The Chinese Evergreen: the perfect student pad plant

Low on maintenance, high on impact
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Houseplants are great for students: they can bring colour, warmth and personality to even the grimmest student digs. And according to research, they can even help clean up the air, combat assignment-stress and boost productivity and creativity.

But between lectures, essays and socialising, it’s challenging enough for students to look after their own wellbeing let alone that of a houseplant – which is where the striking but low-maintenance Chinese Evergreen comes in…


When you’ve got deadlines looming and the student union bar calling, it’s easy for plant care to slip down your to-do list. But as long as you check in from time to time, your trusty Chinese Evergreen will look after itself quite happily, tolerating dry air, poor light and even drought. So even if you forget to water it for a few days, or drew the house-share short straw and got the dark and gloomy basement bedroom, your Chinese Evergreen will tough it out.

A little bit of tlc…

You might be enjoying the independent student life away from home but it’s always nice when your folks send you care packages or turn up for the weekend to feed you up, right? Well, the same goes for the Chinese Evergreen: a little bit of tlc and attention will go a long way.

Chinese Evergreens thrive with moderate watering while too much can lead to root rot. A rule of thumb is to only water once the soil has begun to dry out.

The gorgeous glossy leaves of the Chinese Evergreen can accumulate dust so don’t forget to give them a onceover with a duster when you’re cleaning your room (you are cleaning your room, right?).

Brains and beauty

Chinese Evergreens are not only low-maintenance, they’re good-looking, too. Available in many attractive varieties, some have pretty variegated foliage. And if you’re lucky, your care and companionship may be rewarded with beautiful flowers. These striking blooms have a sculptural trumpet-like form, similar to the Calla lily and Peace lily. If you allow the flowers to grow until they produce seeds, you could even try growing more plants from seed, or as a speedier alternative, by propagating your trimmed offshoots in water.

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