Plants look great in any room and can look particularly good in a bathroom, bringing a touch of softness to all the hard angles of many bathroom appliances. They also help to clean the air of both odours and chemical residue, which is arguably especially important in a bathroom! The bad news is that the average bathroom is not the ideal environment for many plants. Bathrooms can fluctuate dramatically in temperature and can get very humid, some can also be very dark. The good news is that there is still a wide range of plants which can thrive in these conditions.
We’ve picked a total of 7 plants which we think are perfect for bathrooms. In order to make our list, plants have to meet the following conditions.
Capable of withstanding changes in temperature and humidity
This is a given. Most of the plants we’ve chosen are also capable of surviving in dim lighting conditions, in fact some even prefer them, but we’ve also included an option for those who are lucky enough to have bathrooms which get plenty of natural light.
Faux plants can have their uses, but we prefer the real deal and we find it a bit sad that so many people seem to gravitate to faux because they think all real plants are high maintenance and will take up a lot of their time. Some plants are high maintenance, but there are plenty which are only going to require a minimal degree of care.
Even if you and your family are allergy-free, we still have a preference for pollen-free plants in areas other people might use, including bathrooms. We do have one option which is a flowering plant, but it has minimal pollen.
Safe for children and pets
While truly poisonous plants are few and far between, there are some fairly common plants which are mildly toxic and could be problematic if you have children or pets who might mishandle them and/or try to eat them. All the plants on our list are safe in this regard.
Good at cleaning the air
The basis of our list was a list created by NASA, which has investigated how plants could be used to create a pleasant environment on space stations. As a part of this investigation, they identified 19 plants which could not only survive on space stations, but also “earn their keep” by purifying the air and removing toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, which can cause health issues. We’ve whittled these down to 7 through out other section criteria.
Top 7 moisture-loving plants which thrive in and liven up the bathroom
So without further ado, here is our pick of the top 7 plants for your bathroom.
Quick Jump To List
Aloe Vera (Aloe Vera)
Succulents in general are a good choice for bathrooms and out of all of them our top pick is Aloe Vera. This is a desert plant and so does prefer environments where there is a lot of sunshine, but is perfectly OK with fluctuations in temperature (deserts can be very cold at night) and, perhaps surprisingly, is fine with humidity. Although Aloe Vera is probably best known as a healing plant, it’s also really good at cleaning the air and particularly good at removing formaldehyde.
Dragon Plants (Dracaena draco)
There are over 40 varieties of Dragon Plants and they are all amazing at purifying the air. They also prefer to be out of direct light; in fact, they thrive best in slightly shaded conditions and need a fairly high level of humidity, so they tend to do well in bathrooms. If you use them elsewhere, you will probably need to spray them regularly.
(Boston) Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Ferns do a pretty good job of purifying the air and are also very suitable for the dim and humid conditions in the average bathroom. What’s more, you can get small ferns and hang them from the ceiling, where they will trail down happily making for great decoration and taking up otherwise unused space.
(English) Ivy (Hedera helix)
Outdoors, ivy can be a liability since it can be strong enough to damage walls. Indoors, ivy is one of the best natural air purifiers there is and is a superb choice for bathrooms not only because it thrives in the dim and humid conditions of the average bathroom, but also because it can actually help to deal with mould, which is a common problem in bathrooms plus, like ferns, it can be hung from the ceiling and used as decoration as well as for its health benefits.
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue or Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
This plant takes its name from its long, slender leaves but perhaps it would be better known as the bathroom plant because it thrives in humid conditions and is perfectly happy with only a minimal level of light. What’s more, it is not only great at purifying the air in general, but is particularly good at filtering out formaldehyde, which is found in many chemical cleaners.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
While the name may suggest a delicate bloom, the Peace Lily is actually pretty robust as well as pretty to look at. It’s also excellent for purifying the air and will help to eliminate benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. This is a flowering plant so not entirely pollen free, but it is very low pollen and it’s such a great option in so many ways, we felt it deserved to be included.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Not only is the humble Spider Plant as hardy as they come and able to thrive in just about any conditions, but it’s great at purifying the air, reducing odours and clearing out toxins such as formaldehyde.
Honourable mention to – air plants
The term “air plants” describes about 650 members of the Tillandsia family. Native to the Americas and especially prevalent in Mexico and South America, they literally survive on thin air. In most rooms they will need an occasional spray of water but in bathrooms the humidity will generally do just fine. The only reason they just missed a place on our list is because the plants we picked do a better job of cleaning the air, but if you’re looking for the ultimate “low-maintenance” plant, then you’ve found it here.