Moving into your first dorm room can be a generally jarring experience: the bland walls, pre-stained carpets, broken furniture. When coming from a childhood home where you may not have to worry about your decor causing damages, the space might seem empty at first. There’s really only so many pictures you can hang with wall-safe tape or Command strips, though. A great way to decorate your space without stripping paint is the use of plant life.
Still, college can be hectic and busy. Taking care of greenery with complicated needs isn’t realistic for the modern student, who is constantly away for classes, clubs, or social events. That’s why it’s important to have plants that are easy to keep alive. To make the process simpler, we’ve compiled a list of the easiest plants to take care of, making them perfect for first-year dormers!
- Pothos Plant (Devil’s Ivy)
First on the list is the pothos plant, also known as Devil’s Ivy. This plant is viney and long, with stretching limbs that are perfect for a hanging pot. This plant is particularly great for dorm spaces because they tolerate low-light. If your room doesn’t have a window or simply doesn’t receive much natural light, the pothos plant will remain generally unaffected. Pothos plants also only need to be watered every one to two weeks, making them extremely easy to care for. They are also notoriously able to handle dry soil for stretches of time, so if you forget to water it, no worries.
Next, we have the aglaonema plant. Thiscan have an intensely bright variety of colors and patterns, which helps to spruce up an otherwise simple room. Much like the pothos, these can survive in low-light, and thrive in almost every condition besides direct sun. Because of this, they’ll be a good fit in any corner or cranny of your dorm. Unlike the pothos, aglaonemas like water, needing to be tended for once 50% of the soil is dry.
- Monstera Deliciosa
Monstera plants are large and leafy, perfect for making dorms feel a little less empty. These plants require little water, around every one to two weeks, much like the pothos. Another interesting fact about the monstera plant is that they can benefit from filtered water or water left out overnight. Using the cup of water off your bedside table in the mornings is a manageable and easy way to water your monstera, especially if it comes from a Britta filter.
- Snake Plants
Another great option is the snake plant, native to western Africa, with mostly erect leaves and yellow-trimmed patterning. This plant loves to get dry in between waterings, meaning you can forget about it for a few weeks and hit the frats with no real punishment. Like the rest, it needs to be watered every one to two weeks and survives in less light. To know if your snake plant is happy in your dorm, look for dark leaves.
- Spider Plant
Next up is another plant named after an animal, the spider plant. Spider plants tend to appreciate a bright, sunny spot, making them a perfect desk plant near the window. However, spider plants are adaptable and can withstand windowless rooms and fluorescent lighting, like most dorm halls have. It holds water well, making it another great option to fill your room with life.
And there you have it: a comprehensive list of the best plants for busy students. It is important to note that a lot of these houseplants, while beautiful and low-maintenance, are poisonous to animals, so if you have a service animal in your dorm hall, be sure to keep them away from your plant corner. Another step you should take before committing to your plants is taking time to research your housing agreement and making sure plants are allowed in your dorm room to begin with.
If you are a student living in Tempe and attending ASU, a great place to start your search is Whitfill Nursery off North Cooper Road. It has a large selection of houseplants at the back of their garden, in a greenhouse, and an even broader selection of bright, decorative pots. If you’re lucky, you might even see a chicken running around the lot.
Good luck gardening, and have a great start to the semester!