Six Houseplants That Are Great for Bathrooms
You might think your bathrooms aren't good candidates to grow indoor plants seeing as they typically don't have much in the way of natural lighting and experience dramatic shifts in humidity and temperature, but did you know there are still plants that can easily thrive in these conditions with a minimum of maintenance?
Even small indoor plants continuously add fresh oxygen to your space and absorb carbon dioxide. They also tirelessly work to purify the air by removing toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and others. Some plants even become more adept at eliminating indoor pollutants with practice.
Just about any common indoor plant offers benefits both aesthetically and to the overall health and wellness of your household. But some are easier than others to maintain, especially in the tricky environmental factors that go part and parcel with a bathroom.
But it's worth the extra effort to make sure that the enclosed, somewhat claustrophobic spaces bathrooms inevitably represent are decorated with the invigorating and lively presence of living species. And as you read on, you'll come to find that with the right selections it really isn't much extra effort at all.
Did you know that formaldehyde is a carcinogen that is found in virtually every household where synthetic materials can be found? Even if you carefully choose what household products you bring into your kitchen and bathroom, it turns out formaldehyde is outgassed even by many building materials, which means that it is almost impossible to avoid. Fortunately, plants can minimize the impact of formaldehyde by filtering it out of the air. Other plants can reduce odors by working as nature’s air fresheners.
Let’s take a look at some of the plants that make the best additions to your bathroom:
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
The cast Iron plant is an excellent choice for most bathrooms. This plant thrives in a low light setting and can tolerate a stingy watering schedule. It can do well with both higher and lower temperature settings. The plant should be kept in an area with indirect sunlight.
The plant comes in both small (18 inches) and full size (2-3 feet high) varieties. Leaves may vary from dark green to yellow striped or dotted.
To care for your Cast Iron Plant, water it thoroughly when the soil becomes dry.
The Aspidistra does well in the humid conditions
The plant is also a great air purifier that effectively removes formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene from the air.
Ferns do very well in bathrooms because they like humid environments. Different types of Ferns such as Bird Nest, Boston Fern and Staghorn Ferns do well in low light settings.
Ferns need regular watering and misting. However, with too much water they will develop yellow or droopy fronds - a sign of root rot.
Ferns can tolerate significant temperature fluctuations characteristic of most bathrooms. However, if a bathroom is kept cold to the point that humidity is reduced, the fern may begin to struggle. Try misting them more frequently or move them to a location where the air isn’t as dry.
Note: some ferns and fern-like species can be mildly toxic. If you have pesty pets who are likely to munch on whatever they come across (or babies who do the same… you know who you are) then you may want to do some research on the species you have or look for an alternative.
Dragon plant (Dracaena)
Dracaena comes in more than forty varieties. It has long spear-like leaves which range in width from a few millimeters to a couple of inches wide. The available colors range from solid green to greenish-maroon and variegated. The leaves of the plant emerge from the stem.
The plant works as an excellent air purifier for the bathroom. It grows well in artificial light and indirect light. Direct sunlight should be avoided.
Dracaena is a drought-resistant plant and doesn’t need a lot of watering. Water it only when the soil feels dry and then pour lukewarm water generously until water trickles through the holes in the pot. Empty the drainage receiver pan after about an hour and never allow the pot to stand in water. The plant thrives in rich soil with plenty of organic material.
Snake plant (Sansevieria)
Sansevieria also known as “Snake plant” or “Mother-in-Law’s tongue” is very suitable for bathrooms. It is one of the most low-maintenance plants you can grow.
The plant filters out formaldehyde from the air which is commonly found in cleaning materials and cosmetics.
The plant would grow well in light levels ranging from low to bright indirect sunlight. It will also thrive well under fluorescent light.
Water the plant only when the soil is almost completely dried out, which should be ever two to six weeks depending upon the temperature, light and humidity of your home. The plant does well at most humidity levels. Choose a soil which drains freely, and use a terracotta pot to make sure that water doesn’t accumulate in the pot.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
The white flowers of the Peace Lily make a great complement to the décor of most bathrooms. The plant does well in low light conditions and is easy to take care of.
Don’t let the Peace Lily’s delicate appearance fool you: it is a hard working plant when it comes to air purification. The plant also reduces the mold spore levels in bathrooms.
Peace Lily does well in low light during summer and spring but in order to grow well, it will need exposure to indirect sunlight during the rest of the year.
Peace lily requires consistently moist soil, but like other low-maintenance plants, it doesn't like to sit in standing water. Water it when the top inch of the soil is dry, and keep watering until the overflow of water starts from pot’s drainage holes. Return the pot to its regular place once drainage has stopped.
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Ivy is one of the easiest indoor plants to keep. The plant enjoys warm and humid conditions which makes it perfect for greening up the bathroom. Ivy can give a very good display if the aerial roots of the plant are trained to climb a moss stick or trellis.
Ivies grow well in the medium light, but will also thrive in bright light. They are generally less tolerant of low light conditions than the other plants listed here.
Ivies prefer drier soil, so let the soil dry out before watering it again.
The plant can effectively remove traces of airborne mold spores - making it a perfect addition to bathrooms, the kitchen or anywhere else mold or mildew can loom.
Guest Contributor, Ryan from Fast Partitions