Flowers are blooming, trees are coming back to life, the sun is coming out from hiding and some students are growing tiny gardens in their dorm room. Life is blooming again. Plants bring happiness to students in their home away from home.
Psychology Today published a study that proved the benefits of growing plants indoors, which include improved concentration, better air quality and less anxiety.
“Scientific research tells us that green leafy plants help boost our mood,” the website said. “If there are nearby plants, we also seem to get along better with others. The presence of green leafy plants has also been linked to enhanced creative thinking.”
Junior Julia Hensley calls her room “The Greenhouse” because she has over 15 different kinds of plants including golden pothos, a snake plant, an elephant ear, rosemary, basil, mint and others. Hensley says the greenery adds a liveliness to the room and brings happiness to her and her roommate.
“I can still remember my first plant was a small pothos plant which I still have today as a junior. It is probably four times the size it was my freshman year,” Hensley said. “That one is special to me because as I have grown in college, it has too.”
Hensley said growing plants and learning to take care of them has taught her some life lessons.
“Growing plants has taught me many things, from responsibility to just expanding my knowledge about different kinds of plants and the different care they require,” Hensley said. “It is easy to get in the routine of school and work, but adding something that I love to do, like care for plants, in my routine is refreshing and gives me joy.”
Freshmen Hannah Wright and her roommate, Kara Sencer, have a total of 45 plants together, including succulents and houseplants. They hope to start growing herbs and a lemon tree plant soon. Wright was inspired to grow plants in her dorm room after being with her grandmother who had a sunroom, which provided the opportunity to grow plants. Wright came to college with all of her plants from back home.
“I want more plants, but we do not really have the space for them,” Wright said. “I’ll continue doing this when I graduate. I’ll probably start my own herb garden and vegetable garden outside.”
Juniors Jackson Acuff and Royce Daye decided to start growing cilantro and peppers to use for cooking.
“I wanted to grow these plants because I enjoy gardening and it’s also cheaper than buying it in a store,” Acuff said. “You’re starting a life, and it’s fun to see it grow and sprout up.”
Daye was inspired to start a tiny garden in his room after he saw his mother’s success at gardening back home.
“My mom inspired me to garden because she has a really green thumb,” Daye said. “I have learned a lot about delayed gratification and patience. I want the plants to grow so fast because I’m excited to see [them] sprout. But I have to wait, and it will be worth it in the long run.”
Owning houseplants has become more and more trendy over the past few years, and Harding students have embraced the trend and experienced the benefits that come with nurturing a plant.