When your drab office needs a little green.
Feelings of restlessness and unproductivity at work abound in today’s generation. More often than not, sitting in front of a computer from 9am to 6pm, five days a week, can be extremely taxing, draining all your creative juices and motivation. Here’s where plants enter the picture – studies have shown that office landscaping can bring great benefits to the office environment, improving productivity and satisfaction on the job.
Not only can plants remove toxins from the air, they can also increase moisture and purity in the air and add a stylish focal point to your work environment. If you’re looking for plants to spruce up your office space, we’ve rounded up eight low-maintenance plants that are great for your work desk – that is to say, your office plant would still thrive, even if you’re don’t have green-thumbs. Only requiring minimal care, these plants are sure to stay for a long time.
The snake plant (Sanseveria trifasciata), also known as the Mother-in-law’s Tongue (#whereisthelie), is a sturdy houseplants that is capable of thriving in dry air and low lighting conditions, the two characteristics of an office environment.
Despite the nature of its name, it requires very little attention, perfect when you can’t even find time to eat lunch, let alone water your plants. Its strappy leaves also make a nice statement and will bring colour to your otherwise drab office. All you need to do is to place it under bright, indirect light and water it once a month.
Possibly every Singaporean’s favourite office plant – the money plant (Scindapsus aureus or Epipremnum aureum) is not only just low-maintenance, it’s also believed to bring prosperity and luck to its owner with its round and flat leaves that resemble coins. For it to thrive, all it requires is bright light, with no direct sunlight. But regardless whether it brings you material abundance, the money plant is a powerful air purifying plant that will effectively clean up the air in the office.
The spider plant (Chrolophytum comosum) is another low-maintenance indoor plant that can make your office feel more homey. It prefers to dry out between waterings, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
Similar to the money plant, the spider plant is also great at clearing toxins from the air and filtering out toxic substances such as formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. It’s also often displayed in hanging baskets, adding some visual interest to a dull office space. Once they grow out longer stems with smaller spider plant clumps at the tip, you can trim them off and grow them in another pot.
If you’re a plant novice, a cactus would be your best bet. The small, robust plant requires very little water to survive and even prefers to go a few days without water, requiring only sunlight.
With more than 2,000 different types of cacti to choose from, the most common ones include the Myrtillocactus, Echinocereus schmollii, or Cleistocactus winteri species as they do well indoors. Just make sure to keep your cactus somewhere where no one is likely to be reaching across your desk.
If you spend a lot of time out of the office or going on business trips, the aloe plant is the perfect plant for you. Infrequent watering is completely fine – you just need to give it a little soak once every couple of weeks, as long as they have lots of light.
It prides itself on being a multi-purpose plant that may come in handy in the future. Not only does it have air-filtering qualities and can remove substances such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air, the gel inside it can also be used to treat cuts and burns.
Chances are you’ve seen a pothos plant (Epipremnum aureum) in your office before – your boss probably has one. This popular office plant is hardy and small, perfect on shelves and in tiny corners. It’s very easy to care for and does well with almost no sunlight.
Another reason for its popularity would be its aesthetically pleasing leaves that tend to drape over shelves, cubicle walls and file cabinets. Though it grows quite quickly, the leaves are also easy to trim and you can plant them in new pots to grow more of them – free plants for your colleagues!
Terrariums are a delightful accessory for your work desk. Customising your own is also a therapeutic activity to calm your mind and boost creativity. All you need to do is to choose a container, add a layer of gravel, some soil, and then a few clumps of moss and you’re good to go. You can even go the extra mile to add tiny ferns or other plants that like moist conditions and there you have it, a self-sustaining, Pinterest-worthy mini-garden.
When it comes to office plants, we can’t leave out succulents. The jade plant (Crassula ovata) is probably one of the most popular succulents for an office environment. It does well in most environments and requires even less light than other succulents due to its dark green fleshy leaves.
Your only job is to water it when the top of soil is dry to the touch, making it a perfect addition to any office. If a leaf breaks off, you replant it in fresh soil to grow a new plant.
By Cheryl Lim, October 2019 / Images: Shutterstock
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