The Heartiest Home Office Plants to Help You Avoid Plantslaughter
If you’re anything like me, you love the decorative look of plants that you’ve seen in different offices and in friends’ homes. As you start asking questions on what these plant parents do to take care of their little green babies, you turn green yourself thinking of all the repotting, fertilizing, and meticulous watering techniques and frequencies that’s required for a fruitful foliage family. However, 4 months at home nearly 24/7 will surely drive a desire to deck out your new home office digs with desk plants and green decor galore. There are quite a few perks to owning plants outside of the aesthetics and the maintenance doesn’t always have to be strenuous. Check out these benefits from botanical beauties and some of my favorite finds for easy peasy plants that you can easily love and they’ll most likely live.
The Powerful Perks of Plants
- CLEANSING: Like little Roombas, plants suck in the dirt around your home and clean the air of toxins.
- HUMIDIFYING: You can finally achieve that dewy glow as plants are natural humidifiers so they can reduce dry skin and even help with sore throats or dry coughs.
- MOOD BOOSTING: Humans feel naturally calmer when looking at greenery. The calming effect from nature helps reduce stress and boost your mood.
- INCREASES PRODUCTIVITY: Plants help you feel good so you do good. When plants are in your environment, they can increase alertness, attentiveness, and creativity.
Gettin’ Lucky (Bamboo)
Commonly known as Lucky Bamboo, Dracaena sanderiana, is one of the easiest plants to grow and hardest to kill (accidentally, of course). As I’ve previously been guilty of plantslaughter, I can vouch that Bamboo is the best starter plant. They require very little light, making it easy to find a home for them on your desk regardless if you’re near a window and they can grow without soil. Lucky Bamboo plants will usually come planted in rocks so no need to fertilize or repot. Bamboo can grow very large so just keep them in a smaller pot and they won’t get too wild. They’re also hard to over-water, just keep adding water to meet the rock bed line and you’re golden. They can even survive about 5-7 days without replen of water so no need to find a plantsitter if you have a long weekend getaway!
Catch Some Zz’s
The ZZ plant, Zamioculus zamifolia, is anything but a bore. This show stopping plant with its wide, dark green leaves, is quite the anti-diva. It tolerates neglect, being able to thrive in low light and with little water. It flourishes and keeps the spotlight on itself even with bad lighting like fluorescent bulbs (a perfect plant for the actual office too). Originating from Africa, the ZZ is drought tolerant so don’t be overdramatic when you realize you forgot to water it. And for the finale, researchers in a NASA study found that the ZZ removes quite a few toxins from the air like benzene, toluene, and xylene. She may be low maintenance, but she sure is a star.
The Snake in the Garden of 3DEN
The Snake plant, Sansevieria trifasciata, (also known as mother-in-law's tongue, but we won’t get into the weeds), is a good go-to for a green thumb beginner and has a handful of benefits. Also chosen by NASA for the clean air study, the Snake plant is applauded for its air purification power. And like your mother-in-law at Thanksgiving, these plants will still make a statement either directly in the light or in the dark, back corner of the house. Unlike your mother-in-law at Thanksgiving, the Snake plants can handle infrequent refills - wait until their soil is dry until you water it next and err on the side of underwatering. This is one of our favorites at 3DEN and we can vouch that it’s way less maintenance than your MIL.
Do you love the sun? So do Aloe vera plants. The Aloe barbadensis miller needs to soak up the sun to stay happy (and alive) but they also help you out when you soak up too much sun. You may be more familiar with Aloe vera as it’s commercially sold in stores as a green goo that looks a lot like hair gel. The best way to treat a sunburn is to cut an Aloe vera leaf right from the plant and slice it at the vertical cross-section to reveal the jelly inside of the leaf. Make little cuts in the thick gel and rub the leaf (gel side) directly onto your burn! The leaves will regrow from the part you cut off. Keep little Ms. Miller near a sunny window and only water her every couple of weeks. Surf’s up!
The Tropical Philodendron, Philodendron bipinnatifidum, has heart-shaped, vibrant green leaves which makes them a feel good plant to plop on your desk. The Philodendron, like all of us during quarantine, would prefer to be in a warm, tropical climate, but can tolerate lower humidity levels if needed. Not to fret if you don’t get the brightest ray of sunshine through your window, as long as you can get a little light on this plant, Phil will be a happy deskside companion. Fill a spray bottle with water and give him a mist from time to time to keep those tropical leaves happy. Spray yourself while you’re at it and pretend you’re basking in Bora Bora for a little escape from that work from home life.
At the end of the day, these plants shouldn’t add more work to your plate as you work from home nor should it be a large chore as you return to life with a little more on-the-go and out the door. Pick up a few of these at your local bodega or nursery and you can get that green decorative taste without creating any bio waste.