Plants and Flowers: Dorm-Suitable Flora

Melody Y. Hu

Students browse at the annual Phillips Brooks House Association Plant Sale. Proceeds from the sale will benefit PBHA’s community development work in the Boston and Cambridge areas.

Every year, the Phillip Brooks House Association holds a plant sale outside of Mower through the month of September. Alongside this annual sale, there are a number of florist shops in the area selling plants and flowers year round. With these options at hand, students seeking to add a bit of green, leafy life to their dorms need not look any farther than the Square.

The benefits of keeping a plant in your dorm are varied—they range anywhere from combating the Cambridge pollution to, more realistically, providing that general be-good feeling of having another form of life in your dorm besides a sleeping roommate.

Whether or not the effects on health are actually substantial or just a placebo effect, it can't be denied that plants are a good potential dorm decoration.

Finding a plant that is both hardy and aesthetically pleasing is no challenge. Leafy, non-flowering plants are ideal for most, as they tend to be more durable than plants with blossoms.

According to the Brattle Street Florists and Petali Flowers, two local florist shops, the golden pothos, spider plant, bamboo and fern are all great for people with typical Harvard schedules. They require watering once a week and can grow in low light. As the hardiest of plants, cacti require special mention. As native to barren deserts, they are certainly capable of surviving in a dorm room, providing that you water them every two or three weeks.

For people who want a bit more color besides green in their rooms, there are a few flowering plants that were recommended for dorm life as well. They do require more maintenance than leafy plants, as flowers tend to be fragile, but with regular care these flowers should last you a long time. African violets, orchids, hydrangeas, and jade plants all add a bit of vibrant color to an otherwise lonely windowsill or desk. Provided that you water them once a week and keep them in direct sunlight, they will not quickly wither away.

With all of these options, it may not be a bad idea to add a plant or two to your dorm before winter hits and leaves start to fall.

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