Houseplants have soared in popularity in recent years, and they’ve slowly made their way into every room in the home, including the bathroom. The warmth and humidity of the bathroom mimics the natural habitat of many plant species, making it the ideal environment for many – but importantly not all – plants.
Different plants thrive in different conditions – some prefer bright sunlight, high humidity and plenty of warmth, while others are happy in low light, low humidity and cooler temperatures. So no matter the environment on offer, there’s a bathroom plant to suit your home.
Not only do bathroom plants look great and bring your space to life, they also offer a lot of benefits to you and your home. They can help to absorb excess moisture, and therefore reduce mould in the bathroom, they can help to improve air quality and they can also reduce stress and anxiety.
We’ve created a list of the 10 best plants for the bathroom to help you find the perfect species for your space.
It’s hard to single out just one fern as so many of this species work well in the bathroom. They can handle the fluctuations in temperature, they thrive in humidity and they love the shade. How you care for them depends on the type of fern, but they generally thrive in moist, well-drained soil and in lower light environments. Some ferns to consider include the Boston fern, the bird’s nest fern and the asparagus fern.
2. Aloe Vera
Make your bathroom plant part of your beauty regime with aloe vera. It doesn’t just look great, it can be used to help soothe skin, heal minor burns and reduce itchiness too. These plants like bright, direct light, so work best in bathrooms with big windows and natural sunlight. Keep them near the window for the best growing results.
The eye-catching calathea is the perfect plant for introducing colour and pattern to your bathroom. Most calatheas enjoy high humidity and moderate, indirect sunlight, so it doesn't matter if your bathroom window is small or if you place it on a more shaded side of the room.
4. Snake plant
The snake plant, also known as mother-in-law's tongue, is one of the lowest maintenance bathroom plants out there, and one of the most popular for that exact reason. They filter and purify the air, thrive in any humidity level and while they prefer bright light, they can happily live in low light too.
5. Spider plant
Like snake plants, spider plants prefer bright light, but they’ll tolerate low light too. Be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight or their leaves will scorch. They prefer some humidity but they can also handle low levels of it, making them another low maintenance choice. They’re one of the best hanging bathroom plants and will produce baby spider plants that you can cut off and use to grow your collection, so you end up with a lot of plant for your money.
The tropical gardenia is right at home in a humid bathroom environment, and the steam from your bath or shower can provide just the right level of humidity. They need a lot of sunlight – ideally at least four hours a day – so they’re one to consider if you have a south or west-facing bathroom with a big window.
Add some zen and a spa-like feel to your bathroom with bamboo. Bamboo is low maintenance and thrives in low light, so it’s ideal for bathrooms that don’t get a lot of sun or have no windows. It’s a fast-growing plant so will need to be repotted regularly, although place it under a shelf and it will only grow as big as the space it’s confined to.
Orchids are tropical plants that love humidity, and they won’t take up much space in your bathroom. They tolerate low light but they thrive best in bright, indirect sunlight, so they’ll like it best on your bathroom windowsill. While they love humidity, they prefer their soil to be on the drier side, so water them sparingly.
9. Peace Lily
The elegant, flowering peace lily loves humidity and requires minimal care. Peace lilies need plenty of sunshine to bloom, however they’ll be happy with low light and only occasional exposure to indirect sunlight too. Keep the soil moist as peace lilies will wilt if the soil gets too dry – the closer you can keep them to a steamy shower, the better. An added bonus is that they are great for air purifying.
With long trawling vines that can grow up to 10 feet long, pothos are another attractive hanging bathroom plant to consider. They’re virtually indestructible, and while they don’t necessarily need the extra humidity, they’re ideal for the bathroom thanks to their tolerance of both low light levels and irregular watering. Trim them if they get too long, and water them whenever the soil feels dry.