College x
One girl surrounded by beautiful plants, then same girl again holding a dead plant
Illustration by Morgen Dutil, Montserrat College of Art

This list makes creating green space in any dorm more convenient and affordable.

Students are notoriously busy, tired and stressed. Whether these issues come from classwork or difficult roommates, it is crucial for students to make their living space cozy for rest, good work and positive memories. Indoor plants can be the secret to livening up any room, and some of them are almost impossible to kill­ — perfect for a student running on limited time.

The Health Benefits of Indoor Plants

There is nothing like some refreshing outdoor time on a beautiful day, and most people agree that green spaces make rooms more pleasant. It’s almost as if a small part of the great outdoors gets to come back home with us. Aside from the beautiful aesthetics of good greenery, students gain tons of health benefits from having houseplants in their living spaces.

It has been proven many times that plants generate happiness and reduce stress. It has also been proven that college students are some of the most stressed-out people in the country. Considering these two facts, it makes perfect sense for students to grab a few (or maybe a ton) plants for their dorm room. Decreasing stress can help students be more attentive during class and study sessions. Plants can also prevent students from developing further health complications like depression, anxiety, heart disease and high blood pressure. Who knew a succulent could do all that?

Good greenery makes a space more inviting, improving work productivity and one’s outlook on life. Workspaces must be functional and aesthetically pleasing; we all know what it’s like to be doing work we don’t want to in a place we don’t want to be.  By making a room a pleasant place, students may find themselves working with a smile!

Lastly, plants can improve the quality of indoor air. Some dorm rooms might not be as clean or new as students are used to. In these cases, students might find themselves sleeping worse and feeling weaker or stuffy. Improving air quality and the way you breathe in these spaces can better students’ entire lives.

The Best Plants for Students

When looking at what sort of flowers and plants are best for student spaces, it is imperative to think about the plants’ size, price and aesthetic.

1. Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo is an easy-to-find (and hard to kill), low-maintenance, smaller-sized, gorgeous sculptural plant that is perfect for small dorm rooms. The plant at full maturity is only about 1-3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide. Lucky bamboo can be purchased for under $15 and can grow with its roots entirely submerged in water, making it almost impossible to kill by dehydration.

2. Succulents

For students looking for the smallest option possible, succulents are the answer! Succulents come in various shapes, sizes and colors and only need to be watered once their soil is arid — which can sometimes take a whole week. Their only requirement is a windowsill or small grow light. Students can purchase a succulent for as little as $3 apiece and make a DIY succulent container tailored perfectly to their dorm room aesthetic.

3. Aloe Vera

Another hardy, low-maintenance plant is aloe vera. Students might be familiar with aloe and its healing properties, but it can be used for many things. Plus, it is one of the toughest houseplants around. Aloe vera can be purchased in all different price ranges depending on its size and age, but students can easily find one within their budget. When fully mature, the plant is around 1-2 feet tall but has sometimes been known to grow a little out of hand. However, the beauty of owning an aloe vera plant is that, after trimming the plant to keep it at a manageable size, students will have fresh and organic aloe vera to use however they’d like!

4. Pothos

Pothos is one of the easiest houseplants to grow, even for those who are too forgetful or busy to water them frequently. The plant, which is characterized by its stretching vines, can offer the perfect décor for students. Its vines can grow up to 40 feet long in its adult stage while the base of the plant remains around 3-4 feet wide. This can be an issue for students working with a small space, but for those who are looking for a plant that is also an art piece, pothos is a perfect choice. It also has spectacular air-purifying qualities!

5. Snake Plant

A snake plant is another low-maintenance plant that is great for improving air quality; students will get the best of both worlds by having this in their dorm room. Snake plants are one of the most varied when it comes to size. Students can find one as small as 6 inches or as tall as 8 feet. They only require partial sun, accommodating the lack of windows in some dorm spaces. They can often be purchased for around $20 and do not require particular soil. Snake plants are cool to look at, easy to manage and typically only take up vertical space in a room.

The décor of any space can make all the difference, especially when plants enter the picture. Students looking to live healthier while making their room more inviting will find a lot of potential in purchasing one or two houseplants. Students can find plants of all different styles and choose how much work they want to dedicate to them. Indoor plants are the perfect way to improve college living without breaking the bank or dorm room rules!

Writer Profile

Janey Schmidt

Columbia College Chicago
Bachelor of Arts in English

I have always been an avid reader no matter the format. I am especially eager to read, write, and talk about all things fantasy!

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