Leafy desk buddies

Brighten up your cubicle with green friends.

By Farhana Chowdhury

Published: Fri 15 Jan 2021, 4:09 PM

Being around lush greenery is refreshing, especially for those of us that have lived in a concrete jungle for a majority of our lives. They liven up our mood and give our surroundings an instant boost. Flora and ferns have the ability to bring much goodness into your life - from reduced stress and boost in productivity to purifying the air in small spaces, and adding to aesthetics. Research also shows that they reduce our chances of falling sick.

As we crawl our way back to the office - with some of us tucked in the confines of a cubicle for hours - why not add a dash of life to your workspace? Before you pick up a random leaf buddy, look into their needs and how they would be able to thrive in your office environment. Here are few hassle-free types:


Fresh aroma and free seasoning, growing an herb at your desk is a fab idea. Try your hand at raising rosemary, cilantro, oregano, parsley, thyme, basil, and even arugula! Not only do they smell heavenly, but you'd also have little treats to spruce up your lunch on-the-go. Remember that these plants require at least four hours of sunshine a day, so it works best for those who are seated in spots with ample sunlight. For those who aren't, and your desk allows it, you can also set up grow light to mimic the sun indoors.


Dubbed air plants, these green buddies can survive without soil or water, and simply rely on mists. Plus, they thrive well in low-light conditions and are aesthetically pleasing since you can style and arrange them over a tray of colourful pebbles or even hung on your cubicle wall in a light vessel such as thin glass or bamboo. Some tend to try out faster than others, so don't forget to spray a fine mist of water from time to time.


These spiky critters come in wonderful shapes and sizes, are super easy to take care of and will survive in limited sunlight. Opt for a desk-specific one that comes tucked in tiny pots and place it out of harm's way (to avoid any prick accidents). You just need to water it once every two to three weeks, and ensure it receives a decent amount of sunlight from time to time.

Waffle plant

If you're looking to add colour to a dull ambience, then the waffle plant is sure to brighten up your interiors. Its purple and green gradients are pleasing to look at and grow well in low light environments. They can also purify the air, bringing you a clear and toxin-free desktop. For a healthy plant, ensure the soil it has drains well, and keep the surface moist (not soggy) at all times.

Zanzibar Gem

The Zanzibar Gem, also known as ZZ plant, has air purifying properties, brightens up rooms by reflecting light off its waxy leaves, and one of the most forgiving plants out there. It is highly tolerant to neglect and is ideal for those who tap away at their keyboards daily and forget to water. Just make sure to wash your hands properly after handling the leaves to avoid irritation in the long run.

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