How to take care of your low maintenance house plants

Mally Nichols, Reporter

For college students, it can be a struggle when housing options are not pet friendly or when you simply can’t afford the time or money to get a pet. Fortunately, many students find that buying plants is an easy alternative to adopting a pet, but how do you effectively care for a plant?

Image courtesy of Tucker Good.

The best thing for college students, as a rule of thumb, is to pick out a low maintenance house plant. This way, during the week when your schedule is getting a little tight, you don’t have to worry about doing an extensive care routine for your plant pal. 

When it comes to low maintenance plants, one of the most popular options is a succulent. You can find a succulent for a decent price at Lowe’s or even Walmart. Most of the ones they have are under $5.

Be aware that the succulents you’re looking for are specifically in the garden section. Otherwise, you may end up with a decorative faux succulent.

Now that you have your new house plant, how do you go about the maintenance and care of a succulent? Well, it’s simple. These plants are easy to care for and only need attention occasionally. Here are some things you may need when parenting a succulent:

  1. Space with light – Succulents need a good amount of daily sunlight, up to 6 hours at least just to keep them happy and thriving.
  2. Water – These plants require more water in summer and spring months, but  require less in the winter. Keep in mind that overwatering is bad for your succulent and may kill it, so research the amount of water you’ll need for your plant species. Make sure that you water the soil directly rather than the plant.
  3. A container with drainage – A succulent does not like to swim, so the container or pot you place it in should have somewhere for excess water to escape to. 
  4. The right soil – Succulents also need soil that drains well. Water can’t escape if the soil isn’t right. So, for these little plants, cactus soil or regular potting soil mixed with sand are the best two options for potting. 

It’s also important to keep your plant clean and to be gentle with the roots when repotting. When watering, rotate your succulent to keep sunlight exposure even across the entire plant. 

With all these tips and materials, you should be well on your way to caring for a succulent- or two, or three. Good luck and happy planting!


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