Plants for the Office

A Guide for Employers

Office plants can have a positive effect on employees, creating a calming atmosphere in the workplace. The presence of plants can reduce stress and increase concentration levels, which can then lead to increased productivity. Furthermore, office plants enhance the aesthetic of the workspace while naturally purifying the air inside the office. Office plants also act as natural air fresheners by eliminating excess moisture and bacteria in the air. Having plants around will also provide visual cues to employees that it is time to stop work for a break and potentially help them stay away from glaring screens for a few minutes! Office plants are an excellent way to make any workspace more inviting and comfortable, especially in an age when many people are spending hours on end working from an office environment.

We have been helping companies large and small bring plants into their space for years. We also provide the option of ongoing horticulture maintenance so that they always look their best. This guide is for those who have not had the experience of adding live plants to the office environment.

Review your office environment goals

Initially, you will need to review your space and goals – how intensive did you want the office plants to be? Do you need to create barriers or separation? Do you want desk plants throughout? Will private offices get a plant? Is the office lighting sufficient, or is there direct sunlight or natural lighting?

Or, you can have a designer out to review these details with you. They will know which plants work best in direct sunlight, which ones work in low light conditions and which plants will provide the height and impact you are looking for.


Click here for an interesting article that covers what interior plants cost. With options for leasing which reduces the up-front costs or the option to purchase, there are options for most office plant budgets.

best plants for office lighting

Review Your Lighting

Indoor plants all vary in their light needs; however, all office plants need some level of light. A walk though with a professional will solve this, they will likely rate the areas as low light (typically, no natural light), medium light (will normally have brighter indirect light or even natural sunlight) and high light (this is bright direct sunlight from a window nearby). Supplemental lighting can be added if you are placing plants in a dimly lit office.
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Office Plants Design

This is typically done by an indoor plant professional who has a firm grasp of the best office plants for the conditions they will be placed in. Correctly chosen indoor plants will make plant maintenance so much easier. They will know which plants will be large enough or small enough to work for your office space.

A good designer will also consider leaf textures and lead sizes when creating the design. Plants with large leafs like the Chinese evergreen will often look good places in an arrangement with the zz plant or snake plants. If the office space is modern and airy, hanging plants like spider plant or philodendrons make great office plants.

Small office plants are often used in wall planters or even living plant walls. Again, a professional will know the best plants for the space. Indoor plants can be so much fun!
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Planter Design

Office plants can look totally different depending on the planter. Modern planters can make your indoor plants look modern as can traditional designs. Another trick designers will use is tall planters which will lift the office plant up into people’s sight lines allowing you to use smaller plants and giving more impact. While planters can often be a little pricy the difference they make to office plant designs is often worth it.

Click Here to View Our Planter Catalog
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Office Plant Installation

Office plant installations are amazing – even just a few plants will change the “feel” of a space. An installation does not need to disrupt the office – the indoor plants can be staged off-sight and then quickly wheeled in a set in place. Be sure to discuss installation with your provider – professional companies will have a greenhouse where the preparations are done can be done so that the installation quick and simple

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Plant Maintenance

Even if you only choose low maintenance office plants, there will need to be plant maintenance. As any living thing needs care, office plants will need water, plant food, pruning and trimming, dusting and occasionally pest control. Professional interior plant companies can take this work off your plate and guarantee that your indoor office plants always look great. In fact they will guarantee your plants so that any that look unsightly will get replaced free of charge.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a way to improve your office space and create a more positive work environment for your employees, consider adding office plants. Office plants have been proven to reduce stress levels, increase productivity, and purify the air – all of which can lead to a better bottom line for your business.

Green Oasis can help you select the right office plants for your space and provide on-going maintenance so that you can focus on running your business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help transform your workplace into a green oasis.
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Popular Indoor Plants

Below we highlight some of the best plants used indoors. How many plants you use in your space depends on the look you want. Again, a good designer can help you with this.
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Spider Plant

The Spider plant is a great office plant. It likes medium to high light so find a bright spot for it. The spider plant is often placed in hanging baskets or, on shelves where its leaves can cascade down.

Caring for spider plants is relatively easy, I would say it falls into the low maintenance office plants category. Water well, then let the soil dry down on the surface, about an inch below the surface and repeat.

Common pests are Mealy bug and spider mite – keep an eye out for these and if you catch them early and little dish soap mixed into water misted heavily onto them will eliminate them.
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Snake Plant (Sanseveria)

The Snake plant is likely one of the indoor office plants that requires the least amount of care. In an office, when you are doing the maintenance yourself, low-maintenance plants are a good choice as you likely have a regular job to do as well. Because the Snake Plant is very up-right it makes a good screen when planted in a row. Or if you have a conference room that is often busy and hard to get into to water, the snake plant is a good low-maintenance plant for this.

Caring for the snake plant is very easy, a good watering and then let it dry down until the top half of the soil is dry, then repeat. Always keep your indoor plants dusted as they will look better and, more importantly, be healthier. Indoor office plants are often struggling to absorb as much light as they can and dust doesn’t help.

There really isn’t typically a pest issue with the snake plants, so enjoy this one!
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Cast Iron Plant

The cast iron plant generally needs medium light and is a good office plant. If you are careful it can get placed in lower light, just watch your watering. They need water but do not like to be over watered. The cast iron plant is a great plant to plant with other plants with varing leaf textures. Plants like the ZZ plant and the pothos plant look good with this guy.

Caring for the this plant is not hard, this is another plant that likes to dry down slightly between watering. However, letting it get to dry will cause brown edges or tips so try to keep it pretty consistently wet.

Pest that are attracted to the cast iron plant are generally spider mites and mealy. Spider mites in particular are often a problem but are easily kept at bay with a little bit of Murphy’s Oil soap mixed with water and misted onto the leaves.
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ZZ Plants

ZZ plants in my opinion are one of the best office plants, they always look good and require little care. The zz plant likes medium light but can grow well in lower light if necessary. These often get used in modern offices as designers tend to associate them

Caring for the plant is pretty easy – this is another indoor plant that likes it a little dryer. So water well and then let the soil dry down so the top inch or two is dray and then repeat. One of the great characteristics of good office plants is that they need little care.

Pests are rarely attracted to ZZ plants, occasionally we do find mealy bug which cane be misted with a little dish soap and water to clear them away.
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Air Plants

Air plants are a cool plants we’ve seen used more often recently. If your not familiar, they are plants that get their nutrients and moisture completely from the air as the have not roots. We see them most often used to make green wall accents. The light level air plants like is generally medium light.

Caring for air plants is not difficult but can be time consuming. The need to be misted with water, preferably rain water or distilled water. Indry areas or seasons (when the heat is running) they should be misted daily. An occasional short soak in water can help as well.

Air plants do not generally have a pest issue if cared for properly.
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Pothos Plants

Pothos are a very easy and adaptable plant – often used in multiple plant arrangements or in live walls. The pothos family has many plant varieties in it, although people generally think of the golden pothos when discussing pothos. The pothos plant can take quite low light conditions but will do well in medium light.
Caring for the pothos is pretty easy, a regular watering schedule is best. We always recommend clipping the runners back before they get to long which keeps the crown full and healthy.

The most common pest found in pothos plant is mealy and if they are found you need to fight them full force as they hid among the leaves. 1st step is to mist with horticulture oil or a dish soap and water mixture. Then clip out any runners that host the mealy and be aggressive with this it will grow back.
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Aloe Plants

The Aloe plant, when placed in high light is a great indoor plant. They work good on window sills or other places bright places where other plants might not like. We see these in kitchens and break rooms as they are a modern looking plant that is easy to dust and care for.

Caring for the aloe plant is quite easy – this again is a plant that does not like to be wet all the time. Give it a good watering and then let it dry down to about half of the root ball. Certain plants like to be wet most of the time, the aloe is not one of them!

A healthy aloe plant very rarely has pest issues.
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Jade Plants

The jade plant is often viewed as succulents plants which isn’t exactly correct but they have many of the same characteristics. Often used as smaller plants they can actually grow to a good size given time and care. The must be placed in bright or direct sunlight for success indoors.

Caring for the Jade plant is much like the aloe plant, give it a good watering and then let it dry down. Its much better to fully water then and then let them dry down then to give many smaller drinks.

A healthy jade plant rarely sees pests, if they are put in areas of low light they can attract mealy bugs
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Dracaena Plants

Dracaena plants are likely the most popular office plants used in offices today. With over 50 different species of dracaena in production and most of these species are sold in different sizes and shapes so the list is long.

Here are Green Oasis the most popular Dracaena that we use is the Dracaena Lisa Cane. While not the cheapest option this plant thrives well in most offices and light conditions and, while about 5-6′ tall is columnar so as to not take up much space.

For more inspiration visit our gallery of interior plant installations where we share what we are up to. You can also visit with our designer would be glad to share their ideas on what would work well in your space. Planned and planted right office plants can tranform your space.
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