Create a Healthier Office With These 7 Indoor Plants That Clean Air

Posted by Seraine Page on Thu, Oct, 31, 2019

Ready to liven up your drab office space?

Indoor plants that clean air are the answer.

Studies show that spending time in nature has significant health benefits, improves mood and creativity. Mimicking the outdoors with green spaces can help bring those benefits inside the workplace.

Plants in the office may:

  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve moods
  • Create a better air quality

Need to give your office a breath of fresh air? Read on.

Office Benefits of Indoor Plants That Clean Air

Plants are more than just pretty byproducts of nature.

While they do have a calming effect on humans, plants also have the power to encourage productivity, too.  

A University of Exeter study found offices with plants had the potential to increase productivity by 15 percent! Aside from the major benefits that encourage employee output, plants are great for wellness, too.

NASA's Clean Air Study suggests having at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space for cleaner air. The study found plants to remove toxins like formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and ammonia from the air, which can help employees breathe easier.

If you’re ready to liven up your office space with Mother Nature’s finest gifts, gather your office green thumbs and head to the nearest plant nursery.

And don’t forget to take along this list of seven purifying indoor plants (with names you can pronounce!) so you know just which plants to purchase!

1. Spider Plant

Scientific name: Chlorophytum comosum


Why These Are Perfect For The Office

Need a plant that won’t die after one day of missing water? Count the spider plant among your top office plant choice. These hardy plants may be green or vary in color among its arching “spiderettes” and look great in a hanging basket or in a pot. Originally from South Africa, they are also known as airplane plants, ribbon plants, and spider ivy.


  • Hardy and easy to grow
  • Remove toxins from the air
  • Easy to root new plants from clippings
  • Like cooler temps
  • Minimal watering needed
  • Like indirect light

Green Thumb Insight: These plants don't require a lot of water or attention, so it’s a perfect office plant that won’t become a nuisance.

2. Snake Plant

Scientific name: Sansevieria trifasciata


Why These Are Perfect For The Office

Also known as mother-in-law's tongue, viper's bowstring hemp, and St. George's sword, this is a very popular house (or office) plant. This interesting-looking plant has stiff, upright leaves that add varying pops of color like bright green and yellow to any office. Be choosy in selecting your snake plant as there are 70 different species that can grow from 12 inches up to 12 feet high! Snake plants don’t require a lot of water, grow slowly, and can survive drought periods.


  • Very hardy
  • Easy to grow
  • Available in a variety of sizes
  • Listed by NASA as a toxin-removing plant

Green Thumb Insight: This plant thrives in low light, so it won’t die if it’s alone in the office all weekend with minimal light exposure. It does need free draining soil, though, so it won’t rot.

3. Fibrous Rooted Begonias

Scientific name: Begonia semperflorens


Why These Are Perfect For The Office

This gorgeous plant has colorful blooms most of the year, which offers an inexpensive way to add color to office spaces. These beauties come in more than 1,700 species with blooms of all colors. Several varieties have colorful leaves as well. The best feature? They can be planted outside or kept in pots indoors. This particular plant likes to be well-drained and tightly potted.


  • Safe plants for pets
  • Add immediate color to offices
  • Offer a variety of bloom colors
  • Little watering needed

Green Thumb Insight: This plant does well in a range of lighting conditions — from window sills to growing under fluorescents.

4. Florist’s Chrysanthemums

Scientific name: Chrysanthemum morifolium


Why These Are Perfect For The Office

The only care these indoor perennials — commonly referred to as “mums” —  need is regular watering. These gorgeous air-cleaners have a nice, earthy floral scent that isn’t too overwhelming. These make for great employee birthday gifts as they are affordable and practical.


  • Available in many colors
  • Inexpensive to purchase
  • Thrive indoors
  • Listed by NASA as a toxin-removing plant

Green Thumb Insight: Take caution if pets are allowed in the office as these plants are poisonous to cats and dogs.

5. Bamboo Palm

Scientific name: Chamaedorea erumpens


Why These Are Perfect For The Office

Want to feel like you’re always at the beach? A bamboo palm adds that tropical oasis feeling to any office. This dark green, multiple-trunked palm stays small indoors and, like its name implies, resembles bamboo with thin canes and lacy, drooping fronds. They are a sub-tropical plant and were also popular plants in the Victorian Era. These plants don’t require direct sunlight or frequent watering, either.


  • Listed by NASA as a toxin-removing plant
  • Grows well in indirect light
  • Easy to care for
  • Cleans the air

Green Thumb Insight: New shoots grow from the base so it looks attractive with minimal pruning or care, making it the perfect plant for a first-time plant parent.

6. Flamingo Lily

Scientific name: Anthurium andraeanum


Why These Are Perfect For The Office

Similar to a Peace Lily, this flamboyant plant has waxy red or pink flowers that make a statement. This colorful plant is native to Colombia and Ecuador and it was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. This lily is also low maintenance and requires watering about once a week.


  • Listed by NASA as a toxin-removing plant
  • Can bloom year round
  • Fluorescent light may be enough
  • Grows well in room temps

Green Thumb Insight: This is another beautiful plant that is also a hazard to pets. Keep this in mind if you have curious pets roaming the office.

7. English Ivy

Scientific name: Hedera helix


Why These Are Perfect For The Office

Often referred to as Common Ivy or European Ivy, this plant’s vines look stunning sitting on the edge of a desk or in a hanging container. Listed by NASA as a toxin-removing plant, it helps purify the air to help employees breathe easier. Another study also found English Ivy may also minimize indoor mold counts, which often happens in older office buildings.


  • Grows in partial to full shade
  • Easy to grow
  • Cleans the air
  • Doesn’t need frequent watering

Green Thumb Insight: After about a year, this plant can really take off. Considering taking it outdoors and replanting it to let it thrive.

Buy Indoor Plants That Clean Air and Improve Office Quality

As you’ve read, keeping indoor plants in common and open areas are good for morale, productivity, and mood boosts.

Plus, they’re pretty to look at.

Consider sharing this list with your employees and encouraging them to keep plants at their desk or in their office. Or, ask your wellness committee to give away one of the above indoor plants as birthday gifts to employees.

These low-maintenance plants require little time, money, and effort, and the health benefits of indoor plants that purify make these the perfect decor for offices of all sizes.

Have you found it to be easy to upkeep indoor plants in your office? Let us know in the comments below!

Employee Wellness Handbook

Topics: Wellness at Work


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