The best bathroom plants for a literal refresh

Pick the best plants for your bathroom and watch them thrive!

Hanging plant in bathroom

by Eleanor Weaver |

The bathroom seems like an ideal place for plants to grow – they’ll get frequently watered from the condensation of your shower, they’ll help your bathroom feel fresh and chic, and create a relaxing environment for your evening pamper routine or for when you need a bit of TLC.

But to transform your bathroom into a spa-like space of calm and tranquillity, you’re going to need to pick houseplants that’ll thrive in the humidity, and be able to flourish in the light resource available.

Related: The best indoor plants to bring your home to life

So switch on your aromatherapy diffuser, light a couple of candles, and get the bath running with some luxury shower gel to hand - we’ve found the best types of houseplant to buy for your bathroom and included some of the best plants to shop for right now.

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What plants live well in a bathroom?

Firstly, you’re going to want to choose plants with a natural climate similar to the conditions of your bathroom. Tropical indoor plants are the best choice as they’re used to the humidity of the space and will live well in a warm and moist atmosphere. However, they also need to be able to withstand cold periods, too, when the bathroom is not in use and the heating is off.

Related: The best sustainable products for your bathroom

Another really important factor to consider is the natural light available in your bathroom. These houseplants are great for bringing some life to your bathroom where you may have bright or indirect light coming through your frosted windows:

Alocasia Wentii

Alocasia Wentii is also known as 'Giant Elephant Ear' due to their impressively large leaves - definitely, a better bathroom option if you're not too limited on space. Found naturally in the mountains of New Guinea, this plant is a rich dark green colour with dark red undersides to the distinctive leaves. It enjoys a humid environment and in a position covered by indirect, bright light.

Chlorophytum 'Spider Plant'

So named because of their spray of dangling leaves, Spider Plants are tough, highly adaptable, and considered one of the easiest houseplants to grow. Whilst they prefer bright, indirect light, they can tolerate low-light levels too and thrive in a humid environment. Native to Africa, they can handle the switch in temperatures and like lightly moist soil, perfect to achieve with the occasional shower water spray.

Woman in bathroom with calathea plant
©Getty Images

Calathea

Native to the tropical Americas, Calatheas are a popular pot plant with unique and colourful leaf markings. They grow best in high humidity climates, are relatively easy to care for, and have the bonus of being pet-friendly; great for any eager pets that love to nibble. It's also an air-purifying plant, which will help you breathe more easily and help to remove household toxins from the air.

Bird’s Nest Fern

Ferns flourish in bathroom humidity, which is why this isn't the only top pick on our list! Native to areas such as tropical south-eastern Asia, Hawaii, and eastern Australia to name a few, the Bird's Nest Fern typically grows in palm trees and thrives in warm, humid areas. It has large leaves that resemble banana leaves and have an intriguing wavy or crinkled texture. They'll do best in bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower levels of light if needs be.

Phalaenopsis 'Moth Orchids'

If you're looking for a plant that'll flower, we'd recommend the Moth Orchid for your bathroom. Native to areas such as India, Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines, it is naturally fond of warm temperatures and high humidity but can also adapt to the lower levels found in most UK homes. They are hardier than other species of orchids which makes them a great pick too for first-time plant parents.

What is a good plant for a dark bathroom?

If like many of us, your bathroom is shaded, the blinds are often closed or it doesn’t have a window, you’re going to need to pick an indoor plant that can tolerate low-light conditions as well as the humidity. To make life easier for you and your plant, we’d recommend one of these houseplants that’ll be able to withstand the conditions and be easy to care for too:

Sansevieria 'Snake Plant'

Whilst they may prefer bright, indirect light, the Snake Plant will still grow well in shady corners or a low-light bathroom. They're also incredibly low maintenance, making them a great houseplant that'll survive any forgetfulness. Native to Africa and southern Asia, they typically have hardy leaves that grow directly upright with variations coming with different patterns and shaped fronds that look somewhat similar to a large succulent. The Snake Plant is also great for air purification and collecting dust.

Aglaonema 'Chinese Evergreen'

The Chinese Evergreen is an, unsurprisingly, evergreen plant native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and New Guinea that are humid with shady habitats. As they live in low-light conditions, this makes them a popular houseplant for UK homes and ideal for bathrooms that'll help to keep the soil moist. There are 21 members of the Chinese Evergreen family that range in shape and size, but typically the darker the green of a plant, the better they'll do in shaded conditions. They're also seen to bring good luck, something we can all get behind!

Boston Fern in windowsill
©Photo: Getty Images

Boston Fern

The popular Boston Fern, or Sword Fern, is a popular air-purifying evergreen plant that's native to tropical regions and humid forests and swamps across the world. In the 1980s, the NASA Clean Air Study showed that the Boston Fern could filter formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air - helping to create a relaxing, purified environment for you to relax in. Often grown in hanging baskets to allow the gorgeous light green fronds to dangle, the Boston Fern is hardy, safe for pets, and acclimated to partial, or full shade.

Philodendron Scandens

Also known as the Heartleaf Philodendron due to the heart-shaped glossy leaves, this plant will thrive in a steamy bathroom where the moist atmosphere will keep those beautiful leaves looking healthy. Native to Central America and the Caribbean, this plant will vine so you can choose to support it to climb or let it hang freely from a hanging pot or shelf (much like Ivy - another great bathroom plant!) The Philodendron Scandens does best in medium light but can tolerate darker, shady bathrooms too.

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia 'ZZ Plant'

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, knowns as the ZZ Plant for ease, is native to eastern Africa and is considered an ornamental plant because of its sculptural, glossy, leaf structure. It's an easy-going plant that is used to extreme weather conditions, so can survive almost anything you throw at it. It can survive limited light, sporadic watering, and it'll certainly make a statement.

Now you know which plants will be best for your bathroom, we’ve listed the best ones to buy for a super cheap and easy bathroom refresh. We’ve got shelf, hanging, and floor standing options so you can add some greenery no matter how much space you have available.

Shop the best plants for your bathroom

This Calathea Elgergrass comes with elegant and striking leaves, with wavy edges and a deep red underside. It can grow up to 80cm in height and will thrive in a humid bathroom.

Comes measuring 30-40cm in height in a nursery pot (decorative pot not included).

Review: **"**A really eye-catching plant, I have it in my bathroom and it looks great and is doing well. The leaves are really vibrant colour and it really stands out amongst my other plants."

This might seem a little more expensive, but as you're getting a bundle of six plants, it's certainly worth the price. This set is the perfect way to transform your bathroom with plants specifically selected to withstand the humidity. You'll receive a Monstera Adansonii, a Calathea, a Boston Fern, and a Chamaedorea, all in textured grey pots. You'll also receive a Croton and Mini Single Hoya Heart plant in black and gold pots to add to your home.

Review: "Very well packaged and in excellent condition. Pleased with purchase."

This luscious Boston Fern will look beautiful hung in your bathroom against some contrasting white ceramic tile. Perfect for giving an instant refresh, it'll add a splash of life and colour to an otherwise dreary space.

Comes in 17cm nursery pot with hanging hook.

This Philodendron Scandens has beautiful heart-shaped leaves that'll trail and thrive in a low-light bathroom. Whimsical and pretty, it'll make for lovely decoration on a shelf or by the bath or sink.

Comes in 12cm nursery pot. Available in a medium-size too, in a 17cm nursery pot with hanging hook included.

This Moth Orchid is subtly elegant with delicate flowers that'll look beautiful in the bathroom. The white flowers will blend in neatly with their minimalist style, great if you want to add decoration without fear of making your bathroom look a little jungle-like.

Comes in 12cm nursery pot, 60cm tall (decorative pot not included).

The wide and stunning leaves of the Alocasia Wentii will certainly make a statement in your and is a wonderful way to bring a tropical or exotic feel to your bathroom. Enjoy a steamy bath with this plant by your side, and feel like you've been transported abroad from the comfort of your bathtub.

Comes in a 19cm nursery pot. Extra-large also available in a 24cm nursery pot (decorative pots not included).

Enjoy this dynamic bathroom duo - a stunning, trailing Satin Pothos and a dramatic ZZ Plant. Both come in gorgeous marble planters which compliment the greenery perfectly and will add some grandeur to the room - it's definitely giving us a home spa-vibe.

Comes in marble planters. The Zamioculcus measures 30-40cm tall, and the Satin Pothos measure 30-35cm tall (stand and planter included in total height).

The Pleated Bird's Nest Fern with its rippling leaves reminds us of being by the seaside, making this a perfect plant for a nautical themed bathroom. It's beautifully bright in colour and air-purifying, helping us to relax and breathe more easily.

Comes in 12cm nursery pot (decorative pot not included). Overall plant height measures 20-25cm on arrival.

The light green colour of this Spider Plant is instantly refreshing and will look the part in traditional bathrooms against white ceramic tiles or neutral tones - it would look great in a hanging basket above the bathtub and brings a calming mood.

Comes in 11cm nursery pot, measuring 20-30cm in height (decorative pot not included).

Review: "An absolutely beautiful, healthy plant exceptionally well packed for shipping. I must admit I was a bit hesitant ordering live plants online but I would highly recommend this seller."

With lush, large foliage and delicately dappled leaves, this variation of the Chinese Evergreen has a long life span, growing taller over time. It'll make for a great floor plant to home in the corner of your bathroom to inject a touch of nature, colour, and tropical finesse.

Comes in 17cm nursery pot (decorative pot not included). Overall plant height measures 45-50cm.

This fun yellow and green-leaved Snake Plant will adapt wonderfully to your bathroom environment and reliably thrive. It's an air purifier, duster, and the lovely colour will help trigger feelings of vitality and health, perfect for a little TLC.

Comes in a 17cm nursery pot (decorative pot not included). Also available in medium measuring 14cm.

We've nicked this from our pick of the best air purifying plants because it offers a wonderful selection of plants ideal for housing in your bathroom. This mix of four plants includes an Areca Palm, Chlorophytum, Spathiphyllum, and Nephrolepis, all tropical plants that'll thrive in a humid environment and inject clean oxygen into the air.

These four plants come in decorative Elho pots measuring 12.5cm. The overall height of the plants is between 25-30cm.

Review: "Arrived healthy and lovely, they are amazing plants and the pots they came with are attractive."

Are succulents OK in bathrooms?

Whilst succulents are one of the easiest houseplants to care for, sadly the bathroom is not the place for them to be. They’re not a fan of humidity and the wet air will stop their soil from drying, promoting rot and fungal issues.

That being said, cacti will thrive in your bathroom – they’ll be able to survive high heat, low light, and be able to absorb the moisture in the air for future use. We’d recommend a Pincushion Cactus, Mistletoe Cactus, or Orchid Cactus as varieties that’ll love that bathroom humidity.

What are the benefits of adding a plant to your bathroom?

As well as adding some natural beauty and helping to give your bathroom a facelift on a budget, indoor plants are packed with wellbeing benefits that'll help improve your mental and physical health. If you take care of your plants, they'll take care of you!

Some fantastic benefits include:

• Air purification for cleaner air and removal of household toxins.

• Tropical plants can help boost humidity and in turn improve respiratory health, immunity, and relieve skin conditions.

• They can help create a calming, soothing, and relaxing ambience - perfect for creating a spa experience at home.

• Feel more connected and at one with nature.

• It can boost your mental wellbeing and help you to destress and ease anxiety.

• The colour green can trigger vitality.

• Some can help with dust collection – this will create a film on leaves that you can simply wipe clean.

Bathroom plant decoration inspiration

Want to get an idea of how certain plants will look in your bathroom, or see them in situ to decide if they’re best for your space? Take to Instagram and Pinterest for some serious indoor plant inspiration.

What to read next:

Easy-care houseplants you need while you're working from home

Best plants for your bedroom

The best products to bring nature into your home

The best artificial plants for a low maintenance home jungle

Eleanor Weaver is a Commercial Content Writer for titles such as Yours, What’s The Best, and Mother&Baby.

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