Hanging Plant in a Dorm Room

The 11 Best Plants for Dorms and College Rooms

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Adding houseplants represents a great solution if you’re looking for a stylish and practical way to decorate your dorm room. A touch of greenery is welcomed in any indoor environment, especially in work areas considering that plants can improve your mood as well as increase productivity and creativity. College rooms come with certain limitations because you’ll typically have to work around space constraints.

A good option for a dorm plant needs to be compact enough to suit the size of the room. Most college students likely don’t have the available square footage to grow big indoor trees. The good news is that even tiny college rooms can accommodate suitable houseplants without too much trouble.

Considering your busy school schedule, it’s safe to say that you won’t have a lot of time to manage the needs of a plant. That’s why it’s very important to choose a low-maintenance type of plant for your dorm. There are many great indoor plant options that can easily thrive on neglect and take minimal effort to grow.

A final key consideration is the look of the plant you wish to have in your college room. Depending on your preferences, you could opt for a particular shape or foliage color. This is a relevant aspect to take into account when it comes to decorative plants. However, make sure that any stylish plant you like can be easily grown indoors in a dorm environment. Check out the following selection of plants that are ideally suited for dorms and college rooms.

1. Snake Plant

Snake Plant in a Dorm Room

If you’re searching for a plant that’s a breeze to maintain while also offering attractive aesthetics, sansevieria represents a top pick. Commonly referred to as a snake plant, this perennial succulent is extremely hardy. It tolerates more difficult growing conditions that would easily kill other plants.

There are various types of snake plants to consider with various variegation styles and shapes. Most varieties have an upright growing habit that makes them suitable for compact spaces. Keep sansevieria plants in bright, indirect light and avoid overwatering. Use a well-draining potting soil mix for best results.

2. Pothos

Pothos Plant in a Dorm Room

Another very low-maintenance plant to consider, pothos can decorate your dorm area with its vibrant green foliage on trailing vines. Some varieties like the golden pothos show pale yellow variegations that add extra visual interest. Pothos plants provide attractive looks but their main advantage is that they’re incredibly easy to take care of.

Pothos plants are able to thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions including low-light areas and dry spots with reduced air humidity. It doesn’t need frequent watering. Thanks to its overall resilience, it’s an excellent plant for busy college students who may sometimes forget to care for it. The plant can often grow too large and occasional pruning is necessary.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera in a Dorm Room

Aloe vera is an easy-to-grow plant, just like many other succulent species. Some of the main highlights include drought tolerance and the ability to thrive in either indirect or direct light. Keeping this plant happy isn’t difficult as long as you avoid overwatering it. Another advantage is the characteristic juice of aloe vera leaves that can be used to alleviate pain from scrapes or burns.

In terms of aesthetics, aloe vera can be considered an attractive houseplant. There are lots of varieties available with different spiky shapes and interesting color patterns. Some types of aloe vera grow really big but you can easily enjoy decorating your dorm with a more compact variety.

4. Fern

Fern Plant in a Dorm Room

Thanks to its elegant texture and vibrant green color, the fern is a suitable plant for decorative purposes. The simple care requirements also make it a practical choice as an indoor houseplant. There are lots of different types of fern plants and most of them require high air humidity and good levels of soil moisture.

It’s recommended to choose a more low-maintenance variety if you wish to bring a fern to your dorm room. Boston, Sword, and Rabbit’s Foot ferns are some examples that can tolerate low humidity. Place your fern plant away from direct sunlight. It thrives in medium to bright indirect light and soils featuring proper drainage.

5. Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo Plant in a Dorm Room

A sculptural plant that can easily decorate your dorm environment, the lucky bamboo is a solid pick for a college student. It takes almost no effort to care for this hardy plant that’s able to grow in water or in soil. Despite its name, the plant has no relation to bamboo. It simply features similar visual characteristics.

While the lucky bamboo has certain growing requirements, it’s an excellent beginner-friendly plant, especially if you’re a forgetful waterer. For optimal development of its green stalks, it’s recommended to avoid keeping the plant in direct sunlight. Use only filtered water for this plant because it has a chlorine sensitivity. If you want to grow it in water, add the plant to a vase but remember to change the standing water a few times a month.

6. Heartleaf Philodendron

Heartleaf Philodendron Plant in a Dorm Room

The heartleaf philodendron can bring an exotic touch of greenery to any room. It features characteristic heart-shaped leaves that make it a popular plant to offer as a gift. Most dorm rooms don’t get a lot of natural light making the environment quite unfriendly to plant life. The heartleaf philodendron can withstand low-light conditions and thrives in indirect sunlight.

As opposed to other plants from this list, this type of philodendron doesn’t require humid air. It actually prefers dry air. The only notable consideration is maintaining the soil reasonably wet. Heartleaf philodendrons can’t grow well without a proper watering schedule. Pruning the vines of the plant could be required when it grows too dense.

7. Hoya

Hoya Plant in a Dorm Room

If you’re interested in a plant that draws attention through its foliage and flowers, hoya represents a great choice. It’s easy to grow in various environments, dorm areas included. This plant has tropical origins so it has slightly more demanding light requirements. It can grow in low indirect sunlight but will thrive in brighter conditions.

The foliage of the hoya plant stands out thanks to the vibrant green color and waxy texture of the leaves. Another notable highlight is the presence of star-shaped flowers that provide an aromatic scent throughout the room. Hoyas are fairly compact plants and tend to grow slowly. They don’t take up too much space while requiring minimal maintenance efforts.

8. ZZ plant

ZZ Plant in a Dorm Room

Plants without fussy care requirements are perfect for decorating a college room. A great example is the ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia). This low-maintenance plant needs little water to grow and can tolerate low amounts of sunlight without problems. ZZ plants can get damage from intense direct sunlight but bright, indirect light seems optimal.

In terms of aesthetics, the plant features wide leaves with an oval shape and glossy texture. Due to the deep green foliage of the ZZ plant, it can appear to resemble a faux plant. Thanks to its ability to store water and nutrients very efficiently, the ZZ plant can reliably survive even in difficult conditions that would easily kill other plants. Another advantage is the slow-growing habit that makes the plant easy to keep in a compact area for longer.

9. Bromeliad

Bromeliad Plant in a Dorm Room

Grown mainly for its attractive foliage, the bromeliad is worth considering as a dorm plant. It’s easy to grow as long as it receives adequate amounts of bright, indirect light. Bromeliads are available in different styles and colors. They also feature colorful flowers but the plants may not be able to produce flowers indoors.

The watering routine of a bromeliad is not particularly intensive considering the natural drought resistance of the plant. Keep the soil dry by opting for a potting mix with reliable drainage. There are some medium humidity requirements but the plant can also tolerate dry air.

10. Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in a Dorm Room

Most indoor trees are probably too large for a college dorm. However, young fiddle-leaf figs could be suitable if you want to make a bold statement. The plant features elegant violin-shaped leaves on a slim trunk. The perfect environment for a fiddle-leaf fig tree should typically include high humidity bright, indirect light.

It might seem hard to grow but the plant can actually manage just fine even in less-than-ideal indoor conditions. There’s a little watering effort required to find the right moisture balance between keeping the foliage vibrant and healthy and avoiding overwatering that invites root rot. Keep in mind that fiddle-leaf figs grow quite fast and will likely require more space after a while.

11. Spider Plant

Spider Plant in a Dorm Room

With long white-tinged green fronds, the spider plant can easily become an attraction in any dorm room. It has no fussy care requirements while the plant can easily grow even in smaller pots. Spider plants can tolerate some amount of shade even though it grows optimally in bright, indirect light.

When it comes to soil needs, the spider plant is well adapted to retaining water so it’s recommended to opt for well-draining potting mixes. Despite its natural resistance to drought, it’s recommended to keep a proper watering schedule to improve the health of the foliage.


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