Bring Some Freshness to Your Dorm: Potted Plants

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Photo Cred: Build House Home

Photo Cred: Build House Home

Many students love the idea of having flowers or ferns around the dorm room, but hate the upkeep. After all, plants are rather temperamental organisms, in that there is a very fine line between under-caring and over-caring. Both ends of the spectrum will turn your once beautiful green shrubs into wilted, brown paper in a matter of a few days. Caring for these living organisms takes just a little know-how before your maintenance routine becomes second nature. To help make sure your plants stay alive and healthy, below are some helpful tips for their care.

Know Your Plant
While it isn’t necessary to delve into the every bit of scientific information about your plant, it does help to know some facts regarding their growing requirements. One species differs in requirements from the next, so don’t give your blooms a ‘one-size-fits-all’ attitude.

Sunlight
Plants receive most of their life source from light. Therefore, allowing your plant to be exposed to an optimal amount of light is crucial to its wellbeing. It is important to know that each plant varies in the level of light it needs. This is because plants have grown accustomed to what they were exposed to since evolution. It is best to keep plants in close vicinity to window where they can easily be reached by the sun’s rays. A plant needs to get acclimatized to its environment, so any changes to it should be gradual, not sudden.

Because of this, it is suggested that you check out your dorm room prior to buying the plants for it. This way, you’ll be able to see firsthand where the sun’s rays specifically strikes, as well as how much light is available overall. Don’t be surprised if your college living environment doesn’t have the same sized windows as your last place, so consider greenery that need minimal light like the Chinese Evergreen, Snake Plant and the graceful Peace Lilly.

Watering
Everyone knows that plants (like every other living organism on the planet) need water in order to survive. What most people don’t know is just how much water to feed. Over-drowning your plant can be just as harmful as neglecting it. A good way to measure whether your plant needs water is to pay close attention to the soil. If the soil looks a bit on the dry side, stick your finger in it and see just how far the dryness goes. Is it still dry below the first couple centimeters? It is probably time to give your plant some water. If your finger comes out a little damp, then your plant should be sufficient with water for the time being. A good rule of thumb is to water your plants at least once a week, while checking with the finger test every few days to see if water is actually needed.

You should try to not water your plants when the sun is shining directly on it. The beads of water of the leaves can act as magnifying lenses and actually burn right through. How you pour the water is also important. Make sure you pour the water slowly to make sure it is moved throughout the soil before it secretes out the bottom of the pot. You should stop pouring when you see about 1/10 of the water come out of the bottom onto the plant tray. Lastly, make sure you are feeding your plant clean water that is rid of harmful salts and minerals. Both distilled and filtered water are extremely beneficial to plants.

Photo Credit: Build House Home