From working in huge office blocks to living in urban cities, humans need to be careful that they’re not disconnecting themselves from nature as this can have a detrimental impact on their health and wellbeing.
Incorporating natural elements into an urban environment can help to reconnect humans with nature and allow them to reap all the benefits. Desk plants are one of the easiest ways to incorporate a small element of the outside world into an otherwise urban environment.
So if you’re feeling a little bit disconnected from nature in your 9-5 job, then these are twelve of the best desk plants for your office.
What are the Benefits of Desk Plants?
The term ‘biophilia’ relates to humans’ innate need to be connected to nature in every setting. From houseplants to desk plants, there’s a good reason why people feel so compelled to fill their indoor spaces with elements of the outdoors.
In the early 1980s, the American biologist, Edward O.Wilson came up with the concept ‘biophilic design’, which aims to reconnect people with nature. With more and more time being spent in large, built up cities, Wilson noticed how this detachment from nature was having a negative impact on people. Something needed to be done to reconnect them to the outside world.
This is where biophilic design came in. From including water features in large office blocks, to introducing real, living walls – elements of biophilic design began to be introduced into urbanised areas to reconnect humans with nature.
Some of the main benefits of biophilia include:
- Reduced stress levels
- Increased productivity
- Boosted creativity
- Improved health, helping to reduce sick days
- A more attractive workplace
- Improved air quality
So whether you invest in a little, low-maintenance desk plant to bring an element of nature into your work environment, or you fill your desk space with lots of different plants, you’re sure to notice all of the benefits of biophilia in no time.
The Best Desk Plants to Brighten Up Your Office
If you want a desk plant that can live without your constant attention for weeks on end, then you need to get your hands on a cactus. Almost impossible to kill, cacti only need to be watered every few weeks and need to completely dry out in between waterings.
There are so many types of cacti on offer, so you’ll have a hard time choosing the perfect one for you. However, they’re the perfect desk plant that’ll add a stylish, visual element to your desk – just be careful not to touch.
Succulents are having their moment right now, and it’s easy to see why. Available in a huge variety of colours, shapes and sizes, there’s one for every taste.
Much like cacti, succulents are easy to care for. They only need to be watered every few weeks, so they’re easy to keep healthy – great news for the less green-fingered among us.
However, if you really don’t trust yourself with trying to keep a succulent alive, then there are plenty of artificial succulents on the market that look just as good as the real thing.
Devil’s ivy is a popular desk plant – not only is it small enough to fit on your desk without being too intrusive, it’s also easy to keep thriving as it requires very little attention. Simply water every few weeks and if the leaves become pale, then place it in some indirect sunlight for a day or two – it’s as easy as that.
Venus Fly Trap
The clue is in the name with venus fly traps – they’re one of the world’s most carnivorous plants, catching and digesting any insect that gets in their way. So if you want to keep creepy crawlies away from your desk, then the venus fly trap is the perfect desk plant for you.
They’re a little more difficult to care for than other desk plants, requiring 12 hours of direct sunlight each day, adequate drainage and can only be watered with distilled water. If you’re green-fingered, they’re perfect if you sit next to a window at work.
If flowers are your thing, then the kalanchoe plant is perfect for you. Their beautiful flowers will add a touch of colour to your desk and brighten up your day.
But don’t let the flowers fool you – the kalanchoe is actually part of the succulent family, so doesn’t require watering every day to keep the flowers looking bright and vibrant. The best of both worlds.
Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai Tree
The hawaiian umbrella bonsai tree is a popular desk plant. Although they’re not easy to care for, the extra effort is certainly worth it for this gorgeous mini tree.
The tree can thrive in a number of different conditions, including low humidity and light. However, it’s best to keep them in a place that receives a few hours of indirect sunlight each day to keep the leaves in tip-top condition.
Unlike cacti and succulents, you cannot let a bonsai tree dry out, so it’s important to water them a minimum of every two days to avoid the roots drying out and dying.
Finally, in order to keep your bonsai tree looking its best you’ve got to prune it, removing any dead branches with bonsai clippers. Not only does this help to shape the tree, but ensures it stays in optimal condition all year long.
If you’ve got a lot of desk space to fill, then the spider plant is perfect for you. Not only is it easy to care for, but it’ll provide a stunning focal point on your desk too.
Spider plants require very little sunlight and watering, so they’re great for desks where they can be left alone for days at a time. Similarly to cacti and succulents, spider plants need to dry out before they’re watered again, so only require water every few weeks.
If you’re looking for a striking but low-maintenance desk plant, then the spider plant should be your first choice.
The peace lily is a truly stunning desk plant that’ll add a tropical touch to your office.
This is another great desk plant for those who aren’t green fingered, as it only requires water once a month, doesn’t need access to light and won’t be affected by office air conditioning.
However, if you’re lucky enough to work in an office that allows dogs, then you’ll have to reconsider the peace lily as it’s extremely poisonous to them.
An aglaonema is the perfect desk plant. Not only is it eye-catching, with a variety of textures, patterns and colours on its leaves, but it will also let you know when it needs watering as you’ll notice its leaves drooping.
Aglaonemas can’t be left in direct sunlight, making them perfect for an office environment. However, if you’re unlucky enough to work in a drafty office, then you might want to reconsider, as aglaonemas thrive in warmer environments, around 24°C.
Another truly eye-catching option, the aloe vera plant is the perfect plant to add an interesting visual element to your desk.
Although it’s technically considered to be a succulent, the aloe vera plant is truly in a league of its own. Not only can the leaves be used to relieve pain from cuts, scrapes and burns in the office, but it can also be added to smoothies to help relieve heartburn and indigestion.
Aloe vera plants thrive when they’re placed in an area with bright, indirect sunlight and only need to be watered around once per month when the soil is completely dry, meaning it’s super easy to care for in the office.
Whether you work in a high-pressure job, or just enjoy the smell of lavender, it’s the perfect desk plant to keep those stress levels down at work.
Although all desk plants can help to reduce stress and promote a more positive mindset, lavender has been used for centuries to fight feelings of stress and anxiety. So not only is it pretty to look at, but it’ll make your workday that little bit more relaxing too.
Simply place it in an area that receives a lot of light and water it just a couple of times per week to make sure it thrives in your office.
If you’re looking for the most low-maintenance desk plant of them all, then the air plant is perfect for you – they don’t even need soil to survive.
To keep them alive all you’ve got to do is submerge them in water for a couple of hours twice a month. Honestly, that’s it. Whether you invest in a cute little dome, or display them in a terrarium, they’re an on-trend desk plant that’ll add a finishing touch to your workspace.
Here at UseSpace, we recognise the benefits of biophilic design in offices, which is why we’ve incorporated a huge number of natural elements into our co-working space From office plants and a greenhouse to a huge living wall, we’ve brought the outside in to create a truly stunning space. Take a look at our Instagram to see it for yourself.