How to Pot Office Plants


Potted plants add color and a touch of greenery to the office. Offices can be drab places and a single plant goes a long way toward livening them. Most offices are not well suited for healthy plant growth. Potting the office plants properly helps them thrive. They have little natural light, dry air conditions and may be too cool or too warm after the building closes down in the evening. Regardless, potted plants can be successfully grown in the office environment with a little planning and effort.

Step 1

Choose potted plants that require minimal natural light, or are labeled low-light on the plant tags. Choose foliage plants over flowering plants as foliage plants do best under fluorescent bulbs.

Step 2

Fill a drip tray with a single layer of small rocks or pebbles. Fill the tray with water up to the top of the pebbles then set the plant pot on top. This provides needed moisture and humidity, which is often lacking in the office environment.

Step 3

Choose a plastic pot over clay with bottom drainage holes, as clay wicks away moisture and leads to further drying in an already dry office environment. Avoid using a pot that is too large for the plant for the same reason. Use a pot one size up from the existing pot the plant is in.

Step 4

Fill the new pot one-third full of potting soil. Grasp the plant around the stem near the soil surface and pull it out from the old pot. Set the plant in the new pot, spreading the roots slightly, then finish filling with soil.

Step 5

Water thoroughly after repotting then check the soil daily for moisture. Water when the top 1 inch of the soil feels dry. Water from the top of the pot until the water drips out the bottom. Empty the drip tray or replace the water in the pebble tray after watering.

Step 6

Move plants away from air vents to prevent drying and work to maintain a 70 to 80 degree F temperature during the day and a 60 to 70 degree F temperature at night. If heating and cooling systems are turned off in the evening and weekends at your office, move plants away from windows where they may be exposed to cold or hot drafts. Bring them home if the office is closed for more than two days, such as over a holiday.

Step 7

Fertilize with a liquid balanced houseplant feed every two weeks while the plant is actively growing. Fertilize between spring and fall and cease fertilization during the winter months.

Tips and Warnings

  • Office plants are not immune from disease and insects. Treat any suspected problem immediately with the proper chemical or organic control. Often too many people are caring for an office plant and it becomes over-watered or over-fertilized. Arrange with your office mates to have only one person in charge of the plant care.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic pot
  • Potting soil
  • Drip tray
  • Pebbles
  • Fertilizer


  • Texas A&M Extension: Houseplants
Keywords: office plants, houseplant care, potting plants for the office

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.