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The Best Plants to Put in Your Home (or WFH Office)

Give your emailin' and Zoomin' space a reset with plants that are hard to kill and easy to love. Just like you!
MF
New York, US
September 21, 2021, 12:00pm
The best plants for a home office
Photo: Getty Images

Culturally, we seem to have moved past the ol’ Year One Pandemic trappings of Tiger King and brick-dense sourdough (all good; we tried), but there’s one area of Early ‘Rona times in which I’m still very invested: plants. Alllll kinds of plants, man; the climbers, pokers, danglers, and everything floating around Etsy that gives my brain a serotonin boost. There is not a maternal bone in my little chicken finger body, yet I keep propagating those philodendrons, because they’re shaped like hearts, grow like crazy, and are one of the easiest plants to keep alive. I root for them, and they root for me. 

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Anyway, I know we’re all back at the bar with the latest KN95s, and that we’ve moved past the intense, Victory Garden-levels of keeping plants alive. But not all of us are back in-office yet, if at all, and I think all of our home spaces could use a little zhuzh for fall. Something new to grow, and grow into [smiles in Bob Ross] in the form of a new WFH Support Plant, or a purple dangler for that one window with the good light. 

The first step is knowing which plants will stay alive indoors. For starters, figure out where the hell you are, both in the world and in relation to the sun. I didn’t realize I had north-facing windows in my last apartment’s bedroom, and my sun-depraved fiddle leaf fig paid the price. So, if you have an iPhone or you’re an old timey aeronaut, take out your compass and get situated. Generally speaking, south-facing windows are *chef’s kiss* prime real estate for plants that need to get UV-blasted. That being said, so many of our city apartments have a bunk floor plan that looks like it was built by a fourth grader in Minecraft, so when in doubt, just talk to your local plant vendor or go with plants that can adapt to almost any environment. Although, know that plants may go into ‘shock’ if you move them from a very bright spot to a dim place, and vice versa. 

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Now that you know the basics, grab your plant spritzer, and let’s ride, because any one of the following plants is going to be an adaptable, happiness juice addition to your home, home office, or sex dungeon. I guarantee it. 

Philodendron

We love a climber. Philodendrons will take as much or as little love, and light, as you have to give, which is perfect for our emo asses. This is also the plant that keeps on giving; I bought one a few years ago that has since spawned dozens of propagated Philo babies. They make for great gifts for friends; all you have to do is snip your vine a few inches above a leaf’s node, place it in water, and filter out the water every week or so. Soon, little roots will begin to sprout and you can either re-pot it for your buddy, or keep it in water. 

Bloomscape

Philodendron Brasil with pot

The Sill

Philodendron with Grow Pot

Air Plant 

You literally don’t even need dirt for this one, nor counter space. An air plant can dangle from your wall or window like the hardest of chillers, needing only a wee soak every week and a choice sliver of good sun. The stakes have never been so low, or so adorable, but, again: They like bright, indirect light. That being said, they’re so small you can usually find a spot for them in every house, and many sellers pair them up with rad mini-ceramics and eclectic objects to serve as pots. 

Calm Earth Creations

Vertebrae Air Plant Display with Ethically-Sourced Bone

The Sill

Six Assorted Air Plants

ZZ Plant 

One of the heartiest, glossiest stocky boys out there. A ZZ plant is like you in that way; it thrives in dimly lit diners, nail salons, and shopping malls. Typically, these plants are found at over a foot tall, but Bloomscape has prepped one that’s a little more compact for your desk.  

Bloomscape

Tabletop ZZ Plant

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Snake Plant 

If you don’t want a plant with sprawl or crawl, a Snake Plant is for you. West Coasters dodging fire season will also be stoked to learn that this plant, which is so easy to care for that it's said to thrive in neglect, goes above and beyond to purify the air in your space, because it’s one of the few plants that can convert CO2 into oxygen at night.

The Sill

Snake Plant Laurentii with planter

Plants.com

Snake Floor Plant with Two-Toned Planter

Marbled Pothos 

This is a fun plant to have as a stand-alone crawler, or to place beside your philodendron. It’s actually going to move much in the same way as a philodendron, and is one of the easiest plants to care for with needs for a watering every one to two weeks, and however much sunlight you deem appropriate. 

The Sill

Marble Queen Pothos

Ponytail Palm

This is what I call a Personality Plant, which will come in handy during the Zoom calls where you just don’t have the energy to be switched-on. Just look at that ponytail. It does not quit. Nor does–respectfully, bruv–the thick trunk on that palm. This may seem like a lot to pay for a plant, but it’s also coming with a minimalist, infinity edge pot that would easily run you $50 alone at your local cool kid plant store. It’s an air cleaner, is non-toxic to pets, and can also stay in a dimly lit room if need be (noticing a trend here? Cool). 

Bloomscape

Ponytail Palm

Peace Lily 

I call this plant my Resurrection Bloom. No matter how many times I forget to water it, the Peace Lily will always perk back up again when I return from my mental void, and, ever on-theme, it has some calming white flowers that make for nice addition to your rise and grind zone, or else a solid neutral shade to add to your living room or bathroom. She likes the light, but, like her brethren on this list, will totally roll with low-light as well.

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Just get an artificial plant, dude 

I know, I know. But hear me out: Buying (and burying) plants on repeat takes its toll on your wallet, and a lot of those easily store-bought, tropical plants like poinsettia are not such a hot environmental move. And you know what? It’s 2021, baby. Faux plants have had their glow up past the Funeral Home. (In fact, we’ve compiled a whole short-list of our favorite artificial plant vendors here). I say, if you’re going to get a great artificial plant, buy the faux version of a highly sensitive plant that would otherwise wilt in your care. It will feel like you’re winning, every day. 

The Sill

Faux Orchid Phalaenopsis

Joss & Main

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree with Basket

Enjoy your new children.


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.