House Plants for the Bathroom
Decorating a bathroom with plants helps bring the beauty of the outdoors into a home. Bathrooms provide an excellent climate for house plants that thrive in humid conditions. Lighting often is an issue because of small or no windows. Choose plants that thrive in low-lit areas and use fluorescent bulbs in bathroom fixtures when possible to produce the same wavelengths of light that plants get from the sun.
Ferns are ideal for bathrooms. They enjoy the humidity and like the indirect lighting conditions often found in the bath. Two easy-to-grow ferns that do well in the bathroom are the bird's nest fern and the holly fern. The bird's nest fern (asplenium nidus) lends a tropical appearance to your bath with its apple-green, tongue-shaped fronds that are smooth and glossy. It can grow 20 to 60 inches tall. They should be kept moist at all times and fertilized weekly during the growing season. Holly ferns (cyrtomium falcatum) are hardy plants that can withstand low light, drafts and dry air. They have smooth, shiny green fronds that resemble the holy plant and can reach up to 3 feet in height. Full grown holly ferns should be fertilized every six months. Both plants like daytime temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees F, cooler temperatures at night and should be watered when surface soil becomes dry.
Known as one of the easiest to grow house plants, the spider plant (chlorophytum comosum) is commonly recognized for it's variegated foliage and it's off-shoots. The spider plant leaves grow to be 8 to 15 inches long. This plant will do well in low to moderately lit bathrooms. They like a rich soil that is well-drained. Allow their soil to dry between watering's and give them liquid fertilizer once every 2 to 4 weeks. Over-watering will cause the tips of the plant to turn black. Remove off-shoots regularly, as too many will place a strain on the main plant. Place off-shoots in water or soil and they will sprout another spider plant in very little time.
These vining plants make great additions to any bathroom. Place them on a shelf to allow for a dramatic draping effect or keep the plant trimmed for a neater appearance. The heart-leaf philodendron (philodendron candens oxycardium) has leaves that are between 2 and 4 inches in length and are heart-shaped. It rarely grows to be more than 1 foot high, but its vines can reach up to 6 feet in length. The plant is considered very easy to grow, likes a humid environment and requires little care. Keep its soil moist and placed in low-lit areas. Fertilize mature plants every 3 to 4 months. Philodendrons are happy in low-lit areas and suffer leaf burn if exposed to full direct sunlight. Some varieties of philodendron are toxic if eaten.
A compact, slow-growing plant that is ideal for small bathroom spaces, the prayer plant (maranta leuconeura) is well-known for it's colorful, patterned leaves. The leaves are a deep shade of green and have a center spine of a lighter green with darker, sometimes red veins layered over the top. Its leaves are deep red on the underside. The appearance of the leaves is not the only unusual thing about this plant. In the evening the leaves close and resemble praying hands. The prayer plant can grow to about 1 foot in height and may produce a small white or bright blue flower, but this is seldom seen on indoor specimens. The plant is tolerant of low-light conditions and likes a humid atmosphere. They prefer temperatures that range between 60 and 80 degrees F. Direct sunlight will scorch the beautiful leaves and may be fatal to the plant. They like moist soil and need to be fertilized every two weeks from late spring until summer.