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The Best Desk Plants to Liven Up Your Indoor Workspace

Whether you’re still working from home or back at the office, it’s always nice to add a little personality and presence to your workspace. We’re talking cool office supplies, self-heating mugs and other essentials, of course, but we’re also talking about plants.

Plants are a great way to bring a grounding presence to your workspace while adding adult-like décor and ambiance. You can certainly spruce up your office with a space-saving hanging plant or a sturdy office plant, but when it comes to the best desk plants, there are three basic things to keep in mind.

Sunlight: Are you by a window or is your office lit by lamps or indirect sunlight? Consider your setup before purchasing a desk plant so that the plant in question can actually thrive.

Space: How much room do you have on your desk, and how much of that space do you want to dedicate to a plant? Don’t forget that the pot size matters too.

Maintenance: Do you work from home, where you can regularly maintain and water your plant? Or do you require something that can hold up on its own for a couple of weeks if you’re on vacation (or bogged down with deadlines)?


Where to Purchase The Best Desk Plants for Your Office


1. The Chroma


Add color and plant life to your desk with this rainbow-inspired planter and accompanying flowering air plant. Air plants (technically called tillandsia) are great desk plants because they don’t need soil, they get their nutrients and water through the air, and they don’t need as much light as some other plants to thrive in their surroundings.

best plants for desk - air plant


2. Money Tree Plant


The money tree is said to bring good luck and fortune, and who couldn’t do with a bit of that in their office lives? This “tree” takes up about five inches, which makes it suitable for more spacious desks, but it definitely adds instant personality with the braided trunk and pretty leaves. These plants are resilient and do well in bright indirect to medium light, plus they’re pet-friendly for those with pet-welcoming spaces.

best plants for desk - money tree


3. Snake Plant


The snake plant is always a sturdy pick if you’re looking for a unique plant with pretty foliage and very little maintenance. They tend to do better with bright, indirect sunlight but can grow well in low-light conditions. Plus, you can wait until the soil is parched (roughly three weeks) before watering, so there is no weekly maintenance here. Snake plants are toxic to pets, so if you’ve got a dog or cat around, maybe pick another variety.

best plants for desk - snake plant


4. ZZ Plant


ZZ plants are funky and fun, and we like that you can get a sweet little basket to go with this model from Lively Root. ZZs (which stand for Zamioculcas zamiifolia) are known for being two things: indestructible and adaptable. So if you’re concerned about how well you’ll fare as a plant parent, they may be worth trying out. However, if you’re also a pet parent, be warned: these babies are toxic to furry critters if ingested.

best plants for desk - adaptable plant in basket


5. The Fresco


If you have a larger desk (or a smaller computer) and want to add a touch of dramatic plant flair, this is one of the best desk plants. Urban Stems pairs this artsy planter with a Pothos plant, a trailing vine with large, vibrant leaves. It’s a great starter plant since it requires low light and minimal watering, making it ideal for offices everywhere.

best plants for desk - dramatic plant


6. Desert Rose


This unique, blooming succulent is a swanky addition if you have a desk that gets plenty of sunlight. It’s larger than your traditional desktop succulents but slow-growing, so it won’t quickly overrun your space. It also only requires watering every two to three weeks — and even less during winter.


7. Evita Vriesea Bromeliad


These pet-friendly plants are impressively pretty, thanks to the fiery flower that spikes from the stem. It can take three-to-five years for these plants to bloom, but hey — we all need office goals. Place these plants in a well-lit space and keep the soil barely moist if you want them to stay healthy and thriving. Do that, and you’ll have a water-cooler-worthy flower before you know it.

best plants for desk - flowering plant


8. Agave Isthmensis


Succulents are known for being some of the best plants for desks because of their hardy nature and tiny size. And while there are a ton of succulents out there to choose from, we like the Agave Isthmensis for its unique appearance. The plant will only ever reach four inches in size when mature, which means it is ideal for tiny spaces. It’s loaded with personality and requires infrequent watering, making it one of our faves.

best plants for desk - unique succulent


9. Midstripe Rainbow Bush


If you love the look, feel and size of succulents, but your desk isn’t situated in a well-lit space, this succulent is a great grab. Unlike many of its relatives, the Rainbow Bush prefers indirect sunlight to protect those pretty leaves. Just ensure you keep it warm and dry in a well-draining pot — these succs require very little water.

best plants for desk - low light succulent


10. Kurrajong Farmhouse Artificial Plant in Pot


If you’ve got an office with zero light or just don’t trust yourself to keep a plant alive (hey, it’s hard!), the good news is that many artificial plants look just like the real thing these days. We like this particular plant for its farmhouse style and life-like features, plus it’s only 4.5 inches wide, which makes it the perfect plant alternative when sprucing up your desk.

best plants for desk - artificial picks


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