Best Plants for a Healthy Office

You have plants in your house, but what about your office? These six air cleaners and mood lifters will thrive in a variety of conditions.

October 17, 2011
office plants
Shutterstock
Dirty Office? Clean It Up!

When you're at work, you need a mind-body tag team: a fragrant shrub to stimulate your brain and a leafy plant to scrub your office air (which can be five times more polluted than the air outside).

Finding the right foliage for you depends on a number of factors, however, including the amount of sunlight in the room and the color of your thumb. Clear your head (and the air) with this guide from James Dillard, MD, an integrative medicine physician in New York City, and Bill Wolverton, PhD, the author of Plants: Why You Can't Live Without Them.

1/7
Areca Palm
Shutterstock
Areca Palm (<em>Dypsis lutescens</em>)

Benefit: Cleans the air
Light: Direct
Care: Moderate
Thanks to its huge fronds (which can reach 6 feet in height and feature 60 leaflets), this palm is especially effective at filtering airborne particles.

2/7
Peppermint
Shutterstock
Peppermint (<em>Mentha x piperita</em>)

Benefit: Stimulates your brain
Light: Direct
Care: Easy
Sniffing mint can increase your alertness and enhance your memory, according to a study in the International Journal of Neuroscience. Bonus: It can also help suppress your appetite.

3/7
English Ivy
Shutterstock
English Ivy (<em>Hedera helix</em>)

Benefit: Cleans the air
Light: Indirect
Care: Easy
Tests at the University of Georgia show that English ivy is particularly efficient at absorbing volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, airborne pollutants spewed by computers and office machinery, which cause headaches and nausea.

4/7
Lemon Balm
Shutterstock
Lemon Balm (<em>Melissa officinalis </em>)

Benefit: Stimulates your brain
Light: Indirect
Care: Easy
Researchers at Ohio State University found that the scent of lemon improved people's moods and raised their levels of norepinephrine, a brain chemical linked to mood and behavior.

5/7
Golden Pothos
Shutterstock
Golden Pothos (<em>Epipremnum aureum</em>)

Benefit: Cleans the air
Light: Indirect
Care: Easy
This hardy vine reduces indoor ozone, Penn State researchers found. Exposure to even low ozone levels, like those emitted by printers and copiers, can cause chest pain and throat irritation.

6/7
Gardenia (<em>Gardenia augusta</em>)

Benefit: Stimulates your brain
Light: Direct
Care: Moderate
It's like a long-acting antidepressant. A gardenia can live for 25 years, and every time you smell its flowers, your emotional outlook improves, according to research from Rutgers.

7/7
See Next
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Comments