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11 Best Desk Plants To Freshen Up Your Small Office

An easy way to bring your office into life by adding… plant life.

Photo by Olena Sergienko on Unsplash
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Plants are much less maintenance than they may seem. Set a reminder to water it everyday, and you’ve an easy way to spruce up your office space with a bit of green.

There’s also a spiky option if you’re not keen on watering your wildlife. Definitely one to keep the burglars out.

#1 Indoor Dieffenbachia Artificial Plant in Swirl Planter

Indoor Dieffenbachia Artificial Plant in Swirl Planter
Who suggested this product?
The Indoor Dieffenbachia Artificial Plant in Swirl Planter was recommended by Timothy Wiedman from Doane University. You can find out more about Timothy Wiedman here or read their product recommendation below.

Home Depot currently sells this artificial (but realistic looking) dieffenbachia plant for $36.35. It’s 22 inches tall and comes ‘planted’ in its own white pot (that’s included in the selling price). While I used to have a live dieffenbachia, as a tropical plant it required a reasonable amount of sunlight.

So when I moved into an apartment and wanted one of these interesting plants in my windowless dining area, I got a 14-inch artificial dieffenbachia. I’ve had it for three years, it still looks great, and most of my guests initially thought it was real. Since office plants often get very limited sunlight, a good-looking artificial desk plant (that requires almost no care) can be a pleasing substitute for the real thing.

#2 Burpee Golden Snake Plant

Burpee Golden Snake Plant
Who suggested this product?
The Burpee Golden Snake Plant was recommended by Sam Coppard from Candide Gardening. You can find out more about Sam Coppard here or read their product recommendation below.

If you’re looking for an office plant that will make a statement, you can’t go wrong with a snake plant. Always popular with interior designers, the plant’s stiff vertical leaves are eye-catching and bold. Smaller snake plants will fit on your desk, and they’re virtually indestructible, able to tolerate being neglected for long periods of time.

#3 Pink Nerve Plant – Fittonia

Pink Nerve Plant - Fittonia
Who suggested this product?
The Pink Nerve Plant – Fittonia was recommended by Sam Coppard from Candide Gardening. You can find out more about Sam Coppard here or read their product recommendation below.

Nerve plants are small, easy to care for foliage plants that are guaranteed to get people talking. With bright pink veins running across green leaves, nerve plants look almost unbelievable and are a stunning addition to any desk. They grow well in an office environment under fluorescent light and should easily fit on most desks.

#4 Cactus & Succulent Collection of Live Succulent Plants

Cactus & Succulent Collection of Live Succulent Plants
Who suggested this product?
The Cactus & Succulent Collection of Live Succulent Plants was recommended by David Serville from Crewcare. You can find out more about David Serville here or read their product recommendation below.

A lot of cactus species thrive indoors, even in medium light. You can just water them every two or three weeks or whenever the soil they’re planted on gets dry. You can just add a lamp with a fluorescent bulb next to your desk to ensure that the plants receive additional light even when the office is closed. They’re pretty low maintenance, but they can add beauty to your workspace.

#5 Cucumber Store, Plant Air Purifier

Cucumber Store, Plant Air Purifier
Who suggested this product?
The Cucumber Store, Plant Air Purifier was recommended by David Batchelor from Dial My Calls. You can find out more about David Batchelor here or read their product recommendation below.

This small office plant is artificial, which makes it perfect to brighten up my desk and I don’t have to worry about watering it! I love this plant because it also doubles as an air purifier and emits negative ions. Did you know that breathing in negative ions have a relaxing effect and have been reported to normalize your breathing rate, decrease blood pressure and relieve tension?

#6 Swiss Cheese Monstera deliciosa, Indoor Plant

Swiss Cheese Monstera deliciosa, Indoor Plant
Who suggested this product?
The Swiss Cheese Monstera deliciosa, Indoor Plant was recommended by Justin Hancock from Costa Farms. You can find out more about Justin Hancock here or read their product recommendation below.

Within the decorative plant world, we’re seeing there’s a continued interest in large-leafed plants like Monstera. These varieties are visually stunning and many are super efficient at pulling chemicals out of the air. It’s a trend that’s not going away any time soon.

#7 Siam Aglaonema Chinese Evergreen Live Indoor Tabletop Plant

Siam Aglaonema Chinese Evergreen Live Indoor Tabletop Plant
Who suggested this product?
The Siam Aglaonema Chinese Evergreen Live Indoor Tabletop Plant was recommended by Justin Hancock from Costa Farms. You can find out more about Justin Hancock here or read their product recommendation below.

Another category of plants there’s a ton of interest in are colorful ones – like Red Aglaonema (Codiaeum variegatum), etc. It’s easy to see why, with most houseplants forming a sea of green. These guys stand out from the others, making them fun focal points. And they tie well into any office décor since they’re so eye catching. These plants beautify our spaces during the day and help keep us at our healthiest at night because they’re scientifically shown to help reduce stress — perfect for the workplace.

#8 WaterWick Self-Watering Planter

WaterWick Self-Watering Planter
Who suggested this product?
The WaterWick Self-Watering Planter was recommended by Justin Hancock from Costa Farms. You can find out more about Justin Hancock here or read their product recommendation below.

In a similar vein to the colorful and big-leafed plants, another category we’re seeing grow increasingly trendy is highly textural houseplants, like ferns. More and more folks are realizing that you can create some amazing arrangements by contrasting and complementing textures. Textural plants like ferns are particularly good choices for offices because their textures often provide a great contrast with the cold interior surfaces that usually fill our office spaces.

#9 ZZ, Live Indoor Plant

ZZ, Live Indoor Plant
Who suggested this product?
The ZZ, Live Indoor Plant was recommended by Justin Hancock from Costa Farms. You can find out more about Justin Hancock here or read their product recommendation below.

The last trend we’ll call out is easy-care plants like ZZ plant (Zamioculcas), snake plant(Sansevieria), or Chinese Evergreen. This one is a no-brainer, of course, because these are the best plants to start with and they’re the most forgiving if you get busy with extra assignments or go on vacation. These no-fuss plants are particularly good choices for the office because they don’t show wear and tear as easily — making them ideal for displaying in your office’s most-used areas like a conference room.

#10 Succulent Arrangement Ceramic Planter

Succulent Arrangement Ceramic Planter
Who suggested this product?
The Succulent Arrangement Ceramic Planter was recommended by Sheila Estaniel from Dilatation Agency. You can find out more about Sheila Estaniel here or read their product recommendation below.

Succulents are the best small office desk plants because they are living plants that can thrive in indoor lighting and require very little care. They can soften up a space without taking it up, the colors and shape look professional but accessible, and they are pleasing but not distracting. Containers tell only half the story. Desk owners can pair their succulents with a rose gold ceramic vase or reclaimed wood to showcase their own personality and style.

#11 DecoBlooms Living Orchid Flower Plant

DecoBlooms Living Orchid Flower Plant
Who suggested this product?
The DecoBlooms Living Orchid Flower Plant was recommended by Pavel Khaykin from Pavel Buys Houses. You can find out more about Pavel Khaykin here or read their product recommendation below.

My desk has a beautiful mini orchid that my wife gave me as a present. It’s small and beautiful and doesn’t take too much space.


Who contributed to this article?

Timothy Wiedman from Doane University

Sam Coppard from Candide Gardening

David Serville from Crewcare

David Batchelor from Dial My Calls

Justin Hancock from Costa Farms

Sheila Estaniel from Dilatation Agency

Pavel Khaykin from Pavel Buys Houses

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