There's a trick to keeping houseplants thriving in dryer climates: It's the bathroom. The typical low light, high humidity, and warmth of the bathroom is exactly what most tropical plants are missing in their lives. So if your houseplants are struggling, gather them up and put them in the tub.
Orchids, while a tad bit on the temperamental side, pack so much tropical punch -- after all, they keep their gorgeous flowers for months on end. The damp, warm conditions in most bathrooms are a perfect environment for these pretty plants, which grow in bark instead of soil and prefer for that material to be damp but not wet. Some easier-care varieties of orchids include Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, and Paphiopedilums, which will all do well with bright, filtered bathroom window light.
One of the most popular indoor vining plants is pothos, or Epipremnum aureum. It comes in a variety of leaf sizes, colors, and variegations. As long as it stays out of direct sunlight and its soil doesn't dry out (it doesn't care for overwatering either), it is a low-maintenance beauty that is exceptionally pretty in a hanging basket or on a high shelf where it can trail to its heart's content.
*All types of pothos can be toxic if ingested, to both children and pets.
Also part of the bromeliad family, these beauties are commonly referred to as air plants. The specimen that fall into the Tillandsia genus (we're talking hundreds and hundreds of species) are beloved for their ability to grow without soil, or without necessarily being planted at all. In the right environment, they hardly require any care wahtsoever. What's the right environment beyond the jungles of South America? You guessed it, the bathroom. If you have a shower with a bright window, even better. They'll love to have occasional shower overspray, and they'll soak up all that trapped humidity. If your air plant doesn't quite get enough moisture from the air, you can mist it, or give it a good soak every few weeks (depending on how dry your climate is). Some common varieties include Tillandsia xerographica (shown), Tillandsia bergeri, and Tillandsia ionantha. Bonus tip: The more silvery the foliage, the more drought-tolerant it is.
This small-growing, low-light-loving plant comes in a variety of colours and adorable leaf shapes. Its compact size makes it perfect for tight quarters, such as narrow windowsills (but it doesn't like direct sun). This particular striped variety is watermelon peperomia, or Peperomia argyreia.
Philodendron scandens* is a South American native that doesn't require much light to thrive. It likes its soil to be kept damp, and while it will tolerate dry conditions, it loves humidity, making it the perfect plant to keep in a low-light bathroom. Best of all, you can train it to happily vine along a windowsill or shelf.
*Philodendron are toxic to pets and children if ingested.
This plant, also known as mother-in-law's tongue, viper's bowstring hemp, or St. George's sword, is nearly impossible to kill. Sansevieria*varieties tolerate almost any growing condition, from nearly no light to bright light to direct light. They require little to no water, and if you keep them in a humid bathroom, you might never have to water these hardy West African natives at all. And we just love the modern lines of those gorgeous variegated leaves.
*This plant is considered mildly toxic to people and animals when ingested.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens US.