The Dorm Room Dilemma


It’s that time of year when students are going back to college and moving into residence halls or apartments that don’t always foster the best living conditions for plants. Keep the following in mind when making the big move to ensure your new space will be able to sustain a little greenery.

Start with low maintenance, and start small

Most of the time, college kids have packed schedules with limited free time. Between classes, jobs, extracurriculars, and the hours when they’re supposed to be sleeping, students may have a difficult time finding opportunities to care for their plants. Taking that into account, we recommend starting out with low maintenance plants that don’t need a lot of water, light, or attention, so if you ever have a busy day with no time for watering, it won’t be the end of the world. Some great options for easy-to-care for plants include Lucky Bamboo, Hoya, Succulents, Aloe Vera, and Pathos.  

Another factor to consider with growing houseplants is space. Most college dorms and apartments are notorious for being cramped, so chances are there’s not a ton of extra space for plants. With that in mind, we advise choosing houseplants that stay rather small so that they can fit on bedside tables, desks, window ledges, or wherever you can make a little room.  

Set your plants up for success from the beginning 

You should ensure that your pots have holes for drainage. When water isn’t allowed to drain out the bottom, it can contribute to root rot. Use an appropriate soil mixture for each plant. Our potting mix works well for most houseplants, but know that some plant types require more/less drainage capacity. Apply a dose of fertilizer from the get-go so that your plants are well fed right off the bat, and watch for pests and diseases. If houseplants are given the proper conditions, they can thrive, even in a confined space like a dorm. 

Grow your food 

For students who love to cook or bake, we recommend growing herbs in your dorm or apartment, in addition to a few succulents or other houseplants. Many herbs, like basil, mint, and thyme, are fairly low maintenance and easy to grow in small spaces. Not only will this add some greenery to your living space, but you’ll also get to use fresh herbs in your recipes without taking a big hit on your grocery bill. You may be surprised to know that many types of lettuces and leafy greens can be successfully grown indoors, too. Try growing arugula, loose-leaf lettuce, or kale for fresh greens grown right in your home. 

Invest in light 

One crucial element in growing plants indoors is adequate lighting. Because many dorms and apartments don’t get sufficient natural lighting to sustain healthy plant growth, we recommend purchasing an LED grow light system. These lights will enhance your houseplants’ growth and keep them healthier without you having to do anything extra. Just set the lights on a timer and go about your day while your plants flourish.  


If you or someone you know is on their way back to school, try out these tips and let us know how your houseplants are doing! Tag us on social media, DM us, or email us with any updates or questions. We hope that you (and your plants) have a great start to the school year!