20 Bathroom Plants That Thrive in High Humidity
It’s no secret that a little indoor foliage can go a long way toward transforming your living space, which is why you’ve decided that it’s high time to show your bathroom a little love. But here’s the thing: Not all plants will mesh well with the fluctuating temperatures and high humidity that a bathroom provides (not to mention lack of direct sunlight that many bathrooms offer). Still, there are plenty of plants that will thrive in this unique environment—and they’ll make your toilet look much more attractive, too. Here are the 20 best bathroom plants you can buy (plus how to keep ‘em alive).
1. Bird’s Nest Fern
There are a ton of humidity-loving ferns to choose from, but Erin Marino, plant expert at The Sill, cites the Bird’s Nest Fern as one of her favorites. “I love its large and wavy bright green fronds—very tropical feeling. It’s also considered non-toxic, making it safe to keep around your furry friends.” Sounds good to us. If you scoop up one of these gems for your bathroom, bear in mind that brighter is better—this gorgeous thrives in medium to bright indirect light but can tolerate low indirect light.
2. Phalaenopsis Orchid
Native to the tropics in India, China, and Southeast Asia, the Phalaenopsis Orchid boasts leafy stems and long-lasting blooms—and because of its natural habitat, it does best in a sunny, warm and humid space. “If your bathroom has a big, bright window, this is the plant for you...and the orchid’s chic silhouette will give your bathroom instant spa vibes,” says Marino. (We’re on board!) The Phalaenopsis thrives in bright indirect light but can tolerate medium indirect light—just steer clear of harsh, direct sun, which can burn its pretty blooms.
If you’re looking to add a pop of color to your bathroom all year-round, this one is Marino’s pick. “The world’s longest blooming houseplant, the Anthurium is rarely without their showy blooms, which aren't really flowers but are modified waxy leaves,” she tells us. As for Marino’s personal favorite: “I love the pink variety because [they feel] very Palm Springs.” According to the expert, the Anthurium loves the extra humidity a bathroom can provide, and thrives in bright indirect light, but can tolerate medium, indirect light if need be.
4. Air Plants
Per Marino, tillandsia (AKA air plants) thrive in humidity: “As an epiphyte, the air plant grows on top of tree branches and pulls all the water it needs from the intense morning fogs of its native habitat.” The takeaway? This cool plant will love being as close to the bathroom shower as possible provided there’s a window that gives it some bright, indirect light. Best of all, air plants are considered to be non-toxic and don’t need soil to survive—so it’s safe for your furry friends and there’s no planter or potting mix for curious hands (or paws) to dig into.
5. Marble Queen Pothos
Nicknamed the “cubicle plant” because of its tolerance of less-than-ideal environments, the Marble Queen Pothos is a hardy pick for any space. A low maintenance trailing plant, it’s perfect for hanging off your shower curtain rod. It might not need the extra humidity a bathroom can provide, but it sure doesn’t hurt. And because the Pothos can thrive in medium to low indirect light, you can still create a tropical bathroom feel without the floor-to-ceiling windows.
6. Snake Plant
Another stalwart pick is the snake plant, which is known to be super adaptable in different heat and water levels. What’s more, this one’s an amazing carcinogen filter (i.e., it clears the air of many toxins found in common bathroom cleaning products). On other words, the snake plant is sure to stay healthy in your bathroom, and it might even benefit your health to boot.
7. Chinese Evergreen
This sizable plant is extremely durable and thrives in medium to low light. While it prefers warmth and humidity (hello, shower time), it’s also sturdy enough to withstand fluctuation in temperature. Plus, we love its rich, variegated green foliage.
8. Spider Plant
Introducing the only spider you want to find hanging out in your bathroom. Yep, we’re talking botany, not bugs. And in the world of houseplants, the spider plant has a reputation for being one of the easiest to please. Even better news for the bathroom is that these guys vibe on humidity and are just as happy in bright sunlight as they are in cavernous conditions.
9. Dendrobium Orchid
Orchids are notoriously happy damp environment dwellers: Warm and steamy climates are their M.O. That said, some require more light than others (see above), so if you don’t have a big, bright window in your bathroom, we suggest you opt for the dendrobium orchid—a variety that does well with minimal sun exposure.
An aloe plant will be sitting pretty in your bathroom, which is only fitting since its soothing gel likely has a home in your medicine cabinet already. What you might not know is that this miracle plant actually belongs to the succulent family—meaning it’s really tough to kill. The humidity of the bathroom alone may meet its watering needs, and a little indirect sun is all it requires on the light front. Easy peasy.
With its diminutive size and pretty, watermelon-striped leaves, this plant makes the chicest little toilet or sink topper. Bonus: Peperomia prefers a low light situation, and wavelengths from fluorescent bulbs can even keep it alive in lieu of sunlight.
This leafy plant is native to the tropics—meaning it loves humidity and is accustomed to growing in a dark, leafy jungle bathroom. Important: This one is toxic to both pets and kids if ingested, so be sure to station it on a high ledge or cabinet if you have either (or both!) running around.
13. Cast Iron Plant
It’s all in the name, now, isn’t it? This leafy green plant is practically foolproof to maintain due to its preference for low light and infrequent watering, and its ability to adapt to a wide range of temperatures. This low-maintenance option is also a looker, thanks to its vibrant evergreen foliage.
14. Eternity Plant
An easy choice for the inattentive plant parent (no judgment), this bathroom-friendly beauty is particularly low maintenance as it requires only infrequent watering (just give this guy a drink when the soil is completely dry) and thrives in low to medium natural light—you know, like the amount provided by a tiny shower window. Note: The eternity plant (also known as the ZZ plant) is toxic to pets, so steer clear or position it out of reach if your critter has a fondness for all things leafy.
15. Lucky Bamboo
Don’t let the name fool you, this African species has no relation to real bamboo; this stalky plant does, however, have a dainty appearance and minimalist aesthetic that’s well-suited for a small bathroom. Plus, there’s no better place for the bamboo plant to perch than, say, your bathroom sink, since this guy prefers low light situations (and actually can’t tolerate too much sun). As for watering, be sure to keep the soil moist—or just skip the soil entirely and stick your lucky bamboo in a vase of water instead, where it will thrive indefinitely, provided you change the water every few weeks.
16. Dragon Tree
This hardy houseplant can reach towering heights of up to 20 feet when grown outdoors, but they’ll thrive just the same, albeit with a far more modest stature, when placed in the bathroom because they’re known to tolerate high humidity well. Dragon trees also require only minimal light—low to medium, indirect and filtered sun suit them best—so that’s another win for the washroom.
17. Peace Lily
Your balmy bathroom is the bee’s knees for this plant, which is native to Central America and prefers steamy, tropical climates. The peace lily is also oh-so pretty: This evergreen plant promises to give your bathroom a lush look year round—and with proper care, this one will produce delicate blossoms twice a year. The key to helping the peace lily thrive is to find it a home where it will receive only low, filtered light (hint: anywhere in your bathroom) and to water the plant weekly, or whenever the soil feels bone-dry. Sounds doable, right?
Flowering plants are a nice addition to any room, and the gardenia has the added benefit of filling a space with its beautiful scent. (Never a bad idea in a bathroom.) Good news: Gardenias thrive in humid environments—so your extra-long showers are definitely not a deal-breaker. That said, sunlight is key to ensuring that this one thrives, so only try this one out if you can give it at least four hours of sunlight per day (i.e., if your bathroom has a window that faces the south or west).
The bromeliad, a tropical plant that boasts beautiful, variegated foliage and exotic, colorful blossoms, will happily suck down all the humidity your bathroom has to offer. Indeed, a steamy shower is the bromeliad’s best friend—and because this plant is epiphytic (meaning that it grows on trees, not in soil), it doesn’t need a space-hogging deep pot, either. Keep this one in a better-lit area of your bathroom, as it requires medium to bright light to thrive, and you’ll be able to enjoy its beauty indoors for one to two years.
20. Tropical Pitcher Plants
The real-life “feed me, Seymour” of the plant world, these carnivorous tropical beauties feed on insects. Don’t worry, though—you needn’t go out of your way to supply these guys with food. Pitcher plants are magnets for the random creepy-crawlies in your bathroom, and that’s quite enough to keep ‘em happy. Best of all, pitcher plants don’t just tolerate humidity—they adore it. In other words, this plant will make your bathroom a better place in more ways than one.