The bright greens of summer are slowly turning to the muted olives and sages of fall. It must be back to school time.

Yelverton-flowers inthe dorm-fbWhether it be dorm, sorority/frat house, apartment or shared house, students across the nation are once again furnishing their home away from home. For the finishing touches, flowers and plants in the decorating scheme can go a long way in keeping the living space cozy, homey and beautiful. Plus, flowers and plants will make your college student work smarter! Texas A&M research demonstrates that idea generation, creative performance and problem solving skills improve substantially in environments that include flowers and plants.

When selecting plants and flowers for your student’s space, factors to consider:

  1. Ease of maintenance (read: takes care of itself)
  2. Low light levels (students are creatures of the night)
  3. Air cleaning abilities (if you have ever been in a dorm room, you will understand)

While finding a plant or flower that meets all of these requirements can be challenging, the following ones will come through with flying colors like a troupe of hyperactive cheerleaders:

  1. 14304639619_0ab3c07622_zAir Plants – tillandsias and related plants are easy to maintain, require no fertilizer, and even if they do die, still look “wicked cool”
  2. Sansevieria – the totally reliable, almost indestructible, and exotic looking “snake plant” can fit the bill easily and has been purported to actually counteract “sick building syndrome”
  3. Pothos – easy to grow, can over time create a veritable jungle of vines that any geeky college guy would find handy from which to hang any number of awkward things. Additionally, they are also called money plant. Not sure why it’s called that, but money, or the lack thereof, is a subject frequently discussed by students.
  4. Philodendron – similar in growth habit to the pothos, but with the added value of actually assisting in removing formaldehyde from the air. Don’t ask, just watch “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

Flowers in the student zone are best left to simple vases of loose stems; simple, effective and affordable. Longer lasting blooms, such as daisies, alstroemeria, carnations, and godetia are perfect choices.

You can also surprise your student with a care package. Call the local florist in the college town to send a gift basket, floral arrangement or blooming plant to make your student smile.