Desk Plants For Your Home Office That Don’t Need A Lot Of Sunlight

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Oct 2, 2022

Indoor office plants are a great way to enhance the atmosphere of your home office.

The best desk plants for your home office are going to be those that do not require direct sunlight unless your desk is in front of a big bay window. Natural sunlight is always best but some of the best plants for your home office can survive – and even thrive – in artificial light conditions!

Not only do they look great but they can improve the air quality in your office.

They can be used as decorative pieces, or they can provide you with some much needed greenery and oxygen.

These desk plants can add a pop of color and life into your space. You may even find yourself spending more time in front of your computer when there is something alive right next to you!

Indoor plants are beautiful, but even the hardiest plants require at least indirect sunlight to thrive. However, there are plenty of options for indoor plants that don’t need direct sunlight and can thrive in indirect light and low-light conditions.

Indoors, light conditions can be less than optimal so finding a plant that will not only live but thrive with these kinds of light conditions is important.

Since we all live in different places and in a variety of conditions in our respective environments, we’ve collected this list of different options for home office desk plants that will make your space more vibrant and alive!

Snake Plant

This beautiful house plant has thick leaves which makes them perfect for adding texture to any room. It doesn’t require bright light so if you want to place this indoors, make sure you give it enough natural light.

Live Snake Plant, Sansevieria trifasciata Superba, Fully Rooted Indoor House Plant in Pot, Mother in Law Tongue Sansevieria Plant, Potted Succulent Plant, Houseplant in Potting Soil by Plants for Pets

  • BOWSTRING EVERGREEN: Sansevieria Superba is a drought-tolerant perennial with sharp, dark green leaves year-round. Commonly known as Snake Plant or Devils Tongue Plant, this hardy succulent is composed of strong fibers that have been used to craft bowstrings for generations. As a houseplant, Superba is very easy to care for and delivers a strong statement through its undeniable aesthetic
  • DENSE SUCCULENT WITH BUTTERY EDGES: Leaves of the Snake Plant grow thick and wide, tapering into sword-like points. Foliage edges are striped in a luscious creamy yellow, which accents green-silver ripples. Mother in Laws Tongue House Plant looks great with basket weave or ceramic pots, by itself or with other potted plants

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Peace Lily

These outstanding plants look amazing inside offices because of their bright green foliage. Not only do peace lilies look good, the aroma is amazing too. The peace lily does well without direct sun exposure though, making it ideal for those who live in areas where summers get hot and can thrive under fluorescent lights and artificial light in general.

Spath Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum wallisii | Live, Easy to Grow, and Flowering Houseplant (6-inch Pot)

  • Sunlight: Low or medium filtered light. Burns in high light.
  • Water: 1-2 times a week or when soil is dry 2″ down.

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Bonsai

If you’re looking for something highly decorative, then a small tree that looks like a miniature version of its full-size counterpart then bonsais might just fit the bill. Bonsais come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny little trees to large shrubs. Care and light requirements will vary, but they’re visually stunning.

Bonsai Tree Starter Kit – Mini Bonsai Plant Growing Kit – All You Need to Grow 5 Bonsai Trees from Seed – Pots, Seeds, Wood Planter, Moisture Meter – Indoor Gardening Gift Idea – DIY Beginner Friendly

  • Everything needed to grow 5 beautiful bonsai trees: Contains 5 types of Bonsai seeds, 5 bamboo growing pots, 5 expanding soil discs, 5 bamboo plant markers, and 1 moisture meter.
  • Your kit includes: Acer Palmatum (Japanese maple), Wisteria Sinensis (Chinese wisteria), Pinus Tabuliformis (Manchurian red pine), Pinus Thunbergii (Japanese black pine), and Picea Mariana (black spruce).

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Spider Plants

A spider plant looks stunning hanging from windowsills or placed near other plants. Its long thin leaves create a very interesting shape and its small size means it won’t take up too much space.

Boston Fern

Another one of our favorites, ferns come in many different varieties. One such variety is called “Boston fern” and it comes in various shades of brown and gray. It grows slowly over time and requires little maintenance.

Rubber Tree

Also known as Ficus elastica, rubber trees grow quickly and produce large amounts of fruit. Their fruits contain latex which helps prevent insects from laying eggs on the tree.

Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ – Ficus elastica | Live, Easy to Grow and Low Maintenance Houseplant (4-inch Pot)

  • Rubber Tree ‘burgundy,’ also known as a Ficus elastica, is part of the Ficus family and produces a white sap that was used to make latex rubber back in the day. If you’re looking for a stunning, low-maintenance, and rubber-producing plant, then look no further. This is the houseplant for you.
  • Sunlight: Medium to bright, indirect light.

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English Ivy

With amazing beautiful green leaves, this low-light plant which is a type of ivy adds beauty to your home office. It thrives in indirect light and low-light conditions and needs regular watering during dry spells.

AMERICAN PLANT EXCHANGE English Ivy Baltic Trailing Vine Live Plant, 6″ Pot, Indoor/Outdoor Air Purifier

  • This fast-growing climber is easy to care for, and looks great either hanging or dangling its vines from a shelf, in containers and hanging baskets, or can be sheared and trained as Topiary.
  • English Ivy are admired for their ability to pull harmful gases out of the air and into their leaves and roots.

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ZZ Plant – Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

Zamioculcas zamiifolia is another popular choice for your home office. This particular species of palm produces large green leaf fronds that hang down from the top. These fronds are extremely durable and last for years.

Philodendron

Philodendrons thrive in indirect sunlight and are one of the easiest indoor house plants to grow. They’re available in a variety of different types such as the Christmas Cactus, the Pink Philodendron, the Blue Philodendron, the Green Philodendron, and the Red Philodendron.

Dracaena Marginata

Another of the most popular house plants is the dracaena marginata. Commonly known as Dragon Trees, dracaenas are easy to care for and thrive in both shady and sunny locations.

Jade Plant

Jade plants are extremely popular among homeowners due to their ability to attract beneficial bugs like ladybugs and aphids.

Sunset Jade Plant – Crassula – Easy to Grow House Plant – 4″ Pot

  • Easy to grow house plant
  • Like the traditional Jade Plant it prefers sun, but only needs to be

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Echeveria

An echeveria is a succulent cactus that blooms all year round. It gets cold hardiness ratings of Zones 9 through 11 depending on the specific variety.

Costa Farms Succulents Fully Rooted Live Indoor Plant, 6-Inches Tall, in White Gold Décor Ceramic

  • Echeveria’s are low-growing and have a flower- or rose-like appearance.
  • Height at shipping is approximately 6-inches tall, measured from the bottom of the pot to the top of the plant. Ships in a 4-inch diameter ceramic planter.

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Here are some other indoor plants that do well in indirect light and can be a great addition to your home office.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a plant with medicinal properties. It has been used for centuries to treat burns, cuts, and other skin conditions and is a great addition to your home office.

Costa Farms Aloe Vera Live Indoor Plant Fresh from Our Farm 7-Inches Tall, in White-Natural Décor Planter, Great Gift

  • Height at shipping is approximately 7-inches tall, measured from the bottom of the pot to the top of the plant. Ships in a 4-inch diameter décor pot.
  • Grow Aloe Vera in bright, direct sunlight for the best growth and enjoy!

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Potted Palms

There are several species of potted palms including the Phoenix Palm, the Royal Palm, the Canary Island Date Palm, and others.

Costa Farms Majesty Palm Live Indoor Plant Fresh from Farm 36-Inches Tall, Grower Pot

  • Costa Farms grow Majesty Palms in low-light conditions to ensure they thrive as houseplants, they shouldn’t be in hot, sunny situations.
  • Height at shipping is approximately 36-inches tall, measured from the bottom of the pot to the top of the plant. Ships in a 10-inch diameter grower pot.

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Cacti

You could add some cacti to your home office. There are hundreds of kinds of cacti out there but we recommend getting something smaller than 10 inches tall. This way, you’ll still enjoy having a nice looking plant on your desk in your office even when it’s not flowering season.

Altman Plants Assorted Cactus Collection 2.5″ 4 pack

  • UNIQUE HAND SELECTED: Each order contains GROWN WITH LOVE and hand selected cactus plants. You will receive a variety of unique cactus similar to the ones in the photo which may include: Echinocactus, Mammillaria, Notocactus, Opuntia, and other cactus varieties. Note that we cannot assure you will receive the exact plants in the image, as seasonal availability varies. Large orders may receive duplicates depending on the season.
  • EASY CARE: Featuring Eye-Catching flowers, spines and forms, these cacti are easy to grow and grow great together in gardens or any container. Many cacti can thrive in the sunniest, most neglected spots of the yard, but they also do well in containers and part-sun locations too.

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Ferns

Ferns make excellent additions to any room. They are low-maintenance and do not require much light. Plus, ferns are known to cleanse our air by absorbing toxins from the environment.

American Plant Exchange Birds Nest Fern Japanese Live Plant, 6″ Pot, Indoor/Outdoor Air Purifier

  • Beautiful and easy to care for this perfect houseplant is known for its light green crinkly and wavy leaves that look like a birds nest in the center
  • This plant is easy to care for, ideal for the beginner or the seasoned houseplant collector and it thrives in medium light and shadier areas of the home

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Desk Flowers For Your Home Office Space

If you’re looking for a pop of color then desk flowers for your home office space may be the route you want to go! We’ve covered a few options there too. Here are some of the best desk flowers for your home office.

Orchid

This type of flower looks amazing when planted next to windows. Epidendrums are very fragrant and they bloom continuously during the spring and fall seasons.

Just Add Ice® 304209 Orchid Easy Care Live Plants, 5” Diameter, Purple

  • EVERYDAY LUXURY: Live orchids are a sophisticated and elegant choice for plant décor and make an excellent gift for yourself – you deserve it! This purple orchid in an iridescent blue ceramic pot makes a beautiful addition to your home or office.
  • GREAT GIFT: Live plants are a long-lasting gift that can start a lifelong hobby. Plant gifts are a great choice for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and all occasions, and our plant delivery makes it easy!

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Hawaiian Puna Poinsettia

The Hawaiian Punicais an evergreen shrub native to Hawaii. It can be found growing wild throughout the islands. You can also buy these plants online.

African Violet

These beautiful violets have long stems and bright green leaves. African Violets look good indoors or outdoors.

Lavender

Lavender is visually stunning and the aroma is wonderful, plus they help keep us calm. Lavender is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the mint family.

L+ Findlavender Lavender Phenomenal Dark Purple Flowers (2.5QT Size Pot, Bee Friendly, Evergreen Plant , 1 Live Plant)

  • Proper name: Lavandula x intermedia “Penomenal” – Very Fragrant – Dark Purple Flowers
  • A 2013 Better Homes and Gardens Must-Grow Perennial

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Kalanchoe

A kalanchoe is a tropical plant that grows well inside. The Kalanchoes come in many colors and sizes. Some varieties include pink, red, white, blue, yellow, orange, purple, and more!

Mother of Thousands Kalanchoe Daigremontiana Mexican Hat Plant Rare Succulent jocad (4″ Plant)

  • Mother Of Thousands Kalanchoe Daigremontiana Mexican Hat Plant Rare Succulent jocad (4″ Plant)
  • Beautiful healthy plant , easy to grow

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Bromeliad

Bromeliads have big leaves and lots of water retention capabilities. These plants require little maintenance and will last up to 20 years if properly cared for.

Costa Farms Flowering Bromeliad, Guzmania in Premium Scheurich Ceramic, Great Gift 20-Inches Tall, Grower’s Choice

  • Excellent house plant! Minimal care: Place is medium to bright light and water the top inch of soil of the Bromeliad once the soil feels dry. Never allow the soil to become saturated. Bromeliads are fairly drought tolerant.
  • Bromeliad ships fast, direct from our farm to your home. Planted in a 6-inch premium Scheurich ceramic planter, measures at a minimum of 18-in. tall. These tropical beauties are grown with care by the horticultural experts at Costa Farms.

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Anthurium

Anthuriums are one of the most common houseplants because they grow quickly and produce colorful flowers. Anthuriums are perfect for indoor use since they only need filtered medium light from the sun.

Costa Farms Blooming Anthurium Live Indoor Plant, Ships in White Ceramic Planter, 12-Inches Tall, Fresh from Our Farm

  • Anthuriums are cheery, exotic flowering houseplants that offer glossy, green heart-shaped leaves topped by heart-shaped red blooms.
  • Height at shipping is approximately 12-inches tall, measured from the bottom of the pot to the top of the plant. Ships in a 4-inch diameter ceramic planter.

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Clivia

The flowers range from yellow to pale orange to red and are easy to grow and care for indoors. They are well adapted to room temperature and dryer conditions.

Gloxinia

Gloxinias are popular as houseplants due to their attractive foliage and vibrant coloration. Gloxinias are drought tolerant and thrive in full sun.

Bolivian Sunset Live Flowering Tropical Plant Orange Red Flower Shade Garden Attract Hummingbirds Starter Size 4 Inch Pot Emerald TM

  • Economical Starter Size Plant growing in a 4 inch diameter pot. Plant will average a 6 to 10 inches tall. No bloom or bud on arrival.
  • Easy to Grow, Quick to Establish Prolific Nearly Year Round Bloomer

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Hoya

Hoyas are another favorite among people who like succulents. Hoyas are hardy and easy to maintain. They love humidity so place them near a bathroom window where moisture is abundant.

Hoya Carnosa Krinkle Wax – 4” from California Tropicals

  • All of our listings have very representative pictures of what you would receive.
  • This plant comes fully rooted in a 6″ pot, ready to grow in and your beautiful home or your office.

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Air Purifying Plants

Air purifying plants are plants that remove pollutants from the air. They can be found growing naturally in many parts of the world. Some of these plants have been cultivated specifically for their ability to cleanse the air.

Using an herb plant on your desk can help improve the health of people who spend time working inside all day long. Many studies show that exposure to toxins increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, allergies, depression, anxiety, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraines, headaches, sinusitis, bronchial infections, respiratory problems, skin conditions, eye diseases, ear infections, tooth decay, obesity, insomnia, and other illnesses.

Herbs are known to reduce inflammation, boost energy levels, relieve pain, fight infection, lower blood pressure, treat digestive disorders, prevent colds, ease muscle spasms, promote sleep, and even protect against radiation poisoning.

Mint is probably the most common type of herb used by gardeners. Lemon balm is another popular choice. Rosemary is often added to tea blends. Basil is commonly grown indoors.

Mint Seed Grow Kit w/ Planter 2-Pk

  • Products with electrical plugs are designed for use in the US. Outlets and voltage differ internationally and this product may require an adapter or converter for use in your destination. Please check compatibility before purchasing.

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Sow Right Seeds – Lemon Balm Seeds Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds with Full Instructions for Planting an Easy to Grow herb Garden, Indoor or Outdoor; Great Gardening Gift (1)

  • Beautiful — Full color packet of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), a popular herb used for its medicinal and health benefits. Lemon Balm is a cousin to the mint family and makes a great gift for your gardening friend. Minimum of 100 mg per packet.
  • Indoor or Outdoor — Carefully selected variety that can easily be grown indoors in your kitchen or outdoors in the garden. Lemon Balm is also a perennial herb that will last in your garden for years to come.

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Rosemary Seeds for Planting – It is A Great Heirloom, Non-GMO Herb Variety- Great for Indoor and Outdoor Gardening by Gardeners Basics

  • FLAVOR – Rosemary is full of flavor. Wonderful used fresh in marinades, sauce, dips, and stews.
  • INDOOR & OUTDOOR HERB GARDEN – Rosemary is a great herb to grown inside your kitchen and outdoors.

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SEEDRA 300+ Italian Large Leaf Basil Seeds for Indoor, Outdoor and Hydroponic Planting, Non GMO Heirloom Seeds for Home Garden – 1 Pack

  • SEEDRA 300+ Italian Large Leaf Basil Seeds for Indoor, Outdoor and Hydroponic Planting, Non GMO Heirloom Seeds for Home Garden – 1 Pack
  • SEEDRA 300+ Italian Large Leaf Basil Seeds for Indoor, Outdoor and Hydroponic Planting, Non GMO Heirloom Seeds for Home Garden – 1 Pack

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What makes this combination special is that each of these herbs has unique properties which work together synergistically to create powerful results. For example, basil contains volatile oils that act as natural insect repellent while lemongrass oil works well when applied topically to heal cuts and wounds. Mint boosts metabolism and improves digestion while rosemary promotes relaxation.

This combination will not only make your workspace more pleasant but will also provide benefits to those around you too.

This is perfect for those who want plants for the office that can actually serve a purpose. You can cut fresh herbs and bring them home. They also purify the air in your office.

Best Office Desk Plants

The best desk plants for your home office are those that don’t require bright light. These include the ferns, spider plants, and philodendrons. They can be placed in any corner or on top of bookshelves to give you an instant green look. The only drawback is they may get too big if left alone without proper care and it’s better to stay away from tall plants in general for your desk.

If you want to grow your own herbs, it’s important to know what kind of soil you should use. Most herbs prefer a pH between 5.5 and 6.8. This means that most soils will be acidic. To neutralize this acidity, add some lime to the soil. Alternatively, you can try growing herbs in pots filled with peat moss.

Hoffman 15503 Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, 10 Quarts

  • Canadian sphagnum peat Moss
  • Premium grade of horticultural, 99.8 percent organic

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Are Succulents good desk plants?

Succulents are beautiful plants with unique textures and are great for desk plants because they do not require much water. They also grow quickly, which makes them ideal for office desk gardens. Succulents are easy to care for, and they are available in a wide variety of colors and shapes.

Succulents come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors, so you should be able to find one that’s perfect for your space.

Desk Plant Care Tips

Water them regularly – It’s important to keep soil moist with water for indoor houseplants.  Watering them every few days keeps soil moist so they’ll keep their leaves fresh and healthy. You should also use distilled water since it has no minerals in it. If you have hard tap water then filter it before using it.

Feed them with fertilizerFertilizer helps increase the growth rate of the plants which is just as important as moist soil. Use a good quality one like Miracle-Gro or similar products.

Joyful Dirt Premium Concentrated House Plant Food and Fertilizer. Clean, Pure, Sustainable. Easy Use Shaker (3 oz)

  • CLEAN & PURE PLANT FOOD: Concentrated, premium house plant food and fertilizer specifically formulated for your indoor plants. Joyful Dirt comes in a convenient shaker bottle for easy application on all green, leafy plants in your home.
  • EASY TO USE: One simple shake of Joyful Dirt indoor plant food onto the soil on each side of the plant and the water normally. Or, you can mix Joyful Dirt directly into your favorite watering can. Use once a month or as often as every watering for unhealthier plants.

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Keep away from bright light – All plants are different but bright light can cause stress to indoor plant varieties and reduce their lifespan. Medium light is usually the right fit for most indoor plants so position them away from windows.

Use potting mixPotting mixes contain nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, among others that are vital for healthy plants.

Related question: Is it good to have a plant on your desk?

Having a plant on your desk is great because it makes you feel happier and calmer. Plants also help clean the air and reduce stress.

Related question: Where should plants be placed on a desk?

The best spot for your plant on your desk in your home office is somewhere that it’s in the line of sight, but not in a place that it will get in the way of your work and if your home office desk plant needs more light, then placing it on your desk so that it’s closer to the light source would be best.

Next Steps

When it comes to your desk in your home office there really isn’t anything better adding some life and oxygen than having a plant on your desk!

The best desk plants for your home office are ones that don’t have heavy light requirements and are relatively low-maintenance.

Which of these desk plants would you choose? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Robert David Orr

I'm a remote working from home veteran of more than 10 years. When it comes to working life from a home office, you can bet that I've been there and done that.I've spent years figuring out what works and what doesn't when it comes to working from home - from the types of desks and chairs that are the best and most comfortable, to the types of technology, and even getting the atmosphere right with the best decorations you need to be your best when it comes to working from home. I've experimented with just about everything you can think of when it comes to getting the most out of my home office, how to work from home without going crazy, and found solutions to the numerous challenges that those of us who work from home run into in this life.

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