Fri. Apr 26th, 2024

House plant week: Meet the plants surviving pretty much anything (even a student house)

By Martine A Hess Jan 12, 2022
Person holding three house plants.According to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, house plants help reduce stress and anxiety. Credit: Jazmin Quaynor/ Unsplash

Whether you are living in a house-share or have recently moved into halls for the first time, there is no denying that spaces occupied by students can usually do with some sprucing up.

The piling dishes, the avoidant landlord, the dreaded silverfish, and the unexplained traffic signs are all predictable. Some would argue they are a significant part of the student experience.

But if you feel like your home deserves a little TLC, why not introduce a touch of green? 

You will be happy to know there are plants that can survive, and even thrive, in the challenging conditions that are student homes.

So now, in honour of house plant week, maybe it is time to clear out the empty Vodka bottles in your window still and replace them with a student-friendly house plant.


The obvious first step on your plant journey is the beloved succulent. They come in many fun shapes and sizes, but importantly, this plant does not require much water – a big bonus when exam stress kicks in and gets in the way of watering routines. As long as you water the soil instead of the leaves (which are prone to rot when in contact with water), you should be more than fine.

Credit: Fabiola Penalba/ Unsplash

Snake plant

Credit: Noyo Creatif/ Unsplash

At first glance, you might think the snake plant is known for its vibrant green, but this plant is particularly popular among new plant owners due to its resilience. It will survive neglect with its leaves held high, and similar to the succulent, it does not require frequent watering. The snake plant also does you the favour of releasing oxygen at night. While it might not block out whatever noise is making its way through the thin walls, it is said to help you drift off to sleep.

Peace lily

The peace lily is a great choice if you are looking for a way to draw a guest’s attention away from the old takeaway boxes or the chair disappearing under a pile of laundry. This elegant plant carries glossy leaves and crispy white “flowers” that are sure to catch the eye. Still not convinced? This plant is often spotted in offices because it can survive fluorescent lights and a lack of windows.

Credit: Sandra Seitamaa/ Unsplash

Devil’s ivy

Credit: Jacob Spaccavento/ Unsplash

Like the plants mentioned above, the Devil’s ivy is very low-maintenance. What sets it apart from the others is that it works well in rooms that lack surface areas. With its long stems, it can easily be hung from the ceiling, draped over the shelf, or rest on the top of the closet. In other words, this plant will not get in the way, even in a budget room. 

Air plant

A little goes a long way, especially when we are talking about plants. As the name suggests, the air plant does not need any soil to grow. However, it is recommended to soak them in water for a few hours every other week. Fear not if you are of the forgetful nature, while assignment Canvas notifications might not be as forgiving, this plant tends to forgive your mishaps. The air plant might be a bit more to handle, but it makes up for it with its incredible shapes. 

Credit: Sarah Bronske/ Unsplash

Now that you have met some of the plants that are the hardest to kill, what is standing in the way of introducing one to your home? Lack of space? Forgetting watering routines? Limited natural light? There is no excuse and your housemates are sure to love you for it.

By Martine A Hess

| News Editor | she/her My areas of interest include LGBTQI issues, photography, and print journalism.

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