Plants grown in offices beautify the workplace and help workers feel more at home. They also serve as air purifiers, cleansing the air of toxins from paints, carpets, computers and other items found in many modern buildings. Adding a few plants to an office can result in a healthier work environment. According to Treehugger.com, one potted plant for each 100 square feet of floor space helps purify the air.
The heartleaf philodendron is a hardy, easily grown plant. It’s a long-lasting office plant that doesn’t need pampering. This plant can thrive under fluorescent lights, tolerating more neglect than most plants. Although it may suffer from mealybugs, it’s mostly unaffected by pests. It's a trailing plant that normally grows about a foot in height, with vines reaching more than 6 feet in length, according to the Denver Plants website.
Cactus plants are suitable for offices because they’re drought-tolerant and able to survive long periods without watering. They should be placed in a spot where they won't be bumped or knocked over. Cactus plants are best grown in sunny windows.
Pothos can adjust to various office conditions ranging from low light to bright lighting. This classic plant has heart-shaped, broad marbled leaves. Also known as Devil’s Ivy, pothos is ideal for offices because it can tolerate low humidity, low lights and dry soil for a long period of time. Its long-trailing vines are best displayed from a shelf or filing cabinet. Because pothos can be aggressive, it will need to be cut back periodically for control.
English ivy, with its lavish trailing vines, is another excellent office plant for shelves. It often is planted in hanging baskets in lobbies or atriums. English ivy is not well-suited for high temperatures and need to be kept in partial shade. Its lobed leaves and distinctive foliage make it a lovely accent plant. It grows rapidly and has wiry strong stems. English ivies come in many varieties, from plain green to variegated shades of yellow, gold and creamy white.
The snake plant, also called mother-in-law’s tongue, has sword-like leaves that create an interesting focal point. It’s a columnar plant with leaves growing almost vertical. This plant grows in normal indoor temperatures. Humidity isn’t critical, and the plant isn’t affected by many pests. It is very drough tolerant.
The peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is a highly rated indoor air purifier that adapts well to office life. It’s tolerant of dry office air and tolerates low lighting, but does better when kept under bright fluorescent lights. Peace lilies need the soil kept moist; water when the foliage starts to droop.