Adding plants to your bathroom can transform the space, improving air quality, humidity, and ambiance. However, with the steam, moisture, and low natural light common in bathrooms, not all plants can thrive in this environment. Choosing the right plants is key to creating a beautiful and lush bathroom oasis. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about choosing the best plants for your bathroom.

Assessing Your Bathroom’s Growing Conditions

When selecting bathroom plants, the first step is assessing the unique conditions of your space. This will determine which plants can flourish. Here are the key factors to consider:


  • Most bathrooms have low, indirect natural light since windows are often small or nonexistent. Before choosing plants, observe how much sunlight your bathroom gets.
  • North-facing windows provide low, indirect light. East or West-facing windows receive a few hours of direct morning or afternoon sun. South-facing windows get the most sunlight. Identify your bathroom’s orientation.
  • Supplement with artificial light. Grow lights or LED plant bulbs can provide fuller spectrum lighting. Position them to illuminate your plants.


  • Bathroom humidity levels are elevated thanks to hot showers and baths. Measure humidity with a hygrometer. Consistently over 60% is ideal for tropical plants.
  • Use fixtures like humidifiers, pebble trays, or saucers filled with water to boost moisture if your bathroom runs dry.


  • Warm, steamy bathrooms mimic tropical plant habitats. Most bathrooms maintain temperatures between 60-80°F – perfect for tropicals.
  • Colder bathrooms may require positioning plants away from drafty windows and providing heating sources like heat mats.

Air Circulation

  • Stagnant air and poor ventilation encourage mold and bacteria. Use fans or open windows to keep air moving.
  • Avoid overcrowding plants – allow adequate space for air to circulate.

Best Plants for Low Light Bathrooms

Many tropical plants thrive in steamy, low-light bathroom conditions. Here are some top choices:

Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

  • Tolerates very low light and irregular watering.
  • Removes airborne toxins like formaldehyde and benzene.
  • Vertical, architectural shapes work well in tight spaces.
  • Choose hardy varieties like Sansevieria cylindrical or Sansevieria trifasciata.

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra)

  • Survives low light, dry air, and neglect.
  • Large, glossy leaves provide bold texture.
  • Leaf tips turn brown in very low light. Provide supplemental lighting.
  • Opt for Aspidistra elatior or the dwarf Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myers’.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

  • Purifies indoor air and thrives in low light and humid bathrooms.
  • Let soil dry between watering to prevent root rot.
  • White flowers bloom in spring and summer, removing airborne mold.
  • Choose Spathiphyllum ‘Sensation’ for prolific blooms.

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

  • Iconic trailing vine tolerates deep shade and inconsistent watering.
  • Golden or white variegated varieties brighten up dark corners.
  • Allow to trail or train up supports like trellises, poles, or shower rods.
  • ‘Neon’ and ‘Pearls and Jade’ have showy coloration.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

  • Striking speckled foliage remains lush in low light.
  • Remove dust and increase humidity to prevent leaf tip browning.
  • ‘Silver Queen’ and ‘Maria’ have pale leaves that glow in dark bathrooms.
  • Keep away from drafts and cold windows to avoid chill damage.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

  • Tolerant of very low light, drought, and occasional forgetful watering.
  • Distinctive glossy leaves complement modern bathrooms.
  • May grow leggy and sparse without adequate sunlight.
  • ‘Raven’ has dramatic dark purple-black foliage.

Best Plants for Bright Bathrooms

For bathrooms with ample sunlight streaming through south-facing or large windows, many houseplants can thrive. Consider these options:


  • Draw moisture and humidity from steamy showers.
  • Place in east or south facing windowsills to supplement with several hours of direct sun daily.
  • Soak roots weekly by watering or placing the whole plant in the sink or shower. Let drain thoroughly.
  • Select prolific bloomers like moth orchids or Cattleya.


  • Tropical epiphytes with exotic, long-lasting flowers in shades like pink, purple, orange.
  • Prefer very bright, indirect sun. Provide strong lighting.
  • Use water-loving varieties like the Flamingo Flower (Anthurium) or Urn Plant (Aechmea).
  • Maintain humidity by misting several times per week.


  • Lush, graceful fronds suit humid bathrooms. Avoid direct hot sun.
  • Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), ruffle fern (Nephrolepis falcata), and staghorn ferns grow well.
  • Sit in pebble trays and mist regularly to keep their fronds perky.


  • Use sparingly in bright bathrooms. Avoid sensitive varieties like lithops, which need very good drainage.
  • Opt for low-light tolerant succulents like Haworthias. Carefully monitor for signs of overwatering.
  • Provide very bright light. Supplement with grow lights if natural sun is inadequate.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

  • Trailing, grass-like leaves multiply quickly. Ideal for hanging baskets.
  • Can tolerate some direct sun but does best in very bright, indirect light. Rotate plant periodically.
  • Tolerates dry air. Misting leaves provides welcomed humidity.
  • ‘Bonnie’ has curly leaves, ‘Variegatum’ has white stripes.

Best Hanging Plants for Bathrooms

Hanging plants allow you to take advantage of vertical space and can bring feathery, trailing greenery to otherwise bare bathroom walls and ceilings. Consider using:


  • Boston ferns or ruffle ferns create flowing green curtains. Their fronds can reach several feet long.
  • Staghorn and rabbit’s foot ferns have furry rhizomes that dangle attractively.
  • Mist and water frequently – allow hanging ferns to dry out between watering to prevent root rot.


  • Air plants like bulbous Tillandsia xerographica attach directly to hanging structures without soil.
  • Soak weekly in tepid water; shake off excess moisture and allow to dry before re-hanging.
  • Bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sun which can burn their leaves.

Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina)

  • Cascading purple and silver trailing stems up to 3 feet long.
  • Can tolerate partial sun but does best in bright, indirect light.
  • Prefers consistently moist soil. Allow to dry slightly between waterings.

Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

  • Iconic ivy can grow up to 10 feet long. Prune to maintain size.
  • Attaches to surfaces with holdfasts or grows downward when hanging.
  • Tolerates low light once established. Provide bright indirect light for fast growth.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

  • Creates flowing fountain-like effect. Established plants produce runners up to 3 feet long.
  • Bright, indirect light is ideal. Rotating periodically provides even exposure.
  • Allow soil to partially dry between waterings to prevent root rot.

Choosing Plants for Open Showers vs. Enclosed Stalls

The exposure level in your bathroom will determine what plants can flourish:

Open Showers

  • Choose plants that appreciate extra humidity from open showers. Consider moisture-loving calatheas, bromeliads, or ferns.
  • Provide bright, ambient light. Avoid direct shower spray on leaves – promote drying out between watering.
  • Ensure good air circulation with fans to prevent leaf fungal diseases.

Enclosed Stalls

  • Take advantage of low light conditions and select low-light plants like pothos, Chinese evergreens, or ZZ plants.
  • Monitor humidity levels which may be lower. Use pebble trays or humidifiers to increase moisture.
  • Open stall doors during and after showering to allow ventilation and prevent mold.

Ideal Plant Placement in Bathrooms

Strategically placing plants in suitable spots ensures they get the conditions they need to thrive.


East or south-facing windows are ideal for plants requiring supplemental sunlight like orchids, succulents, bromeliads. Filter harsh direct sun with sheer curtains.

Shower Shelving

Use trailing plants like philodendron or pothos to add a vertical foliage feature. Keep shelving out of direct shower spray.

Sink Area

Moisture-loving plants like African violets and maidenhair ferns appreciate the humidity from nearby sinks. Avoid direct faucet drips.


Place low-maintenance, low-light plants out of the main circulation paths. Snake plants or ZZ plants are ideal.


Suspend air plants like tillandsias or trailing spider plants from shower rods or ceiling hooks. Provide good ambient light.


Peace lilies, orchids and other flowering plants add pops of color when placed on bathroom counters and vanities. Provide adequate sunlight.

5 Key Tips for Keeping Bathroom Plants Healthy

Bathrooms present some unique challenges for maintaining optimal plant health. Follow these tips:

  • Supplement with grow lights if natural light is very low. Use full spectrum bulbs.
  • Allow plants to dry out partially between watering to prevent root rot in humid conditions.
  • Promote air circulation with fans, open windows or air plants to avoid mold.
  • Monitor for pests like fungus gnats that thrive in moist environments. Allow soil to dry out.
  • Clean leaves periodically with mild soap and water to remove soap scum and dust buildup.

Answering Common Questions About Bathroom Plants

New to growing plants in the bathroom? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Are plants in the bathroom bad for mold?

Answer: Not inherently. Just ensure proper ventilation and moisture control. Allow plants and soil to dry adequately between waterings, keep humidity in check, and provide air circulation.

Which bathroom plants purify air?

Answer: Many common bathroom plants help remove toxins and improve air quality. Top air-purifying choices include peace lilies, snake plants, aloe vera, English ivy, and spider plants.

Do plants make bathrooms smell better?

Answer: They can! Plants help filter out odor-causing particles. Some varieties like gardenias, jasmine and lavender also contribute their natural fragrances.

Where is the best place to put plants in a bathroom?

Answer: Bright windowsills suit sun-loving plants, while low-light spots work for low-light plants. Consider mounting orchids or tillandsias directly in the shower for display. Provide good ventilation.

What bathroom plants need no sunlight?

Answer: Excellent ultra-low light options include zz plants, pothos, Chinese evergreens, peace lilies and cast iron plants. Be sure to supplement with grow lights if sunlight is totally absent.


Adding well-chosen plants can turn your bathroom into a relaxing oasis and provide natural beauty. Assess your bathroom’s specific growing conditions and select suitable plants for the space. Focus on moisture-loving tropicals that thrive in the warm, humid environs of bathrooms. Provide ample light, allow for air circulation, and adopt good watering practices. With the right selections and care, your bathroom plants can thrive and enhance your space for years to come.