When considering adding plant-life to an office, artificial plants are an option, but there is something to be said about the benefits of having natural plants in your proximity. Call it whatever you want – but having a bit of nature close by can be a welcome addition. With many colorful and flowering choices, natural plants in the office can bring life and warmth.
Choosing natural plants that thrive in office environments can be tricky. Below are some of the easiest to grow in offices with windows or in work spaces limited to artificial light.
Try these varieties on a window sill or under a skylight.
Croton: a large plant grown for its foliage. Thick stems branch out into large, colorful leaves. Many varieties have multiple showy colors. Croton prefers warmer, humid areas, such as south-facing windows.
Amaryllis: bulbs usually forced indoors and overwintered in a cold area to promote next year’s flowering. Amaryllis bulbs will send up tall flower stalks with 6-8 blooms per stalk and are available in a wide choice of colors.
Sanservieria: also known as “spike plant” or “mother-in-law’s tongue,” this is a very easy care plant. Tall, broad foliage spikes shoot upwards, and flower on thin stems in spring if provided enough water. The spikes are often shot through with white and the edges are tinged yellow. Allow the plant to dry out between waterings for best results.
Small Cacti: bowls of cacti mixtures as well as Christmas Cactus or Thanksgiving Cactus are perfect for busy offices. The mixed variety bowls makes lovely boardroom centerpieces without the cost of fresh flowers. They will tolerate extreme neglect, and produce colorful, unusual flowers.
Kalanchoe: a succulent with small bursts of bloom above a mound of glossy foliage is an office favorite. Water regularly, and place in a sunny window. Bloom colors are available in many shades of white, yellow and pink.
FOR OFFICES WITH ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING CONDITIONS – SELECT THESE NATURAL PLANTS
Peace Lily: leafy foliage and pale white flowers make the Peace Lily an excellent office plant. Provide plenty of water to promote blooms. Peace Lilies are often grown in clear glass vases with a Betta fish feeding on the roots below.
African Violets: small dark purple or lavender flowers cover the dark green leaves year round. The leaves appear covered in white fuzz, a contrast to the leaf color. Fertilize with food designed for African Violets, and keep soil moist but not soggy.
Spider Plant: interesting, spiky light green foliage is the hallmark of this plant. Spider plant is beautiful in a hanging basket and tolerant of mild neglect. Stems will cascade down over the pot’s edges with new stems branching from the old ones. Spider plant requires minimal light.
Caladium: a native of the tropics, also called “elephant ears,” Caladiums can be successfully grown indoors. Large, rounded leaves provide a colorful show in shades from white to dark pink and red. Most leaves have light centers and darker, thickly veined edges. Mist the plant often to provide humid conditions.
Ivy: Hedera helix is a popular variety suited to office conditions. The dark and sometimes variegated leaves grow on thin vines. Provide support for the plant to climb and water sparingly. Ivy can tolerate dark corners as well as brighter areas.
For offices new and old, adding natural plants can be a breath of fresh air! And remember, whenever you decide to make changes to the “bigger picture” like redecorating to breathe new life and positive energy