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Best Dorm Room Plants

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Harvard chapter.

Dorm rooms aren’t usually the best living spaces, especially when it involves living in a cramped shared suite. However, a plant or two can help make even the stuffiest of dorms feel like a proper home. Especially as winter settles in and yet another midterm is coming up, here are some hardy plants that can withstand the ups and downs of college life. 


Light: a sunny place like by a window or under a skylight

Water: once a week in the spring, summer and fall, and once or twice a month during the colder winter months. Make sure to give them a lot of water at once to mimic desert weather conditions where these plants naturally grow.

Temperature: temperate, room temperature 

Fun Fact: They get their name from their thick, sap-filled leaves

Aloe Vera:

Light: bright lights, like by a sunny window

Water: do not allow it to sit in standing water but also ensure that the soil doesn’t dry completely

Temperature: temperate, room temperature

Fun Fact: the gel-like insides of aloe vera plants can help to soothe minor burns and cuts. Also considered a succulent

Spider Plants:

Light: shady areas not in direct sunlight

Water: moderately or once per week during the first year to keep the soil consistently moist, but not wet. After the first year, you can water sporadically

Temperature: slightly lower temperatures, best in cool (but not too cold!) spaces

Fun Fact: great for filtering out fumes and chemicals in the air 


Light: bright light; keep them near a sunny window or right under a desk light. 

Water: allow the soil to dry almost completely before you water again

Temperature: warmer temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees fahrenheit

Fun Fact: can occur in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Also considered a succulent

Lucky Bamboo:

Light: low to medium light. Keep it out of direct sun, which can cause the leaves to sunburn

Water:  moist, so water it every few days or grow it in a water-filled pot or vase

Temperature: normal room temperature

Fun Fact: Six stalks symbolize luck. Seven stalks symbolize wealth, happiness, and good health. Eight stalks act as a great motivator and luck enhancer. Nine stalks symbolize good fortune.

harvard contributor