Edible plants to grow in the shower?
June 26, 2013 10:57 PM   Subscribe

I have a large bathroom/shower room. It is a Japanese bathroom where the whole room gets wet and has a drain in the middle. I am looking for edible plants that like that type of wet/humid/warm environment. The room has a large northerly facing window but does not get any direct light. Maybe some kind of tropical fruit?
posted by Infernarl to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Well, mushrooms spring to mind, but for most people fungus in the bathroom is a bug, not a feature...

Some herbs like damp shade. Mint, for example. It would make your bathroom smell nice too. I think lemon balm is like that too.

I doubt you'd have enough sunlight for a fruiting plant, but I don't know about tropical exotics.
posted by lollusc at 11:29 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, and if by bathroom, you mean a room with a toilet included, keep the lid shut when you flush. Aerosoled fecal matter and edible plants are a non-awesome combination.
posted by lollusc at 11:30 PM on June 26, 2013 [5 favorites]

I would load it up with ferns. Maybe soft mosses on the floor if there is a way to do that.

edit: oh, edible? Hm. Maybe an herb garden?
posted by bink at 12:08 AM on June 27, 2013

Some (parts of) ferns are edible (some of the time)
posted by gijsvs at 1:45 AM on June 27, 2013

Not edible. But I grow air plants in our bathroom. The steam from the shower means they very rarely need misting. Also, no compost needed. You just hang them from things.
posted by rhymer at 1:50 AM on June 27, 2013

Yeah epiphytes like many ferns, cacti, orchids, and bromeliads could work. (As lollusc implied, I'm not sure I'd want to eat anything that grew in the same room where people were pooing on a regular basis.)
posted by trip and a half at 2:35 AM on June 27, 2013 [5 favorites]

I wouldn't worry about the poo issue* as most food is fertilised with animal poo. I mulch my fuiting shrubs with manure and heavily manure the vegetable beds and I don't get any issues with E. Coli contamination of my food. That being said I don't think you get anywhere near enough light to grow anything edible. You might get away with Mint but it wouldn't be anywhere near as vigorous as if you had a smaller pot growing on a windowsill. It soulds like a neat idea, but I wonder how much harder it would make cleaning the bathroom and weight that against any aesthetic benefit.

*Assuming you wash your food before you eat it.
posted by koolkat at 2:53 AM on June 27, 2013

If it's a real Japanese bathroom the toilet will almost certainly be in a separate room, so that shouldn't be an issue.

How about a miracle fruit, assuming you can get hold of one? Strawberry guavas also love humidity and tolerate shade. Put the pot in the part of the room with the best light from the window, and move it outside for some sunshine when you can.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:05 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Perhaps Taro?
posted by Catch at 6:18 AM on June 27, 2013

Almost all citrus likes lots of sun, so it's POSSIBLE to do this but they might be a little sparse.

I would try breadfruit, because I love it, but it's PHENOMENALLY picky as a plant.

I would definitely do kumquats. (In non-edible, I would do orchids (particularly "terrestrial" ones, dark-leaved ones) and I would definitely get a staghorn fern because they are awesome.)

OH. BANANAS would actually be okay in there I bet. Would be totally... bananas of you. Get short variants, because the tall ones would be kinda out of control unless you have huge ceilings.

ALSO you can grow luffa. CAN YOU IMAGINE.

But honestly my dream edible bathroom plant (asdfs, yes that is a list I have) would probably be a passionflower. I don't love all passionfruit (like the cerulae makes "eh" fruit) but some of them are both beautiful and delicious.

For all of this you will have to pollinate by hand, but that's easy and fun. (Just keep q-tips around basically.)

Check out Fairchild Tropical Garden info; they are the masters of tropical fruit and plants from around the world. They also have amazing plant sales and the like, and a farm, and grow things that no one else does. (Jackfruit! Spanish lime! Mamey!) Haha what if you had 70-pound jackfruits in your shower.

Can I please come over.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 6:37 AM on June 27, 2013 [10 favorites]

People are mentioning ferns....what about fiddlehead ferns? I don't know anything about them; just throwing it out there for discussion.
posted by CathyG at 6:53 AM on June 27, 2013

Moss bath mat?
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:36 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

I work in a conservatory, where we grow many tropical fruiting plants (plant people are always excited about random things they can eat). I don't think you will get enough light or have consistent humidity and heat for the vast majority of tropical fruits. Some easy things to try are pineapple and smaller fruiting banana. One sub-tropical that wouldn't mind less light is akebia vine (which you will need two of, and a trellis. and they go deciduous, so maybe not unless you are really adventurous). If it's a place you own and you can put in a skylight, you have a better chance of something fruiting and flowering.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:44 AM on June 27, 2013

... you could also try a vanilla orchid, though they require hand pollination to produce pods. The flower is pretty spectacular. They need something to climb or sprawl on.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:47 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wasabi? It is happy in shade and damp, and it is Japanese.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:25 PM on June 27, 2013

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