Bathroom plants: May 2019 Houseplants of the Month
The story of Bathroom plants
Bathroom plants all like shade, high temperatures and high humidity - similar to the conditions that are found in a rainforest (and the bathroom). And they fit in perfectly with the interiors trend where a room is more than just somewhere to dash in and out of and becomes a space to enjoy for a good start, or relaxing end to the day. The Bathroom plants have been specially selected to be displayed together for optimum effect.
Tillandsia originates from Central and South America, the peace lily from the jungles of Brazil, South America and Asia, Ficus pumilia clambers and trails in the Far East, and the maidenhair fern grows primarily in China. What they have in common is that they grow in an environment that resembles a tropical rainforest. And that in turn is very similar to the bathroom after the morning rush; the moisture and steam left behind offer ideal conditions for these plants.
Bathroom plants range
The best Tillandsia for use in the bathroom is the epiphytic T. useneoides (Spanish moss). Tillandsia is also commonly offered as small rosettes in various shapes and sizes. These are also classic epiphytes, of which T. xerographica (large grey rosette) or ionantha (small red rosettes) are examples. Flowering T. cyanea (pink and blue) or T. flabellata (red) are also very suitable and have the added benefit of bringing colour to the bathroom.
Spathiphyllum (peace lily) is offered in many different cultivars, from very small plants with small white blooms to plants almost as tall as a person with large spathes. There are green-leaved and variegated-leaved varieties. We are also increasingly seeing coloured spathes.
Maidenhair fern comes in various cultivars, ranging from green-leaved to bronze-coloured varieties.
Ficus pumila is offered as both a hanging plant and climber in green-leaved and white or yellow variegated cultivars. The young plants have small leaves. The leaves can get larger as they get older.
What to look for when buying Bathroom plants
- The number of flowers, height, length, tendrils or thickness of the plant can play a role in the selection, depending on the species.
- With the epiphytic species (offered without pot) it is important to check that the plants are sufficiently fresh and are therefore not being offered dried out.
- With the other plants the soil must be sufficiently damp, otherwise they will either droop (Spathiphyllum) or the leaves will be shrivelled (Adiantum or Ficus pumila).
Care tips for customers
- Bathroom plants can cope with quite low light levels. If there’s no window in the bathroom, they can survive fairly well on artificial light.
- Steam, mist, immersion – they love it all.
- Some food once a fortnight. With Tillandsia you can give it in the plant spray.
- If the plants get too wild, you can simply give them a trim.