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University of Minnesota Extension

Comforting plants for college students: U of M Extension Master Gardeners in Stevens County

February 7, 2019
Stevens County Master Gardeners college students
U of M Extension Master Gardeners reach college students in Stevens County

Sometimes a familiar plant in a familiar-looking pot can evoke pleasant memories of people and places. “That plant in that pot reminds me of my grandmother!” was what a University of Minnesota Morris student said to the U of M Extension Master Gardeners in Stevens County staffing a booth at the local Farmers Market.

And that was exactly what the Master Gardeners were hoping for—to provide a reminder of home to college students by giving away easy-care houseplants in pretty containers.

By giving away the potted plants along with written instructions for their care, Stevens County Master Gardeners have created awareness and grown interest in gardening with more than 150 college students this year. Students have found that caring for a live plant can boost their morale as they watch their plants grow and thrive.

Since this has been an annual event, many returning students have reported on their plants. Some students, as expected, indicated that their plant didn’t make it, and asked if they could have another one so they could try again. On the other hand, many students reported that they still had their plant and that it was growing well. Some students even expressed their desire to grow more than just one houseplant.

This story is from the 2018 Annual Report of the Master Gardener Volunteer Program. Extension Master Gardeners are your neighbors who share University research-based horticulture information that promotes healthy landscapes, healthy people and a healthy planet. For more information, visit Master Gardener

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