Imagine starting the day surrounded by lush greenery and clean, purified air. Thanks to these humidity-loving houseplants, you can.
With just a few additions, your bathroom can be transformed into a rainforest-inspired haven of calm, with your houseplants working hard to keep your bathroom steam and bacteria free.
But which plants thrive in a high-humidity environment? From peace lilies to air plants, here are a number of bathroom-friendly plants that you need to create your very own oasis.
Bathroom design expert George Holland from Victorian Plumbing was asked to recommend plants that you need in your bathroom oasis and tell us about some of the benefits they can bring to the space.
For more information, check out https://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/
— Content provided by Victorian Plumbing.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
Also known as ‘Mother in Law’s Tongue’, the snake plant is an excellent bathroom plant. It thrives in high humidity, so if you like to take long, hot showers it may not need any extra watering at all.
The snake plant also has a whole host of other benefits. The long, vertical leaves are known to help filter toxins out of the air which is perfect if you are worried about chemicals from cleaning products or counteracting any bad smells.
Pro Tip: If you’re working with a small bathroom a snake plant is a great choice as the leaves grow up, rather than out so it won’t take up too much floor space.
Be sure to dust the leaves on a regular basis so they can still soak up the light and moisture that your bathroom brings.
Air Plants (Tillandsia spp.)
These low-maintenance, hardy plants flourish in hot and humid conditions, so they will feel right at home in your bathroom.
Taking nutrients from the air, light and water through tiny vessels in the leaves, these plants don’t need any soil at all which makes them incredibly easy to care for.
Pro Tip: As they don’t need to be potted in soil you can get really creative when decorating with air plants. A really effective way to display them is by creating a DIY vertical garden which you can create using some wire mesh and a photo frame.
Gently thread your air plants through the mesh grid and hang on your bathroom wall. The humid air will circulate around the plants helping your green wall to flourish.
This full and bushy plant needs quite a bit of room to grow, so it’s perfect if you have a bit more space to play with when creating your bathroom canopy.
Ferns in general thrive in high moisture and warm environments, which means you can even get in on the ‘shower plant’ trend.
Pro Tip: If your toiletries have taken all of your bathroom shelf space, why not try a hanging planter?
These are a great way to fill unused space and can even be fixed up next to your shower, meaning your thirsty fern will get watered each time you hop in.
These moisture-loving trailing plants are incredibly effective air purifiers, making them a great choice for your bathroom oasis. They grow really quickly, so you can start to make use of all that vertical space in your bathroom.
Ivy is a fast growing plant with beautiful trailing tendrils which can be left to hang or clipped to encourage them to creep along a wall, shower curtain rod or even a door frame.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Spider plants really are the gift that keeps on giving! Once they reach maturity, these clumpy, grassy plants will start to grow offshoots, which can be trimmed and propagated to create even more spider plants.
Pro Tip: If you feel like your bathroom canopy is a bit sparse, you can play around with your bathroom mirrors.
Placing plants near them and changing the position of the reflection can give the illusion of more greenery.
Calathea (Calathea spp.)
The colourful waxy leaves grown by the Calathea will be a striking addition amongst a sea of green in your bathroom rainforest. They can be quite fussy and do prefer a shady spot with lots of humidity. Calathea do start off quite small, but grow quickly, so start them off on a shelf and move them to the floor as they mature.
Pick your plant pots carefully. They should be made from a porous material like terracotta and have a few drainage holes at the bottom. But if your decorative pot doesn't have this, it’s worth buying a smaller terracotta pot to sit on some drainage pebbles within the decorative pot. You won’t see it, but your plant will thank you for it.
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Another easy houseplant, pothos is a great trailing plant for your shower. You can train the trailing stems to grow along a wall or just let them hang down to make use of the vertical space.
Pro Tip: These lush green plants absorb plenty of water when kept in the bathroom but to check the moisture level, just gently poke your finger in the soil and if it comes out clean, they will need a top up.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.)
With deep, glossy green leaves and bright white flowers, the Peace Lily is one of the most effective plants to include in your bathroom plant collection. They love moisture and prefer to be kept in low light locations, but if you find your lily is wilting regularly, it might be time to upgrade to a bigger pot.
Look to the ceiling for more space to keep your plants. Fill unused space (like above a toilet) with hanging planters to draw your eye upwards and give the illusion of a larger bathroom.
Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron scandens)
Heartleaf philodendrons are incredibly hardy making them a great option for beginners. They grow really quickly too and their trailing stems can be trained to grow along a wall or just left to hang down.
Pro Tip: Keep a philodendron full and bushy by pinching back the growing tips, or allow the tips to grow out and trail over the sides of the pot.
Aloe Vera is a succulent which means it doesn’t need much water, especially when it is being kept in the humidity of a bathroom. In fact, over-watering can be really bad for the Aloe plant.
The gel Inside the leaves of the Aloe Vera plant can be used to soothe burns and sore skin, but only break off a small amount each time you need to use it.
Similar to the spider plant, aloe vera produces "shoots" which can be trimmed and propagated in soil to create brand new plants.
Pro Tip: If your plant’s leaves are flattening out instead of growing upright it may not be getting enough light.
Styling plants in the bathroom: 5 creative ways
Cautious of incorporating plants into your bathroom design? We’ve asked George Holland at Victorian Plumbing to reveal his five golden rules for incorporating these humidity-loving houseplants into your bathroom design.
1. Give your bathroom the edge: if your bathroom has any hidden ledges then use these to your advantage. Trailing plants such as ivy and heartleaf philodendron would look great here.
2. Inside your window frame: If you love the look of hanging planters, but would struggle to get hooks into your ceiling, why not try using hooks in your window frame? Not only will this give you some privacy, but it's perfect for plants which need a bit more light.
3. Keep pots and accessories neutral: the focus should always be on the greenery of your plants. Bright plant pots could distract from the jungle-like effect.
4. Use a leaning ladder: If you've run out of surfaces for your potted house plants, then a leaning ladder could solve your problem (and you don't need to do any DIY). Simply lean your ladder against the wall and invest in some ‘S’ shaped hooks and pots with holes in the rim for the perfect bathroom display.
5. Use upturned plant pots to add height: For a simple way to add interest to your bathroom plant corner, use a small upturned pot to elevate some of your plants. This will give the illusion of space and depth, rather than just a flat carpet of green.
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