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This is not an ‘all these plants will thrive in every bathroom type deal. I have a very in-depth post on the various pros and cons to putting plants in bathrooms here.
This is more of a ‘this is what my bathroom is like, and this is the plants that have done usper well in there.’
The conditions we’re working with
Soo, my bathroom is small, south-facing and has one window with a windowsill. The bath/shower is on the same wall as the window, which means that it’s super easy to water plants when I’m showering, but also it’s no good AT ALL for any plant that needs to full dry out before watering, like cacti.
The glass in the window is textured and next door’s house obscures a significant proportion of the light, so we’re talking premium bright, indirect light.
Bathrooms are cold. In summer, it’s fine, but in winter, you have to be so careful. Especially if you like to keep the windows open (which I do) to stop mould building up.
My bathroom is small, and it has a radiator, but it’s still cold as hell in winter. The lack of soft furnishings and surprising amount of shiny, cold surfaces doesn’t help. And i’m not living in a damp bathroom for the sake of my plants.
I’m currently in the process of reviving an orchid I given a couple of years ago.
It was dying when it came into my possession, and now it’s definitely not dying, but it’s also not doing well either.
A recent move from the kitchen to the bathroom is helping a lot.
There is talk of orchids needing a seasonal cold spell, so this year I’ll keep him in there over winter and keeping a close eye on his progress.
A lot of plants like a cold spell to encourage flowers (cacti like one) BUT there’s a difference between a simple drop in temperature (like the desert would experience at night and sometimes seasonally) and a drop in temperature PLUS a dramatic reduction in light PLUS a damp bathroom.
We’ll just have to see!
Ferns freaking LOVE my bathroom. To point that they quickly outgrow it.
My maidenhair fern especially loves the windowsill in there, since it’s apparently (after a lot of experimentation) the PERFECT light for her.
Boston ferns don’t mind that much light, but mine grew quicker a couple of feet (i.e. on the corner of the bath furthest from the window) away.
There are a couple of reasons that I like to keep my ferns in the bathroom:
1 – Ferns like to be kept moist
Aaaaand I’m a bit of an underwaterer. If my plants are in the shower, I can can just flick a bit of water on them when I’m bathing. You could even put them in the shower with you, but don’t put them directly under hot water. If you put them on the shower floor, the water’s cooled significantly.
2 – You can easily wash off pests
Aphids seem to LOVE ferns, especially new fronds. And aphids are really, really tough to shift. Keeping your ferns in the shower with you and blasting the bugs off with the shower head every couple of days is a pretty low-effort way to keep them at bay.
I’ve not tried over-wintering ferns in the bathroom, but you probably could depending on species. Just keep an eye on it and move it if it starts looking sad.
I have inadvertently created a system where I NEVER have to water my ZZ plant.
In fairness, my boyfriend plays an integral part in this. You see, he faces the showerhead when he, er, showers (like a freak) and I face away from it (like a normal person).
It means that he raises the showerhead and every time I go to turn the shower on after he’s been in, the ZZ gets a little spray. Just a bit. A tiny bit. Like a drop. But every day.
Is it ideal?
No! But I have a plant that basically takes care of herself.
My ZZ plant lasted in the bathroom all winter with no issues. I’ve propagated it to make a bushier plant.
If you’ve read my how to care for crotons article, you’ll be aware of their predilection for spider mites.
So crotons aren’t going to thrive in the bathroom because of the conditions the bathroom provides, BUT you’re more likely to be able to get rid of spider mites from your croton if you can just hose it off every day.
Mine grew ok in the bathroom, but it’s not ideal for them. It now lives in exile on my bedside table so it can keep its spider mites to itself, but if a big infestation comes, back into the bathroom.
Crotons won’t appreciate a cold winter, so this is definitely one that’ll need another spot in winter (preferably away from other plants).
Pothos often get relegated into dark corners, but they THRIVE in bright, indirect light. I’m currently in the process of acclimating my pothos to being outside for the summer (lols I didn’t acclimate it I just shoved it out there so all the old growth is burned, but the new growth is coming in fast!).
Back when my pothos babies were small, they lived in my bathroom. I had one on the sink, one on the edge of the bath and two on the windowsill. The two on the windowsill grew noticeably faster, so I would rotate them often.
I also found that when my Marble Queen was on the windowsill the variegation was much whiter than when it was further away from the light. The leaves were still really variegated (since the light was still pretty good) but the colour was definitely creamier.
Oh, but be aware of putting plants on your sink, especially if you have an electric toothbrush. My Philodendron brasil is STILL covered in toothpaste spatter that I can’t get off.
I’d move pothos in winter. They have a nasty habit of looking fine until they’re at death’s door, so I wouldn’t risk it.
MY HOYA BELLA BLOOMED.
Urrrr Hoya are so beautiful in bloom!
AND I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO DO ANYTHING.
I mean, repotting her helped, but I didn’t have grow lights or a humidifier in there or anything.
The repotting is significant, because hoya often have *something* around their roots that can impact on the way they grow. In this case, a thick bark-type plug was around the roots.
The plant can grow without having this removed, but you’ll find that if you free the roots, they grow like mad. Just be sure not to give them too big a pot – hoya like to be a bit snug.
Hoya are pretty succulent in nature, but like a bit of humidity, so you can put them in your bathroom and pretty much ignore them. Mine gets watered about every month.
Plants that have hated it in there
I mean, they still have to go in there for spider mites reasons, but I think the oscillation (love that word) in humidity makes it hard for alocasia to thrive in bathrooms. Mine live in the kitchen in ambient humidity and they’re fine.
The drop in temperature in winter is not going to suit alocasia at all. Mine have to move into my office in winter.
Read more about Alocasia care here.
They SHOULD like it in there, right?
Calathea don’t really like tap water, and though you can get quite a lot of growth if you keep your Calathea in the bathroom, they may very well be plagued with crispy edges, tips, or just generally curling up and dying.