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Going away to college can mean many changes for yourself. After all, you will be leaving your family, friends, and everything that has been familiar to you for so long. However, college can also bring many pleasant changes! For instance, you will likely be moving into a dorm, which can be very exciting! You will be able to make new friends and join clubs.

Of course, you’d also want to maintain some of the same activities that you did before moving away. For me, growing a mini-garden was my way to stay attached to memories from home. My mini-garden actually helped me face homesickness. So, I’ll be sharing how you can get started in case you’d also want to grow your own garden while in college!


For a mini garden, you will likely not need soil very much. However, certain soil will work better than others. Potting soil is usually made up of peat moss, pine bark and perlite. Make sure that there is enough air in the container for the roots of the plant to breathe. This means that you should not pack the soil in too tightly. Adding a small amount of fertilizer to your mini garden can be very beneficial to your plants. Compost is a good source of nutrients that some people use. If you are interested in reading more about different composter bins and their benefits, check out sites such as Backyard Boss.

Choosing Your Plants

This can be a tough decision, because the best type of plant depends on your lifestyle. Are you likely to be home very much? Are you an organized type of person who will remember to maintain your plants? Questions like these should be considered before you get started. Certain plants are great for beginners, and therefore will thrive well in your dorm room. For example, ponytail palms are a low-maintenance option for you. They need to be in direct sunlight, but only need to be watered every week or so.

How to Contain Your Plants

Usually, plants can be kept in very simple containers. They do not need anything fancy to help them grow, just enough soil, water and space to expand. Be creative with your mini garden and decorate the containers to your liking! You can draw on them, or cover them with stickers if you want. Try to choose plants that will not grow too large, because you will need to re-home them to a bigger container.

Keep a Water Schedule

Be sure to study up on the plants you’ve chosen for your dorm room garden. See how much water they need on a daily basis and how often. You have to be careful not to let the soil dry out as you’ll then be starving your plants of nutrients. But you also can’t drown them, either. If you water too much or too often, you run the risk of plant mold growing in the surface of the soil and contaminating your plants.

Other Types of Plants for College Students

If you have a mini garden, you will likely want to grow more than one type of plant. Having a lot of options to choose from can make the whole experience more fun for you, and you will be able to showcase your personality. Succulent plants are a particular type that are easy to care for. Succulents are a diverse group of plants, so there is a lot of variety to choose from. The Burro’s Tail plant is a good example of this. They prefer soil that is more dry than moist. It is a delicate plant, so it should be placed somewhere out of the way in your dorm room.

However, it should still have access to light, so near a window would be best. Another great option for your garden is an Aloe Vera plant. Aloe Vera is great because it actually has medicinal properties. If you have a burn, or wound it can help heal you. Aloe Vera plants do not like standing in too much water. Therefore, be careful not to overwater it. You can also start your own vegetable garden indoors. For more detailed information about any of the plants that you choose, be sure to check online or ask a professional.


Growing your own mini garden is a great way to continue the hobbies that you started before you moved out. You can showcase your own personality by growing any type of plant that you want. It is recommended that you do your research before starting your garden. This will save you some time, so you will not have to redo your garden if you do something wrong. It is important to choose certain plants that will work best for you. Included in that is getting the right soil and containing your plants properly. Overall, growing a mini garden in your dorm room is a cool way for you to settle in to your new lifestyle while keeping memories from home.