Whether you have a contemporary bathroom design or one that gives a nod to the past, many elements make up a beautiful bathroom. Besides the mandatories, styling can also make or break a bathroom’s appeal. And there is no better way to up the design ante than by adding luscious greenery in the form of plants. Here is our guide on how to decorate your bathroom with plants, but remember that not all plants can thrive in hot, humid environments with limited light.
In terms of what are good bathroom plants, this succulent is right up there as it has low water requirements and, in fact, may be able to survive off the humidity produced in your bathroom alone! In a pot, it will typically grow under half a metre and it has evergreen, mid-green-coloured foliage. Although it does prefer sun outdoors, it will still grow well indoors, as long as your bathroom has some natural light.
Asparagus Fern (Asparagus setaceus)
Despite its name, this is not a true fern but it does resemble one with its elegant, lace-like leaves that gracefully arch outwards. It has lovely blue/green foliage and dainty white flowers and will add an airy element to your bathroom. It thrives in organically rich, well-drained soil, and the leaves should be kept evenly moist. In your bathroom, it will love the humidity and be delighted to receive a misting from your shower!
Begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum)
This semi-tropical perennial plant is known for its large variegated leaves that are brightly coloured in shades of red, green, silver and even purple. It is ideal for bathrooms as it loves humid conditions. It tends to grow quickly, and the Rex Begonia, in particular, does well in low-light areas. In terms of care, it requires frequent watering, but make sure it doesn’t get waterlogged. Enrich the soil with compost or organic matter, and watch this gorgeous plant thrive! Something to note as well — this plant is toxic to pets, so make sure it’s kept out of reach.
Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)
Unlike some other ferns which grow feathery leaves, Bird’s Nest Ferns have smooth, lance-shaped fronds that grow from a central rosette. They are a wonderful addition to any bathroom as they are bold, lush, vibrant and thrive in warm environments with high humidity. They also tolerate shade and partial shade well, so they are an ideal indoor plant. Care-wise, they prefer moist, loamy and well-drained soil, so water regularly, but not too much!
Boston Fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’)
Regarding what are the best plants for bathrooms, Boston Ferns are native to subtropical and tropical environments and thrive off humidity — a key feature of most bathrooms! This plant is loved for its arching green fronds, which can be highlighted on a plant stand or in a hanging planter where its fronds can cascade over the sides. Boston Ferns love a warm, humid environment and as much indirect light as possible. In terms of care, spritz leaves with water if they appear to be drying out, and keep the soil moist (but not wet) at all times. Fun fact — they are also ranked among NASA’s top ten air purifying plants!
Bromeliads hail from tropical rainforests, where they grow naturally on the bark of trees rather than in the ground. However, a bright and steamy bathroom makes another perfect home for them as it mimics the warm, moist, tropical habitats they love. This plant comes in many colours and forms, but regardless, you will be delighted with the tropical touch they will add to your bathroom. Bromeliads thrive in rooms with plenty of bright light and need a temperature of around 20°C to flower. They are also easy to care for in terms of watering. Fill the plant’s “cup”, located at the base of the leaves. However, ensure the water is rainwater, as they are sensitive to tap water.
Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
Although preferring full to partial shade outdoors, Devil’s Ivy will also grow in low-light conditions. Because it originates from temperate and tropical regions, it will also tolerate an indoor environment like a steamy bathroom! Foliage is evergreen and glossy with variegated heart-shaped leaves. To make the most of this plant, plant high in a pot so it can tumble beautifully over the edges. Care-wise, keep moist but allow the surface of a light, porous and well-drained soil to dry out between each watering. An interesting fact — Devil’s Ivy may lose its variegation if the light is too low. However, because the green parts of the leaves make energy for the plant, it will compensate by becoming even greener!
Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)
If you are lucky enough to have both space and sunlight in your bathroom, a Fiddle Leaf Fig could be the perfect fit! Because they love a light and sunny position, make sure you place yours near a window. Bright, filtered light and even a small amount of full sun will keep this plant happy. These plants thrive in wet and warm conditions, but will need adequate space as a larger indoor plant. However, there are some bushier, more compact varieties you can consider, including “Compacta” and “Suncost”, which are shorter with larger leaves. In terms of care, the soil must be fast-draining yet kept steadily moist. Don’t let your Fiddle Leaf sit in water; the leaves will drop and the roots will rot.
Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
Next on our list of what plants are good for bathrooms, Lucky Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that comes in many shapes and sizes. Unlike other bamboo varieties, it is non-invasive and won’t grow too tall. This variety also tolerates low light, so it is ideal for bathrooms with small or non-existent windows. It is also easy-care and doesn’t require any soil. Simply put the stalks into a container filled with water and pebbles. Change the water every two to four weeks, and watch this stunner grow!
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
As a native to the tropics, a steamy bathroom is the perfect location for a Peace Lily. If your bathroom gets a lot of light, it is a double bonus as this plant will reward you by producing more white “flowers” (which are actually a leaf bract that grows like a hood over the real flowers). Although, when we say “light”, they don’t like direct sunlight, which many bathrooms don’t have anyway! Humidity will also help them thrive. Hardy and low-maintenance, they are one of the top air-purifying plants, can help prevent mildew formation, remove mould spores and release a light scent that will create a lovely aroma in your bathroom.
Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata)
The Snake Plant is a popular and hardy plant with stiff, sword-like leaves that will reach up to a metre tall when grown indoors. Easy to grow, they have striped or green-banded leaves with a cream or yellow border. Indoors, they’ll grow slowly and adapt to low-light areas, including bathrooms. However, a few hours of early morning direct sun can boost growth. Plus, it will continue to thrive even if you only water it occasionally. How easy-care is that? Note — this plant is toxic to cats and dogs, so place it in an elevated spot.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Super-easy to grow and one of the most adaptable houseplants around, the Spider Plant will grow in a wide range of conditions. It is ideal for bathrooms as it will tolerate indirect light. It grows to around 60 centimetres and has ribbon-like mid-green or variegated foliage. In terms of care, it prefers moist (but never wet) soil and can handle dry conditions. A controlled-release fertiliser will help it thrive.
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