Work Smart with Plants

Work sapping your energy? Do you find it hard to focus? Plants have been shown to make workers more creative, productive, and motivated while helping them stay calm, relaxed, and focused. Plants at work boost energy, reduce sick leave, and reduce eye strain. Plants also improve air quality by removing carbon dioxide, particulates, and harmful chemicals. Plants should be a part of every productive and happy workplace

A plant near your desk can help you relax and refocus. #PlantsDoThat At Work. Learn more at ConsumerHort.org
A plant near your desk can help you relax and refocus. #PlantsDoThat At Work. Learn more at ConsumerHort.org

There is a right plant for almost every workspace. Different plants have different needs, and light and water are the two most important factors to consider when selecting and growing indoor plants. Plants that need more light grow best in a window facing south or west. Plants also differ in their water needs; it’s a good practice to water indoor plants weekly.

Plants also prefer some humidity, which can be difficult to provide with central heating and cooling. Increase the humidity by grouping plants together to create a micro-environment of elevated humidity. Finally, don’t forget about the temperature—most indoor plants like it between 60 and 80 degrees (F).

Houseplants are a great way to bring the outdoors in. Plants can make a wonderful addition to your décor no matter the setting and have a positive impact on your health and productivity.

Here is a short list of indoor plants that can thrive at the office: ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), mother-in-law’s tongue, pothos ivy, arrowhead plant, dracaena, calathea, bird’s nest fern, dieffenbachia, schefflera, fiddle-leaf ficus, money tree, parlor palm, spider plants, Chinese evergreen, peace lily, and dragon tree. Succulents and sedums, which are trendy right now, also do well indoors.

The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) highlights research that supports the benefits of plants in our homes, schools, hospitals, workplaces, and places of worship.


NICH is a consortium of industry leaders who are promoting the benefits and value of horticulture. NICH brings together academia, government, industry, and nonprofits to cultivate the growth and development of a healthy world through landscapes, gardens, and plants – indoors and out.