Story and pictures by Ashley Olmedo
Spring is officially here so what better way to celebrate than getting some new plants for your place. Plants aren’t only beneficial to the environment (you know oxygen and all) but they can also benefit college students. According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, plants have been found to help decrease stress, clean the air and even help individuals concentrate better. Not only will they add a nice touch of life and freshness to your dorm, apartment or house but you’ll also benefit from their company! These plants are low maintenance, requiring very little care; perfect for any college student.
If you forget to do a lot of things, then these plants are the best ones for you! Succulents and cacti retain water in their leaves and stems, making them an easy plant to care for. Most succulents and cacti only need to be watered every three to four weeks! The likeliness of them dying from dehydration is very low which is a plus for college students who sometimes even forget to feed themselves. But beware, overwatering will kill them! Since succulents retain water in their leaves overwatering will cause them to become very smushy, the leaves will start to fall off and the plant itself will get moldy causing the plant to rot and die.
Succulents and cacti will grow into the pot it’s planted in, so if you leave it in a small pot then it’ll stay a small size but if you were to plant it in a bigger pot it will continue to grow until it no longer has any space. Succulents can also be replanted, if succulents grow smaller babies around them you can cut off the baby succulent and replant it in a different pot. Succulents and cacti have become all the craze lately so they’re pretty easy to find, grocery stores like Trader Joe's usually have a nice array of succulents to choose from.
The snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue (don’t be intimidated by the name) is a beautiful plant originally from Africa. They have succulent-like leaves which makes them another easy plant to care for. Snake plants don’t need much water, just like the succulents you can water them about every four weeks. They thrive in places with a lot of sunlight. Although they can survive in areas with less light, lack of sunlight will decrease their growth and affect their overall color.
A major plus! Snake plants also have some great benefits. According to NASA, the snake plants absorb about 80% of air toxins, including Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Monoxide. Snake plants have also been found to improve one’s sleep by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen overnight. How cool is that?!
Air plants are pretty much what they sound like, they grow without soil and absorb moisture from the air. They’re unique and pretty cool. They do best with filtered sunlight and can even be put in a bathroom to absorb all that extra moisture. Although they’re able to absorb moisture from the air, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t water them, it’s actually the opposite. Living indoors is much different than if they were in the wild, most indoor rooms have dry air due to heaters or air conditioners so air plants must be watered. The best way to water an air plant is too place it in a bowl full of water for about 12 hours every 10 to 14 days. These plants only absorb what they need so overwatering isn’t an issue. Like many plants, air plants help clean the air by filtering airborne particles, their also affordable and do great indoors.
With long dangling leaves and the ability to grow small spider-like babies, this plant gives the perfect illusion of a mama spider on a web with its babies. Caring for a spider plant is easy. Well-drained soil is essential along with bright indirect sunlight. The baby spiderites can also be replanted, making a perfect gift. With its arching leaves, spider plants look great on tall plant stands or hanging from the ceiling.
Spider plants absorb carbon monoxide and like many plants have been found to improve recovery rates for patients. According to researchers at Kansas State University, surgical patients with plants require less pain medication, have lower heart and blood pressure rates along with less fatigue and anxiety.
Although lucky bamboo isn’t actually bamboo but part of the lily family, many believe in their positive benefits. Lucky bamboo flourishes in soil or in water, they prefer moist roots and indirect sunlight. They’re great for decoration and are normally sold in decorative pots. Lucky bamboo is believed to give off positive energy and good luck (hence the name) it can also represent health and strength. Bring some positivity and luck to your place with this beautiful plant.
Aloe Vera is also part of the succulent family, which means it’s easy to care for since they retain a lot of water. A well-lit area is important but it shouldn’t be placed in direct sunlight. They only require watering every three to four weeks, allowing the soil to dry between watering and having soil mix for draining is essential for their overall growth.
Aloe Vera has been used for medical purposes for centuries! Its antioxidant and antibacterial properties are great for treating sunburns and minor cuts. Aloe Vera can also improve your skin, it’s great for facials which may have anti-aging benefits along with reducing redness and dehydrated skin. It’s also been used for constipation, hair loss, and cold sores. You can find Aloe Vera in drinks, capsules and gel form. Keep in mind that there are different types of aloe vera if you wish to use it for medical purposes make sure to buy the medical aloe vera which usually has a green cross sign like the one shown in the picture.
Whether you’re dorming, living in an apartment or in a house, houseplants add the perfect touch to any environment. Find the perfect plant for your space and start and enjoying their wonderful benefits.