Best Plants For Office Desk With No Windows
Congratulations! You got a promotion at work and now you have your own office!
The bad news is your new office is a windowless room that used to be a storage closet.
No worries! Tape a few colorful streamers by the air vent and we will explain which office plants are best for an office with no windows.
Biophilia For Beginners
Biophilia is interior design with plants. In order to pick the right office plants, you need to get something hearty that doesn’t require sunlight.
You're looking for the best plants for an office desk with no windows, office plants that will thrive in the unnatural light of your windowless office. Beautiful indoor plants can bring some nature into your office with no windows. We love the calm, soothing mood that plants create, from wavy snake plants to leggy ivy.
Understanding Light For Office Plants
Your first step is determining the lighting conditions in your office. Use a light meter (or a free light meter app on your smartphone) to determine if your office environment is low-light, medium-light, or bright. This will help you decide which office plants to choose.
Luminosity is measured in footcandles. Low-light plants only require about 30 footcandles. Medium-light plants need between 50-100 footcandles, while plants that demand a bright environment require 150 footcandles or more for proper growth.
Once you determine your light levels you can determine what kind of office plants you'd like to have in your office space. Consider a plant that doesn't need direct sunlight and doesn't require a lot of maintenance. Some plants grow well under fluorescent light, like a ZZ or sansevieria. Not only can these plants thrive in artificial light, but they are also great natural air purifiers.
You Might Be Wondering "What Is The Best Plant For Your Office Desk With No Windows?"
Let's take a look at some of our favourite office plants!
Cast Iron Plant
These plants — also called barroom plants — can survive low light, low humidity, and irregular watering. The cast iron plant’s long, lush green leaves bring a touch of nature to your indoor environment. Ease of care — and no need for windows or sunlight — make the cast iron plant a perfect plant for some offices.
These flowering plants — also known as snake plants or mother-in-law’s tongue — are native to Africa, but will thrive happily in your dim office. There are many varieties of snake plants that enjoy both low and medium light. Sansevieria is a great natural air purifier. A NASA Clean Air Study showed that sansevieria absorbs pollutants like toluene, xylene, and formaldehyde, while the snake plant’s metabolism allows it to absorb carbon dioxide at night and release oxygen during the day. Snake plants are the perfect indoor plants for a busy office!
The Golden Pothos is an awesome houseplant because it looks great and requires very little maintenance. The pothos plant is an ideal office desk plant for people who forget to water their plants! This vine is native to the Solomon Islands in the south pacific. It has lush green heart-shaped leaves that are sometimes variegated with white, yellow, and pale green stripes.
These vines grow quickly adding between 12 and 18 inches of length each month. They grow great in offices with very little sunlight or only fluorescent lighting. If your leaves suddenly look paler, you’re getting too much sunlight. Plant your pothos in standard, well-drained potting soil. They like their soil to dry out completely between waterings. When your pathos starts to droop give it a drink. Dry brown edges on the leaves mean your pathos has been kept dry for too long.
Golden pathos grows best at temperatures between 65 and 75°F. They like high humidity but it’s not necessary for them to thrive. These plants can survive without barely one drop of sunlight!
Dracaena compacta are hardy plants that can give your windowless office a leafy jungle feel. While these plants are hard to kill, they do require some care in order to look their best. There’s a delicate balance between light, humidity, soil moisture, and room temperature required in order to keep these plants looking green and happy.
You’ll need to experiment to find the best place in your office for your dracaena compacta...and you may need to move it around a bit to ensure it gets all the light it needs in your office space or cubicle.
These favorites of indoor plant enthusiasts are great for offices with no windows. According to the University of Georgia, spider plants prefer bright, indirect light. Artificial light is fine but keep them away from direct sunlight. If you have the right light conditions you’ll notice the color variations on the leaves range from white to deep green. It is important to keep spider plants between 70 and 80° Fahrenheit.
Don’t keep your spider plant right next to the window, nor right next to the heating and cooling vent. While this plant can do well in a variety of temperature ranges, it does best with a stable room temperature. The spider plant’s watering needs depend on the size of the plant as well as the lighting conditions and humidity levels in your office.
That being said, the spider plant is one of the best plants for office desks with no windows. They also look really great in a simple hanging pot. Lush, invigorating, and colorful, you could really use a leggy spider plant to brighten up that drab office space!
Norfolk Island Pine
These tiny pines require very little light to thrive. In fact, if they get too much light their needles will brown and fall off, so keep them tucked in a dim corner.
These bushy little trees are a popular holiday gift. But unless you care for it properly it will be dead by New Year’s.
You don’t want to let them dry out completely but you want to wait until the soil is nearly dry before watering your Norfolk Island Pine. When these plans get dry the branches will get brittle and start to curl under.
Stick your finger an inch into the soil. If it’s dry, your Norfolk Island Pine needs a drink.
Keep them evenly moist but not soaking wet. Keep these plants away from the heating vent. Don’t put them under your air conditioner either. The Norfolk Island Pine prefers moderate, consistent temperatures and a good bit of light.
Bright indirect sunlight is best, your office lamp light will do the trick. These plants like 50% humidity, so figure out how to keep your office moist.
Also known as the aglaonema, these are very low maintenance...they’ll even tolerate a bit of neglect. This plant enjoys low light and room temperature. Check the color of the leaves in the center of the plant. Experiment with moving this plant around in different spots of your office to see where it grows best and yields the best color and variation.
You can grow the Chinese evergreen with some standard potting soil. Water it fairly frequently in the spring and summer when there’s new growth, but cut back in the fall and winter. Fertilize it twice a year if you want to promote new growth. If your plant gets droopy or pale give it a little bit more light.
Chill out with a Peace Lily! This is a beautiful flowering plant with lush green leaves and white flowers. A Peace Lily doesn’t need a lot of light to grow. Peace Lilies are indoor plants that like a little window time.
Peace Lilies need moist soil, so make sure you check it daily and give it a drink if you feel the soil getting dry. Fill the pot until excess water flows out the bottom. Let your plant sit in that puddle of overflow for about 20-30 minutes.
A Peace Lily will grow best with a bit of humidity. These are indoor plants that are used to growing in the jungle, so some recommend misting the plant a few times a day with lukewarm water to maintain proper humidity.
The zebra plant, or aphelandra squarrosa, is one of the most popular indoor plants. It only needs natural light — even fluorescent light — to thrive in an office. Native to Brazil this plant likes to stay moist. Its leaves will wilt if it needs water. If properly cared for, this plant should yield some small yellow flowers at the end of the summer. These deep green leaves with white striations grow up to nine inches long and have a waxy feel.
Avoid overwatering and soggy soil. Medium-light and room temperature is fine.
Ivy Plants - like English ivy — make a great houseplant and can add some much-needed life to your workplace. This is one of the most popular houseplants and has been brightening up households for centuries. It comes in a number of varieties and is easy to grow and care for. Ivy is also considered a clean air plant, which helps remove pollutants from the air. Ivy comes in a variety of leaf sizes and colors.
These are very forgiving plants. They don’t need a lot of light or water. English ivy is a ready grower, but don’t water the plant until the first inch or so of the soil is dry. Ivy is a plant prone to rot root if you overwater. English ivy also looks great in a hanging basket and makes one of the best plants for topiary sculpture.
These plants thrive and both low- and medium-light conditions and are great natural air purifiers.
The ZZ plant (zamioculcas zamiifolia) is the plant to get when you kill all your other plants. It’s called “unkillable”...but don’t push it. The ZZ plant has shiny, almost waxy leaves. ZZ plants have bulbs down by the root system. These bulbs hold a lot of water so you will not need to water your ZZ very often. Make sure the soil is dry to about two inches deep before watering and make sure the soil drains well. Put your ZZ plant in bright but indirect light. This is one plant that doesn’t require sun, but it will droop if it doesn’t get enough light. These are a great gift! Show a certain someone some ZZ love!
Add a pop of purple to your drab office! Place in bright but diffused light, and rotate your plants once a week so all the leaves receive the same amount of light. These plants like temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees and prefer to be watered from the bottom. For fertilizing needs, use a fertilizer specific to violets. Do this every 2 to 4 weeks in the spring through fall.
Dumb cane, also known as dieffenbachia, is a low-light tolerant houseplant that doesn’t need windows to grow and thrive. Keep the soil moist, but don’t overwater. The foliage will droop when your dumb cane needs water.
Bamboo, or lucky bamboo, is actually not a bamboo plant but a type of dracaena. Lucky bamboo is easy to grow in offices and is also a great purifier that improves air quality. Almost any level of grower can get lucky bamboo to grow. Lucky bamboo is one of a variety of “air plants” that don’t require soil to grow. Simply change the water in your lucky bamboo pot every ten days. However, you can also grow these in basic potting soil.
Aloe vera is also an easy indoor plant to grow in offices. They don’t need a lot of water, but they like a lot of light. Indirect light from windows is best, but even fluorescent lights will work. Let your aloe completely dry out before watering, maybe once a week in the summer and every three or four weeks in the winter.
This is another good choice for an indoor plant that can grow in a variety of lighting conditions. This plant has thick, plump leaves and a tree-like stem. Keep in bright light but don’t overwater. Stick a toothpick into the soil. If it comes out moist, hold off on watering this office plant. Wait until the toothpick comes out completely dry.
The peacock plant (peacock calathea) is one of the best plants for offices with no windows on account of its minimal plant care needs. The vibrant green leaves are like “nature’s art!” While not technically a “prayer plant,” the peacock plant will open and close its leaves over the course of the day. Keep in medium to bright indirect light to thrive. Watering can be tricky. Use filtered or distilled water to avoid mineral build-up in the soil. Don’t overwater but don’t let it dry out either...just the right amount of water in the Goldilocks moisture zone!
The maidenhair fern works great in an office, even offices with no windows. We love the look of tiny green maidenhair fern fronds in a hanging planter. Cut off the leaves when they get brown and brittle. They grow fine in office lighting, but you need to keep the soil fully moistened. If you’re looking for a great office plant, put the maidenhair fern on your menu!
Parlor palms bring a bit of the tropical jungle to your no-window office. These plants come in different sizes so you can find the perfect one for your space. Water these plants once a week and make sure they have good drainage. Don’t overwater. Parlor palms prefer indirect but bright light. Those terrible fluorescent bulbs above your desk will work fine.
These plants require a consistent temperature between 65 and 75°F and a moderately humid environment. Use a peat-based potting mix.
Arrowhead plants are an awesome choice for your office because they’re very low maintenance and come in a variety of different colors. All of their leaves have a distinctive triangular shape but the color striations vary from deep green to white to pink. The arrowhead vine prefers bright indirect light or dappled direct light.
Green varieties of arrowhead vine can tolerate lower light conditions so these might be better for a very dimly lit office. The variegated colored varieties need more light to keep their color. If your leaves start to look washed out it means they’re getting too much light. Water with room temperature water.
These plants prefer to have their soil almost completely dry between waterings. So dig your fingertips down a bit and make sure the soil is dry before you water your arrowhead. If you can, we prefer bottom watering for these plants. Use a very airy soil mix since arrowhead plants are prone to root rot. This is another reason not to overwater.
Polka dot plant
These plants are not hard to care for, you just have to lock into a successful routine and stick to it. Polka dot plants do best with a regular schedule. While these plants prefer bright, indirect light, they can do well in low-light situations. If your polka dot plant receives too much light the polka dot pattern will fade.
If your plant isn’t getting enough light it will become “leggy,“ meaning it will have long, uneven stalks rather than a tight compact look. You could regulate this by trimming your plants. Trimming your plants will keep them healthy and promote bushier growth. A thick, leafy plant is a happy plant!
Bridal veil vine
The bridal veil vine is a beautiful plant with tiny white flowers and thick green leaves. Also known as the Tahitian Bridalveil this plant looks great in a hanging pot. Hang your bridal veil in a spot that gets diffuse light. This plant grows best in between 55 and 70° Fahrenheit.
Water this plant no more than twice a week and make sure you have adequate soil drainage. Do not overwater or you will rot the roots. You’ll see wilting, blackened stems, and yellow leaves if your plant is overwatered. A little bit of liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks will help keep this plant looking good. Prune away any dead leaves to promote new growth.
That Said: What Office Desk Plants Should You NOT Buy?
Avoid succulents and cactus. Despite their “unkillable“ reputation, they need a ton of light and a lot of maintenance.
Why Put Plants In Your Office?
Houseplants are not only beautiful, they have a number of health benefits for humans, including:
- Reducing stress levels
- Providing fresh oxygen
- Boosting Productivity
- Improving mood
- Improving attention span
Maintenance: Plant Care 101
Make your work environment more people-friendly with a houseplant!
Once you have the right plants in the right light conditions it’s really a matter of maintaining a watering schedule. This varies from office to office, but when you feel your soil getting dry give your plants a drink. We like sub-irrigated pots that allow plants to drink from the base rather than pouring water on the top leaves.
Make someone happy and bring some sun into their life with a simple flowering plant!
Go Beyond Indoor Plants With 123Office!
Visit 123Office for all your non-foliage needs. Maybe it’s time to replace those fluorescent lights with something that will better mimic the feel of the forest floor. Nature rules! So surf over to 123Office and start filling your cart with the best office supplies. You’ll find things to make your workplace more comforting for both plants and people. You’ll have the best office—and your employees will be the happiest people—in town!
Want to save even more? Get yourself a 123Office username and password and become a member. You’ll get access to even more savings on the best office supplies. Shop 123Office!