The 10 Best Low Light Office Plants

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Finding the right plants of your office can mean the difference between a serene, uplifting environment, and one that feels a bit clinical. This can have a ripple effect on company culture, and can mean the difference between impressing a potential new client or not when they visit your premises for the first time. Depending on how your office is positioned, you may not have access to a lot of natural light. If this is the case, you’ll need to invest in low light plants that can survive and thrive in these kinds of conditions. The following ten options should help make choosing the right plants for your environment a relatively easy process.


Aglaonema ‘BJ Freeman’

The Aglaonema ‘BJ Freeman’ is a common office plant, usually referred to as the Chinese Evergreen ‘BJ Freeman’. It is a low growing foliage plant that grows out beautifully in the form of long, tall, elongated leaves. These leaves are known for their silver markings. With origins in the Philippines and Malaysia, this plant is commonly found in offices all over the world. It’s exquisite colours make it the perfect addition to any desk or open workspace, bringing the area to life, and improving the quality of the air in the process. 


Aspidistra Elatior

Some people love a tall plant, especially when its leaves are in full view. The Aspidistra Elatior reaches up to two full ruler lengths (roughly 60cm), and is renowned for its dark green, fleshy leaves. This plant shows off throughout the year, flaunting its evergreen status. Originating in Japan and Taiwan, it is typically referred to as a Cast Iron Plant. Direct sunlight can actually burn its leaves, so the less light, the better. If you notice different coloured leaves, it might be because of a waterlogged soil, which happens from time to time. 


Aglaonema ‘Maria’

The Aglaonema ‘Maria’ is similar to the ‘BJ Freeman’, but it has a distinct difference in the way each of the leaves are marked. Commonly referred to as the Chinese Evergreen Maria, this plant grows in a fairly uniform fashion, which can be very aesthetically appealing in a corporate setting. It has origins in Southeast Asia, which is home to a fair amount of climate extremes. The Chinese Evergreen Maria flourishes in all kinds of light, but is perfect for spaces that don’t get too much of it during the course of a day.


Howea Forsteriana

If you’re looking for a palm tree feel in the office, there’s no better choice to consider than the Howea Forsteriana. This interesting, unique plant combines elegance and sturdiness, and it only takes one look at its fronds to know that it means business. Usually referred to as Thatch or Kentia Palms, these plants are native to Australia. In its native habitat, it can grow up to 10 meters tall, and 6 meters wide. You’ll be happy to learn that it is a very slow growing plant, so it won’t be hitting the roof anytime soon!

An example of an excellent low-light office plant, aglaonema 'pattaya beauty'

Aglaonema ‘Pattaya Beauty’

To thrive in conditions with low light, plants have to have a special set of qualities. The Aglaonema ‘Pattaya Beauty’ ticks all the boxes, and has the word ‘beauty’ in its name with good reason. Its broad, lush green leaves are more interested in water than they are light, and tend to grow in somewhat of a bushy fashion. This can add extra volume to an extra corner in the office, as well helping to provide clean air to the space. In some cultures, this plant is said to bring good luck to those who spend time around it. 


Philodendron Scandens

The Philodendron Scandens plant (also known as Heartleaf Philodendron) is so graceful that it might be mistaken for a centerpiece at a wedding. Known as a fast growing climber with heart-shaped dark green leaves, you can understand why it may drum up some feelings of affection. Its glossy leaves are known for reflecting light beautifully, especially in some of the forested areas of its home in Central America. The Heartleaf Philodendron is a statement plant if we ever saw one, and because it requires so little light, it’s perfect for offices of all shapes and sizes. 


Aglaonema ‘Silver Bay’

For something a little bigger than the plants we’ve covered so far, look no further than the Aglaonema ‘Silver Bay’. It’s immaculate, elongated green leaves are the star of the show in any workspace. Growing up to 75cm tall, the plant is the perfect choice for the top of a bookshelf, or a dark corner that needs to be brought to life. Silver Bay leaves contain three colours across both sides: silver, grey and green. The plant has origins in the United States, but these days, it is found all over the world. 


Trichilia Dregeana

If a more rustic and wild feel is what you’re after in the office, but you don’t want to have to worry about leaving it in the sun all day, the Trichilia Dregeana is the perfect choice. There aren’t many indigenous plants that grow well indoors, and this is one of the few exceptions to the rule. Its vast green compound leaves start out as a bush of saplings, and before you know it, an extraordinary creation presents itself. Better yet, the plant is native to South Africa, so you’ll be keeping things local by getting your hands on one. 


Aglaonema ‘Silver Queen’

Bow down to the queen! The Aglaonema ‘Silver Queen’ looks different to your typical houseplant in a variety of ways. Firstly, its leaves are a slightly lighter green, with incredible markings that seem to have been crafted by an artist. These plants are very common in South African offices, and especially in co-working spaces and coffee shops. The Silver Queen is low growing, so it can be placed on pretty much any shelf, desk or table, and because of its origins in a diverse climate, it thrives locally, even on days when we experience all four seasons. 


Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

Last but not least, we should start by saying that the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia certainly has the coolest name of all the plants on the list. Commonly known as the ‘Zanzibar Gem’, this plant may be mistaken for something that could have been used as a fan in Ancient Greece. It is characterised by its long stems and shiny, dark green foliage. It is the perfect choice for making a statement in a reception or welcome area, and like the other plants on the list, it doesn’t depend on a lot of light to thrive.

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