The Best Houseplants for Your Bathroom

white orchid in bathroom
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You might think that bathrooms would be the perfect environment for plants, but you really need to choose wisely. Even though there will be plenty of warm, humid air when someone is showering, it can get much colder when the room is left empty for hours, especially at night. These wide temperature fluctuations are not ideal for many plants.

And not all plants enjoy high humidity. Succulents prefer drier conditions and will rot if kept constantly moist. Evergreens and several other plants will deve...MORElop powdery mildew in high humidity.

In addition, many bathrooms have low levels of sunlight, if they have windows at all. Don’t give up if that’s the case with your bathroom. Fluorescent bulbs will give off a light in wavelengths plants can use.

These 3 caveats – low light, high humidity, and temperature swings – need to be factored in when choosing plants for a bathroom. On the plus side, you won’t have to reach far for water and plants help purify the air, a nice feature in a bathroom.

Every bathroom is different. You will need to judge the amount of light and warmth in yours before deciding what to grow. Finding the right plant will take some finesse. You may need to move your plants around to find the ideal light and that can change from season to season. but here are some suggestions of plants that will do in average bathroom conditions.

  • 01 of 19
    Aloe Vera Plant
    Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

    Aloe vera is a handy plant to have around. The juice from the leaves can relieve the pain of scrapes and minor burns. It is a succulent, so it requires minimal care. Aloe prefers bright indirect light. Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves

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    Asparagus Fern
    Paige Filler/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Airy, lacy asparagus fern loves the humidity of a bathroom. They do well in either moderate or bright light, so a spot by a window is best. Asparagus ferns may look soft to the touch, but the stems have thorns, so use care.

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    Bamboo Plants
    Cristina Pedrazzini / Getty Images

    Even in containers, bamboo plants can get large. Still, it’s a nice way to have bamboo and not have to worry about it running. The clumping varieties will need re-potting less often than those that run. Bamboo can grow in low or indirect light.

  • 04 of 19
    Begonia Plants
    Yann Avril / Getty Images

    Many types of begonias grow well in containers and they enjoy the warmth and humidity of a bathroom shelf. In particular, the Rex Begonias (Begonia rex) are extremely colorful and ornamental and grow well indoors. Begonias can handle low or indirect light.

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  • 05 of 19
    Bromeliad Flower
    Abi Brewer / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Bromeliads are unusual looking plants. Many varieties are epiphytic, basking in the humidity of a bathroom. They get most of their moisture from the air and do not like sitting in wet soil. Bromeliads like bright, but indirect light.

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    Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
    mrmac04 / Morgue File

     It’s called cast iron plant because it is so hard to kill. When grown in the ground, it is tough enough to be used as a ground cover. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance houseplant, this is it. Cast iron plants grow well in low light or indirect light.

  • 07 of 19
    Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
    Elizabeth Fernandez / Getty Images

    Few plants are as forgiving and adaptable as the Chinese evergreen. They will thrive even if you forget to water and feed them. They love humidity, but cannot handle cold temperatures or drafts. Low or indirect light is best.

  • 08 of 19
    Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
    Richard I'Anson / Getty Images

    You will find Croton plants in an assortment of colored foliage. These plants grow slowly, but they can get large and wide, (3 ft. x 3 ft.) so be sure you have space for one. Croton plants need bright, but indirect light, and lots of moisture, although they do not like to sit in wet soil.

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  • 09 of 19
    Lynne Brotchie / Getty Images

    Cyclamen can be tricky to grow indoors. They are often sold in bloom and then fade away when you bring the plant home. However, with a little care, you can keep these pretty plants happy. Cyclamen need bright light, especially in the winter. Although they like moisture, it is best to water them from the bottom, rather than wetting their leaves.

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    Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
    Jerry Pavia / Getty Images

    Dumb cane plants do best with minimal care. They only need to be watered when the soil feels dry a few inches below the surface. They will need more light during the short days of winter and dappled light in summer. Rotate your dumb cane plant every month, so it grows evenly on all sides.

  • 11 of 19
    Ferns on Bathroom Counter
    Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

    There are many ferns that make great houseplants. Most can handle the temperature fluctuations in a bathroom and they love the humidity. Ferns are especially ideal for bathrooms that don’t get too cold. Because they are epiphytes, they thrive in the humidity. Some prefer moderate light, others need bright light.

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    Lisa Kling / Getty Images

    As with most tropical flowering plants grown indoors, Gardenias are not the easiest plants to grow. They don't like cold drafts or sudden blasts of heat. However, they do like the humidity a bathroom can offer and need bright, indirect light.

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  • 13 of 19
    Phalaenopsis Orchid
    Serge Mouraret / Contributor / Getty Images

    As mentioned above, orchids are ideal for bathrooms that don’t get too cold. Because they are epiphytes, they thrive in the humidity. Orchids can bloom for weeks and since they are smallish plants, you can cluster several together, for quite a show. Some prefer moderate light, others need bright light.

  • 14 of 19
    Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)
    Penywise / Getty Images

    Peace lilies are elegant plants that require minimal care. They do like regular watering and appreciate the humidity in the bathroom. Don't allow the soil to remain dry for extended periods of time. Peace lilies do well in limited light, however, if your plant is not flowering, it may need a slightly brighter location.

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    Forest and Kim Starr/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Philodendron are truly tropical plants that love bathroom conditions. There are varieties that vine or trail and others that grow upright several feet. Both types are relatively easy growing. The leaves will droop, telling you when you've either watered too much or too little. Philodendrons need bright, indirect light.

  • 16 of 19
    Pothos Plant
    Veena Nair / Getty Images

    Pothos are almost indestructible plants. They grow as long vines and can start to get lanky as they get longer. Trim them back to just above a leaf and they will bush out in no time. Water whenever the soil feels dry. Pothos will thrive in low light or bright, indirect light.

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  • 17 of 19
    Mother in Law's Tongue (Sansevieria)
    Massimo Merlini / Getty Images

    Snake plant is also known as Mother-in-Law's Tongue. These are easy growing plants that make a nice alternative to hanging plants. The leaves can start to flop open and are often held together with twine, to keep them growing upright. Snake plants prefer bright light but can handle less than ideal conditions.

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    Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
    Lynne Brotchie / Getty Images

    Spider plants like growing in tight quarters, so don't use a container much larger than the root ball. They form little plantlets along their perimeter, that can be cut off and grown on their own, once roots are formed. Spider plants are undemanding. They can handle bright light, but the leaves will scorch in full sun.

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    Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina)
    David Q. Cavagnaro / Getty Images

    If you have the space for a small tree, this is a nice plant to dress up your bathroom. They don't like sudden temperature changes. Cold drafts can cause them to drop their leaves, but they should recover. Although they like humidity, they do not like being over watered and sitting in wet soil. Weeping figs prefer bright light and need more light indoors than when grown outside.