With all that running water and steam, the bathroom is notorious for being one of the most humid spots in the house. And usually, this humidity gets a bad rap, ’cause it can breed mold, mildew, and other nasty problems if you’re not careful.
But it can also be a good thing—especially if you’ve got a bit of a green thumb. Yep, that’s right—many houseplants thrive in humid conditions, making them perfect for the bathroom. (Hmm. I never dreamed that my apartment’s lack of a ventilation fan could be a plus.) Pair the humidity with good light, and you’ve got yourself prime growing conditions.
Try these varieties:
African violets. In our old home, my mother gave one bathroom a violet theme—simple violet-print wallpaper accented by lavender towels and a pot of African violets, of course. Want that pretty purple hue in your bathroom? Here are a few pointers: Hydrate the violets with room-temperature water—African violets are not fans of cold water. And when watering, don’t let them sit in draining water for too long, or root rot might occur. If your bathroom lacks natural light, opt for fluorescent lighting instead. Learn more.
Cast-iron plant. I don’t normally think of houseplants as being tough. Hardy, yes; durable, yes; tough, no. That was until I learned about cast-iron plants, which are much appreciated for the fact that they can survive in disagreeable conditions (i.e. low light, irregular water, temperature extremes, you name it). “Tolerant” might be another word to describe cast-iron plants. So whether you have a brown thumb or travel frequently (or are a bit forgetful, like yours truly), this may be the plant for you. See for yourself.
Peace lily. Talk about pretty and practical: The peace lily’s abundant white flowers are sure to brighten any bathroom (their glossy dark green foliage adds interesting texture too), and they’re also low-maintenance. Even though they prefer brighter conditions, they can adapt to a bathroom with low light—and they’ll literally provide a breath of fresh air. That’s because these purifying plants remove carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from the air. You’ll find more pointers on peace lily care here.
These plants also grow well in the bathroom:
- Aloe vera
- Boston fern
- Flamingo flower
- Nerve plant
- Spider plant
When selecting a plant for your bathroom, you’ll want to consider light and water requirements. To ensure a successful match, consult these tips from the University of Illinois Extension. Want to know more about bringing houseplants into your bathroom in general? Browse this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article.
(Oh, and I’d be remiss not to remind you: If you’ve got curious youngsters or pets around the house, you’ll want to make sure you don’t pick poisonous plant varieties.)
Happy houseplant growing!
The Home Know-It-All