It’s safe to say Sachi Rose Pollard‘s houseplants are always in a perfect state of health. After all, she’s one of New York City’s most in-demand florists, having worked with everyone from the Wythe Hotel to The Wing. (She even crafted arrangements for founder Audrey Gelman’s wedding.)
Even so, this botanical boss knows that indoor gardening is super challenging for most—especially busy city-dwellers living in less-than-light-filled apartments. That’s why she’s a major fan of one surprising hack that’s taking over social media: the shower plant installation. Read on for her guide to growing one that’s pretty much guaranteed to thrive, even if you’re a serial seedling killer.
It’s time to face the facts: Those of us with busy work schedules and any kind of social life to speak of are way more likely to kill our poor little houseplants. I mean, who remembers to water every day when there are emails to be answered, vacations to be had, and friends who’ve just broken up with their boyfriends?
That’s why certain plant-savvy individuals are taking it upon themselves to find simpler ways to keep their indoor gardens healthy. One genius tactic is to grow greenery in the bathroom—yep, that’s right. A steamy shower is the perfect home for a handful of indoor plants that would otherwise require daily care, and it couldn’t be easier to get started.
Keep reading for 5 plants that are happiest near the shower—and find out how to display them like a pro.
If it’s flowers that make your heart sing, orchids are your answer. In fact, all tropical plants are used to humid environments and will happily thrive near a steamy shower.
I always love a potted lady slipper orchid because of its unusual shape and gorgeous color palette—you can place it on your countertop near the shower and give it 1/4 cup of water once a week. Or try a vanda orchid, which is best hung from a shower rod to mimic its growth pattern in the wild. (Its roots literally hang in the air!). Spritz the roots one to two times a week, or rinse them in room-temperature water under the shower weekly.
And if you really want to think outside of the box (or pot), I suggest planting any type of orchid or fern in one of my favorite upside-down Boskke Sky Planters. Hang loose!
2. Aloe vera
Not only does this multifunctional plant look great on a windowsill—you’ll want to place it there since it requires full sunlight—but it cleanses the air, too. Look for a soil that drains well, as aloe hates to be overhydrated. The humidity in your bathroom will almost be enough for the plant, but for optimal growth, water it every two weeks.
3. Maidenhair fern
This plant needs constant hydration, so the more steam, the better. For a container, I usually go to a local flea market and look for an interesting tin—something shatterproof so you don’t have to worry about glass breaking in the bathroom. You’ll still have to add a cup of water to the soil every three to four days, but I think it’s worth it to experience the delicate foliage of this bathing beauty. In fact, most ferns do well in a moist environment, so feel free to cluster a few around your tub.
You can instantly transform your bath into a spa by hanging these fresh-cut stems from your shower head. You can usually buy a few sprigs from your local farmer’s market or Whole Foods. The heat from the shower activates and releases the refreshing essential oils, so breathe deep for an invigorating, sinus-clearing experience.
5. Air plants
If you really don’t want to “just add water,” grab yourself a couple of tillandsia—AKA air plants—and call it a day! They absorb moisture from the air and only have to be rinsed monthly under the sink for extra hydration. Plus, you can place them literally anywhere, no soil required!
Staghorn ferns are another great option with the same requirements, and can be hung on the walls as living art. Just remember to give them a spritz in the shower with room-temperature water every couple of weeks to mimic that tropical rainstorm they’re used to. Vacation vibes, without leaving your apartment? Sold.