This is the second installment of our Houseplants in Your Home. A series dedicated to enhancing your spaces and bringing the outdoors inside to bask in the beauty of nature (while reaping the benefits). We began with houseplants for arguably the most important room in many people’s homes: the kitchen (read about our 7 Favourite Kitchen Houseplants). This week we look to what should be your hub of productivity: the office. With the home office becoming an increasingly more valuable room over the last several years, we’re sharing 5 office houseplants that can help elevate, inspire and boost your workday.
Unlike most kitchens which tend to be similar in temperature and humidity, the environment of your home office can vary significantly to your neighbors’. But what we can estimate, is that you’ll spend a good portion of your time in this room each week. Our office houseplant selections therefore aim to create a productive atmosphere with good air quality, scents and visual interest (without being overly distracting). Our choices are further separated by light requirements to make the choice easier.
Low-Light Office Houseplants
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
This plant is hardy and basically indestructible, just like its namesake “cast-iron”. It begins our low-light category as this plant will cheer up any corner of your office (so long as there isn’t direct strong light) and requires very little work from you. We love it for it’s air purifying abilities, the fact that it can reduce mental tension and foster and inspire creativity.
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Reported as an effective air purifying plant via NASA’s 1989 Clean Air Study, English Ivy can successfully remove many VOCs. Common pollutants like benzenes, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene. The short of it, you’ll be able to think with clarity and sharpness and can even improve overall respiratory health. These classic trailing vines are delicate and can either overflow from their pots or be coaxed upwards with the right support.
Medium to Bright-Light Office Houseplants
Baby Rubber Plants (Genus Peperomia)
Did you know that there are over 1500 species in this genus? And that many of them are beloved houseplants? There’s a species for every modern interior. Considered to be fairly low-maintenance, the thick shiny leaves of different shapes and sizes, upright and trailing provide all the choice. Choose your favourite (they all tend to do best in bright-indirect light) and rest assured that even glancing up while you work has been scientifically proven to decrease cortisol levels (i.e., stress).
Money Tree (Pachira aquatica)
Bright, indirect light will have this “tree” thriving. Generally, sold as 5 smaller plants braided together, representing the elements and thus balance; the money tree has lush, shiny leaves and is even said to bring luck and prosperity to its owners. Another effective air filter of harmful pollutants, this no fuss option will help reduce the stress of your work day.
Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens)
Elevate a corner of your office with the Areca Palm. Feathery, arching fronds make this a popular choice for livening up offices everywhere. Keep the soil slightly moist (never soggy or damp) throughout the Spring/Summer months and let dry out during the Fall/Winter. This palm increases oxygen levels which increases your cognitive function and improves concentration. All pros in a workspace.
A Note on Care
A few of the office houseplants from above can be considered medium difficulty. Studies have shown that an effective way to turn “on” and “off” from your workday is to complete a particular tasks, sometimes known as work-day rituals. These rituals are small, seemingly insignificant, however, they help you begin and disconnect from your work day. Some may light a candle, listen to a particular playlist, write a to-do for the following day or shut down all electronics. For us? We recommend checking in on your plants. If you’re in your office majority of the week, include things like watering, misting (if needed), checking for pests and dusting and foliage at the beginning/end of time “in-office”. You can help reduce both physiological and psychological stress associated with the work day. It’s a win!
Enjoy sprucing up your spaces, welcoming the beauty of nature and increasing your productivity during your work day. Engage with your new additions and as you help them thrive, they’ll return the favour. If you’re looking for inspirational reading material, check out The Wild Blog, for more on all things garden and lifestyle. Lastly, we’d love to connect, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest!