutes) your air plants 1-2 times a week. If your office is even drier, then soak or spray them a bit more often and longer.
- Why We Like It: These fascinating beauties are commonly called Air Plants because they don’t grow in soil. They’re more maintenance in terms of watering &/or spraying but well worth giving one a try. They’re great for creating office decor items if you want something a little different gracing your desk.
Summary: We love all of these office plants which are suitable to have on your desk. If you’re a beginning indoor gardener, know that all these plants are subject to over watering, ie too often. And, make sure they don’t sit in any water in a saucer or decorative container because this will lead to rot also.
Many of these plants will tolerate low light (especially the Snake Plants) but won’t grow much if at all. You’ll have to rotate your plant every 1-2 months so it receives light on all sides. And most of all, enjoy the life and green goodness which your plant(s) bring into your work space!
Need some help maintaining office plants? Here are a few guides to help you out!
- Ultimate Guide to Watering Indoor Plants
- Houseplant Watering 101
- Winter Houseplant Care
- We have so much more content on caring for houseplants. Check it out and you’ll see!
You can find more houseplant info in my simple and easy to digest houseplant care guide: Keep Your Houseplants Alive
And if you want to go shopping for plants, here are some stores that sell office plants online!
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