With the start of a new semester, some of you may be in a dorm room, off-campus housing or maybe you will be attending classes from home with your parents in the room next door. With COVID-19 continuing to influence our everyday routines, our new reality of the college lifestyle has changed dramatically. What can we do, but make the best of it? Making your bedroom or office area into a space that you enjoy while promoting productivity can greatly impact your path to success as you take on remote classes. One of my favorite things to include in my everyday spaces is a great reminder to indulge in self-care and remind myself to stop and breathe because just like us, they need it too. That is plants!
One of the most essential functions of any kind of plant is their ability to improve air quality. In their process of photosynthesis, plants are able to generate their own nutrients from water and absorb carbon dioxide from the air. During this process, they produce fresh oxygen back into your room for better air quality and boost your mood. Plants have also been known to reduce stress and fatigue and lessen the chance of your catching a cold or sore throat. With all of the wonderful advantages plants can bring, why wouldn’t you want to adopt a new plant friend?
Plants are living organisms and require care and nurturing too. While they definitely are less maintenance than a puppy or kitten, they still need attention and love in order to grow. While all plants require soil and consistent water throughout their lifetime, each plant species requires its own unique soil and watering routine. Access to sunlight will also determine the species of plants that will survive and thrive within your living space. Taking care of a plant is a responsibility. It is highly recommended to search what kind of plant species would thrive within your personal living spaces. For example, my bedroom does not get a lot of natural sunlight, therefore I would most likely want to get plants that can survive in a low light environment.
Pick Your Plant
As we discussed before, each plant is special in its own way. If you are a first-time plant owner or are looking to become one, you want to start with a houseplant that naturally requires little attention. An easy-going plant will allow you to make that smooth transition into being a plant parent. Some popular plants for beginners include Philodendron Green, Golden Pothos Vine, Snake Plant, Succulents and Cacti.
Don’t be fooled. Even the easiest plants can have a short life if you do not make time to nurture their growth. Once you have built the confidence to adopt new and adventurous plant species, you can bring so much vibrant life into your home. Some plant species that require extra attention include a Croton, Elephant’s Ear, Ferns, Fiddle Leaf Fig, Palm plants, and more. If you have the patience and love to share, these plants will not disappoint.
Nothing makes me happier than when I walk into a room full of life. Creating a green space that not only is aesthetically pleasing but also encourages a care-full and nurturing environment. With the hope that your journey to plant parenthood will bring about relaxation and increase your self-esteem, you can start this new semester on a track toward success. No matter what your situation may be, this pandemic has brought unexpected changes and new opportunities. Why not adopt a new green friend to keep you company.
Xx, Gillian Hamilton
SUNY New Paltz, Sigma Delta Tau