21 April 2015

Office Plants Addendum

If you work in an office alone or with people who don’t object to you landscaping your workspace, you might welcome recommendations for plants. After all, adding plants will likely improve your feelings about work and the work environment (see last Friday’s blog post, Plants at Work).

Since I know something about tropical crops but nothing about office plants, I sought consensus recommendations from sources cited below. I based my selections on two criteria: the plant’s tolerance for low-light conditions and how well the plant removes toxic agents from the air (e.g., benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene).

Although I’ve always been lucky enough to find myself in an office near a window, I thought the more restrictive low-light conditions might be more useful. Air-filtering seemed a worthy criterion, especially when perceived air quality was one measure surveyed in the study described last Friday.

Low-Light Tolerant, Air-Filtering Plants

There are plants, such as cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior) and parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans), that do fine in low light, and there are plants, such as florist's chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium), that top the list for filtering air. Here is my honor roll of plants--some that respond to different names--that have been recognized for both low-light tolerance and air filtering. Feel free to suggest others.

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue or Snake Plant, Sansevieria trifasciata. (Photo from multiple websites)
Red-edged Dracaena, Dracaena marginata. (Photo from www.overstock.com/Gifts-Flowers/Bi-color-Dracaena-Marginata-Live-Plant-in-Marble-colored-Planter/5072373/product.html)
Cornstalk or Corn Plant Dracaena, Dracaena fragrans. (Photo from multiple websites)
Peace Lily, Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa'. (Photo from multiple websites)
English Ivy, Hedera helix. (Photo from indoor-air-quality-plants.com/english-ivy/)
Devil's Ivy, Pothos or Money Plant, Epipremnum aureum. (Photo from multiple websites.)


Office Plants – General:
Low-Light Plants:
Air-Filtering Plants:

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