Good plant for a dorm room

I’ve decided to add a plant to my dorm room. I’m pretty excited about it; I even did some cleaning so I’d have a clear shelf.
What’s a good plant to keep in a dorm room? That is, a good, hardy, pretty plant? By the way, this is Minnesota, so something that could survive the journey from wherever I buy it back to campus would be good, too.

i find the philodendron (sp?) to be a plant that can take a lot of abuse. it can dangle ever so nicely, or be looped around, and around. you can cut bits of it off to grow elsewhere.

you can get it in basic green or varigated. lovely little heart shaped leaves. they are rather cheap and plentiful. when you buy a plant also pick up a planter in a size or two bigger than what it came in, so you can transfer him.

mine is in a friends big tea cup and saucer.

i recommend an aloe plant - they are nice and sturdy, dont need much water, and are perfectly happy to grow quietly on the windowsill. trey (my aloe) has been with me for (knock on wood) two and a half years.

plus, PLUS, PLUS! aloes are a medicine chest in a pot, and are prunable in the case of minor cuts and burns. always useful when you have been cooking drunk at 3 a.m. and accidentally touch the stove, or whatever.

Spider plants. Not sure what their “technical” name is, but I have never met a single person who could kill a spider plant!

Which way does the window face?

I found that any variety of Cannabis was popular with my dorm mates.

For me: nothing. I was able to pass a good deal of time without murdering a particular aloe plant, but it too eventually succumbed. I’m just a black thumb, I guess. :frowning:

Bamboo seems to grow pretty well and needs little watering, but it does need some sunlight. I haven’t killed one yet, and I don’t water 'em much and keep 'em in rock gravel.

I second the philodendron. I’m very bad with plants, and I’ve hurt these (badly sunburning them, for example), but never managed to kill one. I took care of a friend’s philod. over the summer once and dumped my coffee grounds in it and it absolutely thrived, for some reason.

I third the philodendron.

Pothos also seem to thrive on neglect. And put them up high with those vines dangling…you won’t believe how long those suckers can get.

I’ve had tremendous success with spider plants, too. Extremely forgiving, easy to propogate. You can just plant the little mini-plants that grow on the shooters, or you can rip the whole thing out of the pot, hack the root ball in two, and repot each half. The plant will barely skip a beat. The all-green type is better than the variegated, in my expereince. The variegated (striped leaves)is a little less hardy, and also tends to leave sap.

Finally, a peace lily is a nice plant. It blooms occasionally, and wilts to let you know it needs water. Water a wilted one, and within two hours it’s back to its sassy self.

How about growing some weed? I could never do this, i killed a cactus in my dorm room in a month. It is still sitting on my desk. Can you say lazy sack of…?

definately PLASTIC. That is all I was ever able to keep looking good for more than I week.

I would second the peace lily idea as well. My husband moved his one January. All the leaves on it froze and died. He left it in front of the window anyway, and the thing came back from the dead and is still alive four years later. (All his other plants stayed dead.) It’s not nearly as cold this year–the thing probably wouldn’t even freeze. It also supposedly purifies the air, and the flowers are pretty.

Another vote for philodendren and aloe plants.

And Christmas cactus. I just watered mine, still alive, blooming and thriving 30 years after I bought it as a tiny nubbin at grocery store in San Antonio. It’s moved with me all over hell and gone and still going strong. It doesn’t bloom constantly but when it does…wow.

Or if have a place w/ strong, indirect light and away from foot traffic, a Norfolk Island Pine. They’re soft, gorgeous forgiving plants.

And African violets. One–white flowers–my grandmother grew. Get a wide plastic “drip pan”, a ceramic pot (the leaves droop; otherwise rub the rims of clay pots w/ candle wax), water once a week and they bloom their hearts out. (Feeding is a few drops in the water once in a while; no problem.) I have 'em from deep purple/blue flowers, ruffled white edges, soft pink, etc. The blooms are beautiful and the leaves are fuzzy kitten-soft. Just pick off the dead leaves and blooms once in a while. Very low maintenace and high reward.


This is the same plant my mother suggested!
Thanks for the advice; I think I’m going toward the philodendren or spider plant, but only because I’d have to keep cannabis in my closet :). I’ll have to check out the selection at the place I go to.

Well, I may not be the best person to give plant advice (I have a palm tree in my living room that’s been dead for 5 years), but here’s my nomination: The Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elator). From the Plant-Care pages:

"ASPIDISTA will also:

  • Tolerate dust as well as heat, cold, wet soil, drought, neglect and dimly lighted places.
  • Tolerate temperatures as low as 28 degrees without injury to the foliage.
  • Tolerate light levels as low as 10 foot candles
  • Make a great addition to cut flower arrangements; the foliage often lasts for weeks.
  • Generally Pest Free."

And another vote for philodendrons. I have pothos growing all over my office (in dirt, in water and even as an aquarium plant completely submerged). Their tendrils will grow along walls if you give them support. Very nice.

Latin names of the plants you guys suggested (it’s easier to find them this way)

Peace Lily - Spathiphyllum.Pretty easy to grow. I have one myself. Very nice, and lets you know when it needs water (leaves will sag, and lose form). It’s about the only indoor plant that will readily bloom (the flowerinflorescence and bract look something like a white anthurium). The leaves are also a beautiful dark green, and shiny as well.

Spider plant - Chlorophytum comosum. Needs a fully lighted window.

I suggest Chamaedorea seifrizii (Bamboo Palm). It can take temps down to 28 degrees so it should stand your car ride. It’s a wonderful palm. It clusters so you get trunks of varying heights. It’s also slow growing, and would take years for it to outgrow your room (it gets to 8 - 10 feet). It’s also pretty drought tolerant. I’ve let mine go for much longer than I should (leaves starting to shrivel in the stems a bit), but it’s still surviving for me (i’ve had it for almost 5 years now). It’s a nice vertical plant, and one that doesnt mind being moved around. Looks best in a chinese style pot (i think).

And the “bamboo” that ssskuggiii suggested actually sounds more like a species of dracena. (I’ve seen this in China Town in San Francisco. I might be wrong, but her description of its cultivation sounds like one). All the bamboo i’ve seen needs actual soil and would dry out too fast in just rock and gravel (or rot with water in it). However, bamboos do do well in pots, and i myself have one in a small pot in the kitchen (clipping it will give you a more fuller effect, and you can shape up the plant. It already has some new shoots coming out. But, they need a lot of light. Fortunately it gets light from the kitchen window and the livingroom window.

A final choice is Aglaonema modestum, or Chinese Evergreen. This plant is probably the most tolerant houseplant of low light conditions. The leaves are 1 1/2 feet long, and a shiny dark green. They form stems about 2 - 3 feet high.

Pizza fungus.

I’d recommend a cactus. They thrive on extreme neglect - they practically require it. I’ve killed every plant I’ve ever had except for a cactus I bought in my sophomore year at college. 8 years later, it’s tripled it’s size and is still going strong.