Taking Care of Plants in the Dorms

Jehad Al-Hallaq, Staff Reporter

(Photo/ Teen Vogue)

In the isolated environment that the pandemic has created, many have resorted to growing and taking care of different plants in their own rooms, and while it might pose challenges, enthusiasts say it is a worthwhile hobby to have.

Natasha Das, a student at Northwestern University in Qatar and a resident at the Shamali Village girl’s dorm in Education City, started taking care of plants early on in the semester. Das is currently growing an aloe vera plant and a money plant. She started after her mom gifted her some to keep in her dorm room, and she says plants always make the apartment feel “green and calming.”

Similarly, Arya Mainali, another resident of the Shamali Student Housing, started caring for three houseplants in her room a few months ago “Last year during the lockdown, I went back home to Nepal where we started growing plants on our balconies. I didn’t do much then, but I was really inspired to grow plants on my own. I’ve been meaning to do it since my first year, but I guess I never got the motivation until this year,” said Mainali.

The degree of maintenance and prep depends greatly on the type of plant one chooses to take care of. In the case of both Das and Mainali, the house plants they are taking care of require little research, and the effort required to sustain the plants is not out of the ordinary.

“I rely on my brother and YouTube to help me take care of them [plants],” Mainali said. Likewise, Das said her mother gave her specific plants that are sturdy and tough, therefore, taking care of them is not too difficult. “I just water them once a week, and for one plant, it’s twice a week,” she said.

Nevertheless, taking care of and growing plants can be difficult. Some of the challenges Mainali has faced include making sure her plants receive enough sunlight, as her room does not get the required amount. To overcome this challenge, Mainali places one of her plants outside, but this creates another issue for her: “Because [the plant] stays outside on the balcony, I sometimes forget to water it.”

For students who are starting on their plant growing journey, Das recommended making sure “to invest your time in figuring out which plants would match a busy student lifestyle.” She explained that some plants can be very “fussy,” therefore, she advises students to search for tough plants that do not require much work. Das also advises students to see if the apartments get light before starting their plant journey, “there are some plants which require more or less sunlight.”

Mainali recommended that you “always talk to your plants. Always. Sing to them if you can. I usually sing to mine. Plants grow better when you talk to them. Trust me on this.” She added that “if your plants look like they’re about to die, something you’re doing is not working out. ‘Gardener’ on YouTube helps a lot!”

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