6 easy-to-care-for desk plants to spruce up your makeshift home office

According to research, having a plant on your desk can help to reduce your stress levels. Here are six of the best ones that will thrive in your makeshift home office.

Thanks to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown, more of us are working from home than ever before. Gone are the days when we rocked up to the office and sat down at our desks – now, we’re making the most of whatever items we can get our hands on to build a temporary “home office”, from ironing boards to coffee tables.

But just because we’re not in the office (and probably won’t be for a while) doesn’t mean we can’t spend some time sprucing up our at-home working arrangement. Picking up a few desk plants, for example, is a great way to make your set-up feel more official and welcoming.

We also know that desk plants are a great way to reduce our stress levels. According to a study from a team of scientists at the University of Hyogo, having a plant on your desk at work can help to boost your mental health.

As part of the study, the team of scientists asked 63 office workers in Japan to put a plant on their desks and care for it during a short period, throughout which their stress levels were measured in comparison to their levels prior to the introduction of the plants. 

The results revealed that the anxiety of the workers decreased “significantly” when the plants were introduced – and that even having plants within close sight contributed to stress reduction “across the board”. 

It’s not surprising that plants have the potential to help us at work. Over the last couple of years, more and more of us have woken up to the benefits of living alongside plants. A quick count of the benefits houseplants have to offer is enough to convince anyone to go green: from helping our mental health to boosting our sleep, there’s plenty to love about our leafy friends.

With all of this considered, now is as good a time as ever to jump on the houseplant bandwagon and get yourself a leafy desk mate. Of course, we can’t just pop out and pick up a plant at the moment, but lucky for us, many fantastic online plant shops are still open – just check their websites for the latest delivery updates.

Keep reading to discover six of the best houseplants to keep you company during this strange period.

  • Cacti

    Best desk plants: cacti

    Famously hard to kill, the cactus is the perfect desk plant for anyone looking to get all the benefits with minimal effort. They thrive with good light sources (but will survive on a lot less), so it doesn’t matter if your desk isn’t close to a natural light source. 

    It’s also pretty low maintenance on the watering front: allow the compost to dry out slightly between watering and then give it a good soak through. 

    The mini cacti from Patch Plants are the adorable leafy friends we all need right now.

    Shop Spike Cactus at Patch Plants, £3


  • Spider plants

    Best indoor plants: spider plants.

    Let a spider plant dry out between watering and they’ll be as happy as a clam. These guys are known as one of the most adaptable and easy-to-care-for houseplants out there, so they’re another great option for beginners. Spider plants also thrive in low light conditions, meaning they won’t mind living under the artificial light in the office.

    The only downside? These plants grow like crazy, so get ready to cut them back every so often.

    Beards & Daisies sell a great medium-sized spider plant.

    Shop Spider Plant at Beards & Daisies, £12.99


  • ZZ plants

    Best indoor plants: ZZ plants.

    If you’re a serial plant killer, a ZZ plant will give you all of the joy of a plant without requiring the attention you clearly don’t have time to give. They’ve got big, bulging roots that store a huge amount of water – perfect for those times when watering a plant comes in at the bottom of your to-do list.

    Patch Plants have ZZ plants available in a range of different sizes, so you’re sure to find one perfect for your working from home space.

    Shop Cassie ZZ Plant at Patch Plants, starting from £8


  • Succulents

    Best indoor plants: succulents.

    These little guys come in all shapes, sizes and colours, making it easy to find a desk buddy you love to look at. Much like cacti, succulents retain a lot of water, meaning they don’t need attention more than once a week. Keep them happy by providing natural light.

    Patch Plants have a great range of mini, easy-to-care-for succulents available to buy right now.

    Shop Suri Succulents at Patch Plants, starting from £3


  • Chinese money plants

    Best indoor plants: Chinese money plant.

    Trick your colleagues into thinking you’re a houseplant expert by picking yourself up a Chinese money plant. These cool-looking little plants need surprisingly little care but look pretty impressive – just provide indirect light and water when the soil is dry, and you’ll have a great looking desk in no time.

    Pick up a Chinese money plant from Beards & Daisies for a medium-sized, established plant.

    Shop Chinese money plant at Beards & Daisies, £19.99


  • Snake Plants

    Best indoor plants: snake plants.

    A favourite of trendy coffee shops and minimalist co-working spaces alike, there’s nothing not to love about the humble snake plant. Although the ones like in the picture above are probably the most common, there are many different shapes and colours of snake plants out there, so you can take your pick.

    The best bit? They’re practically indestructible, unless you water them too much.

    Patch Plants’ range of different sized Snake Plants is perfect for someone looking to add a modern touch to their desk space.

    Shop Susie Snake Plant at Patch Plants, starting at £10


Images: Getty/Patch Plants

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