Creating a calm home office

on Tuesday, 14 July 2020. Posted in News

Our featured home office for the official photos for this National Plants at Work Week belongs to Ian Drummond, plants@work Ambassador and Creative Director at Indoor Garden Design.

Ian too 2 lr

"Many of us have adjusted and changed our ways of working during lockdown and have had to create new working environments at home, whether it’s the dining table or in your bedroom. It’s really important to create an environment that makes you happy, starting with the chair, table or desk, but also considering the light, sound and the view," is Ian Drummond's comment, "For me it’s about the landscape and being close to nature. Create a green oasis around your workspace, frame a window and view with houseplants to connect the outside with the inside, and place your favourite houseplants on your desk.

"Plants can help to oxygenate a space and bring numerous health benefits including reducing headaches and fatigue. Research has also shown that an office that brought plants into the space led to improved performance among staff.

"There are houseplants that can work in any room in the house. Here are my top 10 Plants:

Sansevieria (Snake Plant):
This year's Favourite Office Plant: with over 70 species of Sansevieria available on the market, you’ll be sure to find a variety that suits your tastes. All act as great natural filters in your home or workplace whilst being a doddle to look after. Requiring infrequent watering and tolerant of lower light levels if you have a dark corner that needs brightening up with some greenery.

Court Nieuwkoop

Sansevieria: Image courtesy of Nieuwkoop Europe bv

Crassula (Jade Plant):
This desktop staple comes in a wide variety of forms and is a great choice for both the novice and expert houseplant grower. Practically indestructible, they can survive long periods of neglect as they store water in their thick, fleshy leaves. As they mature, their trunk thickens and the plant can take on a miniature tree like form – perfect for structure and interest on your desk.

Crassula 1 lr  Crassula FCH

Crassula: Images courtesy of - L:NPWW 2020 and R:Flower Council of Holland

Vanda Orchid:
One of my favourite flowering houseplant species is the Vanda Orchid for its richly hued blooms and silvery trailing root systems. Predominantly grown for the cut flower market, they are now increasingly becoming available to buy as whole plants. As the Vanda doesn’t require soil in which to grow, you can save on desk space and hang them from a shelf or the ceiling for an impressive tropical display. Their epiphytic nature means that wild Vandas survive on the moisture in the air; so in our less humid workspaces a quick spritz every few days with a spray bottle will ensure the roots don’t dry out.

Vanda IGD

Vanda Orchid: Image courtesy of Indoor Garden Design

Aloe Vera:
Aloes are a great addition to the workplace as they are virtually indestructible providing you have plenty of natural day light in the room, so they are ideal for forgetful waterers. The architectural, silver grey foliage makes a real statement on your desk and will have your colleagues green with envy.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera: Image courtesy of the Joy of Plants

Chlorophytum (Spider Plant):
Like most retro houseplants, the humble Spider Plant has made a humungous comeback due to their scientifically proven, air purifying properties. Their ability to remove 95% of benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and nitrates from the air in the room is a must have benefit in our ‘sealed’ office environments where air quality can be of low quality. Also, Spider Plants produce a mass of plantlets which make great gifts for your friends and jealous workmates!

Chlorophytum FCH

Chlorophytum - image courtesy of The Flower Council of Holland

Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily):

Another plant worthy of its NASA endorsed air purifying qualities; the fresh, if not a little dramatic Spathiphyllum or Peace Lily is a beautiful flowering plant readily available in a variety of sizes. With crisp white bracts above deep green foliage, this houseplant essential lets you know exactly when it needs watering by drooping its leaves and perking up again an hour after you’ve given it a drink – much like ourselves on a Friday afternoon.

Peace Lily FCH

Peace lily: courtesy of Flower Council of Holland


A Calathea is such a beautiful choice of foliage plant and they come with such a wide variety of leaf shapes, colour and pattern. Best of all, they provide entertainment by moving their leaves throughout the course of a day to capture as much light as possible. Visually they will boost your mood and really create a lush, jungle feel in your space – a benefit to mental wellbeing you have to agree.


Calathea: image courtesy of the Flower Council of Holland

From the Mulberry genus of over 750 species; the Ficus family is one of the most popular indoor plants to date. With a vast array of leaf size, shade and variegation, you’ll be sure to find one to suit your home office area. The most common and suitable for your desktop is the Ficus benjamina, more commonly known as the weeping fig. With small green leaves and a woody stem, they can be grown in a variety of shrub or tree shapes. An easy to care for choice, providing they are regularly watered and kept out of cold draughts.

Ficus JOP

Ficus: courtesy of the Joy of Plants

Why not add a pop of intense colour to your home working space in the form of a blooming Gerbera? Orange, yellow, pink or purple; this happy little houseplant will be sure to brighten the mood on your desk. With over 600 varieties to choose from and the most classic of flower shapes, the Gerbera has strong leaves which come with the added benefit of being air purifiers. As the symbol of innocence, this beautiful plant will really be working hard whilst you attempt to do the same.

Gerbera JOP

Gerbera courtesy of the Joy of Plants

Dracaena marginata:

Commonly known as the easiest indoor plant to look after and seen everywhere from shops to offices and hotels, the Dracaena marginata or Dragon tree is an architectural plant for the minimal space. An ideal choice if you go away for prolonged periods or are simply a forgetful waterer. The narrow leaves of this plant are also proven to purify the air around them, therefore increasing air quality in your room.

Dracaena marginata JOP

Dracaena marginata - courtesy of the Joy of Plants


See A Dracaena marginata - courtesy of the Joy of Plants


See At Home with Plants