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Feb 28 2017
by Lauren Reamy

A Guide To Plant Care In Your Dorm

By Lauren Reamy - Feb 28 2017

Plants are great. Not only do they soak up warm sunlight and expel fresh air, but they also produce all different kinds of beautiful flowers, buds and leaves, that brighten up any room.

So why do college students seem to avoid them? Probably because they've had bad experiences in the past. But fear not, fellow plant-killers, this time it's not going to happen. I have created a guide that will instruct you on not only how to care for a plant, but also which plant to get and surefire ways to keep it alive. 

1. Succulent

If you live in a warm and dry climate, a succulent may be the plant for you. Succulents come in a variety of different colors, shapes and sizes, and you can usually find them at your local garden center or farmer's market. As for care, most need half a day to a full day of sunlight to survive. The best pots to use for succulents are terra cotta and ceramic, but most others work, with the notable exception of glass. The number one way to kill a succulent is over or under watering it, so water them once a week when you first get them, and feel it out to find the right amount of length you need in-between waterings.

2. Orchids

If you're looking for a flowering plants, orchids are a beautiful and low maintenance option. Orchids grow best in well-lit spots, but make sure they are not receiving too much direct sunlight. These plants only need to be watered every 10 to 14 days, but they love humidity, so misting them every once in awhile is good. Most pots work well with orchids, but make sure to choose one with large holes in the bottom and side, for better drainage. 

3. Philodendron

Philodendrons are indoor/outdoor plants, so you can move it outside or plant it in your garden when you go home for the summer. Indoors, they require moderate indirect sunlight. The plant will tell you if it's getting enough light by yellowing leaves if it's receiving too much, or a thin stem if it isn't receiving enough. Water your Philodendron every couple of days and mist it if you want to give it some extra moisture. As for potting, choose something that will give your plant room to grow.

4. Lucky Bamboo

Bamboo is a unique and fun plant to take care of. They require bright, indirect light— lack of light could actually kill it, so keep your plant close to a window. If you decide to grow your bamboo in water, make sure to change it every couple of days and try to used distilled or rainwater if you can. You can also grow bamboo in soil, in which case you would need to keep an eye on it and feel out when the plant needs watering.

5. Prayer Plant

Prayer Plants are tolerant of low light conditions, so if you're worried about the whole sunlight thing, this might be the plant for you. However, make sure to keep it near a window so it still gets the light it needs to stay alive and healthy. Water with warm water every one to two weeks and keep an eye on the leaves, as they will begin to turn brown if it is under-watered.  

Doesn't seem so scary now, does it? Plants are a guaranteed way to spruce up your dorm for the spring, and to add a fresh, beautiful addition to your life. So, go out there and get yourself a plant. You deserve it.

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash

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Lauren Reamy - George Mason University

Lauren Reamy is a sophomore at George Mason University, majoring in Vocal Performance. Besides singing, she loves musical theatre, hanging out with her pets, and reading way too many books.

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