Best plants for an office — 8 expert choices that are easy to take care of

Green up your workspace with the best plants for an office

desk with selection of indoor plants, calendar and laptop
(Image credit: Workspace Muse/Alamy Stock Photo)

Our selection of the best plants for an office includes choices that are easy to take care of and will green up your workspace beautifully. Whether you travel to the office, WFH, or have a hybrid working pattern (yay, double the fun choosing plants), these expert suggestions will help you add a beautiful accent to your workspace.

There's so much potential for plants in your workspace. They help turn desks, filing cabinets, and breakout zones from boring to beautiful. Here our panel of plant experts share their ideas for the best plants for an office, all chosen for a combo of striking good looks and easy-going nature.

To help you confidently create that natural touch in your workplace, our experts have picked the best indoor plants and shared their top tips for looking after them.

Best plants for an office

Small home office with potted plants

(Image credit: The Dormy House)

Step forward with low-maintenance houseplants with minimal watering and feeding needs. It's your turn to shine in our round-up of the best plants for an office. In the quest to find out everything you need to know about houseplants this is one area where you need to keep it simple. Here are eight indoor plants that won't let you down if you choose them to green up your office.

1. Snake plant

Snake plant in home office with desk and chair

(Image credit: Aprott/Getty Images)

This is one of the easiest houseplants to grow which means they're a great choice for beginners who want to style up their office plantscape. Also known as "Mother-in-Law’s Tongue" and sansevieria, they are virtually impossible to kill (but as ever it's a good idea to find out how to care for snake plants just in case).

"I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind when you hear 'snake plant' is a boring office waiting room," says houseplant expert Kamili Bell Hill. "They are a standard fixture in offices across the globe because they can tolerate the low levels of light from fluorescent bulbs. But don’t be fooled by their corporate presence. These beauties are anything but boring!"

This one isn't fussy where you put it and adapts to many different indoor lighting conditions, doesn't need a lot of watering, and the leaves don't require any special care. You can park one on your desk or corner of the office (like this Zeylenicaone from Walmart, which comes in a self-watering planter) that needs greening up, and pretty much forget about it. The clean lines offered by the upright leaves combine perfectly with midcentury modern décor too. 

Kamili Bell Hill
Kamili Bell Hill

Kamili Bell Hill combined her love of plants and design to curate online community PlantBlerd, where she pairs beautiful houseplants with simple styling, care and growing guides. After noticing a lack of social media platforms highlighting houseplant collectors that look like her, Kamili also established Instagram community @BlackPeople.WPlants featuring Black houseplant collectors from around the world. 

2. Rubber plant

rubber plant in ceramic pot on desk in home office

(Image credit: Dobbies)

This is another dream plant that doesn't demand a complicated care routine, making it perfect for styling up an office or WFH space as you can leave it to do its own thing. Opt for a statement plant for the floor or a baby one for the desk or shelving system.

These beauties don't need much watering or fertilizer, and the large glossy green leaves will tolerate low-light conditions, making them a good choice for offices. Give the leaves a quick wipe every now and then to keep them dust-free, which helps them to photosynthesize more effectively.

If you like the idea of something less green and a little edgier as an accent plant, Kamili Bell Hill has this suggestion: "Try Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’, commonly known as the variegated rubber plant, which looks like a paint-by-numbers masterpiece." It features splotchy patterns in different shades of green and cream with a burgundy flush that's bound to become a conversation point. Kamili is also the author of Happy Plants, Happy You, which is packed with plenty more ideas for greening up your workspace.

3. Spider plant

Spider plant on filing cabinet

(Image credit: M Photostock/Getty Images)

You can't go wrong with a spider plant, either at home or in the office. Happy with most light conditions, it will grow quickly and easily but find out more about how to care for a spider plant to make sure you get the best out of yours.

The main things to remember are you need to let it dry out between waterings (and not overwater it or let it sit in water), and give it an occasional feed in spring and summer during the growing season. 

In an office environment, this beauty works for desks, filing cabinets, shelves and windowsills, and with any luck will develop plenty of baby plantlets so you can easily grow your collection. Be sure to remove any faded foliage regularly to keep it looking good, and freshen up the leaves with a gentle stream of warm water from the office tap if it gets a little dusty.

4. Chinese evergreen

Aglaonema 'Silver Bay'(Chinese evergreen) houseplant

(Image credit: Firn/Getty Images)

Add a Chinese evergreen to your office plant collection if you like the idea of mixing things up with some variegated foliage. Also known as Aglaonema, these plants enjoy bright, indirect light, so make sure the spot you choose for them is right. Other than that all you need do is keep the soil moist and snip off any yellow foliage.

"In my humble opinion, this plant genus is highly underrated and isn’t raved about nearly enough. They are spectacular!" says Kamili Bell Hill. "You’ll often spot huge pots of Aglaonema in indoor malls, offices, and hotel lobbies. Why? Because in nature they grow on the rainforest floor, under the canopy of larger plants. Therefore, they can flourish and thrive in artificial lighting alone. Add a window or two and they really take off."

Chinese evergreen plants are sturdy and resilient. "This makes it a great option for beginners and for people who prefer plants that aren’t fussy," says houseplant expert Vladan Nikolic. "This plant is extremely low-light tolerant, which makes it a perfect choice for offices and hallways that don’t get plenty of light. It can also look great on a desk, adding a splash of color to your office."

We agree with Kamili and Vladan, this is definitely one of the best plants for an office if you're looking for fresh inspiration. Find a stunning Aglaonema here at The Sill.

Houseplant expert Vladan Nikolic smiling next to a potted plant
Vladan Nikolic

Vladan Nikolic is a houseplant expert with over 10 years' experience, the founder of the houseplant care blog, and an influencer who helps newcomers in the houseplant world become great plant parents. 

5. Pothos

Golden pothos plant on shelf

(Image credit: Dobbies)

Insta favorite pothos look good trailing down from shelves, on a windowsill or perched on the corner of your desk, adding a touch of beautiful natural styling to your workplace. It's one of the best-trailing houseplants to instantly elevate your space.

"Trailing pothos vines add that jungle vibe to your office," says houseplant expert Vladan Nikolic. "This sturdy, low-light tolerant plant has attractive lush green foliage. It can survive in low light, but if you give it plenty of bright indirect light it will grow faster and have more leaves. It’s not a thirsty plant, and you should water it only when the top half of the soil is dry."

Plant expert Perla Sofia Curbelo-Santiago suggests using pothos to create a living background for virtual meetings if you're WFH. "This is a great way to break the ice or warm up any virtual room before everyone goes straight to business. The natural environment humanizes us, and when we see plants as part of the picture we get comfortable, relaxed, and open up. Suddenly someone owns a similar plant and starts sharing their experience."

If you work from home but don't have a space you can claim as a home office for your video conferences why not green up an empty wall behind you. Perla suggests using one of her favorite go-to plants the 'Silver Satin' pothos. Instead of letting the plant hang or trail, train it along a simple wire trellis fixed to the wall.

After you finish work and shut down your computer, the space blends in with the rest of the room. For more ideas on how to use plants in your interior, check out Perla's new book Verdura!, available here from Amazon.

Perla Sofía Curbelo Santiago
Perla Sofia Curbelo-Santiago

Perla Sofía Curbelo Santiago is founder of the gardening lifestyle platform She has a horticultural therapy certificate from the Chicago Botanic Garden, and in 2021 she was recognized by the American Horticultural Society with the B. Y. Morrison Communication Award. She is also a gardening television contributor.

6. ZZ plant

ZZ plant on office desk with laptop, calendar and mug

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These glossy-looking plants are popular not just for their good looks, but also because they're an easy-care choice, which means they're perfect for beginners looking for the best plants for an office. They're not too fussy about their surroundings, and make an aesthetically pleasing desk companion to gaze upon when you're taking a screen break.

"This beauty is the platinum standard of low-maintenance plants," says Kamili Bell Hill. "They have thick underground stems that hold onto water. Thanks to these, the ZZ plant is tolerant of drought and does not need to be watered often. That means it is quite forgiving if you take a long trip or just forget it for a while."

As they are drought-tolerant you only need to water them when the soil is completely dry. They thrive in bright light conditions, but shouldn't be left in direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves.

Another plus, ZZ plants prefer to be snug in their pot and do not need to be repotted often. "You simply cannot go wrong with a ZZ plant," says Kamili. "I love them so and have added many to my collection."

7. Succulents

pots of succulents on office desk with laptop and desklamp

(Image credit: Westend61/GettyI mages)

The joy of using succulents to decorate your workplace is you can create quite a collection on your desk as they take up so little space. Plus of course, they're an easy-care option that can go for ages without water and don't need much feeding either. Use Perfect Plants Nursery Organic Succulent Soil Mix and find out more about how to care for succulents to get the best out of your plants.

They will need an office space that's warm. "During the active growing period, most succulents feel best in the 68–77°F temperature range," says houseplant expert Nastya Vasylchyshyna. "For plants that go dormant in winter, a range of 55–64°F is generally best."

One of the most popular succulents to grow is echeveria, with colorful leaf rosettes in pretty shades of green, purple, pink, or pale blue-green leaves. Other popular choices include Aeonium with its leafy rosettes on arching stems and the ever-popular Aloe varieties.

Nastya Vasylchyshyna of Plantum
Nastya Vasylchyshyna

Nastya Vasylchyshyna is a professional botany expert for the Plantum app that helps identify plants and plant diseases and provides care recommendations. She has four years' experience consulting on botany-related topics for Plantum.

8. Peperomia

peperomia in ceramic pot

(Image credit: Olga Miltsova/Getty Images)

Peperomia is such an easy indoor plant that it's perfect for tucking into a space on your desk if you're just getting started with ideas for greening up your workplace. Peperomia does best in bright, indirect light and prefers moist, well-drained soil.

Peperomia plants are inexpensive, so you can grow a collection if there's room to accommodate them. "In terms of space, they are generally small, cultivated in 4- to 8-inch pots, so they’ll work well on a desk, small shelf, or windowsill," says Darryl Cheng, author of The New Plant Collector, available here from Amazon.. "They have a range of growth habits. Some grow on stems that keep getting taller while others stay compact, growing in a rosette form."

Darryl adopted a peperomia that was transferred to him because his wife’s office moved, and the new location was much darker as it was obstructed by tall buildings. "I kept the plant in my office kitchen, which gave indirect light most of the day with the occasional direct sun (no more than an hour due to outdoor obstructions). The peperomia still grew in such a pleasing manner."

It's one of the best plants for terrariums too if you want to take things up to the next level.

Darrell Cheng
Darryl Cheng

Darryl Cheng is the author of The New Plant Parent: Develop Your Green Thumb and Care for Your House-Plant Family, and the creator of @House Plant Journal, a leading source for advice about growing house plants on Instagram and the internet. 

What to shop


What is a calming plant for an office?

One of the best plants for an office to add a calming effect is the snake plant. The snake plant excels at oxygenating your office space, improving air quality by removing harmful chemicals.

As you work away your snake plant is busy too, absorbing carbon dioxide and impurities, promoting a healthier working environment. It also acts as a natural dust magnet, effectively removing airborne particles and ensuring cleaner air in your workplace. The good news is, it's already on our list of best plants for an office!

It's always a good idea to add relaxing plants to the workspace for wellbeing. The peace lily is another good choice. As well as adding oxygen to your home it filters and removes toxins.

What should you never do to office plants?

Too much water for your office plant can be worse than forgetting to water it at all, especially if it's sitting in a dish where the water pools at the bottom, as this can lead to roots rotting. Also, avoid temptation to top up your plant every time you have a water cooler moment yourself.

It might also be tempting to tip the dregs from your cup of coffee or soda can into your plant. This is never a good idea as it can attract flies and if you do this regularly will also contribute to overwatering. 

Sarah Wilson
Freelance writer

Lifestyle journalist Sarah Wilson has been writing about flowers, plants, and garden design and trends since 2015. Having already studied introductory garden and landscape design as well as a course in floristry she is currently adding to her list of qualifications with an RHS Level 2 course in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development. In addition to and, she's written for, Modern Gardens and Country Homes & Interiors magazines. Her first job was at Elle magazine, during which time a trip to the beautiful La Colombe d'Or in St-Paul-de-Vence led to an interest in writing about all things botanical. Later as lifestyle editor at Country Homes & Interiors magazine the real pull was the run of captivating country gardens that were featured.