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Keeping It Green

I was recently reading through one of the recent Natural Awakenings magazine, and I came across a quote that really stuck with me. It was in an article written by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. that was about focusing on the positive things in life. Towards the end of the article she said, “…life loves life.” It was about the positive effect a caring for a plant or an animal had on the human mind. This really stuck with me. I recently became obsessed with plants. Planting wasn’t just a hobby, it became a mild addiction honestly. I started my own business selling succulents, and I find myself making frequent trips to Lowe’s. For me, dealing with plants is relaxing, it gives me more responsibility, and it makes my college apartment feel like a home. There are several different types of plants that can go well in a home, from succulents to plants that can live with very low amounts of sunlight. I decided that one of the best ways to share my newfound green thumb was to help others understand what is out there in the plant world, and how some can benefit you in more ways than just making your room look nice*.


I. Low Light Plants– So, as a college student you are most likely living in either a dorm, apartment, or Greek house, all of which may have little or no natural light. Some may live in a house with nice window, those are the lucky ones. Going back to the sad lighting conditions, is it possible to keep healthy plants in that kind of environment? The answer is yes, and here are a few plants that can help you keep your roots in your temporary living space.

  1. Monstera (very tropical)
  2. Spider Plant
  3. Parlor Palm (grows to about 4 feet tall)
  4. ZZ Plant (can survive in an office environment with fluorescent lights)


II. A Breath of Fresh Air– Clean air is hard to come by these days. What we breathe may not have an odor, may not make us cough, but pollution from car exhausts, cigarettes, and from large buildings and corporations is still evident in the air. According to Cleaner + Greener, “the health costs of human exposure to outdoor air pollutants range from $40 to $50 billion” each year in the United States. We need a reprieve from the toxicity in the air, and why not have the reprieve in the comfort of your own home. The following are some of the plants that are NASA scientist-approved for purifying the air:

  1. Boston Fern (removes more formaldehyde than any other plant, great in low light environments)
  2. Palm Trees
  3. English Ivy
  4. Golden Pothos (great starter plant that can deal with neglect)


III. There Are Too Many White Walls– I was up all night when I first moved into my dorm, specifically so I could decorate because the all-white everything was driving me crazy. These plants are specifically for brightening up a living space:

  1. Geranium (prefers bright light and doesn’t require a lot of watering)
  2. Brazilian Fireworks (water frequently)
  3. Jasmine (lots of light and water, but it gives off a lovely fragrance as well)
  4. Peace Lily (low light but keep it watered)


VI. Who Has Time For Plants in College? If your schedule is jam-packed with homework, tests, meetings, and extra-curriculars, don’t worry, there are plants for you too.

  1. Aloe Vera (prefers bright light but also helps heal burns)
  2. Hawthoria (a beautiful type of succulent)
  3. Living Stones (requires almost no water)
  4. Ponytail Palm

*I only provided a few examples from the sources that I used. Click on the hyperlinks to get the full list of plants!

Sources: Better Homes and Garden, Bayer Advanced, Roadale


Photo by: Cidney Bachert

Cidney is a sophomore at the University of Central Florida, studying Journalism and Writing & Rhetoric. She is a writer for Her Campus and a News Digital Producer for the Central Florida Focus. Cidney is passionate about writing, music and traveling. She hopes that her journalism career will lead her to establish her own newspaper that covers popular topics without bias. When she's not writing, Cidney is most likely planting succulents, staring at her new fish or cooking.
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