By Daithi Turner
The bathroom is an often-overlooked room to keep houseplants. While it may not be the obvious choice of location for some plants, it’s the perfect environment with various light and humidity combinations.
If you have a south or west-facing bathroom, this natural light combined with all the frequent bright and reflective tiles has all the components for a very successful plant-friendly environment. Suppose your bathroom isn’t blessed with plentiful natural light. In that case, the shady humidity replicates the dimly lit forest floor brilliantly and is suitable for many interesting plants, including the varied fern family.
Along with ferns, the orchid family can prove difficult to keep in other rooms in the house where often the humidity is less. Factors such as air conditioning and central heating provide extra challenges for the plants.
The bathroom can often be a place to escape and have the chance to reset. Showers and baths often relax us, with the water having a calming effect. Exposure to nature has also been proven to relieve stress, and if you don’t get the chance to bathe outdoors, bringing plants into your bathroom is a good second best. Even visually, plants can bring an atmosphere of well-being and health into a home. Plants purify the air and often add a subtle, natural scent.
So now that we’ve agreed plants are an essential addition to our bathrooms let’s look at some potentials.
1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
The Spider Plant is first on the list, as it is for most lists of houseplants because it is so easy to care for. If you just keep one houseplant, the Spider Plant must surely be a contender.
Ordinarily, Spider Plants thrive with minimal care, and in the bathroom, with its naturally high humidity, the effort required is even less. The most common variety of spider plants kept in the house has green and white variegated arched leaves. The popularity of these plants in houses dates back to Victorian times, which is not long after they were domesticated from their original home in East Africa.
One of the most exciting aspects of the spider plant is its propensity to propagate through the production of plantlets, which it sends out in arch stems, creating a lovely visual effect. In the summer months, it produces tiny white flowers making it the perfect year-round plant.
If you are looking for a plant to bring the wonder of nature into your home, then look no further than the impressive fern family. This bathroom plant is stunning with its links to the ancient past and its unique leaves evocative of lush forests.
These humidity-loving plants are perfectly suited to the environment of your bathroom. They are even thought to help with headaches with their air-purifying properties. They vary from small, delicate ferns to ferns up to six feet tall. There is a good fit for everyone depending on the size of your bathroom and your gardening experience.
While orchids will grow well in bathrooms, they are still among the trickiest of plants and are best avoided by complete novices. The bathroom conditions sometimes lessen the workload for houseplants but not so for the orchid, which requires constant monitoring.
This unique family of exquisite plants offers great rewards for the experienced plant-grower primarily through their unique beauty. Ask your local garden centre which variety might suit your particular room.
The Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa)
While it constantly amuses me as to why or how plants fall victim to trends and fashions, they certainly do. One plant that has become “fashionable” again after a few decades out of the spotlight is Monstera Deliciosa or the Swiss Cheese Plant.
Monstera is a type of humid-loving, large-leafed evergreen tropical vine native to Central America. They are well known for their natural leaf holes, which is why they have become known as the Swiss Cheese Plant. They can grow to quite a large size, so keep that in mind!
Gardenias, with their beautiful white rosettes, are a classic flower. They are as fragrant as they are beautiful. This member of the coffee family is again an equatorial native who thrives in humidity.
The Gardenias tolerate a wide range of light conditions, but as well as the humidity, they will require plenty of regular watering and love an acidic (peaty) potting medium that drains well. They love that fine line between damp and sodden! Outside the bathroom, the Gardenia will appreciate constant misting, but the moisture in the air in the bathroom provides it even better.
So, basically, not only can you grow plants in your bathroom, but it seems like you should! There’s really nowhere that isn’t suitable for some sort of horticulture, and it’s fun finding out what fits where and why.