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So, you want to raise some plants but don’t know where to start? Too often, despite our best efforts, plants can be difficult to keep alive. Especially when living in a small space, light levels and conditions can be enough to doom a fragile plant. After going through a lot of trial and error, I’ve determined the following five plants to be some of the best low-maintenance options for your dorm or apartment!

1. Succulents

The most diverse plant on the list is succulents. They can fit in practically any area, big or small, and there are so many different kinds to choose from. It is important to be conscious about water, though. Overwatering this kind of plant can be harmful to their health as they’re adapted to dry climates. I’ve personally witnessed a friend who under-watered their succulent and it dried up into a twig. Along with following a once-a-week watering schedule, be sure to rotate your succulents evenly as they tend to bend towards whatever direction the sunlight is coming from.

2. Money Tree

The money tree is an iconic addition to any dorm. The ideal light for a money tree is medium indirect sunlight, but it can also adapt to low lighting. Water them occasionally and thoroughly. Money trees should be watered until the water begins to run from the drainage holes in the pot. This plant has to be one of my personal favorites, as my roommate got one during the first weeks of school named Arbolito and it is the highlight of our room. 

3. Monstera

These are trendy and for good reason. Monsteras are easy to care for relative to some other popular plants. Monsteras should be watered weekly and they can tolerate different light conditions, but grow very large, very quickly in a lot of sunlight and with proper watering. They are durable plants and will be forgiving should they be momentarily neglected. Monstera plants will stay with you for a while, as they can live for around 40 years. 

4. Jade Plant

Jade plants are pretty and easy to care for with the right conditions. They should not be watered on a schedule. Instead, the best time to water is when the top layer of the soil is dry. The main concern to worry about is root rot, which occurs with overwatering. They thrive best in a lot of sunlight. Compared to other plants on this list, they are more high maintenance, but with proper care, jade plants can live for up to 70 years. 

Elyse Brown

UC Berkeley '25

I am a freshman at UC Berkeley studying Sociology.
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