Tropical Bathroom Twin Set
Decorating a bathroom with a twin plant set can be difficult. But, it’s not a problem if you use plants that hail from the tropics, like Ferns and Caladiums that love high humidity. So, if there is bright light streaming through a window, a spare bit of floor space and you enjoy steamy showers, then follow our potting recipe to revamp your bathroom.
What you Need
Find two off-white glazed containers with ready-made drainage holes. Layer the bottom of the pots thickly with gravel to aid drainage and fill both with top quality, porous potting soil.
What you Plant
• Phlebodium Aureum ‘Mandaianum’ (Blue Star Fern)
• Caladium Bicolour hybrid (with white leaves with pink veins)
• Caladium Bicolour hybrid (with red leaves with green margins)
• Selaginella Kraussiana (African Clubmoss)
About the Plants
Phlebodium Aureum ‘Mandaianum’ is also called the Blue Star Fern because of the chalk blue colour of its leaves, which have a tough and leathery feel. It is a treasured fern and is popular as an indoor plant, or for outdoor use in tropical landscaping.
It is also grown for cut foliage as the leaf form is quite bold, but quietly elegant when mixed with other foliage plants and flowers. This fern loves deep or light shade, well-drained, but moist, soil and grows to a height of about 50 cm.
Caladium Bicolour varieties. On page xxx of this issue, Gerald Schofield tells you everything you need to know about Caladiums and how to grow them. I can only add that the delicate leaves of these tropical plants never cease to delight when they are in season. Indoor care of these lovely plants is easy – display them in bright, but not direct sunlight, keep them away from cold draughts and keep the soil around their roots moist.
However, take care not to over-water them. Spray the leaves frequently on hot days with a gentle mist sprayer and feed the plants every two weeks with a high-nitrogen liquid fertiliser, diluted to half strength.
Selaginella Kraussiana (African Clubmoss) is a bright green, tufted plant and is used as a ground cover in moist shade in temperate climates. It is also a perfect indoor plant which flourishes in the same growing conditions as ferns and other tropical plants, requiring good light, well-draining, but moist, soil and high humidity in the surrounding atmosphere.
These growing conditions are not difficult to copy indoors, no matter where you live. They are normally sold in wide bowls, which means they already sport a fairly lush, mature look. We used one plant in our large, mixed container and planted the other two together in the smaller container as a single specimen.
Why grow Caladiums indoors?
In this potting recipe, the main ingredient is Caladiums which, although eye-catching and dominant throughout summer, go dormant in winter, leaving you with no contrasting foliage colour before they sprout again in spring.
You may question why you should go to the expense and make the effort of planting these bathroom pots, as the effect will not be permanent. However, container gardening affords the plant lover the opportunity to enjoy exotic vegetation, to experience its seasonal changes and to grow climate-sensitive plants successfully in simulated growing conditions – something that is not always possible in a garden environment.
Advice for Smart Indoor Gardening
Invest in lovely containers that suit the décor of the room and then be prepared to ring the changes with lovely, seasonal, exotic plants which will give you a fresh look at different times of the year.