Red flower pot on a table sink.

What Plants You Could Grow in Your Bathroom

Hot and steamy, the bathroom is an ideal environment for ferns. Their delicate fronds soften the lines of ceramic, metal, and glass, and a quick shower once a week helps keep them in excellent health. If you have no shelf space to fit a fern or two, suspend a hanging basket from the ceiling.

Time to complete: 30 minutes.

You will need: Decorative containers, plastic pots that fit inside, pieces of plastic, house plant potting mix, slow-release fertilizer granules, gravel or moss, Adiantum capillus-veneris, Asplenium nidus.

Pot up the ferns

If you bought your ferns in pots that fit into your decorative containers, simple add slow-release fertilizer granules to the potting mix. If not, repot them. In a new plastic pot, put a few pieces of plastic in the base, then add a layer of potting mix. Tip a fern out of its old pot and place it on top. Fill in around it with more potting mix and fertilizer granules.

Siting and aftercare

Fit the potted ferns into your containers, add a layer of gravel or moss on top of the potting mix, and place them in a shady spot. Water the Adiantum well throughout the year—the leaves will shrivel if the potting mix dries out. The Asplenium needs plenty of water in spring and summer, but keep the potting mix just moist in the winter months.

Fern choices

Most, but not all, ferns like the moist conditions in a bathroom, so check individual plant labels before buying. Match your plants with smooth ceramic, glass, or rust-proof metal containers that contrast well with the textured fronds.

Foliage effects

For large bathrooms, the spreading, bushy foliage of a dwarf tree fern works well, but if your space is limited, try small, slow-growing brake or button ferns (Pteris and Pellaea). Asparagus ferns, with their feathery foliage, look delicate but are deceptively easy to keep. They are not, in fact, true ferns at all, and adapt to a wide range of conditions. If you opt for a hanging basket, the tree-dwelling staghorn fern will provide a focal point.