Do you want to add some relaxing green plants to your bathroom or wet room? What a good idea! Your bathroom does not need to be a boring room; it can also be beautiful and alive with houseplants, just like a conservatory. But which plants like living in a bathroom, even in your shower?
A few houseplants like very humid conditions; you can grow some ferns, pothos, air plants, bromeliads and even orchids successfully to bring the beauty of the rainforest into your shower. They are usually tropical plants from rainforests, so they are up for the challenge of living in your shower’s steamy, humid environment.
And we took an imaginary journey to Borneo, the Congo and Brazil to find which common houseplants like to be so “wet” all the time that they will love your bathroom as their home.
Luckily for you, we found quite a few shower plants you can actually keep in the low-light, humid environment of your bathroom, with growing tips too!
Your Bathroom and Your Plant
What makes your bathroom special is the humidity and light levels we usually have in these rooms.
And this means that it is actually a perfect growing environment for some plants, but not all of them. Tropical and rainforest plants, in fact, adapt well to bathrooms because:
But this does not mean that they are less beautiful than other houseplants. In fact, some of the most beautiful houseplants may grow well in your bathroom, as you are going to find out…
These Tropical Shower Plants Are Just What The Moist Conditions Of Your Bathroom Needs
So, you wonder which plants will thrive in your bathroom? Here are 18 moisture-loving shower plants can literally transform a boring and dull bathroom into a green paradise.
1. Air plant
2. Pansy orchid
4. Weeping fig
5. Lady slippers orchid
6. Dragon plant
7. Boston fern
8. Eternity plant
9. Snake plant
10. Staghorn fern
11. Golden pothos
12. Bird’s nest fern
13. Peace lily
14. Dumb cane
15. Prayer plants
16. Maidenhair fern
17. Cast iron plant
18. Swiss cheese plant
1: Air Plant (Tillandsia Spp.)
Air plants are the first houseplants that spring to mind to grow in bathrooms. They love very humid air in fact, actually they need it!
The fact is that these quirky, exotic looking “floating plants” are perfect shower plant for one reason: they absorb nutrients from the air, and water too. This is why they like humidity above 65%!
There are so many species in this genus but they all look very sculptural, with pointed leaves (they can be green, silver, blue or purple). These often form strange shapes, like nests, or “quiffs”.
But air plants are bromeliads, and like them, in the right conditions, they too bloom and form those beautiful and very exotic modified leaves of the brightest colors in the world! So, get ready for a great spectacle if you grow an air plant in your bathroom.
2: Pansy Orchid (Miltonia Spp.
Some orchids grow very well in bathrooms, and pansy orchid is one of them. It owes its name to the shape of the labellum (the “lip” of an orchid), the large central and lower petal which distinguishes orchids.
It is flat and broad, a bit like a pansy. This often has a different color towards the center, like violas too.
These very showy flowers usually have two or three colors, in the white, pink, purple range, especially. However, some, like Miltonia goodale ‘Moir’ and Miltonia castanea also have yellow parts in the flowers.
They are epiphytes, so they have roots that absorb nutrients form the air. They are a more “individual and original choice” than moth orchids.
3: Philodendron (Philodendron Spp.)
A classic houseplant, philodendron is also perfect to grow in the shower area of your bathrooms! You can have the beautiful exotic leaves of philodendron in your bathroom and they will turn it into a tropical forest! Well, not a full blown one, but they will give you the “feel” and that’s all you need.
It too has areal roots, though it is not an epiphyte, like orchids and air plants. But there are so many different varieties some with broad, heart shaped leaves, others, like Philodendron bipennifolium, with segmented leaves.
Basically you can choose any size and any shape you want, because there are at least 450 varieties of philodendron! Sure you can find one that suits your bathroom.
4: Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina)
Weeping fig has become famous as an office plant, but it can grow well in a large bathroom as well. In fact, if you have tried growing one, you may have found that it can be a bit “fastidious”.
Of course, people tend to grow them near doors, where the air is dry and drafty! Instead, this beautiful plant likes steady temperatures and good air humidity… Like in a bathroom! In many cases, the room is wrong.
And if you have one that’s shedding leaves and turning a bit “bald”, maybe move it from that dry corridor to you warm and humid in the shower. And then it will fill your bathroom with its rich, delicate but very decorative green leaves!
5: Lady Slippers Orchid (Paphilopedilum Spp.)
Here is another beautiful orchid that loves humid shower area: lady slippers! They are famous for their slipper shaped labellum, long and pointed lateral petals, often with stripes running along them.
These long bloomers have short plants, with very waxy long and green leaves, only a few of them. Then, the flower comes on a fairly short stem, and it looks like it’s staring at you with its long nose… for weeks!
There are lady slipper orchids of many colors, and they often combine at least two contrasting ones: pink, magenta, yellow, brown, purple, yellow green and white are very common.
There are in fact 80 taxa (technical word for groups, not technically species) in the genus. Some are real epiphytes, some are actually litophytes (they grow on rocks), which may give you some creative ideas for your bathroom garden. Some however, are terrestrial.
6: Dragon Plant (Dracaena Spp.)
Another common houseplant that likes the humid atmosphere of your bathroom is dragon plant. It is a very common exotic looking plant with a special place in the history of botany, in fact, it is the protagonist of the famous book The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins.
It has long, fleshy, waxy and glossy pointed leaves that often have stripes on them. In fact, there are 120 different species, some bigger, some smaller.
Some are monochrome, others have stripes of different shades of green, or green and cream. Whichever your space and your taste in colors (or color pattern in your bathroom) you can surely find one that suits your needs.
7: Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
Boston fern is a perfect houseplant also for small bathrooms. In fact, this very undemanding small little beauty will squeeze even into fairly small spaces.
But it prefers them very humid and warm. So, this makes it a perfect choice to grow even on top of bathroom cabinets.
Even if small, it has a lovely, lively and very playful personality. Its many, lush, glossy and light green fronds in fact form lovely tufts of greenery.
They are segmented, which gives this plant’s foliage texture a very rich quality. As the fronds grow, they tend to arch, becoming part-trailing. For this reason it is also very good for hanging baskets (or top shelves).
8: ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
Eternity plant or ZZ plant will also fit in fairly small and even dark bathrooms. It has a lovely, but also sweet presence. This is thanks to its glossy and rounded leaflets (actually segments) that grow regularly on the sides of the green stalks like the steps of a ladder. The stalks themselves grow straight from the ground in beautiful tufts.
It also blooms with yellow brown spadices, (plural of spadix, like that of a peace lily or anthurium), while the spathe around it (the modified leaf that looks like a petal) os green and shiny. This is an original plant if you want your bathroom to look different from that of your neighbor.
9: Snake Plant (Sansevieria Spp.)
Snake plant is one of the most popular houseplants in the world and easy to grow in the shower. Unlike other succulents, it likes humid air, in fact, and it needs very little light. So, you can have the “tongue shaped” leaves of this famous plant by your was basin or next to your bath, if you want.
And there are many varieties too. Many have beautiful color patterns, often with dark and light green, at times in stripes, at times in patches, at times both.
And if you want to add an extra hobby to your “bathroom gardening”, why don’t you learn to braid your snake plant? You can make it into a living sculpture, and its smooth and shiny texture is a perfect match for marble and granite bathrooms.
10: Staghorn Fern (Platycerium Spp.)
If you want a stunning plant for your bathroom, stag horn fern is a great choice for the shower. The plants of this genus are really perfect against clean, shiny and smooth surfaces, like those of bathrooms, in ceramic, marble or granite…
In fact they have very glossy and waved fronds, often of the brightest light emerald green, that look very sculptural and very elegant indeed. They look exotic too, like many of the plants on our list.
However, stag horn ferns also have an “eternal” quality to them. In fact, they look very peaceful and very calm. So, what better plant to have next to your bath when you are relaxing after a day’s work?
11: Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)
Golden pothos, world’s favorite trailing houseplant, is also perfect plant for the shower. So now you look up above your shower you know which plant could just fit in there… Yes,
golden pothos, that beautiful vibe with heart shaped leaves of yellow and bright green can trail down your bathroom cabinet or shower, as it likes little light and high humidity.
If you know this plant you know that it is very low maintenance indeed. This means that you can grow it even if you don’t have too much time to look after it.
Or simply if you are a bit forgetful. Don’t worry; even if you forget about it for a week (even two) it will cope perfectly well without you!
12: Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium Nidus)
Another beautiful fern for your bathroom is bird’s nest fern. This little but very attractive green fern would look lovely on shelves, or next to your bath tub or wash basin.
It is extremely elegant, with very shiny light green leaves. They have a clear rib in the middle, but the edges are waved, and the fronds grow in a beautiful rosette.
They are indeed very sculptural and they take their name from their shape, yes, but also from the fact that in Nature they grow on top of palm trees, where they look like bird nests. So, like most plants that grow “in the air” they like it moist and humid which makes them perfect shower plants.
Finally, bird nest ferns are pretty low maintenance and fairly slow growing too. That makes them good for small spaces.
13: Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum Spp.)
Peace lilies are great shower plants too. They are very popular houseplants because they are beautiful but also easy to grow. These lovely exotic are really perfect for bathrooms because they have a small spread, so you can fit them in fairly small spaces.
But that is not the only reason! Of course their beautiful long and pointed leaves, of the richest green shade and with such a waxy surface are great in a bathroom.. Then again, the real protagonist with this tropical houseplant is the bloom, with its famous long and pointed white spathe.
These are very regular bloomers, and the snowy and shiny white of the modified leaf is just perfect for bathrooms.
And they will also purify the air while they are at it!
14: Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia Spp.)
Dumb cane is a wonderful houseplant that will thrive in the shower area of your bathroom too. While it is common in living rooms, it also likes high and constant humidity. In fact, in drier rooms the leaves may start to dry up at the edges.
This won’t happen in your bathroom though. There you will enjoy the large and long, waxy elliptical leaves of this beautiful tropical plant at their best. The humidity will keep them glossy and preserve the coloring.
In fact, these broad and fleshy leaves often have beautiful patterns of dark and light green, which make them even more sculptural… In fact, they look like they themselves are made of beautifully veined marble!
15: Prayer Plants (Calathea Spp.)
Calathea is one of the plants you can grow in very low light and high humid conditions of your shower area.
In fact the species in this family do not like too much sunlight, which can damage their beautiful, glossy and colorful leaves. Native of tropical Americas, these plants like a spot in the shade.
Having said this, when you use your bathroom in the morning, some species like the famous rattlesnake plant (Calathea latifolia) will greet you by unfurling impressively beautiful leaves,
that has leaves like the tail of a rattlesnake, as the name suggests. Though they love fairly dark places, no houseplant can grow completely without light and prayer plants like humidity high, but not too high.
16: Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum Spp.)
A small but beautiful fern that will grow in poorly lit bathrooms is the famous, maybe humble, but sturdy maidenhair fern.
These shower small plants will fit even into small spaces, and their foliage has that delicate texture that can really add to your indoor spaces.
They are quite tough little plants and they will grow on shelves and in pots even in pretty places, like many bathrooms.
The only thing that will happen is that this fern will grow less in the shad than it does in better lit places.
17: Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra Spp.)
Cast iron plant has very dark, sharp foliage that feels “hard and tough” when you touch it, and it grows well even in dark shower area of your bathrooms.
It is actually the best houseplant you can choose for the darkest spot in your house, which is often a corridor or a poorly lit bathroom.
The leaves of this beautiful houseplant are very sculptural, and they can bring a touch of dark and exotic elegance to your bathroom. It will even tolerate low humidity levels, and it is a very undemanding houseplant indeed!
18: Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa)
Swiss cheese plant is an original and sculptural choice for a very dark bathroom. In fact, its leaves have large holes in them, which is very original.
It comes from forested areas of Panama and Southern Mexico, but because it has big leaves, they can become sails in the wind, hence the holes.
This is a very beautiful, exotic looking plant with deep green waxy leaves and it grows perfectly well in humid places and in full shade.
If you want a strong presence in your bathroom bit it does not have much light, Swiss cheese plant would be a perfect plants that are great for the shower.
Turn Your Bathroom into a Tropical Garden
Bathrooms are actually good places for many tropical plants. In fact, some of the houseplants that go “dull and lifeless” in living rooms thrive in our bathrooms, even some of the most common ones like peace lilies and golden pothos!
Now bathrooms are becoming more and more like living spaces, you want yours to be as beautiful and lively as possible, and these plants can do just that, actually, they can do more… They can turn your bathroom into an indoor garden!
Amber Noyes was born and raised in a suburban California town, San Mateo. She holds a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of California as well as a BS in Biology from the University of San Francisco. With experience working on an organic farm, water conservation research, farmers’ markets, and plant nursery, she understands what makes plants thrive and how we can better understand the connection between microclimate and plant health. When she’s not on the land, Amber loves informing people of new ideas/things related to gardening, especially organic gardening, houseplants, and growing plants in a small space.