Can you keep plants in the bathroom?
Why not brighten up your bathroom with a plant (and make it cheaper to do so)? Bathrooms are often drab, cold places, so why not add some color to them? There are also lots of plants covering every surface, which keeps popping up on Instagram.
You shouldn’t be fooled by the row of cacti and succulents lined up along the side of the bath. Although bathrooms are usually thought of as great places to keep plants because they’re naturally quite humid at least once per day, they can also be great. However, not all bathrooms are suited for plants, and you may need to move your bathroom plants around regularly in order to keep them healthy.
You can grow ferns in your bathroom if you provide them with enough light.
Bathrooms, however, can be extremely cold because the furniture isn’t cosy and the windows are often open, so if you live in a temperate climate, you may want to invest in fake plants in the winter months so as not to spend a fortune on heat.
It’s not recommended to keep plants in the bathroom in winter if there is a regular low temperature below 10°c/50°f.
However, you can generally keep plants in your bathroom. Nevertheless, there are some factors you need to consider:
The light in your bathroom
If your bathroom has no windows and you want to put a plant in it, I suggest you read this post about keeping plants in the dark.
That being said, if you don’t care about your bank account or the state of the environment, then invest in some grow lights and a low light plant and you might be able to keep it alive for quite some time.
Plants that are planted near south-facing windows probably cannot survive the heat very well (they may quickly get sunburned). However, bathrooms have that wibbly glass that reflects light, so it’s a perfect lighting scenario for plants: bright, indirect lighting.
It might be preferable to have an assortment of medium-light-loving plants on shelves rather than directly on the window sill if you have a small bathroom. It would be best if your bathroom was painted white. Having an open window and white walls will bounce a sufficient amount of light around to allow plants to thrive.
I think the best bathroom windows would be those facing south and east. However, I can’t guarantee that a bathroom facing a certain direction will provide enough light without knowing more about where you live.
In a north-facing bathroom on the top floor where there are no obstructions, the bathroom may get more light than a south-facing window that’s underground and obstructed by a building.
Unfortunately, you just have to pay attention to your light. Let’s say you want to spend a whole day in the bathroom in order to see how long the chosen spot gets decent light. Or, there is the option of buying a cheap plant and seeing if it does well in the spot.
Plant growth is affected by light – lack of light can lead to plants growing leggy (which essentially means the gap between the leaves on a stem gets wider). It’s okay if that’s the look you’re going for. Alternately, you can try a plant that needs less light, or you can look for another location.
The temperature in your bathroom
Don’t keep any plants in the bathroom over window because they can die from the cold.
In general, house plants do not like really cold temperatures (they will not survive in winter), and most of the ones that do not mind/like a spell of humidity will not tolerate it.
If you want a plant in your bathroom during the winter, you might want to consider the Poinsetta or Cyclamen. In any case, don’t put your cactus in the bathroom. Cold spells are their favorite (who knew? ), but humidity doesn’t suit them.
The best way to keep houseplants in your bathroom would be to run a dehumidifier (maybe even outside the bathroom, but not in it) and crank up the temperature.
This isn’t something I would recommend since we should all be lowering our energy expenditures, not raising them, and circulating air in our homes is essential.
The plants benefit as well, since stale, stagnant air is not good for them.
The people who live in places where the temperature stays above freezing year-round and can keep plants in their bathrooms all year round lucky them. Honestly, I’m not even jealous of you.
Plants that can thrive in bathrooms
Let me start by listing plants that I have personally had success keeping in the bathroom. The word ‘thriving’ means to grow a lot.
- Calathea Leopardina. In fairness, she doesn’t care where she goes, she always looks beautiful and never stops growing.
- Boston fern. The plants loved the bathroom so much and grew like stink. In reality, I would have moved him back in if the ends of his fronds hadn’t been touching the window pane and it hadn’t turned brown.
- Asparagus fern. In the bathroom, a lot of growth has appeared (which is fascinating to watch). Though technically he could fit on the bathroom windowsill, he could only do so at a certain angle, causing him to grow unevenly. I did not want to separate him from the Boston fern because they are always together.
- Spider plants. In the bathroom, I grew some of my baby spider plants. It seems to have been better light there than other places I usually place spider plants, because they grew quickly there.
I’ll finally give you the plants I’ve either never tried or that didn’t particularly thrive in my bathroom, but that I’ve read and love the bathroom.
- Peace lily
Because peace lilies need moist conditions to thrive, they are often found in bathrooms. For me personally, however, that would mean they’re not a great fit for the bathroom since I’m always lazy about watering my bathroom plants. My assumption is that the humidity will do most of the work, so I don’t want to overwater them.
For this reason, I do not recommend keeping Alocasia in the bathroom. It is possible for Allocosia to go for weeks without needing water, but then may grow new leaves and require daily watering.
Plants that are that finicky should be kept in the kitchen where I keep all my other finicky plants. Your plants are thirsty, so keep them all together. I doubt you’ll remember to water them if they’re scattered everywhere, and you won’t be arsed to do so if they’re on your back doorstep.
Even so, you might as well prepare yourself for success.
Plants that can survive in bathrooms
In that case, they might live, but they might not grow, which is sad.
My favorite thing about my plants is that if I take care of them properly, they’ll grow. Eventually, I’ll live in a jungle, which will be amazing.
- Snake plant
- Aloe vera
- ZZ Plant
Plants that’ll die in bathrooms
Cacti (and a lot of succulents) will rot. You’ll eventually be one of those people who can’t even keep a cactus alive.
Pros of having plants in the bathroom
You can add some colour and freshness to your bathroom with it. I don’t know anything about interior design, so I just live in a house filled with plants. That’s all there is to it, that’s the aesthetic.
It is possible to keep humidity-loving plants without investing in a humidifier. Your bathroom will be plenty humid enough for plants that thrive in humidity, such as ferns and orchids, as long as you don’t suffer from excessive mould. You ask, but how about winter? Put your orchid in a warmer place during the winter instead of the freezing cold bathroom because most plants slow down a bit in the winter. If you are concerned about the dry air, you can use a humidifier.
While you’re in the shower, you can check them. It is best to keep a close eye on your plants so that problems (like plant death) don’t occur. There may not be enough time to inspect every item in your collection when you have a lot. If you spend a lot of time near your plants, you’re more likely to spot any problems early on, and be able to fix them before too much damage is done. There’s nothing better to do in the shower than inspect your plants!
Also, you can shower them. Who has the time to dust the leaves? Not a single person! You can let your bathroom plants use your shower, however. Put those things in the bottom of the sink where the water is cooler, and let that dust (and any pests) flow down.
Cons of having plants in the bathroom
Watering them can be forgotten. When they’re in the bathroom, it’s easy to forget to water them because you assume they’ll get plenty of moisture from the air. Your shower plants may require less watering than your other plants, but their soil needs to be well watered when it’s dry.
You can feel them touch you in the shower when they grow large. It’s disturbing to feel the frond of the Boston fern brush your bum in the shower when you’re in the shower, let me tell you. One of the reasons for my living downstairs in the kitchen is that it’s very unsettling. Exactly because of this point, I have always wondered why people suggest aloe vera be kept in the bathroom. It will hurt you unless you have ample space.
It is possible that they will die. Whether we like it or not, bathrooms are very unnatural environments. Your living room isn’t a rainforest, but your bathroom (if it’s warm) might attract orchids. It is also probably not good for your plant if you use strong chemicals in the bathroom.
If you leave the window open, it might not like the draught.
Getting its leaves wet might not be a good idea for it. In other words, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t risk it, I’m just saying you need to keep an eye on how your plants do in the bathroom. It’s an item I’d only put in a bathroom during the summer if you have high natural light and if it has the potential to convert if not exposed to enough light.
So, can you keep plants in your bathroom?
Yes or no. You need to know how much light your bathroom receives (it must receive some light) and how warm it is. Oh, and what kind of plants you want to put in there. Plants that prefer low lighting and humidity will probably be OK, but plants that prefer bright light and dry air, such as cacti, will likely not.