Editor's Note: This story was featured in The Plainsman's special print edition for 2021 Camp War Eagle. You can check out an online version of that edition here.
Pets, except for fish, are not allowed in dorm rooms, so plants may be a nice alternative.
Plants are a great way to decorate a dorm while taking on the small responsibility of growing them and keeping them alive. Plants are allowed in dorm rooms as long as nothing is being nailed, drilled or otherwise ruining the walls of the room.
Succulents and other plants that are low maintenance are good plants to start out with in a dorm and not just because of the cute pots they come in. Succulents like aloe vera require less water to survive, which means if you occasionally forget about them, they’ll probably be okay. This is ideal for busy college students and forgetful people in general.
Succulents are small, which is good for a compact dorm room. For the best growth, all they need is a sunny spot, a pot with soil that drains well and to be dusted off every once in awhile.
Cactuses are another choice for the forgetful, busy student. Cactuses are found in deserts so naturally require little water to maintain themselves. Like any other plant, a cactus loves direct sunlight and would do best sitting on a windowsill or dresser near the window.
Cactuses also prefer smaller pots, which is great when living in a small space and means multiple would take up limited table space. Again, make sure the pot drains well and that the soil is dry before watering it again.
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Bamboo plants are a good choice as they live in water, but they do require a little bit more care than succulents and cactuses.
Most experts recommend using filtered water because the chlorine and fluoride in tap water may damage the plant if present in high concentrations. Also, the water should be changed every couple of weeks to prevent algae from growing.
Pothos is popular as a houseplant and not just for dorm rooms. Pothos plants are not as compact because they grow over the sides of the pot and spread out, and this look is part of their appeal.
Pothos plants are also similar to other plants on this list because they do well in multiple environments and are low-maintenance and drought-resilient. They can sit on a desk and grow out, or they can be hung if its pot can be attached to the wall without damaging it. Pothos plants create an attractive, sophisticated look that can make a dorm room feel more like home.
There are plenty of houseplants that students can take advantage of owning to build a more comforting dorm room environment without stressing about keeping it alive. Beginner plants that are low maintenance are also a great jumping off point to dive into other plants that require more maintenance.
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