Whether it’s a succulent you bought on the Spine, your herb garden at home or the bonsai tree you forgot to water, a plant is a college essential. Considering that a majority of students are currently working from home, a houseplant can be a good option to spruce up your workspace and provide extra energy, life and character to a room.
However, depending on the species, plants can be hard to upkeep. Pipe Dream has compiled a list of low-maintenance, beginner-friendly plants that can give your room a little extra life without the worry of constant care.
An aloe vera plant adds life to any room while also pulling double duty as a plant you can eat and use for various skincare applications, such as relieving pain from scrapes and burns or hydrating dry skin. Aloe vera grows best when placed in direct light. To keep your plant from rotting, wait for the soil to completely dry before watering. You can easily use your finger to test the soil’s moisture. Aloe vera plants can typically go a month without water, but check the soil to make sure.
According to the philosophy of feng shui, lucky bamboo brings positivity, prosperity and good luck to those who grow it. Even more simply than that, the plant’s vibrant green color is sure to brighten your mood. If you keep your lucky bamboo in a pot, water it enough to keep the roots damp. If you’re growing your plant in water, add clean water to the container twice a week. Lucky bamboo thrives in indirect light and can even survive off of artificial light, so if your workspace doesn’t have an easily accessible window, this plant might work for you.
Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or ZZ plants, have long, wide and symmetrical leaves that reflect light and brighten up your living space. Originally hailing from Africa, these plants are drought-resistant and can survive well with very little maintenance. ZZ plants can handle all types of lighting, but try to avoid placing them in direct sunlight for too long. Most plants do fine being watered once every week or every other week. However, it’s very important to keep your plant away from any pets, as they are extremely poisonous when consumed.
Thick, green-pointed leaves give snake plants a bold look that may not fit into everyone’s aesthetic. However, these plants are incredibly easy to care for. Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plants are one of the most resilient houseplants out there. They only require water every two to eight weeks depending on their size, and can survive in a wide temperature range regardless of air quality.
Cacti and succulents
Succulents get their name from the water stored in their leaves, giving them a plump appearance. These dorm room staples do best when grown with natural light and require light watering once a week. Succulents and cacti come in a diverse range of species and are relatively cheap, ensuring everyone can find one they like.
There are several thousand orchid varieties and many of them are well suited for indoor growing. This beautiful flowering plant grows best when potted shallowly in rocks, bark or moss. While every orchid variety requires its own unique care, they typically thrive in indirect light with very little water. Most orchids can survive well with water once or twice a week.
Bromeliads are a great choice if you’re looking to add color to your living space. They require bright light exposure and only need to be watered once a month. Bromeliads will only flower once in their lifetime and begin dying soon after.
Air plants may be some of the most low-maintenance plants out there. Air plants use their leaves to suck in moisture and nutrients from their surroundings. Make sure to mist your air plant thoroughly two to three times a week. You can even water them by completely submerging them in water for six to 12 hours once a week. However, if you choose to water your plant with the bath method, make sure it is completely dry after four hours to prevent rotting. Air plants also need ample light to thrive.
Spider plants grow long, thin stalks and during the summer months, they sprout tiny white flowers on their stems. Spider plants are great air purifiers and can tolerate a significant amount of abuse. They will grow best in indirect sunlight and usually only need to be watered when the top two inches of soil dry out.