The 10 Best Plants for a Dorm Room

Looking to spruce up your dorm room? Try these 10 easy-to-grow houseplants.

Dorm room desk with open laptop surrounded by plants and decor

The Spruce / Krystal Slagle

When it comes to decorating your dorm room, adding plants is a great way to bring some color and life to the space. Not only are houseplants great for sprucing up your decor, but plants are known to help increase productivity, lift your mood, and even purify the air. However, not all houseplants are well-suited for dorm rooms. Busy college life means that low-maintenance houseplants are usually best—you don't want plants dying on you because you don't have the time to take care of them!

That being said, here are 10 easy-to-care-for houseplants that are perfect for any dorm room.

  • 01 of 10

    Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

    Close up of three lucky bamboo stalks against a white background.

     Duaa Awchi / EyeEm

    Lucky bamboo is nearly indestructible. It can either be grown in water with decorative rocks or in soil. Place your lucky bamboo in a location that receives bright to low light, and change the water every couple of weeks to prevent algae growth.

    • Light: Bright to low light.
    • Water: Grows in water.
  • 02 of 10


    Overhead view of a Hoya krohniana in a black pot on a white background.

     Alohapatty / Getty Images

    Hoya is a large genus of about 200-300 species that are characterized by their waxy leaves and stunning, aromatic flowers. While they require a fair amount of light in order to thrive, hoyas are hardy plants that can withstand a little neglect. Most species of hoya are known for being drought-tolerant.

    • Light: Bright indirect light to full sun.
    • Water: Water when the soil is fully dry.
  • 03 of 10


    Four Echeveria succulents from an overhead view.

     The Spruce / Cori Sears

    If you are looking for a small, attractive plant that you can set and forget—succulents are the perfect choice for you. In order to grow healthy succulents, you will need a window that receives full sun, or you can set up a small grow light. Succulents do not require very much water so they can survive an exam season without being watered. Plus, there are hundreds of different succulents to choose from! Just remember: good drainage is a must for succulents.

    • Light: Full sun.
    • Water: Water once the soil is fully dry.
  • 04 of 10

    Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

    A snake plant sits in a wicker basket in front of a white wall.

     The Spruce / Cori Sears

    Low water—snake plants are the ultimate low-maintenance plant. While they are slow-growing, they are also pretty hard to kill. Place it in bright, indirect light for best growth. Snake plants come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, so you can find a variety that matches your personal style and preferences!

    • Light: Bright, indirect light.
    • Water: Water once the soil is fully dry.
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

    Close up shot of a ZZ plant (Zanzibar Gem) leaves in front of a mirror.

    FeelPic | Getty Images


    ZZ plants grow well in low-light which makes them perfect for dark dorm rooms. They also require very little water as they grow from rhizomes that store water and nutrients under the soil for weeks to months at a time.

    Mature ZZ plants can get as large as five feet tall, but they usually top out at about 2-3 feet indoors. Don't worry though, these tropical plants are slow-growing so you won't need to worry about them outgrowing your space any time soon!

    • Light: Bright to low light.
    • Water: Water sparingly.
  • 06 of 10


    A trailing pothos with new growth at the end.

     The Spruce / Cori Sears

    Pothos are some of the most popular houseplants and for good reason. These attractive trailing plants are extremely low-maintenance and resilient, and they come in lots of different colors. They thrive in a variety of different light conditions, from low-light to full sun, and they are highly drought-tolerant.

    While pothos technically can flower, it is difficult to get them to flower indoors so they are primarily enjoyed for their foliage. Choose a hanging planter or place your pothos on a shelf to show off its attractive hanging vines.

    • Light: Bright to low light
    • Water: Water once the top inch of soil feels dry.
  • 07 of 10

    Heart Leaf Philodendron

    A close up shot of a new pothos leaf emerging from a cataphyl.

     The Spruce / Cori Sears

    Philodendron is a large genus of flowering foliage plants that are very popular as houseplants, thanks to their low-maintenance nature. They do well in locations with low-light and are drought-tolerant.

    Varieties such as the Philodendron Brasil (Philodendron hederaceum 'Brasil') and the velvet-leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum 'Micans') are great choices for any dorm room.

    • Light: Bright to low light
    • Water: Water once the top inch of soil feels dry.
  • 08 of 10


    A close up shot of a green and red bright bromeliad.

     Daniela Duncan / Getty Images

    Bromeliads are low-maintenance houseplants that come in a variety of stunning colors and textures. They are fantastic foliage plants, and although they do flower - it is often difficult to get them to do so indoors.

    Place your bromeliad in front of a window that receives bright, indirect light and it will be happy. Avoid direct sun as this will cause the leaves to burn. Bromeliads are also known to be drought-tolerant and shouldn't need more than one watering a week.

    • Light: Bright, indirect light.
    • Water: Water when top inch of soil feels dry
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Aloe Vera

    A bright aloe vera in a white pot in front of a sunny window.

     Emilija Manevska / Getty Images

    Aloe vera plants are technically succulents but deserve a mention of their own. These attractive plants are easy to grow and care for and can adapt well to a variety of different lighting conditions. Generally, they should be provided with moderate to direct light if possible.

    Aloe vera is drought-tolerant and does not need to be watered regularly. In fact, overwatering can quickly lead to root rot, so ensure that the soil is fully dry before watering. Plus, the juice from the leaves of aloe vera plants can be applied topically to treat burns and scrapes on the skin!

    • Light: Medium to direct.
    • Water: Water once the soil is fully dry.
  • 10 of 10

    Money Tree (Pachira aquatica)

    A close up shot of Guiana Chestnut leaves.

     The Spruce / Cori Sears

    If you are looking for a larger statement plant, Pachira aquatica, commonly known as the "money tree" or "Guiana chestnut" is a great choice. Frequently sold with braided trunks, money trees are considered one of the easiest indoor trees to grow.

    Place your money tree in a location that receives bright, indirect light and water when the top 2-4 inches of soil are dry. If you are prone to over-watering, money trees are a great option as they are fairly immune to overwatering.

    • Light: Bright, indirect light.
    • Water: Water when the top 2-4 inches of soil is dry.
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  1. References

    Lohr, V. I. (2010). What are the benefits of plants indoors and why do we respond positively to them? Acta Horticulturae881, 675–682.