10 Great Houseplants for Dorm Rooms

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Houseplants are a great way of adding life to rooms without having to spend much money. The plants I’ve listed are just…chill.

They can all be watered with tap water (unless you have horrifically bad tap water), they prefer bright, indirect light but will do just fine in medium light, and they don’t have fancy humidity or soil requirements.

Put them as near to a window as you can and check the soil every week with your finger. If it’s dry, water it.


Monstera are a great option because they’re really easy to care for, but look good. The only problem with them is that they can get big – but you can always chop them back.

Putting them on a little dolly as shown in the picture is a great idea, because it makes them super easy to move them around.

Put them in as bright light as possible, but they’re tolerant of a range of light levels. Water when the soil is dry, and dust the leaves whenever you remember (or take it for a shower)

Golden Pothos

More light can result in bigger, faster growth, but Pothos are renowned for its ‘just put me anywhere’ attitude. Like Monstera, give it as much light as you can, and water when the soil’s dry. They will trail or climb, and you can trim back any unwieldy vines.

ZZ plant

It’s a myth that ZZs don’t need light – mine actually grows best in bright indirect light, but they’re also very forgiving of…most things. If you think you’ll forget to water then ZZ plants are a great option because they have tubers below that soil that store water.

Again, water when the soil is dry.

Rhaphidophora decursiva

Rhaphidophora decursivas look quite similar to Monstera with their fenestrated leaves, and they’re just as easy to look after. Give it a pole to climb and it’ll grow big and beautiful in no time.

pilea peperomioides

Peperomia peperomioides

If you have a spot near to a window, Peperomia peperomioides are a great option for dorms. They’re quick growing, and get very bushy and full, but don’t climb like Monsteras or Rhaphidophoras. They’re also quite unusual whilst also being super common and cheap. I know that sounds contradictory, but they’re a plant that’s really common amongst planty people, but people who aren’t into plants are always intrigued by them.

Again, water when the soil’s dry.

Rubber plant

Rubber plants are cheap and easy to care for, but add structure and life to dorm rooms, which are often a bit cold and barren. They are trees, so can grow freaking huge, but if you chop them back they’ll branch and become fuller over time. They’re pretty slow-growing, so by the time they’ve outgrown your room you’ll be moving on anyway!

Dracaena marginata

Dracaena are great options for bare corners or rooms that just seem a bit bare. They’re happy in a variety of lights, though grow faster and bushier in brighter light. They’re a great option for a first plant because they’re not particularly prone to pests and they’re very forgiving of both under and over watering.


Schefflera are great for adding soft texture to a room but because they tend to grow up like a tree, rather than sprawling everywhere, they don’t take up a tonne of room.

Philodendron pink princess

I mean, it’s a plant with pink patches. They’re just very popular and everyone will want to be your friend (I assume. It’s been a long time since I was in school). They’re also pretty easy to care for.

Phalaenopsis orchid

I never used to recommend orchids because I thought they were too hard to care for but I’ve cracked it! You just need to remove all of the substrate, stick it in a glass jar and fill the jar up with water once a week then tip it out an hour later. Get some orchid fertiliser and spray the plant after watering.

Orchids are a great option for dorms because they’re quite compact but when in bloom look stunning. The only issue is that the leaves get dusty quickly. they like filtered light, so a few feet away from a window is fine.

Final thoughts

When I recommend plants for dorm rooms, I’m primarily thinking of plants that won’t add more to your workload. Plants that can add a bit of comfort to your life, not add more hassle.

I really summed and ahhed about peace lilies. I love them and find them easy to care for but there are just too many people complaining about them on Facebook. I don’t want to land you with a problem child.

I also think Hoyas are a great option, because they deal well with drought, but they also like high humidity. Succulents are fine if you have a lot of light, but soon get spindly and sad if you don’t.

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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