Native to China and other very warm humid places, there are over 1,600 species of bamboo – and most of the time, they fare fantastically well in bathrooms! If you are wondering whether or not you can keep bamboo plants in the bathroom, you’ll normally have plenty of species to pick from.
In a rush? Can bamboo plants be kept in the bathroom?
Yes you can absolutely keep bamboo plants in the bathroom – in fact, it’s often recommended.
Bamboo is famously hardy and super-quick to grow. Providing you set up your bamboo in its own little corner of your wet room space, you’ll have a green companion to brighten up your bath time throughout the year.
What are the best types of bamboo for bathrooms?
The best types of bamboo to choose for your bathroom are those which are easiest to control! By nature, bamboo is usually a fast grower outdoors – so, indoors, it’s likely you will need to control how fast they spread.
Here are a couple of bamboo plants you’ll be able to set up in your bathroom area with ease.
Lucky Bamboo (Dracena sanderiana)
Lucky bamboo has become a trendy indoor plant during recent years. Often sold as a single stem, sometimes florists display groups in large vases, and we can select the specimens we want according to height and form.
Lucky Bamboo is also sold in bundles, either in water or a growing medium. If you are buying a bundle, check how it has been grouped and ensure stalks (known as canes) are healthy and have not been damaged by restrictive wires or cord.
This type of bamboo can survive well in water for a long time. Ideally, a clear glass container will be filled with dechlorinated water and perhaps some pebbles for added interest. Chlorinated or fluoridated water can affect the growth of this species – it can make leaves turn yellow or even brown. So, make sure to filter the water you give to your lucky plant!
This is a plant that will suffer if it dries out completely, meaning placing it in a bathroom or equally wet or humid area is likely to be to its benefit.
Fishpole Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea)
There are several variations of Phylistachys aurea on the market, and most are frequently sold as an outdoor plant – and they are large, robust and prolific growers. Each species comes with different coloured stems – and the aurea usually has a yellow or golden cane. The shade of gold becomes deeper the more exposed the cane is exposed to sunlight. It’s a gorgeous touch for any bathroom space!
At most, this type of bamboo is going to reach impressive heights of up to eight feet tall – and widths of four feet! Therefore, you’re going to need to ensure your bathroom has plenty of space.
Forming a dramatic display indoors, if you have space in your bathroom for a large plant, this can make for an eye-catching display! It can happily fill a floor-standing pot and aim for the ceiling! Alternatively, you can manipulate its growth to stunt it at a desired height and spread.
Simply trim the top and nip out shoots appearing on the surface – this is a delightfully well behaved plant to keep in check! Let loose, it can become unruly. This plant can be trained to curve, twist, or form shapes.
You can therefore keep this type of bathroom bamboo either in a container, or as part of a bamboo wall. This might help to provide you with extra privacy for the shower, for example! It’s natural, practical option that will give you potential years of lovely aesthetics.
As mentioned, there are further differences in this type of bamboo to look for. You can choose between:
– Koi (strong yellow canes with attractive green stripes)
– Holochrysa (distinctive vibrant gold canes with strong colouring)
– Flavescens Inversa (yellow stripes on the lower part of canes)
– Takemurai (truly giant bamboo plants – best for bigger spaces!
Are there any problems for growing bamboo in bathrooms?
Bamboo is generally hardy and will normally thrive in humid bathroom spaces. However, as with all houseplants, there are a few pruning tasks and elements of care you will need to keep in mind. Here are a couple I’d recommend you watch for:
Over-watering or under-watering
Bamboo changes colour and can seriously suffer with both over or under-watering – it prefers to be moist. Therefore, it’s always best to stick to a schedule that doesn’t leave your bamboo leaves turning yellow with stress or over-indulgence. Always make sure someone can come and take care of your bamboo for you if you go on holiday, too!
If leaves remain limp and floppy, allow them a little recovery time before removing them. Don’t leave them to fall and decay on the surface – this will encourage mould or pests. Yellowing and brown leaves are unlikely to become green again, so remove the worst first and allow time for the plant to recover. If it has dried out, move it further away from strong light if possible for a day or two.
If rot has begun, don’t give up! If it’s a small area, cut it out. If part of a stem above the soil, check below the surface and cut away to reach sound areas. Depending on the extent of rot, it could be best to completely lift a stem and repot in a fresh medium. If you are compelled to remove rot and thus lose an extensive length of cane, ensure you remove all the rot and then take cuttings above the area which was infiltrated and pop in water! There is a good chance they will root.
Pests and mites
Unfortunately, even in the bathroom, your plants will be at risk of pest attraction. Therefore, it’s worth getting used to visitors who may pop in from the garden or elsewhere during the warmer months.
Aphids, for example, can be a fast-spreading nuisance amongst houseplants. Ladybirds are their natural predator, however, so if you spot any of those in your garden, why not carry them to your bamboo, and they will do the job of pest control for you! Otherwise, you may need to carry your plant outdoors and use an insecticide – but be careful if you choose a chemical solution, as your plant may suffer as a result.
Bamboo mites, too, can provide major headaches for plant owners in bathroom spaces. They suck chlorophyll from the undersides of leaves. These creatures are sometimes so tiny, you will notice their fine webs before spotting them outright! They are best removed with damp tissue and a mild insecticide solution.
Scale insects are also going to give you hassle if you let them persist. These shell-like pests have a tough wax-like cover and lay almost flat against stems and leaves. They’re sap suckers, and the residue they leave behind, attracting other insects and mould.
I’d recommend dipping cotton wool (toilet tissue works just as well) into cooking oil and wiping off the little suckers! Wrap the fabric around from the underside of stems, too – because any scale falling on the surface of pots may survive to begin a new colony.
Bamboo is one of several plants that seem to be built for the bathroom! Thanks to its persistent growth patterns and its stunning foliage, it’s one houseplant you can feel a little bit better about keeping in the steam and deluge.
Don’t forget that bamboo is subject to pests and sensitive watering, however, just like any other houseplant worth your time and attention – give it a little care and you’ll have some bountiful bathroom growers to show off in no time.