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The daily grind and mental stress of office work can take a toll. Bringing nature indoors with low-light “office plants” offers a refreshing diversion. Specific durable and low-maintenance greenery can survive the office environment.
Plantly’s top 7 recommendations on the best low-light plants liven up your desktop and boost productivity and wellness by relieving stress.
Low-light Indoor Plants for Your Home or Office
Low-maintenance greenery can thrive in low-light settings in your office space. With minimal care, these hardy plants will add a touch of nature to your workspace without becoming another task on your to-do list.
Snake plants ( Sansevieria )
Easy to care for and edgy looking, a Sansevieria or snake plant is a good option for low to medium-light office spaces.
It does not require frequent watering as it can retain much of it.
It is enough to water it every three to four weeks. It can even survive without water for 2-3 months in some parts of the world. 😲
As it grows vertically, it will grow neither too tall nor fast to overpower even the smallest of desks.
It is easy to maintain and unique, adding a gorgeous look to any office space.
ZZ plant ( Zamioculcas zamiifolia )
At the top of the list of ‘office plants, no natural light’ category is the ZZ plant. Also called the Zanzibar Gem or ZZ Gem is a succulent plant with thick stems and shiny green foliage.
It needs almost no water (you can water it as rarely as once a month!), does not shed leaves, can withstand moderate to low light environments, and does not grow very fast.
This makes it an ultimate desk plant, and you do not even have to worry if it will survive your vacation days alone in the office.
Besides being practically indestructible, it is pretty interesting to look at.
It is dark green and has thick leaves aligned like a feather.
The ZZ plant brings that personal touch to every office space, however small.
Pothos ( Epipremnum aureum )
Pothos, famously known as ‘devil’s ivy plants, come in many varieties, and any of them would be a perfect choice among the best indoor plants.
This plant is very resilient, although it looks delicate.
Its other name is Devil’s Ivy. It can grow in soil or water, giving your working space a unique look.
It can form a bush or a vine, and it is up to you to decide how to grow it.
When watering it (if it is planted in soil), use your finger to feel if the top inch or two of the soil is dry.
If it is – water it.
When kept in a water-filled container (i.e., glass), ensure the water is clean.
Pothos are perfect as office plants because they can tolerate low to medium light settings and withstand drought.
Pothos is one of the most forgiving indoor plants that would still grow with neglect. When you see their leaves drooping, that’s an indication that you already need feed.
Lucky bamboo seamlessly integrates into the Feng Shui philosophy due to its historical association with bamboo and its green color. It acts as a conduit, drawing positive chi towards you like a lightning rod.
The bamboo plant is often found in offices because it is incredibly low-maintenance.
All it takes to keep it alive is fresh and clean water.
Depending on its shape (it can come in magnificent arrangements), you can keep it in a shallow glass or ceramic container filled with pebbles, a tall flute glass, or a bowl.
Add water to keep the level optimal, and wash the container occasionally.
Do this when you notice the water getting greenish.
Lucky bamboo is an excellent indoor plant since it requires moderate light. It is said to bring luck and prosperity to someone who owns it. This is great if your performance needs a bit of a boost.
Besides, its minimalist look looks polished and modern, giving your space an exotic feel.
Peace Lily ( Spathiphyllum )
The peace lily is, by default, an outdoor plant. However, they can adapt indoors and are considered good office plants that form beautiful flowers.
It does not require direct or bright light and can also tolerate artificial light. Peace lilies flourish and showcase captivating dark green leaves all year round, even in the most challenging indoor environments.
It is also a bit more demanding in the watering department. Peace Lily likes damp soil and starts to wilt when it is dry for a few days.
To avoid this, make it a habit to check the soil condition once a day, and you will know when it needs watering.
According to feng shui experts, it brings harmony and peace to the environment, as its name suggests.
However, the spathiphyllum plant is the best at producing oxygen and for its air-purifying properties.
It will keep you alert and neutralize harmful radiation and positive ions from electrical appliances such as laptops or computers.
Succulents and Cacti
Succulents and cacti are for those of you who are likely to forget that you have a plant to care about, even if it is in front of you for eight hours daily.
Luckily, you can go without watering them for over a month.
Mini succulents and cacti look adorable in their tiny containers. And you can even have a few without them crowding your space.
Great varieties are the Jade plant and the Chinese money plant. Both are believed to bring money to the owner, which is great for a workplace plant.
The greener it is, the more money it gets. The same goes for the number of leaves.
The only thing you should worry about is that they do require at least moderate light. This means they are suitable for offices or window-side spaces, while office space with no natural light might not be the best option.
You may check our Reasons Why Succulents and Cacti Are The Best Indoor Plants blog for more details on why these plants are excellent choices for busy, modern players in the corporate world.
Other suggestions for office or indoor plants are philodendrons, dracaenas, aloe, and ficus. And, if all else fails, you can pick up a flower arrangement on your way to work and enjoy it while it lasts.
Aglaonema Plants ( Chinese Evergreen )
Aglaonema is an excellent choice for office plants due to its adaptability, resilience, and low maintenance requirements.
It thrives in low-light conditions commonly found in offices with minimal windows, making it suitable for various office environments.
Its vibrant foliage, available in different cultivars, adds to the visual appeal of the office space, creating a pleasant and inviting atmosphere.
Aglaonema has been scientifically proven to improve indoor air quality by filtering and purifying the air, reducing common pollutants in office spaces.
With its beauty, resilience, ease of care, and potential health benefits, Aglaonema emerges as a standout option for office plants.
The Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
This plant is well suited for low light conditions indoors. This hardy plant can survive in spaces with virtually no natural sunlight due to its ability to grow in dark forests and shaded areas. With broad leaves that require less light to photosynthesize, the Cast Iron Plant has adapted to thrive in low-light environments.
Its resilience and low maintenance make it one of the top choices for indoor gardeners without bright light.
Red Marantha ( Maranta leuconeura )
The red marantha is well-suited for low-light indoor conditions. Native to shaded Brazilian forests, this plant thrives without direct sunlight. Bright light can cause the signature red veining on the leaves to fade.
By keeping the Red Marantha in low to moderate indoor light, its beautiful reddish markings will stand out against the lush green leaves. I’ve noticed my red marantha loses its vibrant coloration in very bright light, but placing it in my lower-lit indoor space brought back the dramatic contrasting colors on the leaves.
The Dracaena Lisa has adapted to thrive in low-light indoor environments. Native to shaded tropical areas, this plant is accustomed to growing without direct sunlight. With broad foliage requiring less light to photosynthesize, the Dracaena Lisa can survive and flourish in spaces with minimal natural light.
Its ability to grow in dim conditions makes the Dracaena Lisa one of the most low-maintenance, low-light houseplants.
Can Indoor Plants Thrive Without Natural Light Sources?
While all plants need light for photosynthesis, certain varieties are better suited for low-light indoor environments when paired with supplemental lighting.
So-called “low light plants” can survive and thrive in spaces without direct sunlight if they receive adequate bright, indirect light from artificial sources.
With the proper plant selections and strategically placed grow lights, you can cultivate an indoor garden virtually anywhere in your home or office. The key is choosing adaptable plants and providing enough supplemental lighting to meet their needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from providing aesthetic structure to any room, indoor plants help reduce stress levels. Study shows that working in an office with competerized work lowered stress response both physiological and psychological.
According to a study, indoor or office plants can make you feel at ease, calm and relaxed. Computer tasks and deadlines can cause heart rate and high blood pressure, by staring at these green, living foliage can decrease stress and helps lessen the burden.
Succulents and cacti, pothos, peace lily and indoor palms are famous indoor or office plants you can rely on. Not only they’re easy to take care but also purify the air and provide oxygen.
No matter what you prefer to call it, a snake plant is undoubtedly one of the easiest (and frequently encountered) indoor plants suitable for windowless offices. It thrives in indirect sunlight and can endure in low-light environments. However, occasional exposure to sunlight wouldn’t harm it.