Add some green to your bathroom
While a touch of greenery in the bathroom adds a splash of colour, it also helps improve air quality too. With the focus of many home improvement projects being a bathroom improvement, homeowners often opt for an all-white look that works for resale, so greenery adds colour and life to this stark canvas.
Humidity in the bathroom can be up to 80%, making it the perfect environment for many indoor plants. You may be surprised to know that your local Builders Warehouse stocks a variety of indoor plants. Alternatively, visit your local nursery or garden centre for advice on the best indoor plants for your particular bathroom.
You need to select suitable plants based on the level of natural light that usually penetrates through windows or skylights.
HIGH LIGHT - Opt for crotons, azaleas and cyclamens.
MEDIUM LIGHT - Choose peace lilies, calathea and aglaonema.
LOW LIGHT - Buy spider plants, Boston ferns and philodendrons.
Others include African violets, bromeliads, parlour palms, cast iron plants, bird’s nest ferns, ponytail palms, zebra plants and begonias.
In a bathroom that has little or no light, or even no window, leaving the bathroom door open as much as possible can bring in light from another room or the hallway. This is also a good way of circulating air through a bathroom that suffers from damp or lack of air circulation.
If you are lucky enough to have a sunny spot in the bathroom, make the most of this with a delightful display of succulents in a decorative container. The one shown here is made up of bits of driftwood. If you already have succulents growing outdoors in the garden, or in containers, you only need one leaf to establish a new plant. Simply place the leaf on top of the soil and wait to see what happens!
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No space for plants?
Repurpose acrylic tree ornaments into cute containers for air plants [ epiphyte ] and then hang these down in front of the window. Repurposed light bulbs also make ideal containers for these hardy little plants.
Air plants are probably the easiest plants of all to care for. The don't need soil and are perfect for a bathroom, as they absorb moisture from the air.
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Cleaning the leaves
Leaves collect dust just like any other surface. Keeping them clean improves the plant’s ability to photosynthesise and transpire, improving the overall air quality.
Products that promote shiny leaves used to be popular but they tend to block leaf pores. Instead use a mixture of half milk, half water for sheen that doesn’t harm the plant.
Clean large-leafed plants by spraying with a mist of water and wiping each leaf with a sponge. Spray ferns a few times to allow the dust to drip off the foliage. Dust African violet leaves with a soft paintbrush.
Keep the soil moist
It’s difficult to judge when water is needed as some potting mix looks dry on top when they’re moist below.
Indoor plant roots usually grow in the base two-thirds of a pot so poke an index finger into the soil to about the second knuckle. If the soil feels damp, leave it and wait until the soil is barely moist before watering.
Add water until the flow runs out the base, washing excess fertiliser salts from the potting mix and ensuring the pot and roots get enough water. Pour excess water from the pot tray to avoid root rot.
Feed plants when they are producing new growth, usually between spring and autumn. Commercially available fertilisers come in granular, crystal, liquid or tablet format and are sold as indoor or houseplant food. Buy a suitable fertilizer for the plants that you have.
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