House Plants for the Bathroom

Updated July 20, 2017

A little greenery where it's least expected makes your home fresher, happier and more peaceful. Plants placed in the bathroom can provide contrast to light- or neutral-coloured tile and liven up one of the busiest spaces in your home. The natural humidity of a bathroom can help keep plants healthy and happy. However, plants also need adequate light. If your bathroom has no window or a very small window, select plants that thrive in low light.

African Violet

In a small bathroom, tuck away a tiny pot of these colourful flowers for beauty and style without giving up much space. African violets need bright, indirect light. A fluorescent lamp is enough, but remember to turn it off at night. Water the plant by setting the pot in a tray of water, and keep the room humid.


For a peaceful, zen-like bathroom, try a spiralling bamboo shoot. Keep it in a vase of fresh, distilled water and pebbles. If you have other plants in the bathroom, too, this vase will add to the humidity. Just remember to change the water every other week.

Boston Fern

Choose this lush plant for a vibrant jungle look. You’ll need to mist the Boston fern regularly or leave some water in the tub during the day to maintain high humidity. This fern likes bright light and moist soil. Don’t worry if the tips brown a little bit: just clip them off with scissors.

Christmas Cactus

A unique and colourful plant, the Christmas cactus grows in flat segments and blooms during the winter. It likes moderate humidity, moist soil, bright indirect light and consistent temperature. Keep it away from heat vents or draughty doors when it’s blooming.

English Ivy

This bright green or variegated (green and white) vine thrives in humidity and looks great in a hanging basket. Keep it under bright fluorescent light or by a window. Warning: The leaves are poisonous to children and pets and may cause skin irritation.

Heartleaf Philodendron

This easy-to-grow plant complements any style of bathroom decor, though it can grow to be fairly large and requires some space. Regularly pinch off leaves just above the node (where the leaf stem connects to the main stem) to keep your plant bushy and healthy. Philodendrons like some humidity, moderate to low sunlight, and need to dry out completely between waterings.


Vibrant, stunning orchids will turn your bathroom into a tropical paradise. The secret to keeping orchids is plenty of light, but no direct sun. They also need high humidity, so you may want to leave an inch of water in the tub during the day or keep them with other leafy plants.

Peace Lily

Sophisticated and easy to care for, peace lilies look gorgeous anywhere in the house. Try placing one in a corner by a magazine holder or at the base of a window. The lily will grow in low light, but you may not get regular flowers. Keep the soil moist, but never let it get soggy.


This low-maintenance, hardy vine grows well in low or artificial light and doesn’t need constant watering; let the soil dry out completely between waterings. Try placing it on a bland countertop or in an empty corner with a decorative stick or trellis for it to climb.

Spider Plant

Buy one spider plant, and soon you’ll have enough to decorate the whole house. Named for its long, arching leaves that look like spider legs, this plant regularly sends out stalks that grow miniature baby spiders. You can break these off and plant them when they start to form roots. Keep a spider plant in low to moderate light and water it when the soil feels dry.

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About the Author

Kathryn Hulick has written science news and feature articles since 2007. Her work appears in "Odyssey Magazine." Hulick also edited four novels in the "Beacon Street Girls" book series and wrote tween-centered articles for the website. She has a Bachelor of Arts in studio Arts from Colby College.