Indoor Plants Bring Summer to Your Office

Indoor plants Desert Gems Cactus/courtesy Costa FarmsSummer’s here but you’re stuck inside at the office. Sound familiar?

What to do when you’re craving a touch of green to lighten up the greige of your workspace? Add a few indoor plants to your environment, of course.

Indoor plants will not only bring a summery look to your place of business, but they offer a host of additional benefits as well. Discover the ins and outs of indoor plants.

Indoor plants Dracaena Magenta/courtesy Costa Farms

Advantages of Indoor Plants at the Office

Personality. Adding a plant is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to personalize your work space, whether it be a corner office or a humble cube. Which is your houseplant personality: spiky Cactus or feathery-fronded Spider Plant?

Stress reducer. Surprise, surprise. Science has now shown that caring for indoor plants at the office tends to lower levels of psychological and physiological stress among workers.

Performance booster. Having houseplants at work also increases employee productivity by 12 percent and reduces absenteeism by a whopping 14 percent (but don’t break the news to your boss!).

Indoor plants Orchids/courtesy Costa Farms

Noise blocker. When you work in an open-plan office, the noise of your coworkers chatting about vacation plans being loudly productive may get in the way of your concentration. Indoor plants to the rescue! Well-placed houseplants reduce the ambient noise level by several decibels.

Air quality improver. Office air can get to feeling a tad stuffy, especially in summer when you’d rather be outdoors hiking, biking, gardening, picnicking, or … well .. anything but working, actually. But exotically attractive Anthuriums will naturally freshen and improve the indoor air quality.

And much, much more. Multi-talented indoor plants contribute to improved memory, concentration, problem solving, creativity, and a whole host of other skills that help us get ahead at the office.

Indoor plants Anthurium/courtesy Costa Farms

Choose the Best Indoor Plants for Your Office

Color. Look for boldly colorful houseplants, like Fittonia, Croton, Polka Dot Plant, Rex Begonia, Earth Star, and Waffle Plant. These will create a tropical vibe that echoes balmy outdoor weather, in even the blandest of office atmospheres.

Beautiful blooms. To some folks, a house plant without flowers is just a boring bunch of foliage. For beautiful indoor blooms, try raising a crop of African Violets, elegant Orchids, or Peace Lilies. If coworkers happen to be allergic to flowers, substitute a bright-leaved Alternanthera. 

Indoor plants Rex Begonia/courtesy Costa Farms

Light. Unless you’re lucky enough to occupy an office with wall-to-wall windows (in which case you probably hire a professional gardener, anyway), your indoor summer garden will likely need to cope with relatively little daylight. Keep this in mind when you purchase plants and look for low-light species like Ferns and Rex Begonias.

Care. Though it may feel like you’re going to be cooped up inside all summer, chances are you’ll get away for at least a few days. That makes your most practical option easy-care indoor plants, such as Pothos or the aptly-named Cast-Iron Plant (it takes any kind of growing conditions in stride -- low light, strong light, drought, and extreme temperatures).

Indoor plants Croton/courtesy Cosrta Farms

Style Your Indoor Plants for Summer

  • Cool containers. Transform a ho-hum workday into a mini staycation with an imaginatively styled houseplant or two. Plant your greenery in whimsical, tropical-feeling containers, such as a pot with a pineapple design or a souvenir coffee cup from your favorite resort. Or decorate your own planters with paint pens, summery fabrics, or sea shells.

  • Clever combinations. Create a cluster of indoor plants to look like an exotic oasis. Give your living arrangement extra zing by mixing up texture, height, pattern, and scale. For instance, spiky Snake Plant will create a bold contrast when paired with dainty trailing English Ivy and large-leafed Arrowhead Plant. Alternatively, group multiple plant pots for a lush look.

Indoor plants Bromeliads/courtesy Costa Farms

Thanks to Justin Hancock, horticulturist at Costa Farms, for indoor plant inspiration.

Laura Firszt writes for

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