Green Thumbs Agree: These Are the Best Bathroom Plants

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61
Plants are like people in that some thrive in certain environments. Others, meanwhile, wither up like introverts when their Friday night plans don't get canceled. Which is all to say that picking the right plant for a particular space is as important as taking care of it properly. “Plants have different needs from one another and you have to be willing to play by their rules,” says Tara Heibel, founder of Sprout Home in Brooklyn. The best bathroom plants, then, are ones that like a good steam as much as you do.

“Imagination can soar with the options available,” Heibel tells me in a way that makes her pro plant lady skills seem attainable. But if you find the idea of endless possibilities overwhelming, start your selection process by figuring out how much work you want to do. For those feeling ambitious, she suggests making a Kokedama, where you wrap a fern in moss to create a beautiful living ornament. Terrariums and cloches will also make statements set on ledges or suspended from the ceiling. If you don't want to go the DIY route, calathea, begonia, philodendron, ferns, air plants, or even orchids all love humidity making them good shower plants. They're less high-maintenance but still eye-catching.

Green thumbs agree: These are the best plants for your bathroom
Kokedama. Photo: Sprout Home

The only greenery pros don't recommend really are cacti and succulents which need hot, but dry, environments. After that, it really comes down to where you plan to put them—hanging plants from the shower, lining them on the toilet, or arranging on a windowsill are all attractive ways to spruce up a small space. Oh, and of course, lighting. You need to “understand what type of light there is so that you can pair the right plant,” says Heibel. “Is there direct sun where you want to put the plant or is it a filtered light?” Sometimes a grow light is necessary to replace or supplement the natural sunlight."

Bring this intel with you when you go to buy plants to make sure your setup is suitable. If your lighting situation turns out to not be inhospitable to live plants, consider adding cut stems instead. A few monsteras (or elephant ear leaves) on top of a toilet in a tiny bathroom is a good place to start.

The bottom line here is that some type of greenery in your bathroom is better than none. The colors, textures, and aromas can all elevate its good vibes. “Aside from adding beauty and color to a bathroom, many plants are also scientifically proven to improve air quality in your home,” says Morgan Doane and Erin Harding of House Plant Club, a social community for houseplant lovers on Instagram. “What other decor piece has that kind of power?”

Certainly not these turmeric yellow accent pieces—but we still love them anyways. Same goes for this Dutch oven that looks like Le Creuset (but costs $300 less) that doubles as a work of art for your stovetop. 

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