Houseplants are one of the best ways to brighten up a dull student flat. They provide big bursts of colour and fill awkward spaces, but they have so many other benefits too. They purify your air and genuinely benefit your mental health because you get the joy of watching them grow, as well as the stability that comes with the routine of caring for them (yes you do have to open your curtains). Whether you have just a few or a small jungle like me, houseplants are something every student should have.
My top 5 student plants
- Spider plants – they are one of the hardiest plants you can buy as they thrive even if a little neglected. Best of all, they grow baby plants from the main plant so you can give these babies away to friends and flatmates (or grow a spider plant empire). They prefer indirect light and only need watered when the soil feels dry to the touch, but they’ll cope with being watered around once a week.
- Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant) – my Monstera is by far my favourite plant, its leaves are so beautiful and it is so satisfying to watch it grow. This is a larger plant but definitely worth the space for the aesthetic of the lovely holey leaves alone. Monsteras prefer indirect light and should only be watered when the soil feels dry, but you should also occasionally give the leaves a mist and wipe down to remove any lingering dust.
- Sansevieria (Snake Plant) – a perfect student plant because it is so pretty and it thrives on neglect. They also are one of the best air purifiers, which is important because they’ll keep your room fresh and help you sleep. Sanseviera will cope in any light and also only require watering whenever you remember, so they are basically impossible to kill.
- Peace Lilies – for those who like more floral plants, peace lilies are great because they bloom throughout the year and are also very good at showing you what they need. If the leaves droop then the plant needs more water, and if the leaves brown at the tips then they are getting too much sun. Keep the plant in indirect light and water around once a week.
- Jade plant (Money plant) – According to Chinese mythology, if you keep and care for a jade plant then you will never be poor, which is something that every student needs. Jade plants are part of the succulent family so they rarely require watering; only water when the soil is completely dry and keep them in a bright sunny spot.
Where to buy plants in the West End
The two best plant shops in the West End are Roots, Fruits and Flowers (451 Great Western Road, G12 8HH) and Blooms (182 Dumbarton Rd, G11 6XE). They have a massive variety of houseplants at fairly affordable prices and the people working at the stores are all very knowledgeable and will give you excellent plant-care advice.
If you are looking for somewhere a little more affordable, check out the supermarkets near you – Maryhill Tesco always has an excellent selection of succulents and Partick Morrison’s usually has more exotic plants and flowers, and they also have super cute pots too.
Finally, keep your eye out for plant fairs/sales around the west end. During freshers week, the QMU is hosting its very own houseplant sale – come check out the massive variety of plants on the 18th to the 20th, outside the QMU. The Botanics also regularly host cacti/plant sales with dates advertised on big white signs outside the gardens, so you can get a fun new plant and support the beautiful Botanics at the same time.
[Chris Timmins – he/him – @_plantbot]
[Photo credit: BestAl Assistant/flickr.com]