A little green life on your desk can really help brighten your day – and you don’t have to take our word for it. Recent research has found that offices with plants make staff happier and more productive than ‘lean’ designs stripped of greenery. And it’s not just aesthetics. Through a process called photoremediation, plants can mitigate indoor pollution. Along with carbon dioxide, plants absorb a long list of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) through the pores on the surface of their leaves. These gases, commonly found in cosmetics, detergents, and carpet cleaner, have been linked to conditions like asthma, nausea, cancer, and respiratory illness.
While all plants purify indoor air to some extent, some have been found to be especially effective in removing VOCs. These include spider plants, aloe vera, English ivy, and snake plants. Afraid of the responsibility of caring for a living thing? Here are 5 desk plants perfectly suited for the office environment:
- Snake Tongue (Sansevieria): These hearty plants have long, sharp leaves and can grow up to 2-3 feet tall. They are one of the best plants you can choose for removing pollutants from your environment.
- Cactus: Natural to dry, harsh environments, cacti truly thrive on neglect. They do prefer sunlight, so they’ll do best near a window and don’t need to be watered very often.
- Air Plant (Tillandsia): These are perfect for people with a fear of houseplants – they require no soil to grow. All they need is air circulation and a little mist of water once in a while. They don’t do well in full sun, so they’re perfect for the office!
- Jade Plant (Crassula ovata): This slow grower does well in relatively cool office environments and doesn’t need much water. It prefers bright light which helps produce the red shade around its leaves.
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): This plant’s cascading leaves make them ideal for high shelves or hanging baskets and they thrive in lower-light environments. They’re known for reducing indoor air pollution, making them a great choice for the office.
Why Plants in the Office Make Us More Productive , University of Exeter
Do Indoor Plants Really Clean the Air? , Live Science