The worry that many have with bringing plants into a north-facing room, is that they won’t be able to get enough natural light to thrive. Luckily, there are some beautiful houseplants out there that thrive in indirect sunlight, which would do well in a north-facing home office.
Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake Plant)
This houseplant is one of the hardest to kill, so even the busiest home office worker will struggle to take it beyond the brink of saving. If you are looking for a very hardy north-facing home office plant, this is one of the best to start with. And according to feng-shui, the snake plant is thought to shield people from negative energy (chi), which is probably beneficial in a working environment.
It has a few other names that link to its appearance, including ‘mother-in-law’s tongue,’ and ‘Saint George’s sword’, but ‘Snake plant’ comes from the shape of it’s leaves. It also has been called the ‘viper’s bowstring hemp’ due to its plant fibers historically being used to make bowstrings.
- Thrives well in all aspects
- Copes in partial shade or direct sunlight
- Low maintenance, and benefits from letting the soil dry out between waterings
- Naturally removes toxins found in the home
- Doesn’t like the cold – move away from the window during winter
Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid) ‘Sunny Spell’
The origin of the name for this beautiful houseplant comes from the Greek Phalaenopsis, which translates roughly to mean ‘moth-like’. This is probably meant as a description of the flower itself, appearing like moths in flight. Another plant that is easy to grow and hard to kill, this orchid is ideal for a north-facing environment as it likes bright light but doesn’t like direct sunlight.
The ‘Sunny Spell’ variety has beautiful yellow flowers, less common in other varieties of Moth Orchids. This would be lovely in a north-facing office, the bright colour emulating optimism, happiness, and influences the part of the brain that controls perception.
- Likes all aspects apart from South-facing
- Prefers partial shade
- Water only once the soil begins to dry out, and try spraying with water occasionally
- One of the best air-purifying houseplants
- Clear the leaves of dust regularly so that they get as much sunlight as possible
Philodendron scandens (Heart-leaf philodendron) ‘Brasil’
This leafy root climber is a lovely evergreen to have in your home office space. There are a few options for displaying it depending on your preference and the space that you have available. This houseplant is a great climber, which means you have the choice of allowing it to grow like this, however, it is equally beautiful and elegant naturally cascading down.
You could train your heart-leaf philodendron to appear as a standing plant. Because it is a climber, by using a moss pole you can train it to climb up it and appear to be a free-standing plant, much like a Monstera.
- Thrives well in all aspects
- Copes well in full sun and partial shade
- Keep the soil moist, watering with lukewarm water
- Leaves help to alleviate asthma symptoms
- Occasionally wipe the leaves to remove dust
Getting the perfect houseplant for your home office will help you concentrate better and bring some life into the space.
If you want to learn more about taking care of your houseplants, see the link below to my book ‘My houseplant changed my life’. Many of the home office houseplants mentioned on this page are inside!
To learn more about home office houseplants, see my other blogs below.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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