Turn a Shower Caddy into a Vertical Garden

Want to add a little bit of romance to your boring shower? All you need is a hanging shower caddy, a plastic loofah, orchid bark and a few other epiphytic 'air' plants to turn a well-lit bathroom into a tropical spa getaway. Here's how to make your own!

I've been growing a garden in my shower for a year now and though I've already shared the project on my friend Michael Nolan's blog and HGTV Gardens, I've decided that it's time I share it with you guys too.

This hanging garden is easy to make, easy to care for and also happens to be very clean. I water this living flower arrangement about once a week with a spray from my showerhead after bathing and it rewards me with a living wall of foliage every time I shower. Since the epiphytic (tree-dwelling) plants thrive in nothing more than bark, I don't have to worry about getting dirt in the shower. Making it took less than thirty minutes.


- Shower Caddy - I used a metal one from Target but a plastic caddy will also work.
- Plastic Loofah - Any cheap plastic scrubby will do. You'll be using the netting.
- Orchid Bark - Look for 'orchid mix' or 'orchid bark' at the garden center.
- One Orchid - Any orchid will work. I used a Dendrobium hybrid.
- Additional Epiphytic Plants - Rhipsalis is nice because it's easy to trim and manage. I also used a Vriesea vagans bromeliad and a Tillandsia.

Step One: Line the Basket

Cut strips of netting from the plastic loofah and drape them over the caddy basket. This will keep the orchid bark from falling into the shower, while allowing the epiphytic (tree-dwelling) plants' roots to breathe.

Step Two: Wrap the Roots

Remove the orchid from its pot and wrap the rootball with strips of the plastic netting. This will help hold the orchid in place and keep the bark from falling out.

Step Three: Place the Orchid

Place the orchid in the lined caddy, holding it in place so that it doesn't tip over.

Step Four: Add Plants

Take cuttings of the desired epiphytic plants, or tease them out of their pots, rinsing the soil away from the roots. Then arrange them in the lined basket. You may choose to insert the cuttings through the mesh so that they grow through the sides and bottom of the caddy. Attach tillandsias to the outside of the caddy with wire or twine since they like lots of air around their roots.

Step Five: Fill with Bark

Once the plants are in place, fill the lined caddy with orchid bark. Tuck it tightly around the plants so that there are no large air pockets. If the plants are still loose, secure them to the caddy with wire or twine until they become established.

Step Six: Hang in a Well-lit Bathroom

You're done! Attach the caddy to the wall of your shower (where it won't get splashed with soap or shampoo) and water it every other day until it becomes established. After a few weeks you can reduce the watering to 1-2 times a week.

Here's how my shower caddy garden looks today! Before long I'll have a new round of blooms.

For more cool container garden recipes, check out my book Plant by Numbers: 50 Houseplant Combinations to Decorate your Space or one of these other DIY projects on my blog.

Make a Rainforest Drop
Living Mistletoe Cactus on Driftwood
Hanging Birdcage Planter
DIY Living Tillandsia Wreath
8 Terrarium Ideas
Make this Living Flower Arrangement
How to Combine Houseplants for Easy Indoor Gardens
Make this Glowing Houseplant Combo
Grow a Miniature Forest in a Bowl


  1. What a clever idea! I had to pin it : ) I love the combination of plants too.

  2. Hi, yes that could be nice! Even just the Tillandsia ionantha if put that way will be very beautiful and will entice a bather to sing, haha! Since you are into the topic of vertical gardening, you should see my Vertical Living Wall post. Tell me what you think!

  3. I love, love, love this idea! I will be doing this! Stan ought to freak when he seeds the Spanish moss et al! lol

  4. This is awesome I've been learning tonnes from your blog so far I will now begin to rescue three plants that I have (killing) dieing because of my care here's hoping I can turn them around thank you! You think your busy with a one year old lol just wait terrible twos lol horrid threes oh yes and busy ! You'll be fine just remember to take them wherever you go as much as possible anyways its socializing at best but let them know you rule and no means no. Enjoy I look forward to reading your children books!


Please feel free to share your questions, ideas and suggestions!