You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your office, so you definitely want to do what you can to make it more comfortable. Home office plants offer a lot of benefits to office workers in general, and folks working from home in particular. Plants can help break up a space, making it visually more appealing, and giving the space more “texture.” Plants do need a little tending, even if only to water them, and I’ve found that kind of routine requirement can help add some structure to the day. If you are working in a space without windows, it can be very easy to let days blend together. Even something as simple as watering the plants once a day will anchor your mind a bit.
You know that plants also take in carbon dioxide, and give off oxygen, which can improve the air quality, and help you stay alert. You may not realize, however, that many indoor plants can also clean the air of various toxins, giving an even greater benefit with respect to air quality. A
While standard fluorescent lamps seem as bright as incandescent bulbs, their spectrum is fairly blue, while plants need more red and orange lighting. However, most plants that have low lighting requirements will do alright under fluorescent lighting. In some cases you may find that a plant under fluorescent lighting will seem to thrive, growing very quickly. However, upon closer examination you’ll find the growth is unhealthy – small, fragile leaves. What’s happening is the the plant senses that there’s a light source, but it’s not receiving the wavelengths it needs, so it tries to grow closer and spread out to get more of what’s just not there.
Feel free to try your plants under fluorescent lights, but be sure to watch them closely at first to see how they’re reacting to the lighting. If you’re growing indoors and the office lights aren’t doing it, you could put in a special grow light for your plants, or a unique light source like this LED lighting panel.
Various plants have different watering requirements, from keeping the soil moist to allowing it to dry out between waterings. One fairly common requirement is to ensure the plant doesn’t actually sit in water, as that can cause fungus or rot – so be sure your plant pots always have adequate drainage.
Some broadleaf plants are sensitive to low humidity and may dry out. For those plants you’ll want to have a spray bottle with water and mist the leaves every week or so during the winter, or if you live in a dry area.
Recommended Home Office Plant Guide
I’ve done my best to compile an indoor plant guide, which you can download from the link below (PDF). I’ve listed plants that are commonly found on “best indoor plants” as well as plants recommended for being good oxygen producers and by the NASA study to be good air cleaners – the features of each are annotated, along with pictures of the plants.