From the employee-owners of Gardener's Supply

When You’re Windowless


This rattlesnake plant, which I just added to my cubicle, is the secret to my increased productivity.

Like many people, I spend a fair amount of time in a windowless office. If I stand up, I can see the windows, but when I’m seated, it’s just me, the PC and the coffee cup.

Will anything grow inside these fabric-covered cubicle walls? The answer: Yes.

Even if you work in a windowless office, chances are you can grow some sort of plant. What’s more, green plants have other benefits to the office denizen. Studies have shown increased productivity (12 perecent) and reduced stress (lower systolic blood pressure) in offices environments with plants. Participants in the study, conducted by Washington State University, also reported increased attentiveness when plants were present.

Best Plants for Low Light

  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum )
  • Cast iron plant (Aspidastra)
  • Norfolk island pine (Araucaria)
  • Aglaonema
  • Ponytail plant (Beaucarnea or Nolina)
  • Peperomia
  • Rattlesnake plant (Sansevieria)
  • Ferns
  • Devil’s Ivy (Pothos)

More benefits of green plants:

  • Studies have shown that houseplants remove toxins from the air. There’s hope that indoor plantings might help relieve “sick building syndrome”, a condition found in many energy-efficient buildings.
  • In a process called transpiration, plants release moisture, increasing humidity in winter-dry offices.
  • Healthy plants make your office look sharp; your boss is sure to be impressed.


  1. Anonymous
    January 31, 2010    

    Isn’t the Rattlesnake plant, also called Mothers’ In-Law Tongue? I have three of them, and they are great low maintenance plants!

  2. Anonymous
    January 31, 2010    

    I think Mothers’-in-Law Tongue is actually dieffenbachia, because if you get the sap on your tongue, it swells. Toxic to pets! Anon 2

  3. January 31, 2010    

    Yes, mother-in-law’s toungue = rattlesnake plant. The genus is Sansevieria.

    Dieffenbachia, also known as dumb cane, is an entirely different plant.

    For toxicity, visit the Humane Society of the United States, where you can get a chart of plants that might be harmful to pets:

    -David Grist, Gardener’s Supply

  4. Anonymous
    May 24, 2013    

    Hola! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great job!

  5. Penny
    September 12, 2013    

    I have a ponytail palm in my cubicle that I’ve had for years and it flourishes here in the office. It is really huge now and I get so many compliments on it. Thanks for the other recommendations.

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