After years out there in the interior design wilderness, houseplants are trendy once more, and looking especially cool in bathrooms. Whether you want a jungle, or a more restrained or contemporary look, there will be a plant to help create the mood. Let’s do the Cheese plant again…

Design

Using one big plant (it doesn’t have to be a Monstera) in your smallest room will make a statement and provide a striking focal point. Contemporary spaces are enhanced with architectural plants like Yuccas, but if your bathroom feels a bit stark and clinical, a frothy line of Maidenhair ferns along a shelf or a tasteful update on a cascading Spider plant will soften the edges. Try a single pale orchid for restrained opulence, or the frills and fronds of a Boston fern or Kentia palm to cheer up a dull corner.

Health and beauty

Indoor plants not only make a room look fresher, the plants themselves bring added health benefits. Studies have shown that we feel calmer, safer and more creative in the presence of plants. Many help lower humidity levels by absorbing moisture through their leaves and some can even purify the air and absorb polluting toxins. So that’s clean, green and serene. Let’s get planting!

Growing conditions and cultivation

Houseplants are able to cope with varying degrees of low light. As a general rule cacti and succulents need good light and will be fine in direct sunlight. Those with dark green, tough looking leaves will manage in shade and big floppy leaves tend to need more watering. Most bathrooms are humid environments, but if, like me, you have a cold and draughty house, some plants will curl up their leaves in horror. Choose carefully. A potted plant is completely dependant on you, so be a kindly jailor and remember to feed and water your captives according to their needs.

11 of the best bathroom plants

Some like it steamy

These plants have come from areas of naturally high humidity and often have either large lush looking leaves, or tiny delicate ones. Misting is also a good way of introducing moisture (for you and the plant).

Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) – huge split leaves (not remotely like Swiss cheese except for holes). This monster is a climber and will need support.

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) – absorbs pollution and moisture from the air. Peace lilies are toxic, however, so avoid if you have small children.

Boston fern – likes a moisture retentive soil and indirect light. Trim out any browning leaves.

Maidenhair fern (Adantium) – small, delicate fronds on a compact plant, but needs a bit of tlc to stop it withering (I only have to glance at one). Keep out of direct sunlight.

Architectural wonders

Succulents, spiky cacti and palms make striking focal points in contemporary settings. Do not overwater.

Aloe vera – the sap in this spiky plant can be used medicinally.

String-of-beads (Senecio rowleyanus) – trailing green bobbles best grown in a hanging container in gritty compost.

Air plants (Bromeliads) – these don’t need any soil at all and can be attached to pieces of wood or stone and misted once a week.

The indestructibles

Choose these if you’re not a nurturer, as they will put up with some neglect. For best results, be kind but don’t pamper.

Cast iron plant (Aspidistra) – the name says it all. You just can’t kill this one…

Bamboo (Dracaena braunii) – this is the small ‘lucky’ type of bamboo that won’t take over the bathroom.

Snake plant (Sansevieria) also known as ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’. It’s another succulent, so don’t overwater.

Kentia palm (Howea forsteriana) – tall, elegant dark green fronds.

Using one big plant will make a statement and provide a striking focal point

Using one big plant will make a statement and provide a striking focal point

Aloe vera - the sap in this spiky plant can be used medicinally.

Aloe vera - the sap in this spiky plant can be used medicinally

houseplants are trendy once more, and looking especially cool in bathrooms

Houseplants are trendy once more, and looking especially cool in bathrooms

Indoor plants not only make a room look fresher, the plants themselves bring added health benefits

Indoor plants not only make a room look fresher, the plants themselves bring added health benefits

  • words: