If you're into house plants, then you'll likely enjoy seeing them everywhere – including in the bathroom. And, bathrooms – with or without windows – believe it or not, make wonderful spots for plants. You'll know that the first rule of caring for house plants properly is to know where they come from and to help replicate that environment. And, while humidity, dappled light or even full shade may seem like disastrous growing conditions for some plants, it's actually the perfect climate for most topical plant varieties. All of which happen to be brilliant for general wellbeing, feng shui and ahem, decor. So if you have a free spot in your bathroom, this is the best greenery to consider.
We spoke with Claire Ransom, the founder of Lazy Flora (opens in new tab) about the best indoor plants to keep in your bathroom, 'When looking for the best plants to thrive in your bathroom, it is important to remember the conditions that they will be living in. The bathroom is usually the dampest and often the darkest room in the house, so opt for plants that like humidity and don’t mind being out of direct sunlight.'
1. Asparagus Fern (Asparagus setaceus)
Actually not a fern at all, but part of the lily family, this bushy-tailed house plant is a green crowd pleaser, not so demanding and very air-purifying. Ideal in a shady spot or on a windowsill if you have one with not too much direct sunlight as this can scorch its delicate leaves in summer. The steam from the bath and shower will naturally mist this bathroom plant favorite. But, be sure to keep the soil damp (not soggy) also. Feed yours with a little house plant solution in growing season and watch it grow.
'We are loving Asparagus Ferns at the moment and their fresh green foliage will look right at home in any bathroom. The plant is feathery and graceful, but surprisingly tough! In late summer, the Asparagus Fern sometimes produces pretty little tiny white flowers.'
2. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema Cutlass)
The Chinese Evergreen is another rainforest plant that wants warm temperatures (18-23°C ideally), dappled light as it would enjoy under a natural canopy of trees and damp (not soggy) soil. It's native to the subtropical rainforests of Asia and New Guinea. House plant guru, Kate Turner of Miracle-Gro (opens in new tab) also recommends this as a better option to keep free from houseplant pests. 'This Chinese plant, also known as Aglaonema, is disease-resistant, and bugs tend to leave it alone. It has green or pink variegated leaves and will bear white flowers similar to a calla lily. It likes warm, humid surroundings, indirect sunlight and only needs watering once a week. However, it is toxic to pets, so it is best kept out of their reach.'
3. Snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata)
Snake plants can work in bathrooms as they are native to tropical regions of the West Africa, Asia and Europe, so they like a warm climate. They like light but a more shaded spot or even windowless bathroom will be okay, you will likely be able to cut back on watering also if your bathroom is very humid.
'Snake plants thrive in these conditions and are super low-maintenance plants. They thrive in low-light conditions and in the wild, live in rocky and dry areas of tropical climates, so the naturally humid air in a bathroom means you can often get away with watering them even less.' Says Ransom.
4. Bird of Paradise
If you have windows and want a flowering bathroom plant, then the Bird of Paradise is one to consider for its gorgeous colors and floral form. They like damp but not soggy soil, so monitor moisture levels and if you keep yours happy, you could see it grow to over six feet tall!
'If you are lucky enough to have a bathroom with bright light, another option you might like to consider is the Bird of Paradise plant. This plant loves bright light, so keeping it on the bathroom windowsill will keep it happy. It is one of the most exotic looking house plants available and is great for hay fever sufferers, as they produce no airborne pollen, even when they’re in full bloom.'
5. Spider plants (Chlorophytum Variegatum)
Spider plants just keep giving, they love humidity and are perfect to perk up a bland shady corner in your bathroom space. Cluster a few together if you have the room (we like to hang ours) to keep them really happy and feeling tropical.
'Getting its name from the arachnid-like baby plants it produces during summer months, the Spider plant is incredibly undemanding. They prefer bright, but indirect light and are best placed anywhere in the house away from a sunny windowsill.'
6. Guzmania Bromeliad(opens in new tab)
Another one of the best flowering bathroom plants, Guzmanias love a constant warm temperature and misting – making them perfect for this space. Take care still to not overwater them and let the soil dry out completely between waterings. Keep yours happy and as it matures, it will give you the chance to propagate its babies.
'Guzmanias are some of the most striking plants in the world. The beautifully colourful flower-shaped protrusion is not actually a flower, but actually a bract. Each plant will produce a long-lasting colourful head, in bright reds, oranges or yellows. In the wild they are found loitering on tree branches in tropical rainforests, but at home they will be the perfect fit in a bathroom. Despite their warm origins, they love a bit of dappled shade and survive best out of direct sunlight.'
7. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum Vivaldi)
A hugely air-purifying plant, Peace Lilies are native to tropical Columbian rainforests and so love humidity, dappled light or total shade, and a warm climate. Flowering also, if you play your cards right, you'll enjoy distinctive white flowers all year round.
8. Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum)
The Blue Star Fern is an undemanding houseplant that makes a great bathroom addition. This lively looking plant is native to South America and and therefore loves warm temperatures (16 and 24 degrees roughly) and high humidity levels. It wants low to moderate light exposure and will only need watering when the soil is dry to the touch. Turner notes 'It only needs watering when the soil becomes slightly dry, but make sure not to over water it - it will not be happy if you leave it standing in water! I would also recommend watering from the sides rather than directly onto the leaves.'
9. Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata)
A Ficus is a must in every home and the Fiddle Leaf Fig works so well in a bathroom space as it's native to Western Africa and those glossy leaves love warm stable temperatures (of about 16-24°C). It will tolerate shade but bright indirect light is best for it to thrive. And if it does, it will grow as large as 3m tall with a spread of 1m. Take note if you have a tiny space as this is one of the best bathroom plants for impact.
10. Sword/Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Nephrolepis exaltata, better known as a trusty Boston or Sword fern is a humidity and indirect light-loving tropical plant with lots of texture and style to offer in return. Find it naturally everywhere, from Africa to America and Australia, or in your bathroom, of course! Hang yours to brighten up a dull space and feel good about the fact that it is very air-purifying and should survive in a bathroom without windows too. It's also a pet-friendly house plant for anyone with furry pals around.
What plants thrive in the shower?
For small bathrooms where the shower is quite dominating, complete shower rooms or if you want to keep houseplants hanging in the shower (why not?!), opt for Ferns and Spider Plants which will be more climatized to warm tropical showers. It's a great way to keep them watered and well-misted also, just take care to not overdo it.
Is it good feng shui to have plants in a bathroom?
Having houseplants around will strengthen one vital area of feng shui: wood, which promotes growth and can inspire kindness and adaptability also. There are some plants which are seen more negatively for feng shui due to their pointed shapes, namely cacti, but this is redundant in a bathroom. Opt for bathroom plants with soft and rounded leaves for more nourishing vibes like the Palm and Ferns. And keep your collection neat and in good health for even better feng shiu. It goes without saying also that green is a calming color that is said to promote wellbeing and healing.
Run that bath, enjoy your many bathroom plants 🌿