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Caring for Dorm Plants

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

Aka the basics on keeping your plants fresh and alive.


Don’t forget about them! Although certain types of plants may be low maintenance, you should check in on them every once in a while to make sure that their fundamental needs are being met. 


Safe location: Make sure your plants are in a secure place out of harm’s way. Nothing’s more devastating than accidentally knocking your hard work off the table and having to sweep up all the dirt afterward.


Light: Pick plants that can survive in whatever light you have in your room. If you have a large window accessible to loads of sunlight, you can manage to sustain a wide variety of plants. Otherwise, aim for low-light plants that can survive even under your desk light. 


Water: Balance is key. Over watering is a common reason why a plant doesn’t survive. Certain plants prefer very moist soil, but many other plants do better when you don’t continuously keep the soil wet. Touch the soil and if it feels dry, it’s time to water. After doing this a few times, you’ll get to know your plant and have a better idea of what kind of watering schedule it should be on. By checking soil moisture before you water, you’ll also be able to ward off the risk of rotted roots.


Drainage: Proper drainage is key to plant health. Ensure that your plant pot has holes to drain excess liquid. Pots with no holes will keep all the water in and increase the chances that root rot will occur. You can place a saucer underneath to catch any runoff. In most cases, don’t worry about dumping the drainage! The water will either evaporate or be reabsorbed by the plant in a couple of days.

harvard contributor