The Best Plants for Offices with Florescent Lighting
Not all offices have big windows that allow for a plethora of natural sunlight. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the benefits office plants bring. Indoor plants are not only beautiful but they are known to improve air quality, reduce stress, increase productivity and just make you all around happier. Work with an interior plantscaping expert to reap all the rewards of office plant design.
There are a handful of low-light tolerant plants that can be sustained under fluorescent office lighting, so you can get all the wellness benefits while you’re working. Lighting for plants in corporate offices and building interiors is a big subject. If you are seeking resources beyond this list of the 8 plants most tolerant of fluorescent office light, we recommend you review Planterra’s guide to lighting for indoor plants.
Turn your office into a beautiful biophilic designed workspace—here are the best plant choices for offices with florescent lighting:
- ZZ Plant: The ZZ plant (Zamioculcuas Zamifolia) is a beautiful and tough plant. It’s tolerant of low light and requires very little watering. The ZZ plant is a slow grower, it likes dry air and shade or indirect light—making it a perfect office plant. The leaves on the ZZ Plant are super shiny on their own, so you’ll never need to spray leaf shine on it to make it sparkle.
- Sansevieria: Commonly known as the snake plant, the Sansevieria is a tried and true workhorse for professional plantscapers. It does well under fluorescent lighting and likes to be dry between watering. These spiky plants are a great choice for accent decor in offices and are low maintenance — a win, win!
- Pothos: This hardy plant grows vines with glossy green leaves and is native to rainforest understories. It’s an office cubical favorite as it is low-light tolerant and easy to care for. If you have only florescent light, opt for the solid green variety known as the Jade pothos, the Marble and Neon pothos varieties are also common but require higher intensity light.
- Dracaena Compacta: The stylish Dracaena Compacta (or dragon tree) brings beauty to modern office spaces. This houseplant is a slower grower that does well under medium fluorescent light. Be sure to dust the leaves often to keep them looking shiny and enhance the appearance of this interesting and visually striking plant.
- Dracaena Warneckii: This easy-to-care for and colorful, this plant is a great addition to any office. Young Dracaena plants are small and bushy, which are perfect for placement on desks and tables. Warneckii plants in the tree form can be 3’ to 5’ tall and are attractive for office entryways. The tree form is one of the few floor plants that can maintain its form for years under fluorescent lighting in a typical office environment.
- Aglaonema: The Aglaonema, or Chinese Evergreen, is considered a luck-bringing plant. This leafy and lush tropical plant is easy to care for and is one of the top air-purifying indoor plants. This is a great office plant because it does well in low to moderate light.
- Aspidistra: Commonly named the cast-iron plant, the Aspidistra is an easy-to-grow houseplant that can survive a wide range of conditions. It can be grown in low fluorescent light levels and can tolerate less than regular watering. This plant is stemless with evergreen foliage that is the perfect addition to any office.
- Schefflera Arboricola: The Schefflera Arboricola, or dwarf umbrella tree, can adapt to a variety of light levels, but prefers higher light intensity. These tropical office plants will for sure bring visual drama to your workspace.
A note about fluorescent tubes
These provide decent artificial light sources for plants in commercial settings, the key to success is selecting “full spectrum” tubes or those that emit primarily both red and blue light waves. They produce little heat and have a long service life — expect 10,000 hours or more. The biggest drawback is the light output in relation to the location of the plant’s canopy. It can be difficult to achieve the foot candles needed in a typical commercial space with high ceilings.
What about blooming plants?
A typical office with fluorescent light will not produce enough energy to stimulate a bloom but this doesn’t mean that you cannot have beautiful blooms. Blooming plants such as Bromeliads can be easily introduced to any workplace or office environment lit with fluorescent lights in the form of a rotation. A rotation works similarly to a subscription service where a professional plantscaper such as Planterra exchanges the blooming plants, so you experience the beauty during the bloom cycle.
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