Bathroom Plants

House plants generally cope with a rise or flunctuation in temperature. Plants recover from excessive heat, lack of light often and can tolerate a week or two of absence/TLC. What they may not be able to tolerate is a constant source of steam, condensation and excessive moisture in the atmosphere. This is why perhaps there are certain plants are suited to the Bathroom and others not.

Often if you replicate the atmosphere of the plants natural environment you can’t go wrong. Plants of a tropical nature obviously prefer a more humid environment. Succulents, fleshy thick stemmed plants that retain water like Houseleeks or Cacti will tolerate some moisture, but tend to rot if over saturated.

Ferns are an ideal choice. The plants within this genus tolerate shade, almost no maintenance and very little care. The humidity has no detrimental effect and more often than not these plants can get soaked on a daily basis.

Platycerium spp (Staghorn fern, Antelope fern). Leathery flat leaves that often droop and hang dependent on the species. Ferns differ from other plants, they multiply by their spores not seeds. Due to the variety of textures that can be had, the lack of flowers is no shortfall. The foliage offers the desired effect. The Staghorn fern will adapt and often thrive with almost no light and moderate moisture. The soil, however, is important and needs to be humus rich. It needs a generous amount of nutrients.

The (Maidenhair fern) Adiantum Spp. is also commonly used because of these characteristics. Unlike the Staghorn it has very delicate fine leaves but copes well in a shady and highly humid location. It does like sun but will show signs of scorching if over faced with direct sunlight. It seems to adapt well in rising or falling tempertaures but not an extreme shift. It will not thank if exposed to a chilly corner or one where its battered by drying winds.

Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plants) are popular too since they largely suffer no major problems and are generally disease free. There are green/variegated kinds, both are straightforward, require almost no care and are reliable assets in the bathroom. They can cope with over watering but on a sporadic basis. The plant will not thank if too wet, the roots can easily rot.

There are plants that can improve the air quality and absorb certain chemicals in the atmosphere. As a rule, succulents can get over saturated in these conditions. Aloe Vera, however, is one that can be used since they can tolerate humidity and are so easy to look after. The plants demise can often be root rot so don’t over water as a rule and treat rather like a cactus. It will source its own water if needed. Aloe Vera need a substantial amount of light and will only tolerate light and infrequent shade.

Aphelandra Spp. (Zebra Plant) a silver veined plant, tropical in orgin, it prefers a warm moist environment. It will not tolerate going below 20 degrees so can be quite a challenge. It also demands full sunlight and so not suited to a typical bathroom that may not have a window. If its demands are met it will provide the most striking of foliage and blooms yearly. A. aurantiaca – a red flower. A squarrosa – a yellow.

Another plant used that purifies the atmosphere is Sansevieria trifasciata (Mother in Laws Tongue) which will tolerate partial sunlight. It’s habit will ensure it doesn’t encroach on space since its leaves are upright. It has attractive yellow edged leaves. Again, do not overwater. Less is more.

Bromeliads, a number of plants that absorb moisture from the atmosphere and not the soil. The plants can cope with humidity but still need the air to circulate. Bromeliads remove toxins too, but at night time, so combining it with a standard foliage plant will provide your home with 24 hour purification.

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I'm Craft Gardener with several years experience. Due to the massive impact the internet has had on advice, forums and consultancy services - it seems knowledge and experience is everchanging and we should therefore share techniques and offer others alternative routes in pests, diseases and weed treatments. The very smallest alterations in aspect, soil conditioning and pruning can determine a plants vigour, health and lifespan hugely. My blogs and online assistance should motivate and interest even the most amateur of green fingered people. As my ex partner used to say "it's green isn't it"?