Best Plants for Bathroom Serenity and Transformation

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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There is a space in every room for a houseplant, and the bathroom is no exception. While it may seem like a weird place to put plants, having greenery in your bathroom will make it feel like you are on a tropical vacation. It’s also a great environment for most houseplants because of the higher humidity levels and the low and indirect sunlight that help many plants live their best lives.

However, not all houseplants enjoy the humid bathroom environment. So, what are the best plants for bathroom use? Whether you are looking to brighten up your dimmer bathroom, refresh the family bathroom, or counteract moisture issues in your humid bathroom with some greenery, a handful of plants thrive in a bathroom setting.

Here are the suggestions for plants that will survive any bathroom conditions to add a touch of greenery, improve the air quality and create a spa-like experience.

Best Bathroom Plants

1. Air Plant (Tillandsia)

Tillandsia is best if you need something a little different and quirky in your bathroom. These fun, spiky plants can soak up the humidity from your showers and baths. They are a mess-free option that requires no soil; instead, they absorb all the moisture and nutrients they need from the air.

Air Plant – Tillandsia

Image Source: sunset.com

Air plants give you more room for creativity since they don’t require planters or potting mix. For instance, you can place your air plant inside a glass bowl for a minimalist design. Hang it in your shower or anywhere in the bathroom where they’ll receive a bright indirect light. Also, it would be best if you dunked it in water every fortnight to keep it healthy.

2. Heartleaf Philodendron

Heartleaf Philodendron is an easy, low-maintenance option for bathroom plants, which is great for beginners. It’s one of the most forgiving plants that can tolerate neglect. It is also one of the best low lights houseplants, perfect for bathrooms with less sunlight.

Heartleaf Philodendron

Image Source: thespruce.com

If you want to add visual height to your bathroom, this air purifier is a trailing plant with heart-shaped leaves perfect for hanging. Plus, its trailing nature creates a graceful, serene environment ideal for self-care space. So if you are looking for spa bathroom ideas, adding Heartleaf Philodendron or any other houseplant plant would be a good tip.

3. Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

Closely resembling the Heartleaf Philodendron, pothos is an almost indestructible plant. As indoor plants, pothos specimens grow to six to ten feet long. The glossy green leaves can also get quite big, adding a little drama to your bathroom.

Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

Image Source: peppyflora.com

Moreover, pothos is a trailing plant, so it looks great hanging from a shower rod, but you can also trail it across mirrors and vanities. Pothos is happy in low to bright indirect light. Water when the soil feels dry.

4. Cast-Iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior)

Cast Iron is an excellent low-maintenance houseplant that is so hard to kill. A tropical plant that grows two to three feet tall, this is one of the rare houseplants that can tolerate almost full shade. Therefore, if your bathroom is poorly lit, your go-to option is here. Also, cast iron doesn’t require high humidity, making it ideal for guest bathrooms that are rarely used.

Cast-Iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior)

Image Source: oxy-plants.com

Its leaves can be variegated or solid-green. Note that the variegated varieties require more light than solid-green specimens. Also, cast iron plants occasionally flower, but it’s rare, especially when grown indoors.

5. Alocasia

Alocasia

Image Source: ebay.co.uk

Also known as ‘elephant’s ears,’ Alocasia is an indoor plant that thrives in high humidity and bright, indirect light. It brings pattern and waxy texture to a bathroom with natural light. However, it won’t do well in a windowless bathroom.

6. Spider Plant

The old-fashioned spider plants cannot go out of style because it is so easy to grow. It prefers bright light but can adapt to low light levels. Also, it thrives in a moderately humid environment.

Spider plants

Image Source: countryliving.com

Hang it from the ceiling or keep it on the bathroom shelf and wait for the baby spider plants to develop, then snip them off and place them in the soil to make your own collection. They are perfect for sharing!

Keep it a little drier in winter and slightly moist during spring to summer.

7. Staghorn Fern

The staghorn fern prefers the extra humidity a bathroom offers, so it won’t be mad at you for taking longer showers. But it also requires bright to medium, indirect light to thrive.

 Staghorn Fern

Image Source: thespruce.com

You can place it on your bathroom’s windowsill or mount it on a piece of wood and hang it on your bathroom wall. In their native environment, staghorn ferns live on trees instead of in the soil. That’s why the wood mounting idea works. Also, it’s a great alternative if you lack space to fit any potted plants in your bathroom.

8. Chinese Evergreen

The Chinese Evergreen is one of the best plants for the bathroom because it is so hearty. It even thrives when you neglect it, so it is a great choice if you can be forgetful or travel a lot. Also, it is very adaptive. This large-leaved plant prefers low, indirect light but can also grow well in bright spots.

Chinese Evergreen

Image Source: gardendesign.com

While it loves humidity, it can also tolerate dry air but doesn’t like quick temperature changes. Remember to keep your bathroom windows closed on chillier days to avoid cold drafts that might damage the leaves. 

9. Asparagus Fern

Thriving in high humidity, the asparagus fern, also known as foxtail fern, is another perfect bathroom plant candidate. Its beautiful cascading stems make it ideal for a hanging basket. 

Asparagus Fern

Image Source: apartmenttherapy.com

This airy, lacy plant boasts gently arching feathery fronds perfect for softening bathroom wall tiles. It also mixes beautifully with other houseplants, making it perfect for cluster use.

Asparagus fern thrives in bright indirect light with regular watering to ensure the compost is moist but not soggy. However, this plant is highly toxic, so keep it away from small children and pets.

10. English Ivy

If you love the whimsical vibes of English ivy in the outdoor gardens, you can bring that aesthetic inside for a more classic look. With long trailing vines, this plant looks great in hanging baskets or when left to dangle from a high bathroom shelf.

English Ivy

Image Source: in.pinterest.com

English ivy likes bright to medium light and humidity. Let the soil dry out between waterings to keep it healthy.

11. Flamingo Flower (Anthurium Andraeanum) 

If you want to create a statement in your bathroom space with the best bathroom plants, look no further than the unique and stunning shiny red flower spathes of the flamingo flower.

Flamingo Flower

Image Source: smartgardenguide.com

Anthurium makes a great houseplant and a colorful, decorative accessory with elongated leaves and long-lasting, highly ornamental flowers that you can use to organize your bathroom countertop.

Native to Colombia and Ecuador, the flamingo flower is perfect for channeling that enviable tropical jungle vibe. It thrives in a bright room with high levels of humidity. Steamy bathrooms are perfect!

12. Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

Moth orchids are epiphytes, meaning they grow on trees, absorbing moisture from the air using their aerial roots. This makes them perfect for growing in humid bathrooms, where they’ll happily absorb moisture from the air.

Moth Orchid

Image Source: bloomifique.com

Phalaenopsis are some of the easiest orchids to grow and maintain, making them popular as houseplants. They also produce long-lasting flowers that create a stately and luxurious feel for any bathroom. The waxy blooms come in numerous patterns and color arrays and can last up to six months. You can choose bold pink blooms for a pop of color or a white Phalaenopsis for pure elegance.

Despite their exotic beauty, moth orchid is a hardy plant that can withstand a certain amount of neglect. All it needs to thrive is high humidity, a bright spot of indirect sunlight, and weekly watering.

13. Snake Plant

Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant is a low-maintenance plant that’s loved by everyone, from plant pros to beginners. Its vertical growth adds height to any space and provides a nice contrast to vining and trailing plants.

Snake Plant

Image Source: treehugger.com

Snake plants are a great choice for bathrooms because they can thrive in any humidity level. Therefore, you can place them in both frequently used bathrooms and those that only see the occasional visitor. Its long leaves also filter toxins from the air.

Water once the top soil is dry for best results. Also, it tolerates low or bright indirect sunlight.

14. Gardenia

Also known as cape jasmine, gardenias are broad-leafed plants that can lend a tropical aesthetic to your bathroom space. Being tropical, they are at home in humid bathroom air. Also, they need bright, indirect light to thrive, so think of a little morning sun and afternoon shade.

Gardenia

Image Source: mygardenlife.com

For instance, if you have a bathroom window with at least four hours of sun, this would be a perfect spot to place a gardenia. Adding gardenias to your bathroom also gives you the benefit of a lovely fragrance from its dark green foliage and white flowers.

15. Bird’s Nest Fern

Add charm and character to your bathroom with the help of the wavy leaves of a bird’s nest fern. These leafy bright green plants thrive in low-light environments, so they’re perfect for brightening up a dimmer bathroom.

Bird’s Nest Fern

Image Source: pinterest.com

Hailing from Southeast Asia and Polynesia, bird’s nest ferns prefer the humid environments the bathrooms provide. Keep the soil consistently moist, and ensure you don’t put your plant directly on your windowsill. Also note that just because bird’s nest ferns tolerate low light doesn’t mean they will be happy in windowless bathrooms, lest you use grow lights.

16. Tropical Pitcher Plant

Pitcher plants, also known as monkey cups, are a widely diverse genus of tropical plants that all display some pitcher blooms. Ensure you feed your indoor pitcher plant insects occasionally to supplement their diet. Pitcher plants prefer bright light and will thrive with some exposure to late afternoon or early morning direct sunlight. They also like their soil moist.

Tropical Pitcher Plant

Image Source: marthastewart.com

Since they are high-humidity plants, they make great bathroom plants. They can also tolerate low humidity but produce fewer pitchers under such circumstances. These vining plants make a stunning windowsill addition.

What to Consider When Choosing Plants for a Bathroom

When choosing the best plants for a bathroom, you should consider three factors: high humidity, light exposure, and temperature swings. The bathroom replicates the tropical climate, which is the origin of most bathroom plants. It’s often humid, bright, and hot, which makes these moisture-loving plants happy and healthy.

Bathroom plants

Image Source: collectivegen.com

If your bathrooms have no windows with light streaming throughout the rooms, go for low-light species that can do well with less than four hours of light daily. Plants that require bright indirect light can thrive near a window.

Also, you should consider the type of bathroom. Bathroom plants are often chosen, assuming they must tolerate humid conditions. However, constant humidity is present only in primary or family bathrooms, where the bathtub or shower is frequently used. The conditions in a powder room or guest bathroom may be relatively dry most of the time, and they can be darker than in a family bathroom.

So ensure to consider the nature of your bathrooms and pick plants that are suited to those conditions. For instance, plants for a guest bathroom should have a good tolerance for drier, lower-light conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions on Plants for Bathroom

Bathroom plants

Image Source: homedit.com

1. Is it okay to put a plant in the bathroom?

Putting plants in the bathroom is okay, but it’s a matter of the right plant and place. Bathroom plants have numerous benefits. They can add greenery to your more sterile rooms, purify the air, absorb excess moisture, and eliminate bacteria.

Also, if you’re looking for sustainable bathroom design ideas, houseplants are one of your best options. However, you should choose plants that cope with your bathroom’s humidity and light conditions. Houseplants may struggle if your bathroom is in the middle of a property without a window or direct light.

2. Are succulents good for bathrooms?

Succulent plants will not thrive in the high humidity of a frequently used bathroom. This is because they’re adapted to dry, low-humidity environments and are prone to rotting in damp conditions. Therefore, if you have to put succulents in your bathroom, place them in the large guest bathroom or the bathroom windowsill.

3. Do bathroom plants prevent mold?

Excessive moisture is the main cause of mold. Plants help alleviate mold growth in the bathroom because plant leaves naturally absorb excess moisture.

4. What plants can live in a bathroom without windows?

The plants living in a windowless bathroom must cope with low light and high humidity. Some plants that are a good choice for these conditions include; peace lilies, spider plants, Boston ferns, aloe vera, and snake plants.

5. What plants can live in the shower?

Shower plants mustn’t be put anywhere where they may become a trip hazard in an already slippery area. That being said, the perfect plant for the shower must be able to survive in watery environments. A popular shower plant is the eucalyptus ‘bath bouquet’ hung from the shower head to add a tropical feeling to the bathroom.

Conclusion on Best Plants for the Bathroom

best bathroom plants

Image Source: gardening.org

Bathroom plants are essential bathroom accessories that will instantly give your bathroom a lift. With a careful selection of the best bathroom plants, you can take advantage of the unique bathroom conditions to give it a truly tropical and contemporary feel as one of your design ideas.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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