May 25, 2024

Plants are part of God’s beautiful creation. They can improve students’ physical, mental and spiritual health, but the real question is how students can bring them into their dorms and enjoy them. 

Dr. Jacob Lanphere, professor of biological science, shared his advice on how students can bring plants into their living space at CBU. Firstly, students should look at the available space they have. Secondly, as the sun is vital for any plant, students should consider how much sunlight there is at the chosen place. They can select a type of house plant from a nursery or Home Depot based on the sunlight. Some plants require more sunlight, some less. Then, choosing a pot is the next step, and you are ready to go.

A plant needs only three things to thrive: water, soil and sunlight. 

“Make sure they get enough water and sunlight, and you will be OK,” encouraged Lanphere.

Lanphere shared that his favorite house plant is ficus bengamina, a type of tree with beautiful green leaves. 

“Green reduces stress, plants give you oxygen and many plants facilitate vapotranspiration, which creates a more humid environment for you,” Lanphere said. 

They also provide emotional benefits, as taking care of something and watching it grow and go through different seasons and cycles is satisfactory.

“Taking care of a plant makes you mindful of God’s beautiful creation and can grow your faith as you experience the beauty firsthand,” Lanphere shared.

Another way to experience the benefits of plants is to visit Lancer Gardens. The garden is near the Colony apartments living area on campus, surrounding the white heritage house. There are more than 20 flowerbeds full of spices, fruits and vegetables. Additionally, trees there produce fruit such as figs, passionfruit and oranges.

“Lancer Farms were established for students to have an outdoor lab activity, appreciate God’s creation, eat healthy food and create biodiversity on campus,” Lanphere said. 

CBU students can learn more about gardening by checking out books from a library, taking classes during the fall and spring semesters, or joining the Botany Club and the Environmental Science Club on campus. The club organized a Valentine’s Day activity, including seeds and love postcards.

Aria Kaiser, sophomore environmental science and president of the Botany Club at CBU, advised  her peers, “Some low maintenance plants that I would recommend to busy college students are succulents, cacti, philodendron and snake plants.” 

She mentioned that her favorites are pothos, snake plants and monstera, which require little water and no direct sunlight.

Kaiser shared that she is captivated by plants “because they brighten any space, add a pop of color and have so much variety.” 

Aria encouraged students to visit Lancer Farms and Gardens to pick fruit, vegetables or flowers. 

 Another plant-lover, Grace Ann Presley, junior environmental science major, said that because plants are a cheap and readily available way for someone to brighten up a dorm or living space, they are great for any college student. She said that plants bring a calming and relaxed vibe to a room, and they help one become more connected with God’s creations.

“Once you see them growing and creating babies, a sense of pride that I haven’t been able to find in any other aspect of my life will wash over you,” Presley shared.  

As Presley mentioned, gardening is a form of stress relief. It is also a way to connect to God’s creation. Bringing a plant into your life might give you a spark of love and satisfaction that can brighten your days and space. 

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