Student Plants

Each new student arriving at Wellesley is invited to visit the Ferguson Greenhouses to select a free plant from a specially-chosen group of easy-care houseplants.

Our New Student Plant Giveaway occurs during Orientation Week; new students arriving at other times of the year are welcome to contact the horticultural staff to see what plants might be available.

Our free plants include:

jade plant

 

Jade Plant
Crassula ovata

A native of South Africa, this jade plant has evergreen fleshy succulent leaves and stems.  To keep your plant multi-stemmed and bushy, occasionally pinch out the leaf tips as they emerge. Grow in a sunny window with bright light; water only when the soil is really dry. After watering, empty excess water out of plant saucer.

 

 

 

 

lucky bamboo

 

Lucky Bamboo
Dracaena sanderiana

Although called “bamboo,” this plant is actually a member of the lily family, native to Africa and SE Asia. It is often grown without soil, in a container filled with water and stones. Grow away from direct light. Let tap water sit for a day before using it to water the plant. Fill the plant’s container with water to the top of the stones. Change the plant’s water every week.

 

 

 

 

rhoeo

Moses-in-the-Cradle
Rhoeo spathacea

Moses-in-the-cradle forms a slow-growing rosette of lance-shaped leaves with purple undersides. The small white flowers in distinctive boat-shaped bracts give rise to its common name. The plant can take a range of light conditions, but if it gets more light, it will develop more flowers. Allow the plant to dry out between waterings. Too much water is a common cause of problems with this plant.

 

pothos

 

Pothos, Devil's Ivy
Epipremnum aureum

Pothos is a plant native to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific where it grows up the trunks of trees. It likes bright light but not direct sun. Pothos stems are vinelike, but you may cut off the newest leaf for a bushier plant. Water when dry until water drains into the saucer; remember to empty the saucer so the plant will not sit in water.

 

 

 

 

spider plant

Spider Plant
Chlorophytum comosum

The spider plant is a grass-like, clump forming, evergreen perennial in the lily family. Small star-shaped white flowers form on outwardly arching stalks. After blooming, little tufts of leaves - baby spider plants - develop on the stalks. No direct sun is needed. Bright light from your window is enough. In the winter keep this plant away from the heat of the radiator and from cold air from open windows.

 

Basic Care for Potted Plants:

NEED TO WATER? Push a finger into the soil up to your first knuckle. If the soil sticks to it, do not water yet.

IN WINTER: Keep away from the radiator and from cold air. If you take your plant outside in cold weather, plastic inside a plastic bag or two for protection.

PROBLEMS? Bring your plant to the greenhouses and talk to a Botanic Gardens staff member.

NEED REPOTTING? Bring your plant in to the greenhouses with another pot 1 inch bigger than the one your plant is now in. Make sure your new pot has drainage holes. Botanic Gardens staff will provide soil and assistance.

Basic Care for Lucky Bamboo:

NEED TO WATER? Water your lucky bamboo plant when the stones are dry. Use water that's not straight from the tap, such as the leftovers from your water bottle.

IN WINTER: Keep away from the radiator and from cold air. If you take your plant outside in cold weather, plastic inside a plastic bag or two for protection.

PROBLEMS? Bring your plant to the greenhouses and talk to a Botanic Gardens staff member.

NEED REPOTTING? Bring your plant in to the greenhouses with another container 1 inch bigger than the one your plant is now in. Make sure your new pot has no drainage holes. Botanic Gardens staff will provide stones and assistance.