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Office Plants Explained

At A1 Office we are often asked about the best office plants for your desk at work. Every plant lover is different, and there is no “cookie-cutter” approach; however, there are a few commonly-used plants to give your day an instant mood boost. With all the great ways in which plants can empower your employees’ potential, from increased productivity to improved customer service and improved air quality, we decided to compile a list of our most commonly asked, plant-related questions.

Why are interior plants good for the office? 

A little greenery helps transform workspaces into vibrant, healthier places where employees want to work. Studies show that the presence of plants can reduce employee stress levels, boost moods and improve productivity up to 15%. 

Do Office Plants Need Sunlight?

Like people, every species of plant has individual needs: some need direct sunlight to survive. By contrast, others can live in complete darkness.

Is There a Good Plant For an Office Space With No Windows?

Firstly, why doesn’t your office have any windows? Natural light is essential to employee mental health! All of our workspaces are designed in such a way to capture as much natural light as possible. 

 For a low-light or windowless office, we recommend:

  • Pothos

Pothos goes by many names, including; golden pothos; hunter’s robe; ivy arum; money plant; and taro vine. It is also referred to as the ‘Devils Ivy,’ because it’s nearly impossible to kill. Pothos is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow, and its gold-tinged leaves are spectacular.

How do you care for a Pothos plant indoors?

Caring for this hardy and low-maintenance plant is very easy; if it’s growing in pot plants or hanging baskets, ensure the soil has largely dried out between each watering. Alternatively, it can be grown in a vase of water. Pothos grows well in bright, indirect sunlight – not on a windowsill. A classic workplace plant, Pothos functions well under fluorescent light, excellent at purifying the air indoors and requires minimal effort.

Note: we do not recommend a Pothos if your workplace has a resident office dog: the plant has been known to be toxic if ingested.

We recommend styling your pothos in a hanging basket or climbing the office wall to create the feeling of a tropical oasis.

  • Peace Lily

These stunning, elegant plants are a long-time favourite among houseplant enthusiasts, and it’s no wonder why. Tropical and evergreen, Peace lilies thrive in dappled sunlight and consistent moisture. They also make ideal plants for the office or bedroom, as they are renowned for their air-purifying abilities. Studies show that Peace Lilies notably release oxygen and increase humidity.

How do you care for a Peace lily indoors? Peace Lilies are incredibly simple to care for: place them in indirect light (when working in low-light conditions, fluorescent office lights should do just fine); when watering, keep the soil moist but not soggy; and use high-quality potting mixed with a high-quality fertiliser roughly a month after planting. Peace lilies are extremely low-maintenance, and actually require infrequent watering and fertilising. As drought-resistant plants, less is more: instead of watering on a daily schedule, touch the soil weekly, and water only when it’s dry. Fertilise 1-2 times per year

How Do You Keep an Office Plant Alive?

Plants require consistent maintenance in order to keep them alive and thriving. Research is key to keeping an office plant both alive and thriving. As every plant is different, we recommend using a search engine to check for any specific needs. Things to look out for: watering; soil; pot type; fertiliser; and light level requirements. Consider receiving plant maintenance services for the office, thus making the plants easy to care for and to ensure that your desk plants are well looked after.

Some things that can help keep your plant alive:

  • Self-Watering Pots

Do self-watering planters really work? Yes – these pots are a plant killer’s dream! Self-watering pots and planters create a watering system by containing a reservoir of water at the bottom, which the plant’s roots can harness when thirsty. Self-watering planters are the best solution for most indoor plants, especially: tropical plants, annuals, and perennials. We do not recommend putting succulents in self-watering pots as they can cause root rot in plants that need dry conditions.

What is the best self-watering planter? For all planters, we recommend buying from pot manufacturers who use sustainable materials such as recycled plastic. Our favourites are: the Melbourne-manufactured Mr Kitly; the Robert Gordon brand’s beautiful self-watering ceramic pot; and Elho’s Earth-Friendly pots – the manufacturer recycles 5.6 million tonnes of plastic waste every year!

  • Use High-quality Potting Mix 

Every plant needs different nutrients; we recommend researching what your plant specifically needs. For instance, succulents such as cacti need soil with partial sand or grit, to help with drainage; whereas orchids need peat moss, perlite soil or fir bark to stay damp, but not moist.

What is the Easiest Plant to Take Care of?

  • The ZZ Plant – Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

The ZZ plant – otherwise known as the Aroid Palm or Zanzibar gem – is a plant that can thrive in most interior light conditions, and can withstand drought, to an extent.

  • Monstera Deliciosa

The Monstera deliciosa – otherwise known as the Swiss Cheese Plant – has been favoured by interior designers for years. This lush, tropical plant has a striking appearance and is fairly simple to care for.

To care for a Monstera Deliciosa we recommend placing in bright to medium indirect light and water every 1-2 weeks so that it is mostly dry when watered.

  • Ceropegia Woodii

The Ceropegia woodii – or string of hearts vine – is an extremely easy-going plant. Its needs are very simple: high-quality drainage, and only watering it when dry. An excellent tip for knowing if your plant is dry enough: place a stick deep into the pot. If the stick comes out completely dry, you need to water; if wet, wait a few more days before watering.

  • Cactus

A cactus plant in a well-drained pot could not be easier to take care of – if you can resist the urge to water. Cacti should be placed in a moderate amount of sunlight, and only watered when completely dry – see our stick tip above. One of our favourite types of cacti is Aloe vera, for its hard-to-kill nature, evergreen beauty and reported medicinal qualities – in treating sunburn and rashes, simply cut off half a stalk and rub its gel on the burn for relief. The aloe plant is truly a gift from nature.

How Can I Decorate My Office With Plants?

  • Use Colours or Patterns 

When it comes to which plants you choose – and which pots you display – be sure to consider the colour palette. For instance, a Peace Lily looks fun and hip in a salmon pink pot – or elegant and classy in a crisp white pot. It’s best to evaluate the leaf colour or ‘body’ of the plant when selecting pots, to maximise the beauty of your plant design.

  • Hanging Plants, Plant Standards and Floor Plants

For a lush visual effect, design your plants to sit at a wide variety of heights, surfaces and levels. Playing with levels can elevate your office into a beautiful, green space: a truly healthy and calming oasis for your employees.

  • Feature Plants

Strategically placing one or two feature plants into empty or bare areas in your workspace is an inexpensive way to add a little life and style to an otherwise boring area.

  • Talk To Us at A1 Office

Shameless plug aside, at A1 Office we create sustainable, environmentally-friendly workspaces, designed to empower employee potential by improving mental health, productivity, technology and company culture. Our expert designers can create the perfect plant oasis for anyone; from plant killers to green-thumbed experts.

Contact A1 Office – or sign up to our newsletter – for more inspired design tips and tricks.


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