It's a Madagascar Dragon Tree, Dracaena marginata, and "he", as my niece refers to this plant, now lives on her windowsill in a college dorm in the midwest along with her terrarium and some herbs. (Culinary herbs, readers, culinary herbs.)
My niece is taking a horticulture class at this college, the same college I attended to actually study horticulture. She's not studying horticulture, though, she's a pre-pharmacy, soon to be pharmacy student who decided a horticulture class would
Her professor told them on the first day that many pharmacy students take this particular class as an elective, and so she tries to make it fun and stress-free because she has noticed that pharmacy students are often stressed out.
Hopefully, through this class, which also involves arranging flowers and propagating plants, my neice will learn that gardening is a great stress reliever and that having plants around you makes for a happier life in general.
Indeed my advice to her and all my nieces and nephews and basically anyone else I come into contact with is "embrace plants for a happier life".
I'll admit, though, that they don't have to embrace plants quite as much as I do to have a happier life. In fact, my level of "plant embrace" might even scare them a bit. I should tell them more often that even a little embrace with a few plants is beneficial.
My niece will soon have a lot of plants to embrace, more than she can fit on her windowsill. She noted in her email to that they practiced plant propagation today and so she's expecting to soon have a braided benjamin fig, a lipstick plant, a creeping jerry, a wandering jew, a jelly bean succulent, a christmas cactus, a heart vine succulent, a snake plant, an african violet, and some other plants she can't remember.
Goodness, her professor must think they are going to be really stressed out, to need all those plants!
But that's okay, I'll bet her older sister, who just started teaching the third grade this fall, would take a few of those plants for her classroom to help relieve her stress. Actually, she wants to have plants in her classroom because she can teach the students how to be responsible by giving them the job of watering the plants. Right now, though, she only has one plant, so if the students are too diligent and responsible about watering, the poor plant is going to drown.
I'd give her some of my extra plants, but I've still got a darn mealybug problem, and I don't want to infect the one other plant she has. I've got to take care of that mealybug problem once and for all. It's embarrassing and stressful not to be able to give starts of my houseplants to anyone.
I'm happy that my nieces are learning to care for houseplants, to embrace plants for a happier life. I think plants do help lower your stress level and just generally make a room more "homey". If I had more time, I could probably even find some bonafide research references to prove it, but since most of the people who read this blog have already embraced plants, and know the benefits of doing so, I don't think I need to.
So please give a big "garden bloggers" hello to d'Artagnon, and let's hope he and all those other plants do indeed help my niece with stress-management and convince her that no matter what she does in life, she'll have a happier life if plants are a part of it.
(I do also realize that since I've posted about my niece's new plant, I'm going to be in trouble if I don't also post at some point about my nephew's budding interest in bonsai, or other family plant goings on. Family members, I'm happy to do so, I just need a picture!)