5 Low Maintenance Plants for Your Office That Clear the Air, Literally

Photo:  Courtesy Ansel & Ivy

Photo: Courtesy Ansel & Ivy

For Anum Tariq and Hiraa Khan—the co-founders of the female-founded and female-led plant delivery company Ansel & Ivy—being a "plant person" comes down to choosing the right plant for your space and your lifestyle. So how does that work exactly? Well, they’re like the Tinder for plants—they match compatible people with plants based on their level of commitment and environment.

Well, we called on the green matchmakers to help us find the easiest plants to take care of that not only spruce up the office but also clean the air too—yes, air-purifying plants exist and they’re way cheaper (and prettier) than the man-made versions.

So, Tariq and Hiraa gave us the inside scoop on five air-purifying, low-maintenance plants to keep you company during your hectic workdays. With just a little bit of TLC, these are some of the easiest plants to take care of and are sure to bring life a breath of fresh air any office space.


Snake Plant, Sanseveria


Maintenance: Low

Care Instructions: The Snake Plant is as easy as they come. She will do well in just about any lighting condition, including fluorescent.

Why it's office-proof: This trendy, architectural plant is hugely popular for every type of office, from start-up to corporate. She’ll keep her cool, variegated leaves in low-light offices and is nearly indestructible if you forget to water her. She also rids the air you breathe of harmful toxins and debris.

Purifies the air of: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.


Peace Lily, Spathiphyllum


Maintenance: Medium

Care Instructions: She’ll need a moderate amount of sun and regular watering to keep her happy.

Why it's office-proof: She’s one of the best air purifying plants out there. The nice thing about the Peace Lily is she’ll let you know when she’s ready to be watered because she’ll start to droop, but will immediately bounce back once she’s hydrated. So if you forget to water her before the weekend, just give her a drink on Monday morning and she’ll be back to her elegant, vibrant self. She’s also great for offices that crank up the air-conditioning since she’s more resilient to cold temperatures than other plants.

Purifies the air of: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.


Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica


Maintenance: Low

Care Instructions: She’s ideal for new plant parents. Sit her in a spot that gets indirect sunlight and only water when the soil has completely tried.

Why it's office-proof: The Rubber Tree is a popular alternative to traditional green foliage. She can grow to be very tall so her dark, glossy leaves will really liven up a bare office corner. She also purifies the indoor air of harmful toxins.

Purifies the air of: benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.


ZZ Plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia


Maintenance: Low

Care Instructions: She’s one of the toughest plants out there. She’ll do well in almost any lighting condition, including fluorescent. She only needs to be watered when the soil has completely dried out.

Why it's office-proof: The ZZ is ideal for dimly-lit offices. She’s perfect if you travel often and aren’t always at your desk since she’s nearly impossible to kill.

Purifies the air of: toluene and xylene.


Dracaena, Dracaena deremensis

Maintenance: Low

Care Instructions: She does well in low light conditions and doesn’t need to be watered until her soil is completely dry.

Why it's office-proof: If your desk isn’t by a window and you still want some lush greenery, she’s your gal. She’s perfect for those who want a plant with benefits, without the care commitment.

Purifies the air of: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.