Have you been thinking about finding the best low maintenance plants for your office? The average Brit spends 22 hours indoors equating to around 90% of their day. And the average UK employee will spend roughly 3,515 days working in their lifetime. With many of us spending lots of time in the office, it makes sense to make the surroundings as comfortable and engaging as possible.
We all know how beneficial a happy workforce can be for a business overall. With subtle tweaks and additions to your office space, you could be seeing huge benefits to a high percentage of your workforce!
We’re going to focus on some of the fantastic benefits of plants and how adding lush greenery to your workspace can provide you with a much needed pick me up with some of the best plants for your office.
The power of plants should not be underestimated. Having plants in your workspace can boost creativity, productivity and improve mental health. They also help to clean indoor air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen to support your physical health.
A scientific study from the University of Hyogo in Japan found that having just a small plant on our desks could boost our mental health by reducing stress levels. Some businesses are now giving their teams a plant allowance to facilitate people to choose and buy their own desk plants to support wellbeing at work. We love this idea at FreshGround, and we have loads of different plants dotted around the office. We’ve put together our top five desk plants for you to consider incorporating into your workspace.
Best low maintenance plants for your office
Cacti for office
These prickly plants are perfect for novices as they are famously hard to kill! Totally low maintenance desk buddies, they only need watering about once a week during spring and summer and every 3 – 4 weeks in autumn and winter. Some cacti will also flower in the spring that’ll add a very welcome pop of colour to your deskspace.
Peace lily for office
These impressive looking plants with stunning white flowers are actually really easy to take care of. Simply keep the soil moist, but avoid overwatering, and mist the leaves regularly. They’re prized for their ability to purify the air so keep them out of direct sunlight to help them thrive. Typically they’ll last between 3 – 5 years.
Spider plant for office
An office favourite, the spider plant is a great addition to any workspace. These are perfect for high shelves and hanging baskets and they thrive in partial sun or shade, making them an ideal choice if your workspace isn’t basking in natural sunlight. Simply water every few days to keep them (and you!) happy.
Succulents for office
Known for their beautiful and interesting shapes, succulents can add an arty feel to your desk. They can last for years and need very minimal care and attention. In fact, you should only water them once the soil is fully dried out. Over-water succulents at your peril as this will cause them to die, and when the roots start growing, be sure to re-pot your succulent to give it room to grow.
Bamboo for office
Need a touch of feng shui in your office? Another natural air purifier, the bamboo is an impressive and welcome addition to your desk. It needs very little light so it’s perfect for cubicles or smaller, dimly lit workspaces. It’s thought to be a lucky plant in some cultures, and we could all do with a little luck and good fortune.
How do I maintain plants in the office?
Here are some useful tips to consider to get the most out of your plants.
Choose the right plants: Select plants that can thrive in an office environment, which typically has low light levels, dry air, and temperature fluctuations. Some examples of low-maintenance plants that are well-suited for office settings include snake plants, pothos, and peace lilies.
Provide adequate lighting: Most plants need sunlight to grow, but in an office setting, this can be a challenge. If your office has limited natural light, consider using artificial light sources such as fluorescent bulbs or LED grow lights.
Water appropriately: Overwatering is a common mistake that can lead to root rot and other issues. Check the soil regularly to determine when the plant needs watering, and use a watering can or spray bottle to apply water directly to the soil.
Monitor humidity levels: Dry air in the office can cause plants to wilt or become susceptible to pests. To increase humidity, you can place a humidifier near the plants, mist them regularly with a spray bottle, or group them together to create a microclimate.
Fertilise occasionally: Most office plants can benefit from occasional fertilisation to promote growth and prevent nutrient deficiencies. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser and follow the instructions carefully.
Remove dead or yellowing leaves: Dead or yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering, underwatering, or other problems. Removing these leaves can help prevent the spread of disease and improve the plant’s appearance.
Consider plant placement: The location of your plants can affect their growth and health. Avoid placing plants in drafty areas or near heating and cooling vents, and make sure they have adequate space to grow.
Best plants to avoid for an office
There are a number of beautiful low maintenance plants for you to choose from for your office space. However, despite their beauty some plants are either not suited for growing inside or can perhaps bring irritation to your office team. To avoid those issues we’ve made a list of the best plants to avoid.
Ferns- irritating like pollen for some allergy sufferers
Figs- a problem for those with latex allergy issues
Orchids- issues for people with sensitive skin
English Ivy- can cause bilsters on skin
African violets- problem for those with dust allergies
Chrysanthemums- brings up issues for pollen sufferers
How do plants improve mood?
Different properties of plants, like their feel, look and smell impacts the brain in a number of different ways with studies showing that plants do provide mental health benefits. Plants improve our mood as they do the opposite of what we do as human beings when we breathe. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen which reduces toxins as well as clearing and freshening up the air. NASA produced research which in fact showed that plants can reduce air toxins by 87% in just 24 hours.
Having plants in your workspace can also lower humidity levels, important across the UK for the one day of the year we have as super warm! The same NASA study showed that plants can improve productivity and concentration by 15% as well as reducing stress levels and boosting general mood.
Many species of plants carry certain scents which result in a form of aromatherapy. Studies show that plants provide a number of mental health benefits. Colour psychology suggests the colour green itself has a calming effect on people with levels of tension, anxiety and depression being decreased by 58%.
How can plants improve work in the office?
A study by Exeter University showed employees were 15% more effective when their office spaces were filled by plants. When further research was conducted after these initial findings, it was discovered that indoor plants can improve concentration and productivity by 47% as well as boosting memory by 20%.
There are hundreds of plants that will bring a touch of nature to your workspace so our advice is to go with whatever you fancy. And yes we know, a plant isn’t going to solve all our problems, but if it helps to brighten our day just a tiny bit, we’ll give it a go!
Plants are not the only way to brighten up your office of course, and you can check out our blog on how colours can supercharge your workspace.