Bringing plants into the workplace may help you be more productive and less stressed, according to a study conducted by Virginia Lohr, et al., of the Washington State University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Bringing potted plants or herbs into the office is also common practice to add a touch of home, clean the air and put visitors at ease.
If thriving, healthy green plants will enhance your work environment, wilting or dead plants are sure to have the opposite effect. That’s why it’s so important to choose plants and herbs that will flourish, or at least survive, in the office environment.
The philodendron’s vaguely heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines are a common sight in many office buildings, creeping out of pots and planters. The philodendron thrives on neglect and can survive in relatively low-light conditions. Just water well when the soil begins to dry out.
Note that philodendrons are toxic if consumed, so keep philodendrons out of the reach of children and small pets.
Peace lilies produce distinctive upright white flowers among glossy green, pointed leaves. Although they prefer bright filtered light, according to the Garden Helper, peace lilies will survive in the low light of a windowless office. Because they grow upright, instead of trailing, you don’t need to worry about the peace lily taking over your desk.
Spider plants will appreciate at least some light from a window, but grow decently under indoor lighting, too. Spider plants grow well in air-conditioned offices, since they thrive in cool conditions, and display best when hung from the ceiling, which in turn saves precious desk or cubicle space. Hang your spider plant near a window or grow light, but don’t expose it to direct sunlight or it may scorch.
Rosemary prefers the extended sun of a south-facing window. If you can offer it enough light, it’ll make an attractive, long-lasting potted herb on your desk. You can even pinch off some needles to season dinner with. Keep rosemary away from drafts and water it when the soil feels dry about an inch below the surface.
Parsley will grow slowly in the low light of an east- or west-facing window, according to “10 Best Herbs for Indoors,” published in Organic Gardening. Grow parsley in a deep pot to provide room for its long tap root, and ensure that it gets at least five hours of sunlight or grow light a day.