By Julia Wilson, Staff Writer

More than half a dozen students crowd around a table on the upper level of Armstrong Student Center. An abundance of jars and rocks are at their fingertips, a dirt-covered tarp at their feet.

The cause for the chaos? Succulents.

“Success with Succulents” was a pop-up event on Wednesday sponsored by Miami Activities Programming that allowed students to plant and decorate their own free succulent in a mason jar, making them portable and perfect for dorm decoration.

Succulents are a group of plants popularly used for ornamental purposes due to their aesthetic appeal and relatively small size. They are unique in the fact that they store water within their leaves, giving them their notable thick and fleshy appearance. Some common succulents include the aloe vera plant, cacti and the Crown of Thorns.

“I saw this event on the Corq app and I got really excited,” said freshman Hannah Sprout, referring to the mobile app similar to the Hub that displays upcoming campus events. “I already have a few plants, but I wanted another for my room because they’re so pretty.”

Hannah was not the only one happy to see this event on campus. Students’ faces lit up as they passed by and saw the table, and dozens eagerly lined up to get their hands on a plant. The event was originally planned to last from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. However, after only 30 minutes, the supplies were wiped clean due to the volume of students that attended.

As the MAP staff was cleaning up the table, many students continued to come up with the intention of building their free plant and were very disappointed to find out that they were gone. Some students received mason jars that were leftover as a consolation.

Succulents have become an increasingly popular decorating trend in recent years. Their ability to be housed in small pots makes them perfect for small spaces like bedrooms and apartments.

Many other plants, such as flowers, require constant watering. Because succulents store water in their leaves, they require very little care and last for extended periods of time, making them seem like more of a home furnishing than a plant. Adding to their appeal is their unique appearance.

“They’re just cute,” said freshman Tessa Buzzetti, who attended Success with Succulents.

“Part of the reason we chose to do this is because succulents are so popular,” said junior Co-Chair of the event, Morgan Mendenhall. “They’re a huge trend on Instagram and you even see them all the time as stickers on people’s laptops.”

It’s no surprise that these plants would be especially popular among college students. In recent years, dorm decorating has turned into an online craze, with move-in photos of students’ freshly organized and decorated dorms flooding Instagram.

This social emphasis on room décor is reflected in the excitement that revolves around succulents. Just like photos, posters or artwork have for years, these plants help to make a space look more pleasing and less bare.

They can also help to add a sense of comfort and make a place feel more like home, which is especially important in one’s home-away-from-home at college.

“We wanted an event that was innovative and never seen before on campus”, said Mendenhall. “Our hope was that it would brighten people’s days and be something that students genuinely liked. It was definitely more popular
than anticipated.”