What's a good plant for the shower/bathroom?

By: Artiswork Nov 17, 2006
I've got a need for greens, and want to find some plants that won't go south when the hot water is on, or the winter sets in. Anybody have any ideas for a plant that might work?

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Peace lily is great for high humidity so are these, Fittonia, Baby's Tears, Polka Dot Plant, Parlor Palm, Spider Plant, or Pothos. I've got a great fittonia! A Terrarium would also be a good choice for a bathroom because they don't take up much space. I Hope this helps! :)

thank you all so much! you're full of wonderful answers. i just moved into a house with a big frosted glass window in every shower, and we're in new mexico so the sun is nice and bright.

off to the nursery tomorrow!

i am really surprised that nobody has suggested orchids.  i don't own any myself, but i understand that their main requirements are humidity and superior drainage.  so if you plant it in the right medium (which is not always dirt with orchids -- look into it), the bathroom should be an ideal surrogate for the rain forest.
I had a spider plant there for the longest time.  Wasn't intentional, I was painting and it just wound up there.  

I've got just the plant! And I know it will work for you because my mother-in-law has had one in her bathroom in her basement for years and she has a brown thumb! A Christmas catus. They are slow growers, but they flower beautifully around this time of year. I have one in my bathroom as well. It does get some southern light, but the plant is about four feet back from the window. Mom's is on the window ledge--one of those short and skinny basement jobs--but it is west facing. My grandmother always kept hers at  north or east facing windows. The only thing to remember is if you want them to bloom, which I would highly recommend, they can't have any artificial light that is longer than the natural hours of the day. So they don't flower in kitchens, generally, because there are always lights on in the kitchen at night. Also, to really get a good bloom, setting them outside in the shade during the summer is the way to go. Also, they can take some abuse, water-wise. I water mine maybe once a week or less. Good luck with whatever you choose!! BTW, the most indestructable plant is the Mother-in-law tongue. (Ironic, considering the beginning of this comment.) My houseplant book says it is the "closest thing to an artificial plant." Ha!

I know Pothos is sometimes ridiculed as "plant for dummies", but I do love it for its heartiness and easy lush green-ness.  I posted a pic of our bathroom pothos for you (in my Curbly pics, in case I goofed the link).  It seems to be doing pretty well. Though there is a window, it's not super bright in there and our other ones in darker places seem to do fine too.

peace lilies work really well in the bathroom in low light conditions.  i have one at home and it's been happy for the past year (http://dressyournest.blogspot.com/search/label/Plants)

I second the pothos recommendation; I've got two large pots of it (and a large pot of English ivy) on the window ledge of my bathroom and all have done very well, all year long. I live at the beach so there is fairly high humidity all year long; no problems whatsoever. Essentially ivy and pothos are indestructible in almost all environments.

maudehayworth,

wow. detailed. thanks. 

Totally depends on how much light you get in the bathroom.

 Steam/humidity is less of an issue because most houseplants thrive in humid conditions. In fact, they tell you to place plants in clusters so they will generate more humidity, and misting is employed for the same reason. Plus, you are not showering 24-7, only a few times a day at most, so it should not be an issue.

Light is the real issue at hand. If you are not sure, you can buy a ph/soil meter that you can stick in the pot and it will tell you how much sun it's getting, if it's getting enough water, and the ph rating will tell you if you need to amend the soil. Sunlight, water and soil ph (alkaline/acidity which is determined by soil composition -- you can add compost or other soil amendments) are the only reasons plants live or die, so it's a very useful tool. You can find these at Home Depot or most nurseries.

If you get a lot of sunlight in there, there are lots of options. If not, choose a low-light variety. Pothos and spider plants are great because they tend to be very hardy and grow in low-light conditions, and you can hang them up in a planter.

I like Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Plants online. You can use the search function to search for houseplants that like low light: 

http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=learn-cat&id=cat677&navLevel=3&navHistory=&site=

You can also just go to your local nursery and ask them what they recommend.

Also, here's a good link on houseplants with a troubleshooting guide:

http://www.thegardenhelper.com/troubleshooting.html 

The great thing about houseplants is that if they don't thrive in one room, you can always move them!

I've got two Pothos in my basement bathroom and they seem to be thriving OK. They are sitting on the window sill (glass block windows) and it gets steamy in there when showering.

"Hope that helps! I know we have one shriveling, moldy plant on our bathroom shelf that needs to get tossed right now :)"

 Oh that's encouraging :)

 Thanks My2boys.
 

Unlike other houseplants, you'd need ones that will be okay with the high humidity and low-to-medium lighting enviroment that's typical in most bathrooms. 

Depending on your style, there are quite a few ferns that do well in that enviroment...but who really likes ferns? Bromeliads also thrive in humidity and add some great funk and color. African violets, chinese evergreens, peace lilies, and snake plants also do great in that kind of enviroment. 

Hope that helps! I know we have one shriveling, moldy plant on our bathroom shelf that needs to get tossed right now :)  

Excellent question! I need the answer to this one too.
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