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No matter how much we are sunk into modern society, we are still strongly connected to nature. This is the reason why we always prefer to have a part of nature somewhere near us. It is also one of the main reasons why we have indoor plants, at home or work. On the other hand, sometimes we are just put to work in a place with little or no sunlight. The working environment is sometimes a part of our lives that we can’t control. But, we can always aspire to make the best out of it.
Thinking about all of this, a question popped into my head – what are the best plants for office without windows? Here is the list of 19 plants for office that lacks sunlight:
- Aloe Vera
- Cast Iron Plant
- Chinese Evergreen Plant
- Creeping Fig
- Lucky Bamboo
- Money Tree Plant
- Parlor Palm
- Peace Lilly
- Peacock Plant
- Spider Plant
- ZZ Plant
Now, bear with me, and learn all you need to know about these plants and how to make your dark office a less stressful place to work in.
How to Choose a Good Low-Light Office Plant?
Before we move on to the species themselves, we should reconsider the conditions.
Besides the fact that you are looking for the best plants for the office desk with no windows, are there any other important parameters? What makes a good office plant?
Take into consideration these things:
Plants that require no light
Obviously, you should look for the plants that normally live on the ground – forest floor.
The plants that get little to no sunlight in natural conditions.
Since they don’t get much sun, they’ve developed green leaves to help them through the photosynthesis.
The growth rate
This one is simple – fast-growing plants need more maintenance and care (cutting, pruning, etc.).
Since you come to work to do the job you are paid for, I doubt there are many people out there who are interested in maintaining needy office plants.
You should pick a plant that has low watering needs.
Besides the fact that the chances are you won’t remember every single time when you’re supposed to water the plant, you should also consider the fact you will be out of the office at least during the weekends, not to mention holidays and vacations.
Of course, a plant that needs a lot of watering doesn’t have to be a setback if you get the person in charge of cleaning your office to take care of watering the office plants as well.
As I have already mentioned, plants good for office with no windows have developed green coloring.
This is the reason why you can’t have blooming plants on your working desk – they require more light and caring.
Also, when kept indoors, they usually bloom only for a short period.
19 Best Low-Light Plants for Offices
1. Aloe Vera
It is one of the most popular house plants in the USA.
It is also one of the best plants for office with no windows.
Although Aloe Vera loves sunlight, it can thrive in places without any light, as well.
It is a succulent plant, which means it doesn’t need much watering because it stores water supplies in its thick, nutritional leaves.
It is a medicinal plant that can be very beneficial for health.
There is just one risky thing when it comes to all of the succulents – overwatering.
So, be careful – make sure the upper layer of the soil gets dry before you water the plant.
Besides, Aloe Vera is pretty resistant to pests and diseases, making it a perfect office desk plant.
If you would like a breath of the Brazilian forest in your office, Bromeliad is the right choice for you!
They can withstand long droughts, but won’t forgive you if you water them too much! If you do that, the roots will start to rot, and the plant will die eventually.
Like with Aloe Vera, wait for the upper layer of the soil to get dry before you water it.
Also, good drainage is very important, so make sure you get a pot with enough drainage holes.
Bromeliads also have what is called a “water tank”. It is located in the center of the plant and it is visible.
It is best if you fill the tank with rainwater.
Also, you mustn’t use metal containers while watering bromeliads because they are very sensitive to metal.
They love humidity, so you can mist them from time to time.
Also, bromeliads are pretty unique among the other plants for office no windows, because they bloom!
It usually happens once in their lifetime, but the flowers are colorful and beautiful.
I just have to get personal here and say how much I adore cacti!
They are low-maintenance, and still so unique, magnificent, and different than all the other houseplants.
There are about 150 genera and over 2500 cactus species for you to choose from!
They do like sunlight, but can also live and thrive in low-light conditions.
They require little water and fertilizing.
Besides that, they grow slowly but are beautiful at every period of their growth.
Some of them bloom, so they will even add some coloring to your office desk.
There are two important premises when it comes to cacti – don’t overwater and use the right soil mix.
There are a lot of soil mixes on the market designed especially for cacti, so I advise buying one of them.
Of course, you can make your own, if you are interested in an adventure!
You can find different recipes all over the internet.
4. Cast iron plant
It is another easy-care plant, with deep green foliage.
It got its name because its leaves are very strong (tougher than human nails, for example).
It is known as an almost indestructible house plant (and that makes it adds up so good with our “office plants no window” request).
Unlike most of the other houseplants, Cast iron plant likes drafty places, so your air condition or air cooler at the office won’t do it any harm.
I believe that you have realized the pattern by now, judging by the previous plants – it doesn’t like overwatering, so keep an eye on that.
Also, although it doesn’t like to be overwatered, it does like humidity, so make sure you mist it regularly.
It is a slow grower, but it will require some pruning during spring and summer.
Also, you should clean the leaves with a dry cloth, to reveal the beautiful shine of the plant.
Cleaning will also keep the pests away.
5. Chinese Evergreen Plant
It is also known as Aglaonema or Aglos.
It is one of the most durable houseplants.
There are different types of the plant (my favorite are variegated ones).
Still, there is something crucial when it comes to the Chinese evergreen plant – soil mix.
It has to be well-draining soil (mix the regular potting soil with sand or perlite).
Drainage holes on the pot are a must-have, as well. Let the soil dry out a bit before watering, just to prevent root rot.
But, be careful, it needs more water than the previous plants we have talked about.
While others require low watering, Chinese evergreen likes moderate watering.
When older, they can sometimes produce flowers during spring and summer.
Clean the leaves with a cloth occasionally – it will keep them shiny and healthy.
Avoid cold drafts and temperature changes.
Also, routinely check the plants for pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale.
6. Creeping Fig
It is another evergreen plant, originally from East Asia.
Although it is a fast grower, it complies with our “best office plants no sunlight” policy.
First of all, in case you are confused, Creeping fig is an outdoor plant, but it is often sold as a house plant because of its beautiful foliage and the ability to survive in low-light conditions.
The small heart-shaped leaves and the ability to direct the plant’s growth the way you want to make creeping fig one of the favorite office plants.
If you decide to cultivate it as a hanging plant, it will make your working space more fresh and natural.
You can also add a pole and let the plant climb up.
Creeping fig needs watered and moist soil, but not waterlogged.
Also, since it is a fast-growing plant, it will need pruning, especially during spring and summer.
Exactly at that time of the year, it also needs fertilizing about once a month.
Dracaena is one of the plants that will bring the exotic vibe to your office, with its extravagant bushy look.
It originates from Madagascar.
The most popular cultivar is the variegated one, yellow-green.
Besides its beauty, dracaena is healthy as well – it purifies the air in the room!
This is one of the reasons why every working space should have one.
They are drought-tolerant, but don’t overwater them!
Mist the leaves from time to time and provide them with good drainage.
Also, they are sensitive to chemicals found in tap water, so it is best to use filtered water (assuming you don’t collect rainwater at work).
Other than that, it is an adaptable plant, resistant to pests.
Be careful if you have your furry friends visiting you at work!
Dracaena is poisonous to cats and dogs if eaten.
Besides being a low-maintenance plant, ficus is a great choice for your office symbolically as well.
Namely, it is said Buddha received enlightenment sitting under a ficus.
Make sure you position the plant right at the start.
Ficus is known for losing its foliage when relocating it.
Anyway, if it happens, don’t worry, the leaves should appear soon.
It likes moist, but never soaked soil. It needs consistent but moderate watering.
Water it less during the winter, as they tend to lose the leaves in that period.
It grows quickly (or quicker than most of the plants on this list), so it requires some pruning occasionally.
It will also need repotting for the same reason.
Be careful – ficus will behave the same way when repotted as relocated – foliage loss.
It can be vulnerable to pests as well, so keep an eye on the plant’s health.
9. Lucky Bamboo
I love the options lucky bamboo provides for us – it is the rare plants from the list that can be grown both in soil and water.
It is known as a symbol of luck in prosperity in Feng Shui. First of all, I feel the need to clarify one thing – lucky bamboo is not a bamboo but rather a plant from the Dracaena family.
If you decide to cultivate it in water (which is personally my preferred way, it is just a little more exotic and adventitious), make sure you change the water every week.
If placed in soil, make sure the soil is moist all of the time – it can’t be dry nor soggy.
Also, higher temperatures (from 18 oC to 35 oC) will do good for your lucky bamboo.
After all, it is a tropical plant.
You can use liquid fertilizer, but it is not obligatory.
It is poisonous for cats and dogs.
You can also play with it and learn how to make it twisted or spiral.
10. Money Tree Plant
Although it is a common houseplant in the world’s tropical and subtropical areas, it is more than welcome to your office as well!
It also has a spiritual effect on it, because it has been known for its wealth and happiness attracting “powers”.
If you take good care of it, it can grow pretty big, up to 3.5 meters.
The money tree plant needs well-dried soil, so make sure you mix the regular potting soil with some sand or perlite.
Touch the topsoil before watering.
Make sure it is dry, but not so dry that the soil starts to crack up.
It is best to water them once every seven to ten days during the summer, and once every two to three weeks during the winter.
You can fertilize it once a month during spring and summer.
Money tree plant can also be kept in water.
Just make sure you change the water every week.
You can also fold the branch to promote roots.
Although it looks beautiful, growing in water is not advised for rooms without any light whatsoever.
The container needs to be in a sunny spot for the plant to grow.
11. Parlor Palm
It is one of the favorite indoor palms.
They usually grow in small clumps, so they are basically palm-looking bushes.
Grown in a pot, it can grow up to a meter or two in height.
Well-drained soil is a must-have, as well.
Parlor palm blooms in nature during the springtime, but it seldom happens when kept indoor.
If they do bloom, they grow beautiful yellow flowers.
Still, even evergreen, it will look very decorative and playful in your working space.
Like most other palms, these are also sensitive to overwatering, so use the same system as in previous cases – make sure the topcoat is dry.
Parlor palm must be kept away from drafts and cold temperatures.
It also requires some liquid fertilizer during the growing months.
The beautiful thing is, there are so many parlor palm varieties for you to choose from!
12. Peace Lily
Peace lilies live on the forest floor, meaning it gets little to none sunlight and a lot of moisture!
If you provide it with sunlight, it will bloom.
If you don’t, it will still embellish your office.
Peace lily produces beautiful white flowers.
It can grow up to 40 cm in a pot, kept indoors.
Experts recommend repotting your peace lily once a year, best in spring.
If it becomes too large for its pot, you can divide it, since it is a bushy plant with multiple clumps.
Although it can also be grown in water alone, it is not recommended for spaces without windows, thus without the natural sunlight.
Consistent watering and drainage are the keys to a thriving peace lily.
Fertilize it rarely, every six weeks during spring and summer.
The only requirement it has is the temperature.
It is a tropical plant, so you should try to maintain the temperature higher than 21 oC.
Protect it from the cold draft (and draft at all, actually).
It is mildly poisonous, so keep it away from pets and children if they visit your working space.
13. Peacock Plant
Peacock plant doesn’t classify as an easy to grow plant, but it’s requirements aren’t that hard to carry out.
First of all, it needs a lot of moisture and humidity.
Often watering and misting will let your plant express itself to its fullest.
Also, you should place bowls filled with water around the plant.
You can use a tray, fill it with wet pebbles and place it under the pot, as well.
While misting and watering, use lukewarm water.
Peacock plant is pretty sensitive to some of the chemicals found in the tap water (for example, fluoride or nitrogen).
Use rain or distilled water.
You can use a liquid fertilizer during the growing season.
The plant requires some pruning occasionally.
In the end, all the caring pays off because of the peacock plant’s beautiful and unique foliage.
Peperomia is one of the favorites all over the world when it comes to office desk plants.
It is low-maintenance, easy to grow, and attractive.
The possibilities are endless – there are over a thousand peperomia types.
Evergreen, heart-shaped foliage holds the charm to this plant.
The color and the leaf pattern vary from type to type but are all equally beautiful.
Peperomia requires good drainage, so make sure you buy a pot with drainage holes.
Also, you can use a succulent soil mix, as it contains a lot of perlite and sand.
Besides that, it will need some pruning during the growing season.
Make sure you don’t over-prune it, though!
Water it infrequently.
Wait for the soil top coat to get dry before you do it since overwatering is pretty much the only thing that can kill your peperomia.
Philodendron is a perennial vine and one of the easiest house plants to cultivate.
It is native to Tropical America, so you should try and recreate the conditions it has there.
It is an air purifier, so it is highly recommended for working spaces.
It grows rapidly, so it needs pruning and shaping.
If left without trimming, philodendron can grow up to 3 meters.
It’s water requirements aren’t high, especially without the sunlight, so water it once every week or two.
It is adaptable to high temperatures, but make sure the temperature doesn’t drop below 16 oC.
It is poisonous (but not lethal) to pets and humans.
Sansevieria is also known as the Snake plant, because of its leaf shape and pattern.
It is known as Mother-in-law’s tongue, as well.
It is a highly adaptable evergreen plant.
Sansevieria doesn’t require any additional humidity, so just watering will be enough.
It doesn’t need much water, either.
Once a month during the cold days will be enough.
When it is hot, modify the watering frequency, but always let the topsoil dry out.
Keep in mind – the leaves should stay dry while watering.
It prefers higher temperatures (duh, it is a tropical plant), but it is adaptive to temperatures not lower than 12 oC.
It needs fertilizing twice a year with regular plant food.
Blooms are rare but may appear during springtime.
In the end, it is good to know sansevieria is mildly toxic.
I would say it is pretty useless to write a care guide when it comes to sempervivum.
Simply, they are so resistant to external conditions, that they can survive just about anywhere.
We could say they are almost task-free plants.
Sempervivum is a succulent plant that can live even on rocks, with almost no soil.
All you need to do is water it once in a while, and provide it with good drainage.
Also, the soil needs to be sandy.
Sempervivum produces marvelous rosettes in a host of colorings and shades, though green is the most common.
It is a great plant if your company goes to group vacations and if in the meantime no one visits the office.
Sempervivum can survive long droughts and even frost!
Also, you can leave it outside while you are not around, and it will thrive equally.
In addition, it is not prone to any pests or diseases.
18. Spider Plant
This is one of the most unusual plants on the list.
Spider plant forms a rosette of long variegated or plain green leaves.
While the plant is still young, it needs occasional watering.
The point is, don’t let the soil dry out.
Once established as a fully-grown plant, you can rise the time between watering.
If the soil dries out, the plant tips will burn.
It likes average room temperature and humidity.
It needs fertilizing once or twice a month during spring and summer.
The spider plant is beneficial also because of its air purifying features.
It needs occasional pruning from time to time.
During springtime, they produce flowers.
Those flowers eventually develop into babies, small spider plants of spiderettes.
You can take it, put it in a container and place it near the mother plant.
It will grow and shine.
Also, keep in mind it isn’t safe for pets.
19. ZZ plant
This evergreen plant originates from Africa.
ZZ plant is a slow grower, going up to 30 cm in height.
Watering depends on the amount of sunlight it gets.
Since it won’t be getting any in your office without windows, make sure you don’t overwater it.
Good drainage is essential as well.
It looks similar to palms because it has long stems that produce shiny foliage.
The leaves are green and fleshy.
When grown outdoors, it produces small flowers at the bottom of the plant, but don’t expect them indoors.
Fertilize it lightly once a month during growing months.
If the air is dry in your office, make sure you raise the humidity level by little.
I have already mentioned the ways to do so, such as placing pebbles or misting the plant.
Pruning is a must-have, especially if the leaves are turning yellow.
Please take caution – all parts of the plant can be toxic for pets and humans if ingested.