Depending on the plant, keeping it in the bathroom could help it flourish, regardless of the color of your thumb. Think about it: watering is easy, humidity is abundant, and, in return, they improve air quality. The trick is understanding which plants will thrive in this environment. A bathroom without windows and natural light may limit growth, and some evergreen varieties mildew if they get too much moisture. Luckily, whatever your water closet situation, there's likely a plant for you.
Asparagus densiflorus is not actually a fern, though it is related to asparagus. This South African plant is a perennial whose bright green foliage makes it look like a tiny, delicate weeping willow. It can grow up to 2 feet high. Because it thrives in humid environments, keeping it in the bathroom prevents it from drying out, but it still needs to be regularly watered. The plant likes morning sun but can handle light shade throughout the day.
Depending on the variety, bamboo plants can be ideal for the bathroom. They thrive in any level of light, so if your bathroom is on the darker side, leaves will still shoot from the stalks. Some types of bamboo don’t even need soil and will grow beautifully in a rock-filled container with some water. It’s a good idea to use high-nitrogen fertilizer once a month to make sure the plant gets the necessary nutrients.
The spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum, works well in the bathroom. These green and white plants look like thick reeds of grass, and just like grass, they grow under almost any circumstance. Sow them in a pot that’s a little bigger than the bulb, or you can put them in a larger container and let them grow into it. When they mature, they shoot out baby plants that you can keep tethered to the original or transplant for even more greenery.
Also known as prayer plants, calatheas are a nice break from the ordinary. They get their nicknames from the way their leaves curl up at night, like hands in prayer. Calatheas have red or silvery green and white tops with maroon undersides. They like shady spots and need to be watered every few days. This plant does well in most soils, but an ideal mix has a bit of perlite and charcoal. Treat it well, and the leaves won’t stop growing.
A pitcher plant, Nepenthes sanguinea, in the bathroom is both exotic and convenient, especially if there are a few bugs around. Sometimes called monkey cups, they produce multicolored tubes that look like drink pitchers, hanging from the thick vein that runs through its long, thin leaves. The tropical pitcher plant is carnivorous — it attracts and digests insects, like wasps and yellow jackets, to get their nutrients. Because they love being moist, having them in the bathroom is great, as long as they are in their specialized Nepenthes soil mixture.
Many people associate gardenias with outdoor gardens, so it may surprise you to learn they do well in bathrooms. These tropical plants have dark green, waxy leaves and intense white flowers that love indirect sunlight and moist environments. Gardenias need a little sunlight to flower, and its fragrance intensifies in close quarters. To get the best results, plant them in acidic soil, preferably one with peat moss, and feed them an acidic fertilizer.
Moth orchids are gorgeous epiphtyes, which are plants that get their sustenance from the air. They do well in indirect sun and collect moisture from the environment, whether it's rain or shower water. Because moth orchids normally live in tree hollows, their potting soil needs to be made from coarse bark. They grow well in smaller containers and have captivating multicolored blooms.
Commonly known as Earth Stars, Crypanthus bromeliads are used to keeping a low profile. The intricate foliage formation makes them look like multipoint stars. Their leaves can be banded, striped, or spotted, and with shades of reds, purples and greens, each plant is truly unique. Bromeliads fare well in light shade, and they can grow in any soil. Their tight concentric core allows water storage. Make sure those cupped leaves have water in them, and it should be fine.
If space is tight, and you’re looking for a plant that will still do well, consider a peperomia. These slow-growing bushes come in a variety of colors, but even the simple dark green ones, P. obtusifolia, are stunning. They prefer low light and only need water when the soil is really dry. Peperomia don’t even need pruning. The most popular variety is P. caperata, because its wrinkly heart-shaped leaves come in rich shades of red or orange.
Crotons, Codiaeum variegatum, can be patterned bronze, green, and purple, among their many varieties, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding one that complements your bathroom decor. They are broadleaf tropical evergreens that can grow as big as 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide, so if the bathroom is small, you may need to rehome them eventually. Crotons love humus soil that drains well and need water only when the soil's first couple of inches are dry.