The need for human beings to connect with nature is innate. We are drawn to the beauty that nature provides us.
In an earlier blog, Letʻs Get Growing, we provided ideas, tips and hints on how you can create a garden even if you have limited space.
While we are more open to the idea of starting a home garden, people are more reluctant to having plants where we spend the most amount of time: our work spaces.
Numerous studies have shown that indoor plants have positive benefits for, not only the employee who care for the plant, but his/her colleagues as well.
- Plants reduce stress: The introduction of plants in the workplace reduces tension, anxiety, and fatigue.
- Greenery increase productivity: The introduction of just a handful of houseplants can increase productivity 10% or more.
- Workers breathe cleaner air: Plant absorbs carbon dioxide and removes chemicals from the air including benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde, improving the air that we breathe.
- Increase in creativity: In addition to absorbing sound and reducing the distracting effects of background conversations, looking at natural elements relaxes workers. This state of calmness can provide an all natural boost to creativity. 
Caring for plants in the office can be intimidating. Not only do people fear they have “black thumb syndrome,” but there is also the issue of what to do on a long weekend or during a vacation.
The trick is to select a plant that can thrive on intermitent sunlight (not all office spaces have windows) and needs minimal care.
Some of the best plants that meet these requirements are succulents, like aloe and cacti. Succulents make wonderful office plants because they thrive in any light condition, are easy to care for and can survive for weeks without without watering, and can survive you going on vacation.
Here are some of the toughest, most forgiving workplace succulents:
- Aloe: Aloe Vera is best known for its plump leaves that can soothe cuts and burns. Many households in Hawaiʻi have aloe plants in their yards so purchasing a small plant may not be necessary if you, a friend or a family member has a plant that keiki (shoot). (Weʻll talk about propagating keiki succulents later in this blog.) Depending on the humidity in your office, your may not need to water your aloe plant for two weeks at a time. This is because succulents “meaty leaves” retain water and you only need to water succulents when their soil is dry.
- Jade plants are one of the most popular succulents that can be used as indoor plants, as well as outdoor decor or even hedging. These gorgeous, deep green plants can survive in most environments, including those with little light. One of the best things about jade plants is that you can grow it as big (or keep it as small) as you want.
- Rabbitʻs Ear is a succulent family that grows moderaetly fast, about one to two new leaves a month. Its hairy leaves prevents water loss due to evaporation.
- Snake Plants are neglect tolerant succulents. In addition to are neglect-tolerant succulents. In addition to absorbing toxins from the air, snake plants are tolerant of low light and don’t need to be watered often. Snake plants, also known as mother-in-lawʻs tongue, thrive even when ignored, making them the perfect vacation friendly plants.
- Zebra Cactus is a striking succulent that gets its name from the stripes on its leaves. This tidy, compact plant is perfect for small places. Zebra plantsgrow between 5”tall and 6” wide, requires a moderate amount of sunlight, and minimal water.
Succulents are very affordable because you can start “new” succulent plants from the “original mother plant.” Propagating succulents can be done by by breaking off leaves from the mother plant, through a cutting or by division (separating multiple succulents that are growing compactly in a container). These simple propagation methods make it easy for you to acquire plants from friends and family (i.e., they provide you with leaves or keiki to propagate), or purchase a single plant from a garden shop and propagate other plants from your “mother plant.”
Here are some other resources for you to look through if you are looking for other options for your office plants:
- 6 Easy-To-Grow Indoor Succulents
- 9 Green Plants to Help Brighten Your Work Space
- 20 Indoor Plants That Can Improve Your Office Environment
- Top 5 Succulent Plants for Your Home or Office
- Top 8 Best Office Plants: Low Light and Low Maintenance
In addition to making a workspace aesthetically pleasing, plants support a more productive work environment and have a lot of health benefits. Its easy growing lifestyle, durability and simple propagation make succulents the perfect plants to give your work space a green upgrade.