Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

DIY: Maidenhair Fern for Bathroom Greenery


DIY: Maidenhair Fern for Bathroom Greenery

February 27, 2013

As far as bathrooms in rental apartments go, we’re pretty lucky. With a palette of white and more white, we were saved from the Pepto-Bismal pink tile and glitter-flecked vanities that I’ve seen in my friends’ apartments. Still, white tile nearly up to the ceiling can make even the most adamant minimalist yearn for a spot of color. My favorite way to liven up the space is with plants.

Photographs by Erin Boyle.

700 button fern in antique tea tin

Our bathroom is the sunniest spot in our apartment and we’ve had luck over-wintering a geranium and nurturing a silver spotted philodendron, but our most recent addition has admittedly stolen the show. The delicate button fern thrives in the filtered sunlight and moisture of our tiny bathroom. UPDATE: Our intrepid reader, Emma, pointed out that this plant is actually a maidenhair fern and not a button fern as we originally thought. The maidenhair fern thrives in shadier spots, so we’re going to move her to a darker corner! Suddenly, I’m feeling very grateful for all the dreary weather we’ve been having in Brooklyn lately. If you can’t find one locally, a Button Fern in a three-inch pot is $10 from Pernell Gerver.

700 potting button fern in antique tin

Perched above our bathroom medicine cabinet, the fern weeps sideways and shoots upward, creating a dramatic display against the bright white. Because of its position on a somewhat precariously hung cabinet, I opted to plant it in a lightweight vintage tea tin instead of a much heavier ceramic planter. A large selection of Vintage Tea Tins is available on Etsy.

700 drainage holes in vintage tea tin

A small nail and hammer was all I needed to poke drainage holes in the bottom of the tin. Like most ferns, maidenhair ferns like to be kept fairly moist, but without proper drainage they run the risk of getting too saturated.

700 potting button fern in vintage tea tin

Before I transferred my fern from its nursery planter to the tea tin, I loosened the soil around the roots. Since a proper potting table didn’t make the cut in our small apartment, I work with a bit of unfolded newspaper on my kitchen table/desk to make cleanup easy.

700 button fern and shower head

Like many ferns, maidenhair ferns enjoy shade. You might also consider going for the equally shade and moisture-loving rabbit’s foot fern. We have one in another shady spot that’s doing quite well and we’re thinking of relocating this maidenhair fern to be by its side. A Rabbit’s Foot Fern is $10 from Pernell Gerver.

700 button fern close up

High above the medicine cabinet, with a vintage snuff jar filled with cotton balls for company, the patina on the tin warms up our otherwise very white bathroom. In case you’re hoping for a little vintage addition to your bathroom, I purchased this tea tin inexpensively at the Brooklyn Flea. For non-locals, Etsy is an excellent source for scoping out similar vintage treasures.

Looking for more ways to add a little greenery to your bathroom? See 5 Favorites: Plants for the Bathroom.

(Visited 163 times, 1 visits today)
You need to login or register to view and manage your bookmarks.

Product summary  

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation