You had me at aloe: 5 easy house plants for your dorm or apartment

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If you want to adopt a plant, but your expectations for that plant’s future more closely resemble the opening line to Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” don’t worry. We’ve got your back. After all, bleeding blue and gold means you’ve got to have a green thumb, right? Here are our recommendations for five easy, low-maintenance houseplants to help spruce up your living space.

Snake plant (Sansevieria)

  • Water: Snake plants are quite hearty, so water them once every three to four weeks. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings in order to prevent root rot! 
  • Light: These plants prefer indirect sunlight.
  • Ideal temperature: Snake plants will do great at room temperature but adjust well to most temperatures. If they are exposed to conditions under 50 degrees, your snake plants will start to suffer.
  • Growth: These plants grow at a slow to moderate pace. Promote faster growth by placing them in strong, natural light conditions!

Devil’s ivy (Pothos)

  • Water: Pothos plants like enough water to keep the soil moist but not wet. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. 
  • Light: Pothos thrives in bright indirect light but can also survive in low light environments.
  • Temperature: These plants will do great at room temperature and can start to suffer if the temperature reaches under 60 degrees.
  • Growth: Pothos is known for its ability to produce beautiful, trailing vines quickly.
  • Note: It’s very easy to create multiple baby Pothos plants from your main plant using propagation techniques!

String of pearls succulent (Curio rowleyanus)

  • Water: String of pearls can be watered like any other succulents, as they are drought-resistant. This means you can water them once every two weeks or so.
  • Light: These plants require a few hours of direct sunlight and indirect sunlight, so they’ll thrive next to a sunny window.
  • Temperature: String of pearls will do best in an environment that’s above 70 degrees but can withstand conditions ranging from 50 to 70 degrees.
  • Growth: String of pearls grow at a moderate to fast rate. These succulents are praised by gardeners for their trailing, pea-studded vines.
  • Note: While any succulent will decorate your living space, string of pearls has a unique “pea pod” look that makes for an especially eye-catching addition to your growing indoor jungle!

Aloe vera succulent 

  • Water: Aloe vera is another hearty member of the succulent variety, so water them sparingly — once every two to three weeks will do. They can survive up to months without water.
  • Light: These plants enjoy bright, indirect light. Too much exposure to direct sun can cause leaf damage. 
  • Temperature: Aloe vera plants thrive between 50 to 70 degrees. 
  • Growth: Some mature aloe vera plants can produce flowers, but some never flower at all. Don’t be discouraged if this is the case for yours!

UFO/Pancake plant (Pilea peperomioides)

  • Water: Water these plants once a week or so. Under-watering is better than over-watering a Pilea, as they are quite susceptible to root rot. 
  • Light: Pileas love bright, indirect light and will grow rapidly under a nice, sunny window.
  • Temperature: These plants can withstand anywhere from 50 to 85 degrees. 
  • Growth: Pileas grow fast. Many plant lovers enjoy growing these “pancake plants” out and gifting propagated baby plants to their friends and family.

We hope these tips have encouraged you to “be-leaf” in your gardening prowess and adopt a plant. Gardening has become especially popular during the pandemic, given that many nonessential workers are choosing to stay home to stay safe. Not only do growing plants make for a fun hobby, but they can also provide a nice touch to your home decor and some free, clean air. So go out and get a plant — we’re rooting for you!

Contact Pariswi Tewari at [email protected].