Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fall Plant Sale: Dorm Plants + Student Giveaway

By Annie Yang
Duke T'20

Air plants are a perfect
low-maintenance plant for
students. Photo by Beth Hall.
Duke Gardens can be a wonderful respite from the rigors of Duke student life, with its beautiful landscapes to stroll through and lovely plants to admire and learn about. But students are increasingly recognizing the benefits of plants even in the confines of their tiny dorm rooms and apartments.

Duke Gardens’ Fall Plant Sale on Saturday will celebrate this healthy trend by featuring succulents and other plants that thrive indoors with low maintenance. And if you’re one of the first 75 students at the sale, which runs from 8 a.m. to noon, you’ll receive a free air plant. 

A dramatic air plant display
at Duke Gardens.
Taking care of air plants is somewhat different from other plants you may be used to growing, but once you get the hang of it, they shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. Air plants are the common name for plants of the Tillandsia genus and they get their name because they don’t require soil to grow. Their roots are not for soaking up water but instead attaching onto pretty much any surface—trees, rocks, seashells and more.

There’s plenty of room for creativity and imagination in displaying your air plant. Whether it’s in a terrarium, a mason jar or a hanging air plant rack holder, there’s a lot of room for creativity and imagination in displaying your air plant. Place them near a window to get bright, indirect light and good air circulation too.

But air plants can’t survive on sunlight and air alone. Every week or so, remove your air plant from whatever you’ve chosen to attach it to and soak it in room temperature water for about 20 to 30 minutes. After it’s soaked, gently shake your plant to remove excess water—sitting water can cause rot and harm or kill your air plant. Set it out to dry with the leaves facing down, and within four hours, or about when you get back from class, the plant should be completely dry and ready to be returned to its container. If you nurture your air plant, it may even bloom in wonderful colors—a once in a lifetime event for each plant.

Cristina Lai's low-maintenance succulent plant.
You can also expand your succulent collection at Saturday’s sale. Senior Cristina Lai got her succulent because having greenery in her room “brightens up the space and makes it feel more homey rather than temporary,” she says. Succulent-focused events at DuWell, Duke’s student wellness center, always draw an enthusiastic crowd. Justin Sharpe, a student development coordinator for DuWell, says students like the sense of responsibility in being able to “make something, call it their own, and take care of it all at the same time.”

Of course, taking care of succulents is low-maintenance and low-stress—you won’t need to panic too much if you’ve forgotten to water them for a few days or even a week or so. The key to taking care of succulents is to wait until the soil is completely dry and then soak them. If you’ve put your succulent in a pot with drainage holes, water the plant until water runs out of the holes. But if you don’t have a container with drainage, don’t worry. You can add pebble or sand layers to your soil to help with drainage, or tip the container to let the excess water run out.

So even with midterm season ahead, with its never-ending piles of work, these dorm-loving plants will be one less thing to worry about and one more thing to ground you.

Fall Plant Sale details:
Air plants look great together!

Date: Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017
Time: 8 a.m.-noon
Membership benefit: Duke Gardens members get 10% off! Join now or on site.
Student air plant giveaway: Each student will receive one air plant during the sale, while supplies last. Students must show a current Duke ID to qualify.
Parking: Free.
Pets not permitted
Wagons + boxes: Our supply is limited; please bring your own if possible, and you'll have more time to spend gathering beautiful plants.
Please see our event page for more information, and we'd love for you to spread the word on Facebook. Thank you!

No comments:

Post a Comment