Ideal plants for workstation/study table decor | DIY Living

Want to add the splash of fresh and green, upgrading your mundane work or study tables to productive systems, but don’t know where to start. Do not worry. Here’s a list of 7 easy to care, bright and beautiful, air-purifying plants perfect for your desks.

Cactus

A staple to Latin American culture, the ultimatum of no care plants, the easy to maintain plants cactus creates a bold statement wherever they grow. These fleshy beings are perfect decor for your work desk, adding the drama it requires with almost no maintenance.

The Basic Information

  • Common Name: Cactus, desert cactus, forest cactus
  • Botanical Name: Cactaceae
  • Type of plant: Succulents (with some exceptions)
  • Native from: Deserts and rainforests around the world
  • Mature size: Varies depending on the variety
  • Flower colour: Varies
  • Bloom time: Varies

Preferable Conditions

  • Watering: For desert cactus – In spring and summer, when the cactus is actively growing and blooming, water whenever the soil begins to dry. During this period of growth, make sure the plant is thoroughly watered. During winters, nearly cease watering. Water them only when it begins to shrivel. The most common mistake in watering desert cactus is overwatering, leading to root rot. For forest cactus – it acts as a typical houseplant during summer hence water once or twice weekly. During the winter months, water only when the soil is dry to touch.
  • Potting: It requires well-draining sandy soil or cactus mix.
  • Temperature: For both desert and forest cacti, they prefer a range of 70- more than 80°F (21- more than 26°C). It prefers hot, dry temperatures. In winters, the plants like a cooler period, down to 55°F (12°C). These cactus are accustomed to very chilly nights.
  • Light: Strong light is essential for healthy desert cacti. For forest cacti, bright but not direct light is preferable. 

Benefits

  • Cactuses are known for their nutrients and medicinal values, helping one manage cholesterol, easing hangovers, controlling blood sugar levels, and boosting immunity.
  • With almost no maintenance, these plants prove to be the ultimatum of no care plant type.

Tips

Many species of cacti will bloom better when they are slightly underpotted. 

Figure out the type of your cacti beforehand to provide it individual proper care.

Snake Plant

With high tolerance, adaptive make, and six gorgeous varieties to choose from, these plants with strappy leaves and architectural shape are the best for little time investors or new plant parents as they are nearly indestructible. They adapt and look fresh, vivid in almost all the conditions.

The Basic Information

  • Common Name: Snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, viper’s bowstring hemp, St. George’s sword
  • Botanical Name: Sansevieria trifasciata
  • Type of plant: Evergreen perennial
  • Native from: Tropical West Africa
  • Mature size: 6 in. to 12 ft. tall
  • Flower colour: Greenish-white
  • Bloom time: Spring (rarely blooming)

Preferable Conditions

  • Watering: There’s a saying, “Snake plants do well when you almost forget about them”, which is entirely accurate. In summers, water when the soil feels dry to touch (mostly once a week). While in winters, reduce the watering to once a month.
  • Potting: A loose sandier soil with low peat so eventually it packs and refuses to re-hydrate or drain properly.
  • Temperature: range of 70-90°F (20-32°C), warm conditions. Although highly adaptable, the plant will suffer if exposed to temperatures below 50°F.
  • Light: Although tolerant of a variety of lighting conditions, steady indirect sunlight is preferable. 

Benefits

  • Snake Plant acts as an air purifier as it demonstrates an ability to remove formaldehyde and benzene from the air, according to the joint studies run by the University of Georgia and Yonsei.
  • This plant can convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen at night, opposite to other plants. This uniqueness gives it the ability to combat “sick building syndrome” and help in battling depression.

Tips

If possible, try watering from the bottom of the plant to encourage roots to grow deep and downward by helping to stabilize the thick tall leaves.

English Ivy  

Impacting the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome, English Ivy’s magic absolutely didn’t stop there. With glossy dark green leaves, this invasive evergreen vine has spread vastly across indoor decor as ground covers, as well as climbers due to their ariel roots. As a result, these sacred vines have led their way into the modern indoor decor.

The Basic Information

  • Common Name: English ivy
  • Botanical Name: Hedera helix
  • Type of plant: Vine
  • Native from: Europe
  • Mature size: 20–80 ft. tall, 3–50 ft. wide
  • Flower colour: Yellow, cream
  • Bloom time: Fall, early winter

Preferable Conditions

  • Watering: English Ivy prefers moist, humid conditions but not soaking wet or soggy conditions. Hence, don’t let the soil dry out but keep it evenly moist. It can tolerate minimal drought-like conditions but will produce the most vibrant colour in evenly moist soil. 
  • Potting: A loose, fertile, moist, well-drained soil is preferable. In hotter, drier climates, the ground should be heavily mulched to keep it cool and wet. 
  • Temperature: range of 45-80°F (6-26°C) is acceptable but prefers cooler conditions. During hot summer days, mist the ivy frequently to increase the humidity levels.
  • Light: English Ivy requires bright indirect light. The leaves will scorch in direct sunlight hence should be avoided except in winters.

Benefits

  • With anti-inflammatory properties, English Ivy, when consumed in tea or by applying the leaves directly, helps relieve people suffering from arthritis, gout, or rheumatism.
  • English Ivy leaves help to detoxify the body as studies show it helps release toxins from the body, thereby purifying the blood and reducing the strain on the liver and gallbladder.
  • It helps to minimize pain and infection of burn wounds on the skin. It can also help relieve discomfort and irritation of psoriasis, eczema, acne, and other skin-related conditions.
  • Though the research is still ongoing, English Ivy leaves display a significant antioxidant activity- the ability to prevent the spread or mutation or development of cancer.
  • According to NASA, one of the top 10 air-purifying plants that help reduce moulds and improve the air quality by increasing the humidity and removing mould spores.

Tips

While watering an English Ivy, avoid drenching the leaves and making them susceptible to fungal diseases instead water at the plant base.

Grow them in hanging baskets near your workstation, allowing them to spread out naturally.

Peace Lily

The plant with specialized leaf bract hooded over the white or yellow

flower mistook as a part of flower than the leaf, an excellent air purifier brightening up the living space is a superb choice for living room decor. 

The Basic Information

  • Common Name: Peace lily, Spath lily
  • Botanical Name: Spathiphyllum spp. and hybrids
  • Type of plant: Flowering tropical plant
  • Native from: The rainforests of Central and South America
  • Mature size: Up to 3 feet tall 
  • Flower colour: White or yellow
  • Bloom time: Spring

Preferable Conditions

  • Watering: Being a native of rainforests, these plants love higher humidity; hence water them frequently. During winters, reduce the watering but never allow the soil to dry out completely.
  • Potting: A rich, loose potting full of organic material is best suitable as these plants have native canopy conditions where the soil is rich with deteriorating plant materials.
  • Temperature: range of 65- 80°F (18-26°C), moist warm conditions are preferable. Avoid cold drafts and temperatures below 55°F.
  • Light: Peace lilies are shade-loving plants that require plenty of filtered light, though not direct sunlight. Their leaves tend to curl up and pale if they are receiving too much sunshine. 

Benefits

  • It purifies the air inducing restful sleep by filtering indoor air and increasing humidity.
  • It absorbs acetone vapours produced by varnishes, paints, rubbing alcohol and various household products.
  • It removes mould spores from the air, making it suitable for people’s living rooms sensitive to these mould spores resulting in asthma and other chronic lung diseases.  

Tips

Spray the leaves every week with water throughout the summer growing season for the plants best growth.

ZZ Plant

Arguably the least maintenance indoor plant with shiny, oval-shaped deep green leaves, the ZZ plant makes an excellent choice for desks of new or busy plant parents, adding the splash of green without any big commitment.

The Basic Information

  • Common Name: ZZ Plant, Zanzibar Gem
  • Botanical Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
  • Type of plant: Tropical perennial
  • Native from: Eastern Africa
  • Mature size: 3-4′ tall
  • Flower colour: Yellow-brown spadix
  • Bloom time: Spring

Preferable Conditions

  • Watering: Being extremely drought-tolerant, this plant can handle infrequent watering like a pro. Once the soil dries out completely, one should water them once a week or two, depending on their growth.
  • Potting: All-purpose potting mix is acceptable as long as it is well-draining. If additional drainage is required, mix perlite or sand to it.
  • Temperature: It cannot tolerate cold temperatures well, no lower than 45°F (7°C). Average household humidity and temperatures are preferable.
  • Light: Technically, ZZ plants can survive without any natural light, but they do best in bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch its leaves.

Benefits

  • Improves productivity, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure levels by increasing oxygen levels, purifying air from harmful pollutants, and improving cognitive function.
  • It reduces sick time by removing airborne bacteria.
  • Its roots have medicinal properties as they have antioxidant properties used in traditional medicine.

Tips

If necessary, ZZ plants can survive months without water, so it is always better to underwater the plant than to overwater it.

Spider Plants

Spider plant is hard to kill with slender, gently arching green or striped leaves with star-shaped white flowers and elegant, appealing appearance – perfect for your bathroom decor!

The Basic Information

  • Common Name: Spider plant, airplane plant, spider ivy, ribbon plant, Bernard’sBernard’s lily
  • Botanical Name: Chlorophytum comosum 
  • Type of plant: Herbaceous, perennial
  • Native from: Africa
  • Mature size: 1–2 ft. tall and wide
  • Flower colour: White
  • Bloom time: Flowers regularly

Preferable Conditions

  • Watering: As it prefers lightly moist but not soggy soil, water them only when the top 50% of the earth is dry. Overwatering, in this case, leads to root rot which will ultimately lead to killing the plant.
  • Potting: A loose, loamy soil with proper drainage is preferable.
  • Temperature: range of 60-80°F (15-27°C) during the day and above 55°F (13°C) at night is preferable. An even moisture throughout is what spider plants love to thrive in.
  • Light: Bright to moderate sunlight leads to robust growth in spider plants. While they can tolerate heavy shade, direct sunlight will scorch the leaves. A bright window that gets indirect sun is an ideal place for its growth.

Benefits

  • As spider plant helps remove pollutants like particulate matters, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, etc. it helps in better and faster recovery of patients by increasing the breathability of the space. Bathrooms can be suffocating at times. This plant will help keep that suffocation at bay.

Tips

The mature spider plant produces “spiderettes” or “pups”- new plant offshoots. Use them to create an entirely new plant by trimming them off of the mother plant.

Aglaonema plant

With a high tolerance for moist and dry conditions, low light, and forgetful plant parents, the Aglaonema plant is a beautiful leafy plant with leaves that add colour and patterns to the mundane work desk.

The Basic Information

  • Common Name: Chinese Evergreen, Lipstick plant, Philippine evergreen 
  • Botanical Name: Aglaonema commutatum
  • Type of plant: Herbaceous perennial
  • Native from: the Philippines, northeastern Celebes
  • Mature size: 1–1.5 ft. tall and wide
  • Flower colour: White spadix with green spathe
  • Bloom time: Seasonal bloomer

Preferable Conditions

  • Watering: Water them when the top 50% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water accumulated in the saucer. Water at the soil level avoiding the foliage.
  • Potting: All-purpose potting mix is acceptable. Select a container with numerous drainage holes for proper passage of water as waterlogging leads to root rot in them.
  • Temperature: range of 60-70°F (15-21°C) is preferable. It can survive in low humidity but will thrive excellently with higher humidity levels. Do avoid cold drafts and sudden changes in temperatures.
  • Light: Bright indirect sunlight is preferable. But this plant can also manage to survive and adapt to low light.

Benefits

  • It increases productivity and enriching health and well-being in the living as it is one of the best air purifying plants recommended by NASA. 
  • Its exceptional quality of absorbing CO2 at night makes it the best fit for the desks for those night owls.

Tips

As this plant requires less maintenance and care, a sub-irrigation system where the plant can absorb water whenever needed from nearby sources would minimize efforts and maximize results for the busy bee plant parents.

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