I would like to know one college student who can keep flowers alive while being a full-time student. I personally have never seen it done. If you can, you’ve done the impossible. For those of you who love plants but can kill anything there is a solution to your problem: Cacti and Succulents.
This summer I decided I wanted a cactus or two and see how it went. They are very cheap and with the plants growing in popularity the past year or so there are all sorts or terrariums, or glass containers, you can buy for them. I went to West Elm for my first plants, yes it can be addictive for more, because they always have a beautiful cacti and succulent display in their display window and I thought, If plants can survive in a mall, they can definitely survive in a bedroom. My next thought was, What the heck is a succulent? According to Oxford Dictionaries, succulents are plants with thick, fleshy leaves or stems adapted to storing water. I love succulents because they don’t have needles so they’re easier to plant… and not get stabbed. If your room is not a desert, southwestern style succulents go a little better than cacti. Too many cacti might mix up the intended feel of the room.
If you are going to have cacti or succulents you need to have the right soil for them to live a long and healthy life. Some people say you can use whatever soil you want but I beg to differ. I bought Miracle-Gro Cactus Soil at Lowe’s for less than $5. The soil is usually a mixture of different materials. This is because if you just used plain soil, the water would sit and begin rotting the plants. With air holes and space in-between the different materials in the cactus soil, like pebbles or bits of bark, the soil is able to be well-drained and go to the bottom of your terrarium instead of sitting at the top.
The biggest problem people make with indoor succulents is over-watering. According to Succulents and Sunshine, succulents and cacti do not get water from direct contact but
rather from absorbing water molecules in the air. So if you are over-watering and have a terrarium inside your home with no draining hole the water will sit in the terrarium, eventually rotting your plants. Succulents with draining holes at the bottom of the terrarium are better for your plants but I personally don’t have the time to set my plants outside everyday and water them so they can drain and bring them back in after a few hours. That is why buying indoor succulents are better, like in the mall, because the plants are already used to being inside everyday with no sunlight and little water. You can water indoor succulents and cacti once a month if you want, very low-maintance! I bought a small water-sprayer to water my plants because using a cup might lead to over-watering.
I bought my first succulent from West Elm and bought my next four from Lowe’s. I recommend buying your succulents from Lowe’s and maybe just looking at West Elm for terrariums. Lowe’s was very cheap. It was only $14 when I left with the four plants and cacti soil. West Elm was slightly more expensive, I believe it was $12 for one succulent, but they had a beautiful, wide variety of terrariums. They have glass, wood, glazed, hanging, and metal terrariums. I bought a short glass cloche terrarium from West Elm for $29. My other two faceted terrariums were $12 and $18 from T.J. Maxx. You don’t have to even use a terrarium for your cacti and succulents. You could use any container you think would fit in your room. Another great place to look at for terrariums is Urban Outfitters. They have good prices and a large variety to choose from.
You can buy one succulent or cacti and be good to go or you can buy different ones and arrange them together in one terrarium. There are so many cacti and succulents and so many different ways to arrange them. Pick out your favorites and start playing around with different ways to arrange them and then begin planting. I recommend using gardening gloves if you cacti are sharp, trust me you won’t regret it. After you plant them add pebbles, rock, sand or whatever materials you want to the top. I used rocks from my driveway to add texture and to hold my plants in place better.