When it comes to choosing the best office succulents, it’s essential to consider the critical factors of your workspace: the dimensions of your desk, the quality of the light (natural or artificial), the air circulation, and, last but not least, the attention and care you are willing to provide to your plant.
Let me just start by saying that succulents and cacti are great for any office space, and you can’t go wrong with almost any of them: they are slow-growing, easy to maintain, add a pop of color to your desk or shelf, and help purify the air!
In one of the previous articles I have listed the top 10 amazing benefits of growing succulents, don’t forget to check it out!
How To Care For Succulents In Your Office Space
If you are a beginner, succulents are the perfect plants to grow, because they don’t require any special care and can survive in many environmental and growing conditions. In any case, keep in mind that you will need to provide your chubby succulent with proper growing conditions to make it thrive well, even in your workspace.
So, the big question is ‘How do you keep succulents alive in the office?’ Follow these easy succulent-growing tips to help you keep your plants alive and thriving.
Although succulents don’t require any special watering method, I find the ‘soak and dry’ method to be the best choice: you want to water the soil until it is completely soaked and wait until it’s totally dried out before watering again (this may depend on your location and container).
It’s also important to keep the succulents in well-draining soil in a pot with a drainage hole to avoid root rot.
Overwatering your succulents can be very damaging: these little plants don’t need much water and not as often as you might think. This is because their leaves and roots have the ability to store water for surviving in extreme weather conditions, giving them a more swollen or fleshy appearance than other plants, a characteristic known as succulence.
When succulents get too much water their leaves, stems, and roots start to swell up and eventually burst, causing unattractive black spots.
Providing adequate lighting for succulents can be a challenge especially if your office space does not receive a lot of natural light. Succulents can thrive in many environmental conditions, but, for sure, the right amount of daily light exposure is vital to keep your plant healthy, even when it sits on your desk.
Ideally, most succulents prefer bright but indirect sunlight and need about 4-6 hours of sunlight a day to keep them happy and growing. If your office space has bright windows, you are in luck!
Can Succulents and Cacti grow in the office or in low light?
But what if your workspace is windowless?
Or maybe your desk is just too far away from the natural light pouring from the window?
Well, in this case, you just want to make sure to provide your succulent with artificial light by using a grow light to help supplement the lighting requirements necessary for your plant to thrive well
Pot And Soil
If you plan to grow your succulent in a pot, you must choose a terracotta or clay one with drainage holes to reduce the risk of overwatering and consequent root rot. Terracotta or clay pots provide a healthy environment for most plants. The porosity of clay allows air and moisture to penetrate the sides of the pot.
That being said, terracotta pots release moisture faster when it’s hot outside, which means you’ll need to water plants more frequently to prevent soil from drying out.
Succulent plants do not like their roots to remain wet for prolonged periods, so their soil mix should be well-drained. You can add to a well-draining cactus mix 50% to 70% of mineral grit such as coarse sand, pumice, or perlite.
If you do need to add some nutrients to the soil, it is best to apply an organic fertilizer at half-strength during the spring and summer months when the plant is usually actively growing, unless growth occurred during the winter.
Top 15 Best Succulents For The Office – Low Light Succulents
If you are growing succulents and your office lighting conditions are less than ideal, here is a list of 15 popular succulents that can tolerate low light, are very easy to care for, and hence are perfect for your office space! But, remember: ‘low light’ doesn’t mean ‘no light’.
All plants need light in order to perform photosynthesis, a process by which plants transform light energy into chemical energy. For a plant, low light simply means not being directly exposed to sunlight.
Aeonium is a genus including about 35 succulent plant species in the Crassulaceae family native to the Canary Island and very popular in the Mediterranean area. They are colorful, gorgeous, rosette-shaped succulents with beautiful spoon-shaped foliage in a wide range of textures and sizes reaching from 5 inches to 5-6 feet.
Most aeoniums are monocarpic plants: after blooming, the rosettes will die. However, if the plant has produced side shoots, these will live on, otherwise, the entire plant will die.
Aeoniums do best in warm, dry climates and will not survive freezing temperatures. If you grow them in pots or containers, make sure to bring them inside when the temperatures are expected to drop significantly. Aeoniums are commonly used as ornamental plants but are perfect for rock gardens too.
Aloe Vera, a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant that can grow up to 40 inches tall. It has thick, fleshy, green to bluish-grey leaves. Smaller aloe species, dwarf species, and hybrids do well in a low-light environment and make very good indoor house plants in pots and containers.
These plants are a great choice for beginners because they are easy to care for, and are easily propagated by leaves. Although aloe vera is well known for its many pharmacologically active ingredients beneficial to humans, bear in mind that it is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses when ingested.
Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
Burro’s tail is definitely on the list of the best office succulents for a variety of reasons. First of all, it is simply beautiful: just look at the texture of its long, hanging stems featuring oval leaves in pale green shades or pastel colors!
A member of the hardy, easy-to-grow Sedum family, burro’s tail (which also goes by the moniker donkey’s tail) will be happy in bright, indirect light. This plant requires well-drained soil and doesn’t like to be watered too much or too often.
Next on our list of office succulents is Gasteria, a genus native to South Africa, which is named for its stomach-shaped (‘gaster’ in Latin) flowers. Most are stemless and have relatively straight fleshy leaves with blossoms in a curly shape. Most Gasteria species have become well adapted to growing indoors, tolerating low light conditions.
They are low-maintenance and the small and compact varieties are perfect to be displayed on office desks, counters, and shelves. Gasteria is also a totally pet-safe, non-toxic succulent.
Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
Jade Plant, also known as Crassula Ovata, is one of the most popular indoor ornamental plants all over the world, and this is why is on the list of best office succulents. This plant, native to South Africa and Mozambique, has thick, woody stems and plump, glossy oval leaves, giving it a miniature tree-like appearance. The Jade plant can be easily spotted in offices and rooms as this plant is regarded as the symbol of luck.
Jade Plant is a great office succulent, not only because it brings good fortune, but also because it thrives well in low-light conditions and stays small and compact.
Silver Dollar Plant (Crassula Abrorescens)
Silver Dollar Plant, commonly referred to as Silver Jade, Chinese Jade, or Money Plant is a succulent plant native to South Africa. It is often grown as a houseplant and features lovely rounded blue-gray leaves with brown edges and small maroon speckles on the upper surface.
Although the toxic substance is unknown, all parts of the Silver Jade plant are considered poisonous, and that is why it’s on the list of toxic succulents.
Lithops (a.k.a Living Stones), a genus of succulents native to southern Africa, have a unique appearance of small colorful pebbles. These slow-growing plants are quite a popular novelty because are easy to grow indoors and look gorgeous in small pots and containers. They don’t have a stem and are made of thick leaves that grow in pairs.
Lithops bloom in the late autumn or early winter when a single flower will be pushed up from the fissure between the pair of leaves. After the plant flowers, it goes into a period of dormancy during which at least one new body develops. Lithops are very fascinating succulents, non-toxic to humans or pets.
Echeverias are popular rose-shaped soft succulents native to semi-desert areas of Mexico and Central America. The leaves are fleshy and have a waxy cuticle on the exterior forming rosettes that can grow in a variety of sizes and shapes, and gorgeous pastel colors.
Their unique appearance and low maintenance needs make them perfect for succulent gardens, floral arrangements, and terrariums.
Due to their popularity, growers and succulent enthusiasts have crossed the spices and created over a thousand stunning hybridized varieties.
Not only Echeverias are beautiful, but also completely pet-safe succulents.
Haworthias are small and popular succulents native to South Africa. With multitudes of species, they show numerous different appearances and unusual forms, ranging from narrow pointy leaves with black-and-white horizontal zebra stripes, to clear or reticulated translucent leaves. They are the perfect plant for beginners because don’t require special care and can be easily propagated by offsets.
Haworthias are pet-safe succulents, suitable for small spaces like desks, counters, terrariums, and mini gardens, and make unique gift ideas too!
On the list of best office succulents is Graptoveria, a beautiful hybrid between Echeveria and Gratopetalum featuring thick colorful leaves in compact rosettes of 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm). There are many varieties of Graptoveria available (‘Fred Ives’, ‘Worthy One’, ‘Harry Watson’, ‘Topsy’, ‘Debbie’, ‘Lovely Rose’, to name a few), and one of my favorites is ‘Graptoveria Opalina’ because of its beautiful pastel colors.
Read more about ‘Graptoveria Opalina’ in this article.
Panda Plant (Kalanchoe Tomentosa)
Panda Plant belongs to the Crassulaceae family and is native to Madagascar. The fuzzy leaves are of a sage green color with brown spots on the tips. It is considered a great plant for beginners because is fairly easy to care for and does not require much attention to thrive, making it a popular office plant. It can withstand a variety of lighting conditions, from partial shade to full sun.
But remember, all parts of Kalanchoe Tomentosa a.k.a. ‘Panda Plant’ are toxic when ingested, so make sure to keep your furry friend away from this plant.
Sansevieria Trifasciata (Snake Plant, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue)
Next on the list of best office succulents is Sansevieria Trifasciata, commonly known as Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, a plant native to tropical West Africa. It is an evergreen perennial plant member of the Asparagaceae family and features stiff green pointy leaves that range from six inches to eight feet tall, depending on the variety.
Sansevierias are popular & easy-care houseplants, perfect for beginners due to their ability to thrive even when neglected. Sanseveria with its modern, edgy look and can also help purify the air in your home by removing formaldehyde and benzene toxins.
If you have pets in or around your office space, keep in mind that Sansevierias are toxic to pets.
Moonstone Succulent (Pachyphytum Oviferum)
Among the best office succulents, we also find the Moonstone succulent (Pachyphytum Oviferum), a beautiful small to medium size succulent belonging to the Crassulaceae family native to the mountains of Mexico.
It features super chubby leaves tightly packed, almost shaped like little eggs (or almonds, hence its other common name ‘Sugar Almond Plant’), rounded in loose rosettes up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall and to 12 inches (30 cm) wide.
You can find Moonstone succulents in a variety of stunning shades of pastel colors: gray, purple, blue, pink, yellow, and even orange! Moonstones do not require a lot of attention as long as their light and water requirements are met: read more in this comprehensive article.
Fairy Castle Cactus
Fairy Castle Cactus, a miniature cultivar of Acanthocereus tetragonus (a popular species of cacti native to North and Central America), features many cylindrical stems which, as the plant grows, join together vertically, recalling the towers of a fairy castle. Each stem has five sides covered in little white spines growing along the ribs.
Fairy Castle Cactus rarely blooms, but when it gets to its mature stage (sometimes after a decade or more!), can produce white or yellow large flowers. This cactus is very trendy and you can easily find it online, at your local garden center, and even at the grocery store!
Fairy Castle Cactus is an excellent choice for beginners and looks absolutely stunning on office desks, counters, and shelves. It doesn’t require any special care and can survive in many environmental and growing conditions.
It can be grown both indoors and outdoors. In any case, keep in mind that you will need to provide your plant with proper growing conditions to make it thrive well.
Find out more about Fairy Castle Cactus in this interesting article!
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
Schlumbergera, a small genus of cacti, is native to the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil and definitely a very popular and easy-to-care-for succulent.
One of the most common varieties is the Christmas and Thanksgiving Cactus blooming from late November to late January (hence their name). Flowers in red, white, orange, yellow, pink, or purple appear at the tips of these branches and measure up to 3 inches long with several tiers of petals. These plants easily do well in indirect sunlight or low light, therefore they are a great choice as office plants.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article on the Best Office Succulents and found it comprehensive and enlightening! If you like, feel free to leave a comment or share your knowledge on this topic in the section below.