Placing indoor office plants where you work can help soften the utilitarian look of your office and bring a peaceful touch of the outside world to your daily routine. But plants for the office aren’t just for looks; they can also help buffer noises, increase employee productivity and even reduce job stress.
Another health benefit of indoor office plants may surprise you — some plants can actually remove harmful chemicals from the air, improving indoor air quality.
Unhealthy Office Air
You don’t have to work in a chemical factory to be exposed to harmful chemicals. In fact, indoor air pollution may be more than 100 times worse than the air outside, according to a World Health Organization study.
In an office environment, photocopiers, printers, plastics, solvents and even carpeting contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as toluene, benzene and formaldehyde. “Off-gassing” is the process by which these chemicals are released into the air. When you breathe this contaminated air, you may experience numerous symptoms, including headaches, dizziness and nausea.
Best Plants for the Office for Employee Wellbeing
The best plants for the office for cleaning the air in your office are called the “five super ornamentals” by the University of Georgia. Although other plants also have the ability to remove harmful chemicals from the air, research showed these five plants produced superior results with the highest rates of contaminant removal:
- Purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternata)
- English ivy (Hedera helix)
- Variegated wax plant (Hoya cornosa)
- Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus)
- Purple heart plant (Tradescantia pallida)
Plant Maintenance Tips
- Plant an upright plant, such as the asparagus plant, in the center of a pot with a trailing plant, such as English ivy, around the edges of the pot.
- Combine several plants that have different colors, textures and sizes in a single pot.
- For maximum effectiveness, place at least two 10- to 12-inch potted plants per 100 square feet of your office.
- Don’t overwater indoor office plants, because that could cause a secondary health problem — mold.
Surround yourself by nature’s air purifier — green office plants — and breathe healthier while you’re at work. Call the professionals at Plant Interscapes with any questions you have about plants for your office.
Check out this beautiful plant design, Green Living Walls, in this free Green Living Wall guide.