Ideal Office Plants: Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Moonshine’
Let’s be honest, office plants have to withstand a lot of abuse and neglect. Offices are designed for people, not for plants. So any plant in an office will have to deal with air conditioning, cold evenings, low light, and inconsistent care.
A friend of mine is starting a company and has a new office space. She asked me to help her find good plants for it. I’m going to make three containers of various sizes for her. This is the first.
The plant is Sansevieria trifasciata, which is often known as “Snake Plant” or, I kid you not, “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue.” It’s flexible – it can sit in a window or a dark corner. And it’s a succulent, so it requires very little water. (Very little, as in, I watered it today so won’t need more water until March.) And it’s tough – the only way to kill it is too much water. This is a plant that defines “thrives on neglect.”
It’s also beautiful. You may be more familiar with the yellow and green variety that looks, to my eye, entirely too ’70s. This is a newer cultivar called “Moonshine” that’s almost white with green edges and intermittent lines. I love it.
And it’s healthful! According to Wikipedia, “a study by NASA found that it is one of the best plants for improving indoor air quality by passively absorbing toxins such as nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde.”
The plant is in a small plastic pot, which I’ve placed on some styrofoam blocks, inside a simple, matte white, cylindrical, ceramic container. (Don’t get me started on how hard it is to find ceramic pots that aren’t ugly hippy crap. Ugh.) The styrofoam is there to raise the plant visually, but also to keep it off the bottom of the container, so if it leaks some water, the plant won’t sit in it (which leads to rot). The pot is watertight, so if the plant is over-watered, it won’t leak (leaky saucers on desks is bad). It’s easy to pull the plant out and dump out any extra water.
So there you go! A tough, beautiful, healthful plant that requires no care and can go anywhere. If this guy won’t live in your office, nothing will.