Caring for Desk Plants in the Office

If you fancy yourself as somewhat of a garden connoisseur, you already know that interior plants can create a key element and focal point of your office design. This interior style is often referred to as Biophilic design, which involves adding natural elements, such as plants and other organic objects to your workplace.

This method has been proven to enhance the wellbeing and health of the workforce, while also maximizing performance and productivity at work. However, in order for plants to thrive in this environment, it’s important to learn more about office plant care.

Why invest in office plants?

Even the smallest of plants placed on your desk can make your workday that little cheerier by bringing the outdoors inside. Office plants can even boost your creativity, by making you feel more productive. As an added bonus, plants are said to heighten the quality of indoor air, meaning they have a health benefit too! What’s not to love about office plants?

Caring for Desk Plants

Office plant care is extremely important, yet not as difficult as one may think, provided that you concentrate on the needs of your chosen plant. It’s important to research the various office plants available as certain species will have different needs.

For example, some require more water than others, while certain types necessitate a certain amount of sunlight per day, with others craving plant food or needing fertilizer. If you know you might be away on business trips for weeks at a time, for example, opting for a plant that requires little water is the best option.


How much water or how little you give your office plants is hugely important as improper watering can be detrimental to your plant. For best results, water office plants slowly with lukewarm water. You should do this until water trickles through the drainage hole, and only water them again when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch.

Never water if the soil still feels moist from a previous watering and always ensure the plant has good drainage. It’s also wise to avoid the pot standing in water. There are a couple of tips to follow when it comes to watering your plant correctly, including taking the plant to a sink and watering it straight from the tap. You should then let it drain before returning it to the saucer.

Alternatively, allow your plant to drain for a few minutes, and then pour excess water out of the saucer as this can help to combat root rot, among other issues.


Some plants, including the cast iron plant, can thrive with very little light. Others, including the majority of cactus, require extremely bright light in order to grow to their full potential. If your office plant necessitates sunlight, place it near a window, but not too close to the window, as intense, hot sunlight can scorch the leaves. If you work in an office that is short of windows, a fluorescent light near the plant is the next best thing.

Additional care for office plants

For best results, fertilize desk plants every other month during the months of spring and summer using a generic, all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer. It’s wise to always water after fertilizing to avoid damaging the roots. You should then transplant desk plants when they outgrow their pots. This usually takes place every couple of years.

You may even wish to choose an embellished pot to bring even more life to your desk. To encourage growth, move the plant to a container that measures one size larger. Avoid anything too big as this can cause a water build-up in the pot, and a damp potting mix can rot the roots and kill the plant.

More top tips

Avoid placing your plant near air conditioner units, heating vents, or drafty windows. If you go away on business on a regular basis or happen to be sick one day, ask a friend or colleague to take good care of your plant whilst you are out of the office. Certain plants can tolerate a certain amount of neglect, but too much may be detrimental to them.

Whether you have one plant or several, adding a little greenery to your desk is a great way to inject life and colour into the office environment, and provided that you are willing to learn a little about office plant care, you can ensure these shrubs and blooms will continue to give you joy each and every day. They’ll also make you more productive by giving you a much-needed boost of energy.

For best results, research the plants you wish to buy and avoid placing them too close to your computer screen as this can cause them to wilt and die. There are a variety of hardy office plants to pick from too, many of which are able to withstand the bright lights and cold drafts an abundance of offices are renowned for.

Plants as gifts

As well as buying plants for your own desk, office shrubs are a great gift to give colleagues and friends. Try to choose something that matches their tastes and a plant that will thrive in their own office environment. Just remember that you may move offices one day too, so it might be wise to buy a plant gift that isn’t too large!

Where to buy office plants

There are many places where you can shop for office plants, including in brick and mortar style stores and also online at an online florist that delivers next day. The latter option is an effective and easy way to purchase an abundance of plants and the best part?

You can choose to get them delivered directly to your office, meaning you won’t have to waste precious moments carrying them from your home to your place of work. You can also invest in a series of colourful vases and quirky vessels to house your new desk friends, as well as equipment such as small watering cans and plant food.


Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.

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