by Joanna Gains from The Magnolia Blog
A simple and inexpensive way to incorporate life and color into any space in your home is by adding plants. When you think about incorporating plants into your house, you may not immediately think that a bathroom is the ideal place to put them. Usually, as an added design element, we focus on placing them in larger, main rooms of the house, like the entryway or living room. In this blog, we’re guiding you through an underestimated place for your houseplants: the bathroom! We’ve outlined some of our favorites that thrive and grow in a bathroom environment, whether you’re working with a space that has no light, low light, or is bright and sunny.
A question you may have before starting off is, where is the best place to buy plants? We recommend looking at a local nursery first. The employees there are usually very knowledgeable about different types of plants and plant care in your region, and may be able to answer specific questions you may have. If you don’t have nurseries in your area, try a garden center at a hardware or home improvement store.
Note: We love to put plants in baskets, as you’ll see in a few of our pictures. We recommend putting a plastic tray below your plant’s container at the bottom of the basket. That way you don’t have to remove it from the basket to water.
Plants for Low-Light Bathrooms
Cast Iron Plant
+ Light — Low light or indirect light indoors, does not tolerate direct sun.
+ Water — Provide it plenty of water to keep moist through spring and summer, reduce watering in the winter. To avoid overwatering, the soil should feel moist to the touch after watering, not wet.
+ Additional notes — This plant is easy to care for, so if you want to give an indoor or bathroom plant a try, but you’re nervous about maintaining it—the Cast Iron Plant is a great place to start.
(Sourcebook — 2)
Golden Pothos or Devil’s Ivy
+ Light — Tolerates low light, but grows well in medium to higher light. Does not do well in direct sunlight.
+ Water — Water frequently enough to keep the soil moist. You’ll know it’s time to water when the top inch of soil is dry. Yellow leaves often mean it’s been overwatered. (This applies to all indoor plants, as overwatering generally turns leaves yellow.)
+ Additional notes — Trim out dead, discolored or damaged leaves as they pop up. Use sharp, clean scissors to avoid damaging the stems. Snip the stems at the leaf node, which is right where the leaf meets the stem.
(Sourcebook — 3)
Elephant Ear Plant
+ Light — Grows best in partial sun, partial shade locations.
+ Water — Water on a regular basis, every couple of days.
+ Additional notes — This plant is very poisonous when ingested and has a high toxicity level. We suggest setting it out of reach of children and away from pets, such as on a bathroom vanity or shelf.
(Sourcebook — 4)
Dancing Bones Cactus
+ Light — This cactus prefers indirect light and to be protected from direct afternoon sunlight.
+ Water — Never allow the soil to get soggy, but water regularly during the growing season (Spring and Summer).
Other Plants that Thrive in Low-Light Bathrooms:
+ Spade Leaf Philodendron
+ Mantara (Prayer Plant)
+ Spider Plant
Plants for Bright and Sunny Bathrooms
(Sourcebook — 5)
+ Light — This plant does best in full, direct sunlight, such as on a windowsill.
+ Water — Make sure the soil is well drained, yet remains regularly wet or damp. Pitcher plants do best in conditions that are constantly damp and humid. With enough light, this one is the perfect plant for the bathroom environment.
+ Additional notes — A pitcher plant is a Carnivorous plant, which means that it traps and consumes insects. The light green bulb-like structure on the plant contains a sweet nectar for fly traps.
(Sourcebook — 6)
Chinese Monkey Plant
+ Light — Needs a bright, indirectly sunny spot indoors. Direct sunlight will scorch the leaves, so rotate it 2-4 times a week since it grows towards the sun.
+ Water — Allow soil to dry between waterings. When the leaves look droopy, it’s time to water.
+ Additional notes — The Chinese Money Plant is known for helping to increase oxygen flow.
(Sourcebook — 7)
Mediterranean Palm (Left)
+ Light — Thrives in bright sunlight and does best near a window.
+ Water — Soil should remain moist in most seasons. Allow the soil to dry out more between waterings in the winter. A daily mist of water helps it grow and stay healthy.
+ Additional notes — The healthier you buy your palm, the more likely it is to thrive when you give it the right attention. To ensure you get a healthy palm, avoid choosing one with dry soil or browning leaves.
(Sourcebook — 8)
Air Plants or Tillandsia
+ Light — Plenty of bright sunlight is preferred by air plants.
+ Water — Every 2-3 weeks place the air plant in a shallow dish of water for about 12 hours.
+ Additional notes — Faux air plants are an almost-identical second option if you don’t want to worry about the care.
Additional Plants that Thrive in Sunny Bathrooms:
+ Dancing Lady Orchid (fills small spaces with vanilla scent)
+ Ground-Ivy or Creeping Charlie (aromatic, perennial, evergreen creeper of the mint family)
+ Pothos Ivy
Note — Be sure to keep in mind as you’re planning for your space that some plants can be toxic to people and animals when ingested. Make sure to do your own research before buying and keep toxic plants out of the reach of kids and animals.
Plantsfor Bathrooms with no Light
If you have a bathroom with very little or no natural light, faux plants as well as dried flowers or dried stems are also great options for your space.
(1)Rug – worldmarket.comDuffey Watering Can – magnolia.comStool – antiqueTowels – target.com(2)Planter – urbanoutfitters.comWood Bead Plant Hanger – worldmarket.comTowel – worldmarket.com(3)Clear glass organizer – target.comGray Bath Canister, Hearth & Hand with Magnolia – target.comTowels – target.com(4)Apotheke Shampoo – apothekeco.comBrush – Set & Co.Planter – antique(5)Candle – magnolia.comBrush – Set & Co.Wood tray, Hearth and Hand with Magnolia – target.comTowels – worldmarket.comMaya Hanging Terracotta Pot – coming soon to magnolia.comAmber Bath Canister – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia, target.com(6)Organic Cotton Fouta Towel – magnolia.com(7)Stool – antiqueDuffey Watering Can – magnolia.comTowel – target.comKnot and Weave Bath Mat – magnolia.com(8)Candle – magnolia.comTowels – worldmarket.comTray – target.com(9)Left:Wood tray, Hearth & Hand with Magnolia – target.comGinkgo Potted Plant – magnolia.comPotted Fern (Fishbone) – magnolia.comBrush – Set & Co.Right:Towels – worldmarket.com(10)Hand towel – target.comRecycled Glass Vase – magnolia.com
(Sourcebook — 9)
+ Light + Water — The stems in this picture are fresh cut and will last about one week in a vase of water, sunlight or no sunlight. To enjoy your stems even longer, you can begin the process of drying by placing them in an empty vase.
+ Additional notes — The minty, fresh smell of eucalyptus is what this plant is best known for, and is also an effective insect repellent. Potted eucalyptus requires full sun to thrive indoors or outdoors and requires ample, regular waterings.
We hope this guide helps to start you off on the right foot to finding the bathroom plants that work best for you.