By Jenna Costello ’22, Staff Writer
With college back in session, the question of how to decorate the dorm is at the forefront of many students’ minds. This year skip the big department stores and head to the greenhouse for some more lively decorations. Which ones are best for the busy college student? Here are five low maintenance plants to add to your dorm room:
The chlorophytum comosum, better known by the name “spider plant,” is a great choice for first time plant owners. It requires little care, so do not worry if during your busy college schedule, you forget to water it; the spider plant only needs to be watered every two to three days, or once the soil has completely dried out. The spider plant would be a perfect option to spruce up a dorm windowsill as it is a sun loving plant. In addition, the spider plant is both pet friendly and a natural air purifier. It works to filter out pollutants, allergens and other toxins and releases clean oxygen back into the air.
The pothos is a beautiful vine with heart shaped leaves that drape down for a more elegant look. It is easy to care for as it does well in the sun or shade, and it only requires water every two to three days or once the soil completely dries out. There are many varieties of pothos so you will be sure to find one that fits your dorm room style. However, if you plan on taking your pothos home it is important to note that it is toxic to animals, so perhaps it should find a place on a tall shelf or bookcase.
For those needing a little extra luck this year, the snake plant is the one for you. The snake plant is often regarded as a good luck charm because of its impressive ability to remove toxins and other harmful substances from the air. For best growth, place your snake plant on a windowsill that receives lots of indirect sunlight and water it every two to three days or once the soil has completely dried out.
These desert plants come in a variety of options including cacti, echeverias and aloe vera, so you’re sure to find one that matches your dorm aesthetic. For the busy college student, succulents are the perfect plant as they require minimal care and maintenance. Simply place the succulent in a brightly lit area and water it once every other week. Although succulents are easy to care for, they are also very fragile and require a hands-off plant parent. If you are someone who wants to be involved in the growth of your plant, perhaps one of the other options would be better for you.
The dieffenbachia, or “dumb cane”, would be a stylish addition to any dorm room. This tropical house plant has unique, variegated leaves that resemble spots on a cheetah. Perfect for upstate New York’s unpredictable weather, the dieffenbachia thrives in sun or shade. Like the other plants listed, it only needs to be watered every two to three days or once the soil has completely dried out. Although this plant is very beautiful, it is also toxic to both animals and humans so perhaps the dieffenbachia would work best in a pet or child-free home.
With proper care and attention, it is likely that your plant will grow significantly and even produce baby plants. You can separate these new plants from the mother plant through a process called propagation. Since each of the plants I mentioned are different, the way that they are propagated varies. If you are interested in learning more about how to propagate your houseplants click here.