Survival gardening: 7 Plants with leaves that can be used as toilet paper
02/11/2022 // Virgilio Marin // Views

When you think of survival gardening, the first thing that comes to mind is growing your own food and medicine. But did you know that you can also grow your own toilet paper? Apparently, some plants make excellent tissue paper, thanks to their soft and absorbent foliage.

Here are seven plants with leaves for your bathroom needs. (h/t to

1. Lamb's ear

The leaves of lamb's ear have long been used as toilet paper because they are soft to the touch and highly absorbent. Plus, this perennial plant boasts potent antibacterial properties. It's easy to care for, grows practically everywhere and thrives in partial shade or the full sun.

2. Mullein

The leaves of mullein are also soft to the touch and resemble no poisonous plants. While this biennial plant may redden and trigger a skin rash in people with sensitive skin, this is only mildly irritating and does not spread outside of the contact area. In fact, Quaker women once used mullein leaves as rouge.

Mullein thrives almost everywhere and grows up to six feet tall. Give this plant ample space where it can get partial shade or full sun.

3. Thimbleberry

The leaves of thimbleberry are incredibly sturdy and broad. They can be as large as an adult's hand and feel fuzzy and soft. Typically, you need to pick off just two leaves for your bathroom needs.

Thimbleberry grows perennially and prefers partial to full shade. It thrives in western states and some northeast regions.

4. Large-leaf aster

Native Americans once used the large-leaf aster as toilet paper, a food ingredient and a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. As its name suggests, its leaves are very broad and soft and grow nestled around tiny violet flowers that blossom in the spring. This perennial plant thrives nearly everywhere and prefers partial shade.


5. Corn lily

The leaves of corn lily grow as large as a football and are incredibly sturdy. This perennial plant grows best in watery habitats and reaches heights of up to six feet. Bear in mind that corn lily is poisonous.

6. Blue spur flower

If you're looking for a scented toilet paper, the leaves of the blue spur flower are the best choice. This plant is exceptionally fragrant and attractive. Plus, its soft leaves are so broad that you need to pluck only one or two leaves to get the job done. Back in the day, blue spur flowers were planted near outhouses so people could quickly pull a few leaves on their way inside.

This biennial plant thrives in hot environments. It's toxic to animals and tends to take over an area. Grow blue spur flowers in a container to keep them under control. (Related: Home gardening basics: 24 Plants to grow in a bucket garden.)

7. Pink wild pear

The pink wild pear boasts large, soft and velvety leaves. Besides using its leaves as toilet paper, you can also use the fiber from its bark to make cordage or weave a basket. This fast-growing plant likes partial shade and reaches heights of up to 15 feet. It grows best in tropical conditions.

Always exercise safety when using leaves as toilet paper. If you are not accustomed to touching a certain plant, dab a leaf on a small patch of your skin to test if you're sensitive to it. If you notice rashes or feel a stinging sensation, toss the leaf away and do not touch any part of your body until you have thoroughly washed your hands.

Growing your own toilet paper has its benefits. It makes you more self-sufficient and provides you with a steady supply of natural tissue paper. If you've run out of supplies, you can easily pluck a leaf or two from your survival garden before heading for the bathroom.

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