By Samantha Douty
The Shorthorn staff

These plants are watered and cared for by physics freshman Taylor Crist.

Crist has owned her plants for years now, and she knew when she moved out for school, she was taking them with her.

“I’ve had them for so long,” she said. “I love my little plants.”

When she moved in, her first concern was whether she would have a window for her leafy friends. Luckily, she said, her dorm has several windows to choose from, but light is still difficult to find.

The windowsill her plants sit on faces the University Center, and a tree blocks it, but Crist has made it work. She rarely moves her plants except for in the winter because the windowsill is right by the heater, she said.

“They were getting a little freaked out,” she said about her plant’s reaction to the heater.

Physics freshman Taylor Crist displays her ivy plant March 20 at inside her dorm at Brazos Hall. The ivy is one of eight plants that Crist is growing in her dorm.

Crist’s plants are well established, and she focuses on watering them for upkeep.

Paula Costa, Calloway’s Nursery assistant manager, said overwatering can be damaging like underwatering plants.

“A lot of people kill houseplants by overwatering,” she said.

The best way to ensure a plant is getting the perfect amount of water is by touching the soil, Costa said. If the soil is dry, the plant needs water. If the soil is wet, watering can wait a day or two.

Choosing which plants to place inside an apartment or dorm depends on the amount of light available. South and southeast facing windows receive more light than north and northeast facing windows, Costa said.

Orchids and other flowering plants need a large amount of sunlight. These flowering plants are brighter in color and need more care, she said.

Low-light plants have larger leaves and are typically green or lighter colored, Costa said. The larger leaves make it easier for them to get more light.

Recently, succulents have become a popular plant, Costa said. Succulents are fleshy plants that retain water and thrive in hot sunny climates.

“Succulents like a lot of light,” Costa said.

She said house plants are difficult to care for because many things can go wrong such as overwatering, underwatering and attracting damaging bugs to the plant.

“A plant is its own living being, and it has its own needs, and sometimes a particular plant is not very well suited for either a particular place or a particular person’s lifestyle,” she said.

Physics freshman Taylor Crist explains the ivy plant she cut in order to grow more stems of the plant March 20 in Brazos Hall. The plant was cut off from one she received after her grandfather’s funeral.

Although it is difficult, people shouldn’t be discouraged from owning plants, Costa said.

“Plants seem to really give a lot of joy,” she said.

Environmental science sophomore Meaghann Obryan has owned her eight plants for about seven months.

She speaks encouraging words to them as they grow and sprout new plants, which she cuts and replants in a new pot.

After Obryan’s first semester and the death of a flowering plant, she decided to try her luck at succulents, which has been successful, she said.

“I kind of like managing ecosystems,” she said.

The plants have a positive effect on Obryan’s mood, and she enjoys caring for her succulents and cacti.

“Homework, like, I have to do, but , like, the plants I choose to take care of,” she said.

@SamanthaDouty
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