A dorm room-approved guide to taking care of plants

Over summer break, I told my mom I wanted succulents. To put it mildly, I do not have a green thumb, so she was skeptical. I knew I needed something low-maintenance, especially if I was going to keep the plants in my dorm room.

My mom came home one day with three adorable, tiny air plants. Air plants are grasslike plants that are easy to take care of because they are often rootless and absorb water droplets through the air. I was excited because they were the answer to my prayers, but I still wasn’t sure how I would display them in my dorm room. Then, one of my mom’s friends gave me three tiny, terra-cotta pots, and they were the perfect size for my air plants.

I was ecstatic. So, naturally, I placed the plants in the pots and put a name tag on each pot. Their names are Greenie Weenie, Bo and Rudy. Yes, I named them.

I keep them on my windowsill so they get some sun and so the light hits them just right. To care for my air plants, I mist them lightly with a spray bottle once a week. Air plants don’t need dirt, so I just pick them up out of their pots and give them a quick spritz.

We spoke to some Horticulture Club members to gather some tips and tricks for displaying and taking care of your succulents, air plants and cacti — even in the confines of a dorm room.

Start with succulents

Las Vegas senior and horticulture club member Megan Capps recommends succulents for dorm rooms. The horticulture club often sells succulents they keep in their greenhouse, so keep an eye out for plant sales. In the past, the horticulture club has sold plants at Mass Media and Technology Hall, now known as Jody Richards Hall, and other locations.

Known when to water

For cacti and succulents that need dirt, water them when the soil is dry. If they are watered too often, they may rot.

Add sand to the mix

According to Louisville junior and horticulture club president Max Goldstein, adding a 20 to 30 percent sand ratio to your succulents’ potting soil helps with drainage.

Get creative

To spice up your terrariums, Capps suggests adding marbles, glass beads, rocks, green glass pebbles and other materials.

Catch some air

Because air plants don’t need dirt, you can hang them up if you want. Try taking a picture frame or other rectangular frame and string pieces of twine across it. Then, hang air plants on the strings with miniature clothes pins. You can display other items along with your air plants if desired.

Can’t decide what kind of plant to host in your humble abode? Check out our plant generator for help: