Houseplants for the Bathroom

Written by susan sedgwick
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Houseplants for the Bathroom
Orchids thrive in sunny bathrooms. (Fleur image by Martin RICHIARDONE from

Houseplants are a great addition to a bathroom. They purify the air, infuse a functional room with colour and life, and immediately dress up a mundane space. If your bathroom is large enough, consider placing a large potted plant on the floor or on a plant stand to add drama and a tropical touch. If space allows, windowsills, counters and toilet tops are good spots for smaller plants. If you need every inch of your countertops and storage areas, hang a basket from the ceiling.


Orchids are tropical plants prized for their exotic, intricate flowers that sometimes take on an almost-alien appearance. They are native to rainforests and love humid conditions, which makes them a good match for steamy bathrooms. Orchids are air plants, or epiphytes, which typically grow on branches or rocky soils because their draw moisture from humid air, rather than the soil. Good choices for sunny bathrooms with plenty of natural light are Cattleya and Dendrobium species, while Lady Slipper and Phalaenopsis thrive in lower light conditions.


Like orchids, bromeliads are also tropical air plants that love humid conditions. They typically make excellent indoor plants, because they quickly adapt to the growing conditions inside most homes. They feature colourful, long-lasting leaves and sporadic, but brilliant blooms, and grow best in shallow pots filled with tree or cork bark. Two notable varieties include eye-catching tillandsia (also called urn plants or Aechmea fasciata) and Earth Star, which does exceptionally well under florescent lights.


Dracaena encompass a large family of very tolerant plants that grow well indoors and range in size from small potted plants to tall indoor "trees." The striped dracaena variety is shrubby, medium sized and easy to grow, with narrow leaves that have a distinctive white or yellow streak in the centre. Dracaenas are known for their air-cleaning properties and can absorb some airborne toxins. They thrive in lowlight conditions and need infrequent watering.

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