The Top 9 Best Plants to Grow in a Bathroom

Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Updated July 13, 2021
little girl washing hands in bathroom with plants
Catherine Falls Commercial/Moment via Getty Images

When picking out the best bathroom plants, aim for those that will love the steam, lower levels of light, and frequently changing temperatures

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As your beloved plant family slowly takes over the rest of your home, be sure to share the love with your bathroom. This high-humidity space is ideal for plants that are used to the tropical weather, and many plants can even handle low light in bathrooms with small windows. 

Even in small doses, a bit of foliage can transform one of the most important spaces of your house into a spa-like escape filled with greenery.

Bathroom Plants: Perks, Placement, and Other Tips

Lush green leaves truly pop out against the clean look of tile, making bathroom plants an excellent, yet often-overlooked, decor choice. Ample studies also show that plants boost our mood, improve memory, and even encourage productivity. Since we start and end our days in our home's bathroom, plants are a great choice for creating a healthy home.

Where to Place Bathroom Plants

Finding space to place or hang plants can be tricky in a room without a lot of counter space. While the windowsill is ideal for optimal sunlight, consider floor plants—such as the ficus—as well as hanging plants from hooks near a light source.

Don't fret if you don't have a lot of light in your bathroom: Many of the varieties below adjust to low-light areas. You can also add a fluorescent grow lamp for extra care.

modern bathroom with hanging plant
Carlina Teteris/Moment via Getty Images

Watering Tips

The constant humidity in the bathroom alters how much you’ll need to water certain plants. Some plants prefer if you let them dry out before watering again, while others have different requirements based on the season.

A Quick Note on Pet Safety

Pet parents know that they have to be careful as some plants can be poisonous to pets. Owning plants can be a challenge, especially if you have one of those cats that makes you ask, "How did you even get up there?"

In the list below, all plants other than the Boston fern and the spider plant are either mildly or moderately toxic to cats and dogs, according to the ASPCA. Most air plants are also safe, but can be sharp or irritating to pets when eaten. If you have furry creatures, it's best they never chomp down on even non-toxic plants, so be sure to keep your foliage out of reach.

Without further ado, here are some of the top bathroom plants that can flourish year-round.

1. Boston Ferns

While each type of fern has its own preferences, most make excellent bathroom plants due to their air-purification skills and comfort in high-humidity spaces. Boston ferns like bright indirect sunlight—a skylight will do—but may not make it if you have a windowless bathroom.

This fern variety also loves moisture, so keep an eye on the soil to make sure it doesn't dry out.

2. Spider Plant

There's a reason you spot spider plants in so many homes. Not only are they easy to take care of, but they frequently propagate so you can share the love with your friends. Snip the offshoots that grow off the plant with small white flowers.

Keep the soil moist to the touch, especially in the spring and summer months when it will grow best.

3. Lucky Bamboo

While lucky bamboo plants are not technically bamboo, they adore a warm and steamy spot by your shower. Lucky bamboo can live in soil or water, but soil is best. It does not need direct sunlight but prefers moist soil, so test the moisture level with your hands every few days.

4. Heartleaf Philodendron

Named for its sweetly shaped green leaves, this philodendron loves indirect light in a room filled with moisture. Like the other options on the list, keep the soil moist to the touch but let the top layer dry out when caring for this plant in the winter.

5. Air Plants

Air plants are a homeowner's dream, especially for those without a particularly green thumb. These plants do not need soil to grow, so you can place them in a range of fun spots in a bathroom. Pick your favorite hanging plant decor or build a terrarium for the sink counter.

Air plants need at least indirect sunlight but only get watered about once a week. Depending on the variety, some air plants prefer a solid soaking in water every two to three weeks, while others are good with a thorough spritz.

6. English Ivy

Choose a classic plant that will add a touch of green cascading down your bathroom cabinet. English Ivy is happy in indirect sun but can tolerate low-light rooms—it may just not grow as heartily. Soak the soil about two times a week but make sure it fully dries out before your next watering.

7. Begonia

You'll find endless begonia varieties at the plant store for both indoors and out. Many do well indoors or in the shade, making this another great candidate for the powder room. Rex Begonias are a popular choice for the bathroom, especially if you have a window that gets direct or indirect sunlight for just a few hours a day.

Keep the soil moist but take care not to waterlog or spray the leaves of begonia to avoid mold, plant pests, or root rot.

8. Snake Plant

Known for its tall green and yellow leaf stalks, a snake plant loves to purify the air of a steam-filled bathroom. Since these plants can grow quite high in the right pot, they also work well on the floor.

Avoid overwatering this plant, especially in the bathroom. It likes to fully dry out between waterings so it will only likely need care once every week and a half.

9. Ficus

Why not make the plant the focal point of your bathroom? A potted ficus adds a burst of natural color to a room and happens to love humidity as much as the other favorites on the list. Ficus prefer indirect sunlight and consistent warm air as well. 

Be sure your ficus pot has excellent drainage. You'll only need to water it about every 10 days, especially because it doesn't like to get waterlogged.

Whether you line your windowsill with flowering air plants or pop a large ficus next to your sink, a plant can do wonders in this small space. Speak with the pros and your plant store or online plant store for specific tips on high humidity and indirect light.

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