These air-purifying, lucky plants from your favorite tropical destinations do triple duty to make your work-from-home space one of joy.
How many destination brochures or property descriptions have you read that reference “exuberant greenery,” “tropical flora,” and “lush vegetation?” We’re sure that the short answer is, enough that if you got a nickel every time plant life was mentioned, you’d be rich enough to retire in.
But after the extended pause on travel, doesn’t seeing references to the foliage of the tropics make you feel reminiscent to a time when we took it for granted? Suddenly, leafy greens are more than just things you find in your salad—they’re reminders of better times in better places.
Which is why decorating your work-from-home space with things that spark joy is important. For many, that can be plants. And best of all, plants can serve triple duty: décor, natural air purifiers (especially welcome in these trying times!), and also … lucky charms. Because did you know that a lot of the popular house plants that can perk up your work space can also direct good fortune your way? Plus, during a time where breathing clean air is critically important, they work hard in more tangible ways, too.
Here is a gallery of a lucky eight of our faves!
1. Money Tree
What could be better for business than a money tree? This handsome plant with its fun, braided (by horticulturalists!) base and six-leafed canopy is supposed to bring good luck and fortune to its owner with very little care. All it needs is sunshine and a little bit of water only every once in a while, and it’ll flourish as it purifies your air of synthetic chemicals such as those likely overused-these-days cleaning products and your office Feng Shui of stress, anxiety, arguments, and sleep disorders.
2. Chinese Money Plant
If a tree isn’t your style, maybe this plant could be. This is another harbinger of plenty, and a stylish one at that. It’s popular both among Feng Shui and Scandinavian decorators with its tidy appearance and trim, round leaves. It’s bright green, easy to grow, and easy to share. It may not be the most efficient of the air purifiers, but these little guys are great in bunches scattered throughout your space … as they are scattered all across Norway! It became popular there after a missionary “discovered” it in Yunnan, China and gave away cuttings throughout the region until it became the country’s favorite plant, 80 years later.
The lowest-maintenance dragon anyone could ever hope to own, this spiky statement plant actually does quite the opposite of filling the air with fire: it purifies it. All 40 cultivated varieties! It needs bright, indirect sun to be at its best, and is happiest with its leaves misted. As it thrives, it works hard as the most efficient group of plants for removing formaldehyde from the air. The only thing is, it is toxic to dogs and cats, so if you have a curious nibbler for an officemate, keep this out of reach.
4. Lucky Bamboo
Did you know that these aren’t actually bamboo at all? Yes, they’re typically shipped in from Taiwan or China, where growers braid, twist, and curl them into the whimsical shapes you buy in the stores, but these are actually an African variety of Dracaena! And they’re more closely related to succulents. What that means for you is that they need very little—preferably moist soil or an inch of standing water with pebbles, and some filtered sunlight.
5. Flamingo Flower
Being a travel advisor is all about relationships, and this year-round bloomer is representative of long-lasting love and friendship. And to keep those relationships—and your life—even longer, its foliage sucks up ammonia, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene to help you breathe happy. As an added bonus, the vacay vibes are unmistakable—you can’t confuse this bright, bold blossom with anything but a tropical environment! As such, it likes medium to bright indirect sunlight.
6. Aloe Plant
Aloe isn’t just for sunburns! This plant will help remind you of those far-seeming days when a squelchy tube of its gel came in clutch, and also help out when you’re nursing that hazard of office life: paper cuts. Its healing energy is good for Feng Shui, and it also works to scrub the air of toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide, even as it works as an antibacterial and antioxidant when you break open its juicy leaves. In South America, the sabila as it’s called there, is considered lucky in general. They’re often hung above doorways in homes and stores.
7. Rubber Plant
The rounded leaves of this plant are supposed to symbolize happiness, wealth, and abundance, even as they remove negative energy from the air. More tangibly, they also get rid of mold spores and bacteria, reducing it by up to 60% according to studies! All while producing the most oxygen of any plant and requiring nothing but a dousing watering only every other week or so. Get one of these for the home office if you want to remember traveling to southern Asia fondly—it’s native to India, Malaysia, and Java.
8. Snake Plant
It’s an ugly name, but a pretty and interesting plant that promises to do well no matter where you put it and how infrequently you water it. In fact, it only needs to drink every three to four weeks! Perfect for when you’re back on those FAM trips and don’t want to be bothered asking anyone to come water your plants. Until then, it absorbs benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene, predominately at night. What it gives off is lots of oxygen and strong protective shielding from negative chi—strong enough to override the general rule of thumb that tall, spiky plants give off barbed energy.
Want more home, work, work-from-home, and lifestyle tips for when you're not in the air or on the road? Click the ALGV TravelBlogue Lifestyle section for stories like Bug Off! How to Keep Summer Bites at Bay, Five Easy Ways to Amp Up Your Immunity, Best Healthy Protein Snacks for 2021, How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Home, and so much more!