The Best Outdoor Shower Plants to Improve Your Landscape

Dina Cheney
Written by Dina Cheney
Updated April 19, 2022
close up of outdoor shower head
Photo: Kittiphan / Adobe Stock


  • Choose shade- and moisture-tolerant plants that will do well in your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone.

  • Opt for tall trees or bamboo as a privacy screen.

  • Get more coverage with shrubs, choosing some flowering varieties for color and fragrance.

  • Soften the ground with some creeping plants, like grasses.

  • Add more color with flowering perennials.

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Imagine lathering up under a clear blue sky while listening to birdsong and breathing in the scents of herbs and flowers. Along with adding privacy and fragrance, plantings make outdoor showers more beautiful and transporting. With their organic forms, they help to soften the lines of these artificial features, integrating them into nature. For suggestions on plant varieties to try, read on. 

Set Your Shower Plants Up for Success

Follow these general rules when landscaping outdoor showers:

  • While conversing with your local gardener, tell them you’re looking for moisture- and shade-tolerant plants that will thrive in your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

  • Prevent root rot by creating plant beds large enough to keep roots away from draining water. Spacious beds also provide ample room for plants to grow.

  • Include some evergreen plants for privacy screening if you’ll use your shower during the spring, fall, and summer. 

Provide Privacy With Trees and Bamboo

outdoor shower at modern home surrounded by plants
Photo: stockstudioX / iStock / Getty Images

Tall trees will help shield your outdoor shower. You could either build your shower around existing trees or plant rows of trees along one or several shower walls. Consider the following varieties: 

  • False Cypress (Zones 5a–8a)

  • Red Maple (3–9)

  • Balsam Fir (3–5)

  • Arborvitae (3–8)

  • White Cedar (3–8)

  • Basswood (3–8)

  • Canada Hemlock (3–8)

  • Palms (6b/7a and southward)

As an alternative, Bamboo (3–10) can be an ideal privacy hedge in tropical gardens. Just know that the plants (technically, grasses) can become invasive.

Add Coverage With Shrubs

Include another layer of foliage with shrubbery. For color, charm, and fragrance, pick up some flowering plants—ideally varieties that don’t attract bees. Try a few of these:

  • Arrowwood Viburnum (2–8)

  • Shrubby Dogwood (3–8)

  • Virginia Sweetspire (6–9)

  • Elderberries (4–9)

  • Chokeberries (5–9)

  • Carolina Allspice (5–9)

  • Canadian Yew (1–4)

  • Winterberry Holly (3–9)

  • Swamp Azalea (4–9)

  • Mountain Pieris (4a–8b)

  • Witch Hazel (3–9)

  • Bottlebrush Buckeye (5–9)

  • Summersweet (6–8)

  • Frangipani (10–11)

  • Rhododendron (4–8)

  • Shadblow (3–7)

  • Blushing Bride Hydrangea (5–8S/10W) 

Supply Texture With Ground Cover

Give your feet a soft place to land when you step out of the shower. Lay stepping stones amid a combination of these grasses:

  • Zoysia (5–11)

  • Bowles Garden Sedge (5a–8b) 

  • Gold Fountain Sedge (5–9)

Also, think about incorporating a living wall into your shower planted with:

  • Moss (4–8)

  • Ivy (4–13)

  • Ferns (2–10)–pick a type that thrives in shady and moist environments.

Then include other ground cover plants in pots or in the ground around the perimeter of your shower. Try these types:

  • Bunchberry (2–7)

  • Checkerberry (3–6)

  • Japanese Spurge (4–8)

  • Yellowroot (4–9)

  • Woodbine (3–8

  • Spiderwort (4–9

  • Concord Grape Spiderwort (3–9)

  • Pigsqueak (3–8)

  • Pachysandra (3–9)

  • Hostas (3–8) 

Bring More Color With Perennials

Plant a few of these flowering plants to add vibrancy to your shower area:

  • Angelica Archangelica (5-9)

  • Cardinal Flower (2–9)

  • Astilbe (4–8)

  • Bleeding Heart (3–9)

  • Erythronium (3–9)

  • Rodgersia (3)

  • Solomon’s Seal (3–9)

  • Trillium (4–8)

  • Candelabra Primulas (4–8)

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