Tall office plants provide screening and a little bit of added privacy. Sometimes, a tall office plant covers an ugly wall decoration when your employer won't let you do anything else or a window that looks out onto nothing. The best office plants require little care and thrive indoors under artificial light.
The umbrella plant, or Cyperus alternifolius, is much like its name. It grows tall and creates a canopy much like an open umbrella. However, the plant's name more likely derives from the fact that the plant likes to be kept moist at all times. It would be nearly impossible to overwater this plant, which makes it an ideal gift for a co-worker who routinely kills plants with too much water. Just try to drown an umbrella plant. It'll never happen.
This office plant requires full sun to filtered light. Use an all-purpose potting soil and balanced fertilizer. You can create more umbrella plants through division and stem cuttings. (So if you want to create your own mini-jungle from one plant, this is your guy.) This plant can grow 4 to 5 feet tall.
The snake plant has very stiff leaves that grow straight up. If you drew a face on the planter, it would look like a person with too much hair gel. The leaves grow up to 4 feet tall. The snake plant is considered an "architectural plant" because, used in interior design, it's much like a living sculpture.
These plants are easy to take care of, but they prefer very bright light or full sunlight. The soil should dry completely before you water it again. If you're unsure when to water, wait a little longer. The snake plant forgives underwatering far more easily than overwatering. Use a sandier potting soil for best results. You may have to divide and re-pot this plant yearly because it can grow very fast and quickly overtake the container it started out in.
Dracaena.com refers to these plants as "clean air machines," so if you're looking for a plant that will really improve your indoor air quality, this is the one to go for. The dracaena comes in a wide variety ranging from teeny-tiny in stature to "Godzilla plant, run!" For a taller plant for the average office environment, choose the popular dracaena fragrans Massangeana variety. This variety is also known as the corn plant.
For a tall office plant, grow it as a "tree form" rather than a "shrub form." To accomplish this, root the mature canes. This plant is one of the plants used by the NASA Clean Air Study. The dracaena does accumulate dust so you should wipe leaves with a damp cloth routinely. These plants require very little water and do well in most lighting.