Senior Samantha Shepherd has been a plant mom for two and a half years, and she owns 37 plants, including seven avocados, 17 succulents and three mystery plants. She said she has a special place in her heart for her avocados.
Tips and Tricks:
- Learn about your plants. Do some research and find out what makes those little guys thrive. Every plant is different in terms of water needs, preferred sunlight, humidity, container size and love.
- Use cactus soil for your succulents. It helps with drainage and is available at any Walmart or Lowe’s.
- If you are going to be creative with how you pot your plants, make sure the soil can drain. Create drainage holes or use small clean rocks below the soil.
- If you see white fuzz forming on the top of your soil, don’t worry, it is just mealybugs. You can get rid of them by mixing one part rubbing alcohol with four parts water and spritz on the infected area daily.
- When taking your plants home for the summer, make sure they are secure during the ride home.
- Purchase a water meter to prevent over watering. You can find them on Amazon for less than $15.
- If you over watered your plant, remove it from the dirt immediately and let it air out for a day, then replant it in dry soil. If the roots are already experiencing root rot, cut off the affected roots, lay the plant out and spritz it with a rubbing alcohol-water solution to kill any bacteria. Dispose of the dirt and wash out the pot completely with soap and water. Repot with dry soil.
- If your dorm room has bad lighting, don’t get a plant that needs a lot of sun. It will die. Respect the plant and don’t put it through the stress just because you thought you knew better than the plants.
- House plants don’t need fertilizer like outdoor plants do. If you feel the need to fertilize, wait until spring or fall. Better yet, you can simply repot with fresh soil; it will have all the nutrients the plant needs.
Good Beginner Plants:
Beans, avocado, snake plant, spider plant, haworthia (zebra cactus), aloe vera, cactus, lucky bamboo and purple heart plants.