Picture the most relaxing, inspiring, beautiful room. What do you see? An abundance of natural light? Cozy furniture? Greenery?
When it comes to designing your art room, there’s only so much you can control. Sure, a window would be great, but you can’t make one appear out of thin air. And who wouldn’t like to lounge on comfy high-end couches all day? But those aren’t exactly in the budget.
However, instead of wallowing in what will never be, think about what you can control. One of those things is plants!
Adding plants to your home away from home can be the first step toward creating your vision of a more welcoming, homey space.
Plants have some amazing benefits.
While bringing a plant into your art room may not seem like a big deal, plants can do wonders for your space.
For example, plants can:
- Reduce stress and make you feel calmer.
- Improve productivity, concentration, and creativity.
- Reduce certain pollutants.
- Inexpensively make your space more aesthetically pleasing.
- Regulate air temperature and humidity.
- Absorb extra noise.
Finding the Right Plants for Your Room
For three years, I taught in an interior classroom with no natural light, and still managed to keep plants alive! If you rock “art on a cart,” you can create a little sense of zen by adding a potted plant to your daily view. No matter the your situation, plants can bring beauty and joy to your life. Just don’t forget to take them home over the summer to ensure they survive.
If you have a bit of botanophobia and are nervous that your green thumb is basically non-existent, here are 6 of the best plants to try adding to your art room.
1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Spider plants are low-maintenance with a typical weekly watering schedule. They sprout cute little spider babies regularly at the end of their leaves. Super easy to propagate, these little baby plants can be shared with staff or used for student projects.
2. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
The tough nature of this plant (also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue) means it is known to withstand whatever is thrown at it. Not to say it should be covered in splatter paint and ignored, but it surely will fit right into a low-maintenance routine.
3. The ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas)
This is a succulent with two characteristics that make it an awesome addition to your art room; it has a great tolerance to low light and the ability to grow with little water. This plant has no problem with fluorescent bulbs as its only light source.
4. Pothos or Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum Aureum)
This is a perfect group of plants to get started with as they are relatively low maintenance. Whether there is an abundance of natural light or they are tucked into a little corner, the pothos plant is a great addition known for its beautiful trailing leaves.
5. Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
These succulent houseplants are fairly resilient and easy to grow indoors. They are also perfect for propagating. Plant propagation might be your next adventure to try after you successfully incorporate plants into your classroom.
6. Air Plants (Tillandsia)
If you’ve never heard of air plants, they are pretty magical. In fact, they do not need any soil to grow! These plants originally grew among shady tree branches; therefore, they also don’t need much light. Just mist the whole plant weekly, and the special scales on its leaves will take up the moisture the plant needs. They look beautiful resting in a little glass terrarium or hanging from a mobile.
Fun Ideas for Plants in the Art Room
Plants can do so much more than just make your space more welcoming. Try these fun ideas to incorporate plants into your art space.
- Use plants to practice observational still life drawings.
- Propagate individual plants for student art projects such as potted pinch pots.
- Use coordinating colored plant pots as a form of table identification.
- Assign student jobs to take care of the plants, encouraging them to practice responsibility.
- Make chia pets, growing fresh green hair using grass or chia seeds.
Whether you are a seasoned plant master or a newbie plant parent, it will be worth the effort to keep plants in your art room. Of course, naming your plants is optional, but encouraged. So go ahead and lean in…be weird. Your new plants, “Vincent Van-Grow” and “Georgia O’Leaf,” will thank you.
Do you currently have plants in your art room?
What other projects can you do that would incorporate plants?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.