Adding a few plants to an office has been shown to make employees more productive. Despite this, many Australian offices remain flora-free. To kick off your own workplace greenery efforts, here are 10 plants recommended for Australia (with pictures).
Office plants picture from Shutterstock
We've looked at the topic of cubicle-friendly plants before, but the listing put together by Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) is much more specific to the Australian environment and what you might find in your local nursery. Here's the NGIA picks and descriptions (which I haven't edited or altered, having as I do an uncanny ability to kill plants of all types).
Bromeliads come in a variety of shapes, sizes and foliage colours, and are hardy indoor plants which also grow well outdoors. They enjoy warmth and humidity, but must also have good air movement. The frequency of watering depends on the office climate as they need extra care and attention during hot weather or heated conditions.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Peace Lilies are one of the most popular office desk decors because of their attractive, glossy foliage and frequent blooms. They prefer moist conditions and leaves will brown if the plant is not getting enough humidity. To keep your Peace Lily in top condition, keep away from direct sunlight as they prefer lower levels of light.
Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria)
Mother-in-law’s Tongue is a linear, architectural plant with stiff, upright leaves that can grow up to two metres tall. It’s the perfect desk plant for those who have little time because of its ability to withstand most conditions. If treated right, a Mother-in-law’s Tongue can last for years.
Walking Iris (Neomarica bicolour gracillis)
Walking Irises, also known as Apostle Plants, are attractive, hardy indoor plants with arching, sword-like leaves that can grow up to 60cm long. They grow delicate, fragrant, orchid-like flowers at the tips of its stems which only last a day. They require plenty of moisture and look stunning as indoor plants.
These multi-grouped plantings are designed for desk tops and reception areas where lighting is usually medium to high. Ensure tables and workstations are protected from water damage or scratches by using a cork mat or velcro tape.
Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
Dragon Trees are attractive indoor plants widely used in home, office and commercial décor. They have tall snake-like trunks which can grow up to three metres high while their green and pink leaves beautify any indoor space. They perform best in a well-lit environment to maximise leaf colouring.
Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcus zamiifolia)
Zanzibar Gems are the ideal office plants for busy workers because they can grow in dry, shaded areas, tolerate an amazing amount of neglect and are virtually impossible to kill. They have an unusual, striking foliage with thick tube-like stems that will brighten up any office. Water less during winter and keep the leaves clean by wiping them with a damp cloth.
Yucca (Yucca elephantipes)
Yuccas are one of the most versatile and hardy indoor foliage plants. They have long woody stems and large strappy leaves which add architectural flare to any office. They prefer high levels of light and tolerate neglect rather well.
Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensis)
Janet Craigs are tall plants with dark green, glossy leaves with a tolerance to lower light conditions, making them the most popular Dracaena used indoors. Janet Craigs are ideal to place in the office corner, away from walkways where they can get damaged by passing traffic.
Fiddle-leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)
Fiddle-leaf Figs are hardy, tropical looking plants with long stems and large glossy leaves. They are among the trendiest indoor plants to have right now with office fitouts. The frequency of watering depends on the amount of light the plant gets. Plenty of light is recommended as low light conditions causes the plant to stretch.
Which plants work best in your office? Give us the benefit of your green thumb in the comments.
This article has been revised and updated from it's original publication date.