Want to turn your bathroom into an easy oasis? Try this.
So maybe you have a wonderfully green thumb and houseplants thrive under your care. Or maybe you don’t. Like me. And in desperation, you put your sad houseplants in the bathroom because you’re at your wit’s end. And then against all odds – they explode with happy shiny leaves and start taking over your shower! Brown thumb? Pshhh. I just needed to keep plants in the bathroom.
I never stopped to think about whether this was a thing or not a thing; it’s just that my plants became thrilled upon moving to the bathroom. And in turn, I became thrilled upon taking a shower beneath a lush canopy of greenery – my own little cloud forest. Now it turns out that "shower plants" – because everything in Internetland has to have a cute name – are a indeed a thing. And since I invented them (JK), I thought I should write about them.
It actually makes perfect sense. Most plants like moisture; most bathrooms have moisture to spare. My bathroom has a skylight so it’s not dark; most bathrooms with a window will provide enough light. Here are the plants that worked for me, and others that I have discovered around the web.
1. Eternity plant
Also known as the ZZ plant for Zamioculcas zamifolia, the eternity plant is surely named that because it can last forever, even when under the care of the worst houseplant-keeper ever. Known as the plant that is basically impossible to kill – which is why I had it in the first place – it is said to need very little water and low to medium light. In my skylight lit bathroom and infrequent watering, it seems to be a fully independent being.
I also had good luck with orchids. Though they are known to be a bit finicky, the steamy environment of a bathroom apparently makes them feel right at home. BHG recommends less temperamental varieties Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis (pictured above), and Paphiopedilums, all of which like bright, filtered bathroom window light.
3. Spider plant
The iconic "spider"-shooting houseplant from the 70s, Chlorophytumcomosum is a natural for the bathroom. This super easy-going plant is fine without much light and enjoys the moisture. Plus, it’s one of the best plants for removing indoor air pollution. Spider plants, everywhere!
4. Air plants
Hailing from South America, there are more than 730 types of plants within the Tillandsia genus. And they are seriously the world’s easiest houseplant – I’ve likened them before to the Pet Rocks of botany. They don’t need soil and they can get most of their water from the air when in a moist environment. Sprinkle them around strategically and voila. (Read more about how to keep them, here.)
5. Snake plant
Sansevieria, also charmingly known as "mother-in-law’s tongue" is another completely affable plant that doesn’t have a whole lot of needs. A member of the lily family, low-light is fine, neglect is tolerated (though not encouraged!) and its tall slender leaves add a lot of flair.
6. Lucky bamboo
Another one that was a winner in my bathroom is lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana), which is not a bamboo at all, but is clearly lucky seeing as how indestructible it is. It is happy in just about any level of light and can live in just a vase of water. Its pretty curly-cue stalks can grow quite huge in height, making for a dramatic touch in a bathroom corner.
7. Dragon plant
Dracaena come in a number of varieties, and none of them are particularly fond of arid households; which is why they love being near a nice steamy shower. This low-light plant is also one of the top five for filtering out VOCs like acetone, benzene and formaldehyde.
Ferns are so ubiquitous that they may have become a bit of a cliche, but the fact is, they are popular for a reason; they are incredible! They are part Victorian lushness and part woodlands romp, and they love a good bathroom. The filtered light and moisture make them feel like they’re in the forest, and that makes them happy. With their beautiful, reaching fronds, they provide a lot of bang for the buck and will ensure that your bathroom never feels boring again.