By Teresa Conway published
Finding the best plants for bathrooms is all about making smart choices. As well as being known for their wellbeing boosting properties, many houseplants will thrive in the humid environment created in bathrooms. But these conditions can prove detrimental to some plants.
The temptation can just be to pick plants just for their visual appeal. But this can lead to disappointment if those choices don't work in the places you had intended. This applies to bathrooms in particular. They can often have poor lighting, particularly in smaller bathrooms or those in apartments. So it's important to consider how this might effect your best indoor plants.
According to Claire Bishop, Houseplant Buyer at Dobbies Garden Centres, ‘A bathroom can be instantly transformed into a space of calm and relaxation with the addition of lush leafy greens, creating a tranquil spa-like feel in your home.'
Create a green oasis with the best plants for bathrooms
It's easy to create a tropical feel in your bathroom by adding a few well-chosen plants. Along with the houseplant experts from Dobbies, we've rounded up the top plants that should be on your shopping list.
1. Boston ferns
Tropical plants like ferns are one of the best plants for bathrooms thanks to their love of humid environments. With its arching green fronds the Boston Fern can develop into a perfect sphere of intricate greenery. Boston ferns thrive in humid conditions and will also help to filter toxins released into the air by cleaning products.
They will flourish in a shady spot in a bright room, but struggle in a dry environment, so keep them away from radiators. It likes its soil to be moist at all times.
Another favorite plant for creating stunning indoor garden ideas in any room of the house is the orchid. As orchids are a tropical plant, they love humidity and will be kept at their happiest on a bathroom windowsill.
To encourage orchids to flower, provide regular liquid feeds and water once a week by drenching the pots, allowing excess water to drain.
Since it hails from warmer climes, Calathea will be perfectly at home in the humid atmosphere of a bathroom – where they are likely to expand over time into a substantial, bushy fixture.
Also known as the rattlesnake plant, it originally comes from Brazil and prospers in a temperature of 16-21°C (61-70°F).
To propagate, remove it from its pot. Cut the rootball into chunky, well-rooted portions and reset them in loam-based ericaceous compost. Liquid-feed weekly, from April to October, with an ericaceous fertilizer.
4. Monstera minima (mini cheese plant)
A smaller version to its full-size counterpart the Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant), this little addition is the perfect on-trend update for your indoor plant ideas.
Place on a shelf which is out of direct sunlight. It can tolerate shady spots but it will grow best in a room which still gets plenty of light. It likes humidity and requires watering about once a week.
5. Prayer plant
This plant’s leaves have a tendency to fold upwards at night, like praying hands. With their pretty patterned leaves, they will bring interest to the bathroom, preferring indirect sunlight to avoid leaves fading.
Remember that learning when and how to repot a plant is an essential part of growing and caring for houseplants, so make sure you move your plant into a bigger pot as soon as it requires more growing space.
Also known as the cast-iron plant, its flowers are inconspicuous, but the statuesque clumps of swordshaped foliage make up for this. Place it in a partially shady spot.
If you're not keeping this in a humid bathroom, then be sure to mist every few days to avoid the leaves turning brown.
Sansevieria or mother-in-law’s tongue is well known for coping with both direct sun and low light conditions. So it will survive in dark bathrooms but the ideal is bright conditions with some sunlight and some shade.
Because this plant is a succulent it stores water within its foliage, so it is not necessary to keep the soil damp. During the growing season, water when the soil becomes dry to the touch, but during the winter you should only water once a month. Be careful not to overwater, as this can cause the roots and base of the plant to rot.
There's more tips on caring for indoor plants in winter in our guide.
8. Peace lily
This will put up with shady spots and loves humidity, making it an ideal bathroom plant. It produces white flowers year-round and will add a calming presence to your home. Peace lilies do all of this and cleanse the air from contaminants often found in our homes.
The peace lily enjoys as much humidity as you can give it – so regular misting is well received. It is happy in low-lit spaces; avoid direct sunlight in the summer.
As it's also one of the best low maintenance indoor plants, this is a great option if you often struggle to look after houseplants.
How to choose the best plants for bathrooms
The first thing you need to consider when picking the best plants for bathrooms is the light conditions in your space and make your selections based on your observations. It's important to note that although some plants can tolerate lower levels of light, there are no houseplants which will survive for long with absolutely no light.
In the case of no light, there is new technology which means your plants can thrive even in basement rooms with no windows. Grow lights for indoor plants (available from Amazon) are really effective, and they’re not just functional – there are stylish designs that can contribute to the look of your room.
You'll also need to consider how often your bathroom is used. For example, in a busy family bathroom where the shower or bath is used every day by several members of the family, you'll find that the humidity levels will be much higher than in a guest bathroom or an en suite that is used less frequently. Taking this into consideration will help you choose the best plants for the humidity in your space.
Teresa was part of a team which launched Easy Gardens magazine two years ago and she continues to edit it today. She is also the Gardens Editor on Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors, Ideal Home and Style At Home, so she is lucky enough to see and write about gardening across all sizes, budgets and abilities. What she is most passionate about when it comes to gardening are the positive effects it has on our mental health to grow and care for plants. Keeping our patches alive with greenery is great for the environment too and help provide food and shelter for wildlife. Finally, she finds it to be such a wonderful opportunity to tap into her creative side and she loves the feeling that she is crafting a space which has a life of its own. Audrey Hepburn summed gardening up perfectly when she said - “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”.
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