Ask LH: What Are The Best Plants For An Office?

Ask LH: What Are The Best Plants For An Office?

Dear Lifehacker, We are looking for some indoor plants for our office in Melbourne CBD. Unfortunately, none of us are horticulturally inclined. Would you be able to share some info on what makes good workplace foliage? We want something that looks cool but isn’t too hard to maintain. Thanks, Swetha

Dear Swetha,

Plants are definitely a worthy investment for any office workplace: in addition to adding colour and improving decor, studies show that plants can improve worker productivity by as much as 15 per cent.

If you want plants that can get by with barely any maintenance or upkeep, your best bet is mid-size succulents. These species are able to retain water in arid climates — which means less watering — and are usually colourful and attractive. Stick with deep green colours which tend to do better indoors.

If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, this in-depth guide from Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) contains a range of Aussie flora that is particularly well suited to office environments. The list is divided into desk and floor plants, most of which should be available at your local home and garden store. (For our money, it’s hard to look past the Walking Iris, Janet Craig and Bromeliads.)

Finally, you might want to cast your eye on this infographic of plants recommended by NASA for improved air quality. Just be aware that not every species on the lost is available in Australia.

We’re also going to throw this one over to green thumb readers. What plants do you have in your office and how difficult are they to maintain? Let Swetha know in the comments.


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  • Out office has a Zanzibar Gem that simply refuses to let the fact we never water it stop it from constantly growing. After googling once we discovered that it actually approves of low sunlight and a lack of watering. That’s just weird if you ask me.

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