Looking to spruce up your office with some greenery and wandering what the best indoor office plants may be? You may find the task of choosing just one single plant surprisingly difficult, with so many enticing options at your disposal in any garden center. And yet, how do you actually choose a plant that will not disappoint you – one that will make your office spring to life but not get on your nerves with a demanding care routine?
Just ask experts – people who deal with plants on a daily basis and know them inside out. This is normally easier said than done, but the good news here is that we’ve done all the legwork for you. We’ve run a little survey on best indoor plants, and this is what experts have told us.
So which plants are favored by industry insiders, and how do you look after these plants so that they thrive in your office? Here are 12 best indoor office plants as chosen by expert practitioners of gardening and interior design!
1. Golden Pothos (Devil’s ivy)
A very hardy plant and an excellent air cleaner not to mention the beautiful splashes of yellows and light greens that add a nice little explosion of life to any corner. It is very easy to care for, simply water lightly when soil is dry or nearly dry, about once a week.
If left to its own vices it will climb anything and attempt to take over. So trim as you see fit. Another cool thing about this plant is the cuttings actually turn into new plants so you can have more for gifts or other spots.
Those Plant Guys
2. Guiana Chestnut (Pachira aquatica)
It is also known as Money Tree, and trust me – it’s almost impossible to kill (inadvertently). It is native to the tropics, it thrives near wetlands and swamps – and just loves moist soil, so overwatering isn’t going to be a problem.
It’s also fine with indirect light, just a fairly sunny spot will easy suffice it to do well. Just let it stand in water (its natural habitat), so get a planter with good drainage. Water it at more or less equal intervals, once or twice a week.
Tom Mitchell / Planters Et Cetera
3. Rhapis Palm – Rhapis excelsa (Lady Finger Palm)
I LOVE this plant! It is so graceful the way the fronds “weep”. It grows more and more stalks from its root system randomly. It loves good light but it also tolerates lower, indirect light. Rhapis palms love water almost as much as Spathiphyllums (Peace Lily) and once you get the plant “trained” it’s easy to know its watering schedule.
The Rhapis palm will tell you when it is about to wilt if you pay close attention. Just add water and it’s all good. The fronds sometimes “tip” turning brown. To trim these leaves, literally, put your hand around the fronds grouping them together tightly and tear along the ends of the fronds. This will mimic the natural edge of the frond.
Amy Barnett-Mohr / Rentokil I Ehrlich I Ambius
4. Aloe Vera
Probably the first plant I remember interacting with as a child. My mind was blown as I broke open the aloe’s leaf skin to harvest the gel that would be used to heal my own broken skin! Surely this planted a seed of fascination with medicinal plants that inspired the creation of our company, Isaiah‘s Figtree.
Aloe vera is also a low maintenance plant. All you need is a sunny window, preferably with some direct light. Water the plants thoroughly at the roots — not on the leaves — after the soil becomes bone dry, and make sure the water is draining properly.
Aloe also tends to produce baby plants on occasion, which can be separated from the mother and repotted as a new individual Aloe plant. So many ways this plant gives back to us!
Zack Turck / Isaiah’s Figtree
5. Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)
This species of plant is a member of the arum or aroid family. Native to Southeast Asia, it is sometimes called “Chinese Evergreen”. There are many natural varieties and cultivars (“cultivated varieties”) in commercial production, with many different leaf sizes, shapes and coloring.
One of my favorites is “Maria”, but all of them are easy to grow in low-light interior environments. As true tropical plants, they are easily damaged by cold, so if located on an open patio they should be brought indoors when the temperature is expected to drop below 45 degrees.
When they are used indoors I recommend pinching off the whitish flower spathes that eventually appear, as they seem to promote infestations of mealy bug, which is one of the small problems connected with Aglaonema.
Donn F. Flipse / Field of Flowers
6. Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)
The Kentia palm is a favorite of interior designers as well as our customers. It is the most elegant of palms with a truly tropical feel. It does best in medium bright light as it would naturally be found in shaded areas of its native Pacific Island area.
Many Kentia palms are grown in a lava rock soil mix or a sandy soil mix to insure good drainage as they do not like wet feet. Water when the soil is dry 1-2’’ down and then water the root ball thoroughly until it just runs out the bottom. Kentia palms can be found from 4’ tall to 15’ tall so these can be used in small offices or large hotel lobbies.
One of the reasons that this plant is a favorite is that it has few pest problems. It can get mites, mealy bug and scale but it is an occasional problem not the norm. Horticultural soap or oil will easily solve the problem. As with all palms, a good complete palm fertilizer with potassium, manganese and boron are essential for good dark green leaves. Enjoy this plant. It’s a winner!
Pat North – Plantique
Kentia Palm will thrive in lower light and lower humidity in an indoor environment where most palms would not. I allow this plant to get fairly dry between waterings and careful not to overwater in darker areas. Grows slowly but a beautiful graceful looking plant.
Michael Thompson / Moore Landscapes
7. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
Comes in sizes that range from 3” high to up to 4’ (sometimes more). Sansevieria come in a huge range of colors, sage green, variegated with stripes, deep hunter green, patterned greens, margined leaves, so many looks from one plant. Beyond color variety they also have a range of shapes.
Common Sansevieria like Laurentii and Zeylenica provide great linear shapes that accent many containers. Birdsnest Sansivieria can look like flowers or succulents. Sansevieria Cylindrica can be grown in fun shapes like fans or starfish. Fernwood Sansivieria can mimic grass. All Sansivieria keep their original graphic form for years with minimal care and survive in many lighting conditions.
Beyond all of the visual aesthetics, Sansevieria is one of the best air cleaning plants. Helps to remove a variety of toxins and release moisture into the air. Sansevieria is also one of the only plants that continues to release oxygen without light/photosynthesis making it an ideal plant for sleeping areas.
Sansivieria are easy to care for. Water well and let them dry down so the roots have to search for water. Don’t keep them too wet and make sure they get some light during the day. They can live in dark places but will do best with bright indirect light!
Janelle Meyer / Texas Tropical Plants Horticultural Services
8. Cordyline Red Sister
Love The Red Sister plant, in particular because of its colorful foliage with burgundy to pinkish leaves. It draws you eye to it every time you see it. Looks great in containers and is easy to take care of. Water every few days to keep the soil moist but not wet. Do not let the soil dry out. Mist the leaves every few days to keep them moist as well. The foliage of the Red Sister plant looks glossier and healthier in humid conditions.
Jose Mercado / Rosborough Partners
9. Begonias – Angel Wing and Rex
I don’t have one favorite – that’s impossible. My current obsession are begonias – Angel Wing and Rex varieties. Begonias have such character and personality! Many shun them as weird or because they’re not trendy.
I find them to be captivating with their dramatic color schemes and textured leaves. I feel like I’m surrounded by a band of characters! Many varieties look like every leaf has been individually painted – just wonderful. Place your begonia in bright indirect light, give it higher humidity conditions, water with distilled water and never let it get soggy.
Amira El-Gawly / St. Plant
10. ZZ plant (Zamioculcas Zamifolia)
Known to symbolize prosperity, it has shiny green stems that grow about 3’, is attractive and easy to maintain. They do well in low light environments and because they store water, only require watering about once or twice a month. They look beautiful in contemporary planters, either as a single plant or in multi clusters and are great for offices and homes, because they are not temperamental when neglected!
Adriana Salinas / Newcomb Landscaping Service
“Only the strong survives” is my motto for the “ZZ” Plant. The Zamioculcas can stay graceful in the lowest light and need least amount of water. It stands tall in higher light and will require more water, just like me!
Margo Burke / The Professional Group
Why I love the ZZ: besides its beautiful glossy thick leaves, I love the way she always seems to be reaching for the sky. I love the versatility of this plant for indoor use because it can tolerate lower light levels as well as higher light levels with proper care. Do not overwater your ZZ! Let it dry out some in between watering. The plant holds water in its thick leaves, thick stems and bulbs. Too much water can lead to root rot very easily.
Jennifer B. Perez / Growing Roots
11. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)
Treated appropriately, it will provide up to four weeks of blossoms per bloom cycle and will last for decades. Planted in a loose soil mix in a planter with drainage holes and watered thoroughly when the succulent leaves first begin to lose the moisture that keeps them rigid, the plant will remain healthy above 55 degrees F in full indoor sun or outdoor shade.
Six weeks before you want your plant to bloom, expose the plant to up to one week of temperatures between 50 and 55 degrees F. This stimulates flower buds. The next bloom cycle can be induced immediately after the plant puts out new leaves after blooming. It is possible to have four or five bloom cycles per year with each plant. Even without the bloom, the structure of the plant is sculptural enough to warrant display.
12. Song of India (Dracaena Reflexa)
Originally from Madagascar, it has more than a dozen of varieties. It is one of my favorites because of the versatility of this elegant cultivar. It can be used inside or outside, you can use it as a filler, accent plant or as a specimen in a nice arrangement. Its leaves grow from 2 to 6 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide in a spirally way and overall if left unpruned it can reach 9 to 10 ft tall. It adapts and thrives in zones 10b and above, since it is a tropical plant it will not tolerate frosty winters.
The most popular version of this lovely plant is the variegated Song of India. When grown indoors it can adapt to fairly low levels of light with water requirements accordingly, if it has too much water in the pot it will develop root rot. It is always healthy for the plant to root prune every two years to create new growth.
Overall it is an easy plant and can grow from cuts replanted in the ground. When grown outdoors it can take the hot sun of south Florida and do well, you will need to water frequently and adapt to a large variety of soils. It is recommended to fertilize quarterly and prune it back every spring. It does not have any showy flowers or fruit but this plant has so much character and natural beauty that doesn’t need pretty flowers. Song of India is a definitely a good plant for any landscape and can grow in any pattern, being a bush the most popular one.
So these are some of the best indoor office plants available in the market, we do hope your head is buzzing with inspiration now! If you’re now looking to take it a step further and put some of these beauties in equally pleasing containers, why don’t you take a look at our collection of universal fiberglass planters?