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I came upon this plant growing in a friend's shower the other day (don't ask me why I had my camera in her shower!):

enter image description here

I thought it added a unique and interesting touch to the shower. What kind of plant is this? And what do I need to take into consideration to grow one of my own?

I notice hers is sitting on a sponge; presumably to provide moisture, as well as to prevent it from falling through the wire mesh. Do I need to feed it anything (on the sponge)? Will such a plant grow in an air-conditioned home? (This one was growing in an un-airconditioned home in central Mexico).

She also had a skylight above her shower. None of my showers have any natural light. How can I compensate for this?

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Hmm... normally I am trying to discourage plant growth in my shower... –  Steven Apr 23 '12 at 16:32
    
Flimsy, have you tried asking your friend? If she doesn't know, try finding out where she got it, and ask those people what it is. –  J. Musser Apr 26 '12 at 12:51
    
@jmusser: Yes, it was a gift to her. She doesn't know where it came from or what type it is. –  Flimzy Apr 27 '12 at 3:29
    
Can you find who gave it to her? –  J. Musser Apr 27 '12 at 12:03
    
@jmusser: I tried... no luck getting info down that channel. :/ –  Flimzy May 29 '12 at 2:34
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1 Answer 1

It could be

Dracaena compacta but they need some soil for their roots

or it could be a bromeliad like this species from Venezuela

They both have thick waxy leaves which allow them to live in hot climates. This type of bromeliad collects water in the cup in the middle and does not really need soil or much in the way of roots. Many bromeliads have a row of thorns on the edge of the leaves.

Conditions in Mexico are different than homes that are farther north. Primarily it is more humid and brighter.

To keep a bromeliad going in your bathroom you could try this:

  • place in the most used bathroom in the house. If it cannot absorb water from roots then the only supply is humidity and water that is held in it's cup. Top up the cup as required with rain water or distilled water to avoid the chlorine or chloramine which may be in your tap water if you are on city treated water.
  • most are tolerant of typical changes in temperature
  • they need light: usually bright filtered light will do. A bathroom with a window with a good southern or eastern exposure should do.
  • if you don't have the light consider buying two plant and rotating them to higher light monthly for a rest

You could investigate Tillandsia. These are also bromeliads but are even tougher. You could stick them on a wall with silicone if conditions are right.

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I don't think that is a Bromeliad. They all are rosette form. I think it is some kind of orchid. See the big areal root? –  J. Musser Apr 24 '12 at 1:52
    
good point, but an orchid would have thicker leaves that do not alternate around the stem. It's very hard to tell. –  kevinsky Apr 24 '12 at 2:09
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