Bathrooms deserve to be decorated with lush greenery just like every other room in the house – but it can be tricky to find a plant that thrives here. Low light, high humidity, and warm temperatures mean only certain houseplants will flourish.
Keep reading to discover what you need to consider when choosing bathroom flora, and check out 16 great houseplant suggestions for this room.
Many bathrooms have small windows, and some have none at all, which can be challenging when picking plants. Remember that even low light plants require some light to grow, which is why fluorescent light bulbs – which produce wavelengths plants need – are a good idea in the bathroom.
Humidity and Temperature
Hot running water from showers and baths can cause humidity and temperature levels to rise quickly – conditions which don’t suit many plants, although this explains why some tropical flora do great in bathrooms!
Space and Position
Bathrooms tend to be on the smaller side, so space for greenery is often limited. Large or tall plants don’t often work in bathrooms for this reason. A better option is to choose plants that can hang from the ceiling, or will trail down from a high shelf. The windowsill is another great location for bathroom plants, particularly as they can enjoy maximum light exposure here.
With these points in mind, let’s look at some of the best bathroom plant choices:
1. Aloe Vera
The aloe plant just keeps on giving! Not only is it known as the ‘plant of immortality’ because it is so difficult to kill, it is an incredibly useful plant to have around the home.
Aloe vera juice is bursting with vitamins and minerals, while the gel can be used as a topical treatment for minor cuts and burns, insect bites, dry skin and more.
This striking and healing plant should be placed close to the bathroom window and, because of its low water requirements, the humidity alone may meet most of its water needs!
Lucky bamboo needs very little light to grow, and should be placed in low, indirect light. It doesn’t even need any soil – simply pop the stalk into a container filled with pebbles and water. Change the water every two to four weeks.
Be warned that this is a fast growing plant, but you can curtail its growth by providing a physical barrier (such as a recessed shelf) or by shaping it regularly.
These pretty blooms do well indoors. In fact, in many climates, they must be overwintered inside – with the bathroom being one of the best locations to do just this.
Begonias do best in fluorescent lighting, although they can survive when placed in window locations too (the exception being north-facing windows). They also require daily bathroom humidity or regular misting.
4. Boston Fern
A popular variety of fern with frilly leaves and long, hanging fronds, the Boston fern is native to sub-tropical and tropical rain forests.
It grows best when placed on a windowsill or in a position which receives lots of indirect light. Humidity and temperatures of between 55 and 75 degrees are also important for your fern to thrive. In the growing months, the soil should be kept moist, but not saturated.
Other ferns also do well in bathrooms, including the Asparagus, Staghorn, and Bird’s Nest varieties.
5. Cast Iron Plant
This incredibly tough houseplant, which appears to thrive on neglect, certainly lives up to its name. The cast iron plant can survive low light, infrequent watering, and extreme heat.
Nevertheless, for best results place this potted plant in low to moderate light – keeping out of direct sunlight, and water it regularly, allowing it to dry out before re-watering. The cast iron will happily thrive in temperatures from 50 to 85 degrees.
6. Chinese Evergreen
Boasting green leaves streaked with white or yellow, the tropical Chinese evergreen is one of the most durable plants you can grow, and has even been described as ‘almost foolproof’!
These plants thrive in medium to low light, or indirect sunlight. Although the Chinese evergreen prefers the warm temperatures and humid conditions of the bathroom, it’s flexible enough to tolerate other environments if necessary.
If you have a larger bathroom space to work with, the dieffenbachia is a great choice. With broad, striking leaves that can grow to a foot long, the entire plant can grow to six feet high.
Taking care of the dieffenbachia requires little effort – it thrives year round in temperatures above 60 degrees F, and in humid conditions with moist soil.
However, a bright room or fluorescent lighting is a must for this plant, which also prefers to be kept out of direct sunlight.
Dracaena plants, or dragon plants, are fantastic air purifiers which come in over 40 varieties.
This undemanding plant prefers light shade as its leaves will scorch if too bright; and a level of humidity not generally found in most rooms. Therefore, by placing your dragon plant in the bathroom, the lighting and humidity will prevent brown leaf tip and keep its greenery bright and flawless.
Ivy, particularly English Ivy, is one of NASA’s top air purifying plants. It can even help you keep the bathroom clean and hygienic by removing feces and mold from the surrounding air!
In bathrooms where space is at a premium, the ivy plant can be placed on a ledge or in a hanging basket where the leaves can elegantly trail down.
Needing just moderate exposure to sunlight, this evergreen vine enjoys the high humidity levels commonly found in bathrooms.
Give your bathroom a luxury spa feel with the addition of a subtle yet elegant orchid plant.
Place your orchid on the bathroom windowsill, where the indirect sunlight will provide adequate light but won’t cause leaf scorch; while the high humidity mirrors the flower’s natural environment.
It’s also a relatively compact flower making it perfect for smaller rooms, where it can be perched on the corner of the bathtub or next to the sink.
11. Peace Lily
The peace lily is a striking flower, with glossy leaves and white blooms. It thrives in low light conditions, although it should be exposed to some indirect sunlight.
To simulate the natural humidity of the tropics, a daily misting or position next to a steamy shower is a must for the peace lily.
It’s another of NASA’s best plants for air purity, as it helps to filter out harmful benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde toxins.
This tropical indoor plant requires little in the way of care.
Philodendrons prefer the medium light intensity they would have on the jungle floor. If the light is too intense, its leaves will turn yellow; but if the leaves are widely spaced, it may need more light so you should consider installing fluorescent bulbs.
Although this hardy plant can tolerate average humidity, high levels promote lush, shiny foliage. Ideal growing temperatures are between 75 and 85 degrees F.
The golden pothos boasts beautiful marbled, heart-shaped leaves and is yet another low maintenance plant for your bathroom.
Ideal greenhouse conditions for this plant are very bright indirect light, high humidity, and warm temperatures. However, as the bathroom ticks two out of three of these conditions, your pothos should do just fine indoors, although its leaves many not grow to the gigantic size they would with more light!
In order to stop the pothos getting out of control, and to save on space, hang it from the ceiling or high shelf.
14. Snake Plant
Also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, the leaves of the snake plant grow upright, and feature yellow or white edging.
One of the hardiest houseplants, the snake plant can survive low light levels and is flexible in terms of heat and water.
The snake plant also filters some nasty household toxins from the bathroom air – including formaldehyde which can be found in cleaning products, tile grout, adhesives, and even some cosmetics!
15. Spider Plant
Commonly found in public spaces, the spider plant helps remove odors, fumes and around 90% of formaldehyde from the air.
This plant can grow in a wide range of conditions and requires little in the way of care. Because of this, they work well in bathrooms where they get either full sun or shade, although if plantlets fail to develop the plant is probably not getting enough light.
Allow the top layer of the soil to dry out between waterings.
16. ZZ Plant
Dubbed the ‘eternity plant’ because it can tolerate quite a bit of neglect, the ZZ boasts beautiful oval-shaped, glossy leaves that will bring a fresh and vibrant feeling to any bathroom.
Although deep shade or direct sunlight don’t work for this plant, it can grow in most other light conditions such as a north, east or west facing window; and in a wide humidity range.