Where do you display your houseplants? At one point, this question would've had one obvious answer: the living room. Maybe a few in the kitchen, or the conservatory if you're lucky to have one. However, recent research* reveals that the most popular room for displaying a houseplant collection is now the bathroom.
On Instagram, '#bathroomplants' was searched for over 25,000 times in the past month alone, in comparison with just 5,000 for '#livingroomplants'. On Google, 'bathroom plants' is one of the most searched-for terms. We're not surprised. Many of the best indoor plants look great in bathrooms. And, as it turns out, keeping them in the bathroom has all sorts of benefits, both for you and for the plants.
Why are bathrooms a popular room for houseplants?
There's no denying that adding indoor plant ideas to a bathroom is a very trendy look. Liam Lapping, houseplant expert at Flowercard (opens in new tab), says that houseplants 'help to transform your bathroom into a tropical oasis, creating a spa-like vibe.'
That's not all of it, however. Liam also points out that houseplants 'provide for a series of health benefits. Bathroom plants are a great way to improve air quality and they also help to absorb excess moisture by fending off lingering bacteria and reducing the spread of mold.'
Adam Leech, owner of Showers Direct (opens in new tab), confirms that this is true from a bathroom plumbing point of view. Adam explains that due to the high humidity and warm temperatures found in bathrooms, 'windowsills and light fixtures often end up getting overgrown with algae or mold, which is why they need frequent cleaning. Houseplants can help absorb some of this moisture and prevent it from clogging up your plumbing system.'
Not all houseplants will thrive in the bathroom
Many tropical plants thrive in bathrooms. According to Liam, bathrooms have 'many qualities of a rainforest', which helps rainforest-native plants do very well in them.
However, 'it is important to note that not all houseplants are suitable for the bathroom. As a result of fluctuating temperatures, infrequent sunlight and significant humidity, you need to select your bathroom plants carefully. A few popular choices include ferns and gardenias.' You can find more top picks for the best plants for bathrooms in our guide.
It is best to keep succulents and cacti out of the bathroom, as the high humidity and low light levels will not be suitable for them. And it goes without saying that a bathroom must have natural light if you want to keep plants in it.
Top tip for styling bathroom plants
If you want to have a go at creating a bathroom jungle, Richard Roberts, Director of Sanctuary Bathrooms, has a useful styling tip: 'to create the perfect biophilic or garden-themed bathroom, make sure you have plenty of light walls or subtle greens, as well as light wood tones and bamboo, similar to what you find in nature like near ponds or waterways.'
One to add to your indoor garden ideas. We're definitely convinced and are off to get some ferns for the bathroom.
* Stats from a data-focused study by Conservatory Blinds 4 Less (opens in new tab)
Anna is a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among her favourite plants. She moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. She's always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.
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