Want to upgrade your home office? Add a plant. It's simple, cheap, and ridiculously effective. Office plants have been shown to make people happier and more productive than people who have to work in a plant-less environment. You may not have hundreds of dollars to spend on a standing desk or ergonomic chair, but do you have a few spare dollars for a plant? You likely do.

This being said, not all plants are created equal. Some require a lot more work than others. As a busy software engineer grappling with tight deadlines and complex code, you need a plant that provides maximum joy for minimum upkeep. And that's exactly what we have here in this list of 10 indoor plants for your home office.

1. Snake Plant

A snake plant

The snake plant, also known by its botanical name Sansevieria, brings a touch of modernity to your home office with its upright sword-shaped leaves. Known for its hardiness, the snake plant can thrive in a wide range of environments.

It's a great plant for purifying indoor air, because it removes toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde. It prefers indirect light, but can tolerate low direct light. It also requires minimal watering: Once a fortnight, and only when the soil is dry. Just be careful around pets with this one, as the snake plant is toxic if ingested. When you buy one for your home office, place it out of reach for pets.

2. ZZ Plant

a ZZ plant

The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia) stands out with its glossy, dark green leaves, making it look vibrant even in low-light conditions. Its ability to store water within its roots allows it to withstand long periods of neglect, making it an excellent plant for busy (or forgetful) software engineers.

Similar to a snake plant, a ZZ plant purifies the air and thrives in low to bright indirect light and requires minimal watering. Just be careful around kids and pets, as the ZZ plant is also poisonous if ingested. Additionally, its leaves can attract dust, so you may have to clean them occasionally if you want them to stay shiny.

3. Spider Plant

Spider plant on a shelf

Can you see where the spider plant (Chlorophytum Comosum) got its name from? Looks a bit like a spider, doesn't it? Don't let that stop you from buying one. It's a charming and playful addition to any indoor space, with its long, arching leaves and baby plantlets hanging from the mother plant.

Just as the others, this one purifies the air, prefers indirect light, and is forgiving when neglected. It prefers slightly moist soil, but be careful because it's prone to brown tips if exposed to fluoride in tap water or if the air is too dry. A spider plant needs occasional pruning to keep it looking its best.

4. Aloe Vera

An aloe vera plant
Photo by Galina N / Unsplash

Aloe vera is simply iconic. It isn't just a plant. It's a household staple known for its medicinal properties. With its thick, succulent leaves filled with a gel-like substance, it's a must-have for any home office, offering both aesthetic appeal and practical use.

Aloe vera purifies the air, but it also provides a soothing gel for cuts and burns. So if you ever cut yourself on your keyboard because you were coding like a maniac, cut open a leaf and spread some gel on the cut. Nice. Just like the other plants on this list, aloe vera thrives in indirect sunlight and requires minimal watering.

5. Peace Lily

peace lily on stand

The peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is a stunning plant that features lush green leaves and elegant white blooms. It's a popular choice for indoor spaces because of its striking appearance and ability to bloom even in lower light conditions.

Beyond its beauty, the peace lily is an effective air purifier. It thrives in shaded areas and prefers its soil to be kept moist without overwatering, making it a great plant for adding a touch of nature to dimly lit corners. Just be careful, because it's sensitive to overwatering and chlorine in tap water. And it's toxic to pets.

6. Rubber Plant

a rubber plant

The rubber plant (Ficus Elastica) is beloved for its broad, glossy leaves, which can add a dramatic touch to any room. It's a robust plant that can grow quite large, making it an excellent statement piece for your home office.

This plant not only purifies the air but also adds humidity, making your work environment more comfortable. It prefers indirect light and requires you to let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. Also, toxic to pets and children, and the leaves require some cleaning every once in a while.

7. Boston Fern

the Boston fern

The Boston fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata) is known for its lush, feather-like fronds that gracefully spill over pots and hanging baskets. They bring a bit of wild, natural beauty to your home office, making it feel like you're building awesome software in a natural and refreshing environment.

The Boston fern helps maintain a comfortable level of humidity, beneficial for both your health and the health of other indoor plants. They prefer indirect light and consistently moist soil. Just know that a Boston fern requires a bit more care than the other plants on this list.

8. Philodendron


You should buy a philodendron just because of its cool name. You'll sound knowledgeable when someone ever asks what plant it is. Not that this will ever happen, but one is allowed to dream. You can easily recognize a philodendron by its lush, heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines.

A philodendron thrives in medium to bright indirect light. It prefers its soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Place them on shelves or desks where their vines can gracefully drape down (not like the image above). Just be careful, because they're toxic to pets and kids, and they also require frequent pruning to keep them from becoming too leggy.

9. Pothos

a pothos plant

Okay, we admit that the pothos (Epipremnum Aureum) looks like the philodendron. The difference is that a pothos plant has more variety in the colors of its heart-shaped leaves. The leaves also tend to be a little more elongated and will feel slightly puckered.

A pothos plant is effective at removing toxins such as formaldehyde from the air. It thrives in a variety of lighting conditions, from low to bright indirect light, and requires watering only when the soil has dried out completely. Place it in any corner that needs a touch of green.

10. Cast Iron Plant

a cast iron plant

The cast iron plant (Aspidistra Elatior) earns its name from its robust nature. It has long, dark green leaves that grow upright, and it's known for its ability to thrive in less-than-ideal conditions. This plant adds elegance and a touch of green without requiring a lot of attention.

It prefers low light conditions and infrequent watering. Just keep in mind that it grows slowly, so don't expect rapid growth. It's also best to avoid direct sunlight, as this can scorch its leaves. While it's a tough plant overall, overwatering it can lead to root rot, so it's essential to let the soil dry out between watering sessions.