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Plants for an Office Cubicle and Fluorescent Light

By April Sanders ; Updated July 21, 2017
English ivy thrives under fluorescent light and cleans the air.
Tsuneo Yamashita/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Indoor plants are both attractive and beneficial. Not only do they soften the look of indoor spaces, but plants also add oxygen to the air, and many even filter out harmful toxins, according to the University of Minnesota. For these reasons, placing a plant in your office cubicle, even under fluorescent lighting, is a smart thing to do. A few specific plants will thrive under such conditions.

English Ivy

This hardy vine is often seen climbing up brick walls, trees and other structures, but it also makes an excellent indoor plant. A wide variety of cultivars are available, including plants with attractive variegated leaves. More importantly, English ivy (Hedera helix) thrives under low-light conditions. While fluorescent lights are a good choice for plants because of their low heat output, they do not put out a high amount of light, according to the University of Hawaii. Therefore, plants placed under fluorescent lights need to grow in low-light conditions. English ivy is a good choice for an office because the plant is known to filter toxins out of the air, including formaldehyde, which is found in home and office cleaning products.

Snake Plants

Snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) are known for their foliage, which grows almost vertically and may twist into interesting shapes. The cultivar "Laurentii" has variegated leaves that are edged in creamy pale yellow. The vertical shape of snake plants means they take up less space in an office cubicle, unlike many other indoor plants which may trail over your papers and workspace. Not only are these plants tolerant of dim light, but they are also drought-tolerant, according to the University of Oklahoma. If you are out of the office for a while and forget to water it, the plant will still survive.

Corn Plant Dracaena

Dracaenas (Dracaena spp) are a favorite plant of many home gardeners. These plants, which come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, are very durable and can tolerate periods of neglect. Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana," or the corn plant as it is often simply called, features wide, gracefully arching leaves that are striped with bands of yellow. Tall and slender, this plant is best set on the floor of an office cubicle. These drought-tolerant plants should be allowed to dry out completely before being watered.

Chinese Evergreen

The Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum) is another common, low-light indoor plant. Desirable for its broad, ovate, glossy green leaves, this plant is not only attractive, but it is easy to care for, according to the University of Oklahoma. The Chinese evergreen does not like bright light and will grow best in the dim light of fluorescent tubes. Outdoors, it prefers full shade. The Chinese evergreen is known to filter the air and thus, is a good choice for an office cubicle. On the downside, these plants are not drought-tolerant and should be kept moist.