The best indoor office plant to boost focus and relieve stress

Use plant power in your office to help up your productivity.

Indoor office plants

by Eleanor Weaver |

Our home offices can become a hub for mental fatigue thanks to the constant hum of technology, blue light, distractions from both home and work life, and the mundanity of the same four walls – all of which can wipe us out before the day is through. If you’re looking to rejuvenate your office to become a stimulating and more productive space, you needn’t look further than a great indoor plant.

Perfect for popping on your desk, the windowsill, or a spare corner of your room, indoor plants are a fab way to infuse a little life and colour into your space as well as provide a wealth of wellbeing benefits, all of which can improve your working from home environment.

We’ve shared a collection of the best office plants, most of which are low maintenance to save you from any extra work, and all the perks you can expect to reap from your plants.

Are plants beneficial in an office?

Oh yes! As we go about most of our days answering emails and popping on Zoom calls with very little contact with the outdoors, having indoor plants helps to bring the benefits of nature indoors. As well as providing us with something pretty to look at, there are many benefits to draw from different plants; multiple studies have proven their ability to increase concentration and uplift spirits when working.

Indoor plants in your office can:

• Help maintain respiratory health and minimise headaches

• Lower stress and anxiety

• Boost recovery and healing

• Enhance concentration and productivity

• Improved mood and reduced fatigue

• Working with plants can be therapeutic and being closer to nature is kind for your mind!

Office with plants
©Getty Images

NASA discovered just how beneficial houseplants were for absorbing harmful toxins, especially in enclosed spaces with little airflow. This extensive research highlighted the best species for air purification that can remove nasties including ammonia, xylene, and benzene from the atmosphere. You might not think the average home could contain these chemicals, but actually, when you take into account cleaning products and decorating equipment, there are more out there than you’d imagine. These toxins can all result in headaches and eye irritation, so even more reason to green up your home or office.

Plus, you’ll be lowering your stress levels. A study from Washington found that people’s blood pressure was lowered, and attention increased when there were plants in the room. Not only will you be creating a homely office to be proud of but caring for your new plant babies will also produce a sense of calm and help you feel closer to nature. You’ll be creating an area you actually want to work in and a cost-effective way to boost your mood, focus, and overall wellbeing.

Add motivation – and an inbuilt air filter – by adding one or more of these beauties to your workspace.

The best indoor plants for your office

Please note: some of these plants are known to be toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets. Please check each plant and its toxicity to your furry friend, before bringing one into your home.

The hugely versatile Zamioculca Zamiifolia 'ZZ' Plant is a highly dependable houseplant that can tolerate a wide range of conditions - great for forgetful plant owners or anyone stuck with a low-light home office.

Native to Central Africa, it has strong and structural tall stems and feathered, smooth, glossy leaves that'll stand out against any other houseplants you have. It's hardy, unique, and perfect for beginners.

Plant care: Light watering with medium to bright indirect light, but adaptable to low-light conditions too.

Proven by NASA to be one of the best air purifying plants, the Snake Plant works hard to absorb toxins and expels oxygen into your home, making the air you breathe cleaner. Its compact size makes it a great addition to a window sill or your desk and the simple, ornamental form with rippled striped leaves will help induce feelings of calm.

An added bonus is that the waxy leaf surface will attract dust, removing it from the air and making it a great plant for allergy sufferers. Talk about the perfect desk buddy!

Plant care: Only light watering required, fortnightly recommended, and best in indirect light or low-light conditions.

Aloe Vera is one of the best houseplants for skin health with its sap providing instant relief for a number of skin issues. It'll tolerate being forgotten, making it an exceptionally low-maintenance plant that's ideal for your office. It'll also filter benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon dioxide out from the air, proving its weight in gold for creating a healthy home-working atmosphere.

Heads up - it requires lots of sun so make sure it's located near a sunny window.

Plant care: Bright, indirect light and some direct sun with light watering.

The Calathea, or Prayer Plant, is a unique-looking plant with gorgeous fishbone markings on the leaves - it almost looks artificial! Native to the Brazilian rainforest, the Calathea has top air-purifying qualities and acts as a natural humidifier, keeping your office space fresh and free of toxins.

The Calathea is also affected by circadian rhythms so it produces more oxygen at night - you can wake up, head to your computer, and feel ready to go surrounded by the best air possible.

Plant care: Thrives in indirect sunlight and make sure soil is moist but not soaked.

The Devil's Ivy plant grows leaves and vines with a beautiful cascading effect, making it perfect for office spaces with high shelves or a bookcase. It's known for having a high tolerance to low light conditions and has even been recognized by NASA for its air-purifying potential.

The plant can remove indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, trichloroethene, toluene, xylene, and benzene, help reduce dust levels, and as a result of the cleaner air, help to improve concentration and productivity.

Plant care: Keep in indirect sunlight, water once a week.

Succulents are notoriously easy to please and very low maintenance, making them an indoor plant superhero even for the most forgetful. Small enough to fit on your bookshelf or desk so it's always in view, the Panda Plant has velvety leaves producing small red, pink, yellow, and orange flowers - perfect for bringing your office to life.

Succulents, such as the Panda Plant, release oxygen into the environment helping to induce a feeling of calm and to boost your mood. Plus, if you need a little escapism or need to take a little moment to relax, you can stroke the lovely fuzzy leaves of this plant to stimulate your senses.

Plant care: Happy in bright spots with indirect light, water once the soil is dry.

The Jasmine Plant with its signature scent is believed to reduce stress and act as an anti-depressant. Aromatherapy expert, Beverly Hawkins, finds that due to the calming and sedative nature of its properties, jasmine is great for dispelling fear and uplifting your mood, ideal for even the longest or most stressful day in the office.

The delicate white sweet-smelling blooms will help keep you feeling uplifted and relieved of anxieties, putting you in the best place possible for productivity, improved concentration, and focus.

Plant care: Position in a partially sunny spot and water regularly for moist, but not waterlogged, soil.

If you've got a bright but not sunny office, this elegant fern should be more than happy to keep you company. Boston Ferns are one of the easiest ferns to grow and just need a little TLC. Ferns like the humid life, so try to mist it with water every now and then and you'll feel calm and fulfilled seeing it flourish.

With its bright and bountiful green leaves, the Boston Fern also provides air purification and has been said to add Feng Shui to a room as a symbol of wisdom and happiness. Bringing in good energy, improved wellbeing, and positive vibes is an excellent recipe for a great working from home environment.

Plant care: Position in plenty of indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist with regular misting to up the humidity.

This is a fantastic statement indoor plant for your home office, and not too hard to care for either. Originating from South America, this plant is used to warm surroundings and with the lush green being akin to that of the rainforest, it'll help purify the air while being amazingly eye-catching.

As well as purification, the huge, signature leaves, of the Swiss Cheese Plant increase humidity in the room as part of their photosynthesis. This will prove particularly helpful if you struggle to work or focus whilst managing conditions that are affected by dry air.

Plant care: Requires light watering for moist soil and flourishes in indirect light, but semi-shaded spots are suitable too.

We love the striking peace lily and, trust us, they are hard to kill! Look after them just a little and you'll be rewarded with white flowers amongst their dark green foliage. Not only that, but Peace Lilies are powerful plants that work to purify the air in your home environment making it a great all-rounder.

NASA found that the Peace Lily was the master of removing air pollutants, absorbing benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, ammonia, and trichloroethylene. As well as being bad for your body, these gases can disrupt your clarity and affect the way that you think.

Working in an office clear of these toxins and air pollutants will have a great impact on your focus. With clear air comes a clear mind!

Plant care: Happiest in a spot with indirect light and it'll remind you when it needs a watering by drooping its leaves.

If you’re someone that can’t seem to keep a plant alive for very long, try a spider plant. One of the easiest plants to look after, it can thrive in almost any home environment.

Also included in NASA’s Plants for Indoor Air Pollution study, the Spider Plant clears the air of both xylene and formaldehyde so you can breathe easy with this little companion. Plus, Spider Plants are nice and easy to propagate (i.e. make new plants from) – you'll notice a healthy plant producing tiny baby plants on runners, which can be snipped off and replanted.

With the addition of a Spider Plant, your workspace can flourish with nature and should feel clearer and less stuffy.

Plant care: Water once to twice a month and position in partial shade with some access to direct sunlight.

Studies have found that simply looking at pretty roses can loosen up the mind and soothe troubles that could be getting in the way of work. Bloom & Wild found that 75 per cent of participants in its ‘Flower Power’ experiment felt a reduction in their stress levels and 100 per cent of participants felt happier working from home after putting flowers in their workspace.

It's worth keeping in mind that roses will require a little more maintenance than other plants on this list, but if you’re looking for a flowering plant that will boost your mood in the office, then a rose plant is the pick for you.

Plant care: Position in a bright position and never allow the compost to dry out completely. Roses are thirsty plants!

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