When leaves fall…go green inside

Pamela Crimbchin

Green summer leaves are turning to brilliant shades of red and orange as summer fades into fall. But that doesn’t mean green has to be gone from residence halls and apartments.

“I just think the more plants, the better,” horticulture faculty director Christopher Rizzo said.

Here are some plants that will do well during the colder seasons and keep the scenery of summer alive.

A.) Snake plants

Cost- $6-$10

Snake plants need light shade to full sun. When watering they can be drenched and then left to dry.

“Those you see sitting in pots in windows of storefronts that look like they’ve been neglected for hundreds of years,” Miller said. “If that tells you anything, they survive just about everything . It’s very hard to kill those.”

The snake plant can bloom, but it probably won’t in a residence hall or apartment.

“They’ll bloom in the greenhouse, but they need a lot of light,” Rizzo said. “They have a nice spike of tiny little yellow flowers.”

B.) Philodendrons

Cost- $5-20 (The cost depends on the kind of Philodendron plant.)

There are many different types of Philodendrons. Philodendrons are good for residence halls and apartments because they survive in little light and can be durable in varying water conditions.

“They survive if you forget to water them or if you over water them,” Miller said.

Philodendrons can come in all sizes and shapes. Some of them can even climb up tree trunks.

C.) Venus Flytraps

Cost $5-15

For those looking to grow a little more exotic plant, the Venus Flytrap is also capable of living in a residence hall or apartment, although caring for them requires a little more work.

Rizzo said the plant should be kept in a jar where moisture is present at all times.

Also, the Venus Flytrap is extremely sensitive to salt. Therefore, owners must keep the jar moist with either distilled water or rainwater.

The plant must also be in as much direct sunlight as possible during the day.

Although it is carnivorous, the plant can also feed off of small insects like houseflies.

Rizzo said the Venus Flytrap can also be fed small pieces of ground beef.

Christmas cactus & Easter cactus

Cost- $6-$10

The Christmas and Easter cacti are named for the seasons when they’re expected to bloom. These plants are great for the colder season, as cacti require a cool, dark two-month period to bloom properly.

“If you can chill them for a number of months and keep them out of bright light, you’ll get really nice flowers,” Rizzo said.

However, if the cacti are having trouble flowering, it may result from other factors, such as fertilization. Rizzo suggested keeping them a little dryer and out of bright light.

Even without flowers, the cacti are still decorative and convenient for growing in residence halls.

“It’s pretty easy to keep those, and they can stay in a relatively small container,” Miller said.

Why have plants?

Sure plants can take a lot of work, but the benefits of having a small slice of life in a room are numerous.

Plants are said to bring happiness to a room, especially during the darker winter months.

“They’ve done studies where people’s spirits definitely do increase when there’s plants around and sunlight,” Rizzo said. “Since the plants need the sunlight, I think the two are a good combination.”

Also, NASA research has shown that some plants are able to clean the air from pollutants.

“They really do pull out chemical pollutants, and of course they refresh the air,” said Claudia Miller of Stow-Kent Physical Therapy, who is studying to become a master gardener through The Ohio State University Extension. “So it’s good to have plants in the house.”