You might not be able to have pets on campus, but one thing you can keep in your dorm while you live on campus is a plant. If you have never been good at taking care of plants but you are looking into trying it out, or just want something to spruce up your room, give it a try! Taking care of plants is really simple and fun. Here are some tips for taking care of houseplants at Grove City College.
- Pick out a sturdy plant. My roommates and I have always enjoyed having plants – in total we have around eight pots of various plants. While we have grown some plants from seeds (such as Alaskan poppies), it is really tough and takes constant attention. Some good plants to start with are succulents such as Christmas Cacti or Aloe Vera. Having a sturdy plant that is able to bounce back really helps.
- Get creative on your watering methods. If you are bad at remembering to water your plants, do an internet search on self-watering plant pots. Using a net and some old rope, all you need to do is put water at the bottom of the pot once a month, rather than every other day. I used this method for my plants last year, and it worked perfectly. It was also great for when I had to send my plants home with friends over breaks, so they did not need to worry about killing my plant. Which leads me to the next piece of advice…
- If you live far from campus, keeping plants on campus can be tough. I grew up on the west coast, which means my plants coming home with me over break is not an easy option. Start checking around with staff and friends on campus to see if anyone around campus is willing to watch your plants for a couple of weeks. For this reason, it is good to have low maintenance plants, so that your friends are not concerned about killing them while they take care of them. Another good solution is to look into air plants, which do not require water or soil, making them easy to take on the plane.
- If you do not want to pay an arm and a leg for good plant pots, but do not want to stick with the basic plastic ones, there are lots of other solutions. In the past we have used cute salsa jars or mugs. Another good solution is going for a simple terracotta pot and decorating it yourself.
Just remember – the weather in Pennsylvania gets pretty cold in the winter, and the heaters crank up around then too. I have noticed this can be a challenge for my plants. Even though I would love to start growing a palm tree in the room, it is simply not practical. Also, be mindful of your roommates and how much space the plants take up. With all of that said, I hope you have fun starting your college dorm garden!