I’m delighted today to feature a guest post by Isy, who’s recently left university. As students will be heading off to study shortly, we thought it would be perfect timing to share some advice if you or someone you know would like to add some greenery to a student bedroom.
Here’s Isy’s story…
A student’s room is often their safe haven away from all the pressures of assessment and coursework deadlines, worries over their bank balance, the state of their kitchen or smell of their fridge. It’s a space which can be their own private sanctuary decorated how they like and often a reminder of their room at home. Early September is the time of year where many students take great time and pride in sculpting their room into their idea of bedroom heaven, whether it be through plenty of plush cushions, photos, candles or fairy lights. However, nothing changes a bland space into a room of life as much as plants.
A trip to Ikea seems to be popular with students who wish to kit out their room with extra lamps or a bedside table. While perusing the store, students should investigate the plants area where they will find a whole range of small potted plants to choose from which are very budget-friendly. I personally wanted succulents and an orchid. I left the shop with an orchid, a cactus, a potted ivy, and a dragon tree (Dracaena marginata). Little did I know, I would bring only 2 out of 4 home with me at the end of the year…
It’s a sad truth that the majority of university students would often let their plants die within a matter of weeks due to negligence, pure laziness or most importantly a lack of knowledge. For me, it was 30% laziness and 70% ignorance. I knew the basics, but unfortunately the basics were not enough to keep my green friends alive. The first to go was the orchid. I think it was a lack of space providing enough air and light to the roots that caused its demise. Second to go was the ivy. And although it put up a valiant fight, its leaves kept turning brown and dropping off. Daily sweeping of the fallen leaves was beyond a student’s commitment. I think its premature death was caused by either drowning it in water or drying the soil out to desert conditions.
The only two survivors were the cactus (practically zero attention needed) and the dragon tree which only needed watering now and then. They proved to be incredibly low maintenance plants and therefore perfect for the average student. Now that we have all survived student life, I vow to reward them for their tenacity with a long life. I’ve had chance to do some proper research and now know how to look after them.
HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR DRAGON TREE
- Place your dragon tree in a light spot, but away from direct sunlight.
- Only water when the compost gets dry and occasionally spray with water.
- Every six weeks in the spring and summer, give it plant food.
HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR CACTUS
- Cacti like to be kept in a warm and light place, and they cope well with direct sunlight too.
- Leave the soil to dry out before watering them and then water moderately. In the winter, give it little or no water.
- During the summer months, add some cactus food.
Other houseplants which are perfect for students are succulents, aloe vera, mother in law’s tongue, peace lilies, bamboo and spider plants. They’re all low-maintenance choices with generally good survival rates!
If you’d like to see more photos of these easy-to-care-for plants, head over to my new Pinterest board – Perfect Houseplants for Students.
P.S. And if you miss the chance to go for a trip to Ikea or a home decorating store, Isy tells me that many universities have flower and plant markets outside their student unions, which tend to be very popular.
(Images : The Joy of Plants)