Anyone Can Grow These Plants (Yes! That means you too!)

I, as many people have during this quarantine, have found myself craving a lot more structure than in previous years. Working on school work from my bedroom, that is nearly a thousand miles away from the campus that I love, has definitely taken its toll on my concentration and mental health, but from the strain of working independently, I’ve found a couple of ways to keep myself sane that I don’t think I would have found without these unprecedented times.


One of these ways might seem little at first, but it has genuinely had a profound impact on my mental health. I started off by trying to revive a houseplant I’ve had for years—a medium sized nerve plant. It’s grown into a battle between free space in my room and my want for more and more foliage, and while I am always left scrounging for places to put my ever growing collection of pots, I feel very at peace with my collection so far. I figure that there’s a lot of people out there who haven’t had any experience in trying to utilize their green thumbs, so a list of plants that would thrive in bedrooms and dorm rooms seems to be the perfect place to start! All of these plants are listed as good for bedrooms due to their air purifying qualities among others, and in an age where we’re all stuffed in our rooms, it’s a good idea to get some fresh air one way or another.


Before we begin, I think it’s good to mention that Emory’s housing policies do allow for small houseplants, so long as watering them doesn’t end up damaging any furniture or fixtures. The plants listed below are known for thriving in drier soil with good drainage, so a spaced out watering schedule would be best for the plants, the area around them, and the busy student taking care of them.


  1. Pothos plants: these durable plants grow from dense clusters of leaves into beautiful vines that can be used for room decoration similar to string lights. If you don’t have the means to hang up your pothos, letting it grow off the side or corner of a desk or dresser can bring a beautiful addition of green to your primary study space. Watching new leaves grow from the existing vines is very rewarding, and keeping an eye out for new ones can help you remember to watch out for the rest of the plant. There are about eight different types of pothos to choose from, some rarer than others, but all beautiful and just as fun to keep as the next. For watering, you want to make sure that the soil halfway down the length of your pot is dry enough to not stick to your finger.


  1. Snake plants: slow growing and independent, snake plants are the least hands-on plant I have. They’re technically succulents, so very little attention can produce a very healthy plant. While watering, you want to make sure to only get the soil around the leaves and not the leaves themselves, and a simple soil test by sticking your finger about an inch into the dirt to see if there’s any moisture can help you see how often you should be watering. 


  1. Ivy: English ivy specifically was listed on NASA’s list of best air purifying plants at number one. This is another plant that you could drape over the sides of desks and other furniture, or hang over thumb tacks on walls similarly to how you would decorate with fake ivy. Light misting can be beneficial for this plant so long as you ensure that the area around it doesn’t get too moist because in a climate as humid as Georgia’s, mold will thrive in the most inconvenient places.



Overall, if you’re looking for a low-stakes way to keep yourself occupied, and you like the idea of fussing over a living thing, then try out a houseplant. There are a lot of people who have turned to plant care as a form of therapy during the past year, so don’t be afraid to get involved in forums or seek help if you feel like you’re doing something wrong. Of course, if you feel like your schedule doesn’t allow for you to put as much attention on living plants as you’d like, then fake plants are just as good a substitute to add some green into your space. Whatever you decide, bringing some “life” into your room might do wonders.