Editor's Note: A video accompanying this article can be found on our YouTube page here

Spring is nearly here, and there is no better time to checkout the University of New Mexico’s Greenhouse located in Castetter Hall. The greenhouse hosts a number of native and nonnative plant species. With the days noticeably longer, many of the cacti have already begun their spring bloom of pink and yellow flowers.

The facility is cared for by greenhouse manager, Wesley Noe, who graduated from UNM in  Spring 2017 with a degree in biology. The focus of the greenhouse “is mainly research and teaching,” Noe said.  



Next to the public greenhouse, illuminated by phosphorescent pink LED lights, is another greenhouse dedicated to research. The research greenhouse hosts undergraduate and graduate research projects and is cared for by Noe.

Every Wednesday the greenhouse hosts departmental seminars. Cookies and coffee are provided to anyone that attends, doors open at 3:15 p.m.  

There are a number of tables within the public greenhouse. The greenhouse has an abundance of light, and the space makes an ideal environment for studying. Food is allowed within the greenhouse.  

The greenhouse hosts an impressive variety of succulents. For students interested in growing one of the many succulents found in the greenhouse, Noe said he could help. 

“If you ever want any clippings, come and talk to me,” Noe said. ”Talk to me and don’t take them off of the plant.”  

Noe said he will also answer any questions about botany and plant care. Noe mentioned that a simple, but often overlooked part of caring for plants is nourishment.

“Don’t water them too much, give them some sunlight,” Noe said. Noe said the most important aspect of caring for plants is research. He went on to say that caring for any plant is dependent on the plant you’re trying to grow.

“Research that plant, start out with some basic plants that are easy to grow,” Noe said. 

There are many opportunities to get involved with the greenhouse and the biology department.  

“What I tell people who want to get involved is to contact a professor that has research that interests them,” Noe said. Information about professors and their research can be found on UNM’s biology webpage.

“Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors, because they’re great people,” Noe said. “The biology department has lots of resources.  You just have to ask sometimes.” 

Justin Schatz is a freelance reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted by email at culture@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @JustinSchatz10.