The best plants for your bathroom

Whether you want to tackle humidity or create your own mini oasis, it might be time to introduce a new leafy friend into your loo.

Updated

potted plant on a blue wooden bench by the door

Plants can bring a feeling of calm and tranquillity to a space, which is often exactly the mood you want to create in your bathroom. However, not all plants will enjoy having a bath and shower. Steam, condensation, low light and fluctuations in temperature can leave a lot of houseplants wanting to pick up their roots and flee to your kitchen. So do them (and you) a favour by choosing the best plants for your bathroom.

Bathroom plants that absorb moisture

Looking for a plant that will really earn its keep? Some can help to absorb the extra moisture in your bathroom – handy if you’re waging a war on mould. The humble peace lily is the hard-working bumblebee of the plant world – quietly beavering away to absorb toxins, reduce moisture levels and brighten up a dark corner, all while asking very little in return. It’ll drink up a lot of the water it needs through its leaves, but you’ll need to give your peace lily an extra thirst-quenching drink once a week or so.

Low-light bathroom plants

Bathrooms don’t tend to be the sunniest of spaces. They often have pokey little windows with frosted glass or no window at all. So the best bathroom plants tend to be the ones that thrive in low light as well as basking in humidity. As mentioned, the peace lily will probably do well. Mother-in-law’s tongue is another good option: it’s happy with high humidity and low light and makes for a striking display on a shelf or windowsill. If your bathroom is really dark, you might want to leave the door open most of the day, as few plants can survive with no natural light at all.

Bathroom plants when you have no windowsill

If you don’t have a windowsill and your shelf is full to overflowing with lotions and potions, a hanging plant could be your friend. Trailing ivy is usually happy in a bathroom and will help to cheer up a gloomy corner. Just make sure you hang the pot where you’re not going to bang your head on it three times a day.

Zero maintenance bathroom plants

Aloe vera needs bright, indirect light and well-drained soil. Other than that, it’s perfectly happy with a bit of neglect. It’s also one of the best plants for bathrooms due to its healing qualities – the juice can help to treat minor burns.

5 other bathroom plants to consider

  • Orchids love humidity but don’t like too much direct watering. They also need a decent amount of light on their roots, but aren’t keen on direct sunlight (contrary little madams, as our grandmothers might say). An orchid will probably enjoy sitting on a bathroom windowsill or shelf where it can be worshipped in all its glory.
  • Ferns thrive in shady woodlands and love damp conditions, so they won’t mind swapping a dappled glen for your smallest room.
  • Air plants in bathrooms can work, in some cases. They take in moisture through their leaves, so like some humidity, but they don’t enjoy getting too damp. So if your bathroom is well-ventilated, air plants can be a great choice.
  • Begonias are usually seen as garden plants, but fibrous and rhizomatous types cope well with being indoors and don’t mind some humidity and low-light.
  • Aspidistras (also known as cast iron plants) are low-maintenance and pretty tolerant of most conditions.
vase with white orchid on white bench

Top tips for keeping your bathroom plants content

While all the plants we’ve mentioned are happy with some humidity, it’s a good idea to leave your bathroom door open during the day, open a window, or turn the extraction fan on to ventilate the room. Most plants don’t enjoy standing in water for long, so make sure water can drain freely and don’t overfeed them.

Need plant inspiration for other rooms in your house? Head this way…

Originally published