Zen bathroom design. Photo: Deposit Photos

25 Apr 5 Reasons Plants Are Perfect for Your Bathroom

By Justin Hancock

, Costa Farms Horticulturist

GAdding plants to your bathroom is currently one of the hottest trends in home decor. And it’s about time: The powder room has long been one of the last places we augment with the beauty of indoor plants. Happily, there are plenty of reasons to go out now, get a plant, and use it to decorate your bathroom beyond being on trend…

Reason 1: Plants Remove VOCs

Scientific research shows that plants can effectively filter potentially harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—such as benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene—from the air. This leaves our bathrooms smelling purer and fresher, and gives us healthier air to breathe. This can be especially important in the bathroom, the room we spend the most time in with the door closed. As such, there’s less fresh air cycling in to prevent the buildup of VOCs.

Bathrooms also pose another hidden risk to our physical health: Because most of the common products and disinfectants we use to sanitize our bathrooms release these VOCs, the more time you spend keeping your bathroom clean, the more chemicals there may be in the air.

Aglaonema plant in pots for bathroom decoration and health

Reason 2: Plants Clean Your Bathroom for You

That pretty little indoor plant you have is always working to purify the air in your bathroom. Research shows it’s also helping to keep your bathroom cleaner. In a study released by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, we learned that plants—which includes English ivy, aka Hedera helix—have the ability to pull bacteria, mold spores, and other particulate matter from the air. This prevents these icky things from settling on our bathroom surfaces.

Reason 3: Your Bathroom May Be Perfect for Plants

Best of all, your bathroom can be one of the best places to grow indoor plants because of the extra humidity the room offers. Most of our common indoor plants come from tropical climates where there’s abundant moisture in the air. Your plants appreciate it each time you turn on the sink or shower. This can make keeping your plants happy easier in your bathroom than in other rooms.

Watering can be a breeze, too, especially if your plants are situated in a spot where they sometimes get splashed by your shower. So, you won’t even need to worry about watering them.

Spider plant

Reason 4: Plants Help You Relax

Ever wish that your bathroom felt more like a spa? Adding a few plants may help. There’s a wealth of scientific research that points to how plants help us feel more relaxed. For example, a study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology showed test subjects felt happier, less stressed, and had lower diastolic blood pressure readings when exposed to indoor plants. Other studies suggest that simply having indoor plants around can help improve our well-being by improving our mental outlook and can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Successfully growing houseplants can also help increase feelings of accomplishment and self-confidence.

Reason 5: Plants Make Your Space Look Social Media Worthy

We tend to decorate other rooms in our home to make them comfy. But we often treat our bathrooms to more functional decor. Likewise, the materials we use may give off a cold feel. Common culprits include ceramic tile, marble, metal, and porcelain because they’re easy to keep clean. Indoor plants can add a sense of warmth and life.

Bromeliad plant. Photo: Deposit Photos

Top Plants for Bathrooms

Bromeliad: A bromeliad is a tropical beauty—related to pineapples—that shows off rich green foliage and flamboyant flower spikes in tropical shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, and white. It loves warm, humid spaces, which makes it a topnotch choice for your powder room.

Colorful aglaonema: A rockstar of the indoor plant world, the colorful aglaonema is an efficient air purifier and tolerates a wide range of lighting conditions, from low to bright. It’s also delightfully forgiving of missed waterings, so you don’t have to stress out about whether it’ll wilt right away if it starts to get dry. Plus, the colorful aglaonema comes in a wide range of variegated leaf patterns and has a range of colors.

Nerve plant: Like the colorful aglaonema, the nerve plant adds a splash of color to bathrooms. This tidy indoor plant doesn’t take up a lot of space, so it’s perfect for windowsills and countertops. Most varieties have rich green leaves veined in shades of red, pink, and white; some almost have a metallic look. It tolerates low light but also does well in medium and bright spots. Nerve plant loves high humidity, too.

Spider plant: The tried-and-true spider plant is as popular today as it was in your grandmother’s generation because it’s so easy to care for. Like the colorful aglaonema, you don’t need to worry about growing conditions. It loves high light, thrives in medium light, and doesn’t mind low light, either. It does best when watered whenever the top inch or so of the potting mix dries, but its thick roots store water, which helps it power through times when it gets too dry.

Justin Hancock is a horticulturist and Costa Farms GARDEN GURU™. He’s passionate about plants and has indoor plants in every room of his home. He’s been writing about plants and plant care for more than 20 years. Before coming to Costa Farms, Justin served as gardening editor at Better Homes and Gardens magazine.


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