Many University of Connecticut students keep plants in their dorm rooms, and scientific journals including Bio Advanced conclude that having a plant in a small space can help one breathe easier, decrease likelihood of sickness, purify the air, improve health and improve focus.
“I got a plant because I thought it would make me feel more healthy, and it also overall added to the vibe of my room,” first-semester communications major Lindsey Adams said. “Specifically I bought a medicinal aloe plant, and I read online that it can help purify the air which I thought would be perfect for stale dorm rooms.”
According to Bio Advanced, medicinal aloe plants release oxygen at nighttime. This is unique for a plant, as most at night release carbon dioxide and take in oxygen.
Orchids, similar to the medicinal aloe plant, also release oxygen at night. Furthermore, orchids increase the humidity of the environment, which has been linked by studies at the Agricultural University of Norway to decreased incidences of dry throat, colds and sore throats.
“Me and my roommate have an orchid in our room, and to be honest we mainly got it for just how it looks,” first-semester business major Jack O’Leary said. “However, my mom told me that they can also improve air quality, and increase humidity.”
According to Bio Advanced, cacti and other succulents have been linked to health benefits when kept in a small space such as a dorm room.
“In my room I have a cactus, which I figured I would get due to the low maintenance and basically it being impossible to kill the plant,” first-semester undecided student Sean Roach said. “But they also can improve air quality in a space like most plants due, mainly caused by their ability to change carbon dioxide into oxygen.”
Some students with plants in their rooms have also noted differences in air quality between those who do not maintain a plant.
“I feel everyone should have a plant in their room, because it is something to care for and be responsible,” first-semester political science student Sophie Carellas said. “My succulent plant really purifies my air, and I can sometimes notice that the air quality seems better in my room compared to my friends’.”
Carellas also said, “I’m not sure if the plant is the cause of the change in air quality or our living styles, but it could possibly be a contributing factor.”
Joseph Piccolo is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.