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Low-maintenance plants to 'spruce' up your space

If you’re new to plant parenthood or just looking for a plant, these easy and durable plants may be the perfect choice for you! – Photo by Margarita Terekhova / Unsplash

Looking to add a little life to your residence hall decor? Getting a houseplant or two can be a great way to make your space feel more homey and add a pop of color to your basic white and beige room.

And if you're a first-time plant parent, don't be too intimidated. There are plenty of plants that are great for residence hall settings and have easy care routines — here are some of the best options.


Succulents are a classic family of beginner plants. These durable, low-water plants include aloe, cacti and more. Generally, they love getting lots of sunlight and don't need to be watered often, so you can likely just leave them on your windowsill, and they should fare well. Due to their infrequent watering needs, succulents are forgiving plants to help you get used to a watering schedule.

The primary challenge with succulent plants is making sure you plant them in the right potting soil. Regular soil won't allow them to drain water as much as they need, which can cause problems for the plant's overall health. If you plan to get a succulent and need to plant it yourself or transfer it to a new pot, make sure you pick up fast-draining soil that keeps the plant alive and healthy.

Snake plant

Snake plants are unique-looking, durable plants that prefer being indoors. They need to be watered more often than succulents but still less than more sensitive plants, making these another great option for beginners. They also do well in both high- and low-light conditions, making them a great choice for any residence hall. 

Just like succulents, snake plants do better with fast-draining potting soil, so keep this in mind if you decide to care for one!

Pothos plants

Pothos are a group of elegant plants that make a beautiful addition to any indoor garden. They grow trailing, heart-shaped leaves and can be displayed on a windowsill or even in a hanging pot. They do well in bright light but can also adapt to low-level lighting conditions.

A challenge that comes with pothos plants is actually how fast they can grow. They can grow 12 to 18 inches a month (though I've found my own pothos plants grow at a slower pace than this). With this potential for rapid growth, they may need to be repotted more than other types of plants.

Spider plants

Spider plants are a tough and popular kind of houseplant that can grow in various conditions. They can be put on the windowsill or in a hanging pot and survive inconsistent watering.

If you're only looking to start with one plant, a spider plant is a great choice. These plants occasionally grow long, flowering stems that allow you to propagate and grow new spider plants. Like pothos, these plants can grow fairly quickly, so it's important to ensure they're given enough space so their leaves don't get crushed or broken.

While there are tons of different kinds of plants to choose from when it comes to decorating your living space, this list is a great place to start if you need some guidance on what kind of plant can survive the unpredictable circumstances that come with college life. I've personally taken care of each of these kinds of plants and found that they all survive well in my residence hall, so I hope you have the same luck!

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