Houseplants are a fantastic way to bring character and coziness to a place, particularly a college dorm room. A houseplant is just what a dorm needs to feel more comfortable, especially with neutral colored walls, tile or wood flooring, and sometimes only one window per room. And just because a dorm lacks square footage doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate plants—you’ll just need to employ wall hooks and plant hangers to assist make the space.
If you’re preparing to start college and want to add some plants to your area but are afraid about keeping them alive, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Matt Aulton, the chief grower at Plant Proper, a grower and online plant merchant, chatted with us. “Plants are a must in a dorm room!” “When you’re surrounded by concrete walls, it’s best to have a little bit of nature in your room,” adds Aulton. “Growing plants in a dorm room can be difficult due to limited light and limited space.” There is no need to be anxious because there are numerous possibilities available that will grow into happy and healthy plants in your dorm.” Here are his top recommendations for keeping plants alive in a dorm room.
Find Plants That Can Tolerate a Variety of Light
The greatest thing you can do is select plants that can thrive in both bright, indirect light and low-light environments. You probably won’t know which way your dorm room faces or how many windows you’ll have until you arrive! “To name a few, go-to plants on my list of recommendations would be sansevieria, pothos, monstera, ZZ plants, and philodendron,” says Aulton. These are all plants that can thrive in both low light and bright, indirect light, which means they should thrive whether your window faces south and receives a lot of light or facing north and gets very little. They’ll grow much slower, but they’ll live in that climate.
Choose Smaller Plants or Slow-Growing Plants
You’ll also need to think about space. If you are sharing a regular sized dorm room with one other person, you will have to share that area with your roommate. Choose plants that grow slowly or that can be readily cut back. “ZZ plants and sansevieria are slow growers that won’t get out of hand anytime soon.” “recommends Aulton “Pothos, monstera, and philodendron will not grow very fast in lower light conditions, but if they do become too large for your space they can be easily pruned back.” A plus that comes with a plant that needs to be pruned: “”You can gift a plant cutting to a new buddy,” explains Aulton.
Cacti and succulents are also excellent choices. You can also select baby-sized plants sold for terrariums. These are miniature representations of the flora you adore. They won’t take up nearly as much space, and if you treat them well, they can develop alongside you throughout college.
Related: How to Plant and Care for Aloe Vera? How to Care for Potted Plants?
Utilize Your Window Space as Much as Possible
If you’re fortunate enough to have a ledge in front of your window, make the most of it. Some plants prefer to be placed right in front of a window, as long as the light is not too harsh. Stick-on wall hooks above your window can also be used to hang macrame pot hangers and baskets for trailing plants. This is an excellent method for making a lush green curtain for privacy. You can also layer your plants with a small shelf or plant stool to ensure that they all get enough light. Layer them so that the plants that require more light are closer to the window, or, if possible, place the tall plants in the back to make watering easier.
Consider Artificial Lighting
“If light is an issue, there are plenty of artificial light options that can be added to allow the plants to get that extra bit of light they may need to thrive in your dorm,” Aulton explains. Grow lights are a low-cost solution to provide additional light to your plants. You can discover ones that run on a timer and set it to run while you’re in class. If your dorm just has one window if the window does not let in enough light, your plants will benefit from extra light.
“Having some greenery in your dorm and taking care of the plants while in college is a great addition to your college experience,” Aulton says. “We would not allow a lack of space or natural light to hinder our ability to stretch out our green thumb.”