Tiny Plants to Fit in Your Dorm

By Kaitlin Hurtado on October 12, 2019

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Most dorm rooms come fully-furnished. While that may be perfect for your budget, it may not be so perfect when you are stuck with a cookie-cutter dorm room that everyone else on your floor has. Have no fear, however, because there are plenty of ways that you can spruce up your dorm room. You don’t need to worry about breaking your bank in order to make your dorm room feel more like home — it can be as simple as adding up a few decorations and a plant or two.

Have a green thumb? Perfect. Don’t have a green thumb? Fret not, there are plenty of plants out there for the inexperienced.  Here’s a list of tiny plants that can be the perfect addition to your dorm room with some tips on how to take care of them.

Photo: pixabay

Cacti and Succulents.

Depending on where you live, you may see plenty of cacti and succulents out and about in the natural landscape. While those may seem towering or sprawling,  you can shop at your local nursery or gardening center for their miniature-sized versions. The beauty of cacti is that there are so many to choose from depending on the look or color scheme you are going for. You can get a single round, prickly sphere like a Golden Barrel, or you can get one that has a little more character, like a Lady Fingers cactus. Some may be harder to get than others, however, so if you want to save money, it’s best to stay local to the plants that are readily available at your local gardening center.

Prices range on the type, as some are rarer than others, but prices usually reflect the size of cactus or succulent you are buying. A smaller 1-inch cactus usually goes for a few dollars, while a 4-inch one could be closer to ten dollars depending on where you are shopping. Succulents are rather easy to care for, with the easiest usually being Jade or Crown of Thorns. If you are considering getting cacti or succulents for your dorm room, consider the amount of light your dorm room gets.

While cacti and succulents require very little care, they do need plenty of sunlight in order for them to fully thrive. They do best with at least four hours of direct sunlight so if you have a room that lacks natural lighting, cacti and succulents may not be the plants for your dorm room. When it comes to water, take care not to overwater your cacti and succulents. They don’t need a lot of water, so make sure that you plant them in well-draining soil and a pot there is a drainage hole so that they are not sitting in soggy soil — it’ll lead to some unpleasant rotting.


Pothos may be the perfect plant for your dorm room for many reasons. For one, they do like natural and bright light but can do perfectly fine in dimmer lighting or fluorescent lighting (like the ones found in your dorm room!). Another reason that they make the perfect dorm room plant is that they are relatively easy to keep small or grow.

Regularly keeping up with trimming can keep your pothos from going to big, but if you want to, letting it grow can leave you with a sprawling or hanging plant. Have a high shelf? Your pothos will look perfect draping down it. They are toxic when ingested, but that shouldn’t be a problem as most dorm rooms do not allow pets.

Spider Plants.

Dorm rooms can easily get stuffy, even a bit smelly, with how cramped they are. Spider plants are the perfect plant to remedy that problem. They are great out filtering out specific fumes and chemicals in the air, all while offering up their unique look for a cool touch to your dorm room decor.

Like the previously mentioned plants, they are relatively low-maintenance and can thrive even in smaller pots. They can do great in lower temperatures and shady areas – perfect for your dorm room desk that’s tucked away from the window! Make sure to avoid root rot by potting your spider plant in well-draining soil and a pot with a drainage hole.

An Artificial Plant.

Not all of us are born with green thumbs, and that’s perfectly okay. While all these plants are “easy” to care for, you may find yourself with a few pots of dirt and withering leaves. Don’t abandon your hopes of adding some greenery to your dorm room decor after failing to keep a plant alive. You can always go for an artificial plant.

All of the great aesthetic aspects of having a plant in your dorm room without any of the mess – keeping up with a water cycle, spilled potting soil, any pests, and so on. You also won’t ever have to worry about fake plants growing too big for your dorm room.

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By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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