Shower Plants for Bathroom

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

Shower Plants for Bathroom

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:

  • They like high humidity.
  • They don’t like strong light or tolerate low light.

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
3. Philodendron
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 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.

  • Air humidity: air plants want high air humidity, above 65%.
  • Light exposure: bright indirect light, plenty but not straight in front of a window.
  • Blooming season: any time of the year, often in winter.
  • Size: depending on the variety, most are about 1 foot in spread and length (30 cm), some are only a few inches big, so you can even put them on a shelf.
  • Soil requirements: none; air plants live even without any soil at all!

2: Pansy Orchid (Miltonia Spp.

⦁	Prayer Plants (Calathea 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.

  • Air humidity: between 50 and 70%; it does not require a drying period like other orchids, so you can keep it in your bathroom all year round.
  • Light exposure: bright indirect light; it can withstand up to two hours of direct Sun a day, but not through a window pane.
  • Blooming season: any time but especially during the cold season, from winter to spring.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall (30 to 60 cm) and 1 foot in spread (30 cm).
  • Soil requirements: no soil, but epiphyte orchid growing medium (like orchid bark).

3: Philodendron (Philodendron Spp.)

⦁	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.

  • Air humidity: philodendron likes it really humid, between 60 and 80%.
  • Light exposure: bright indirect light and distant from windows; direct sunlight will burn its leaves.
  • Blooming season: N/A
  • Size: most varieties grow to be about 3 feet tall and in spread (90 cm), the largest can be huge, with individual leaves reaching 5.4 feet long (165 cm)… Only choose a giant philodendron if you have a massive bathroom then! 
  • Soil requirements: it likes a mix of sphagnum moss (or sustainable substitute) and perlite; a good loose, porous and well drained potting soil will be fine. It likes its potting soil on the acidic side, between 5.5 and 6.0.

4: Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina)

⦁	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! 

  • Air humidity: between 50 and 70%, anything lower than 40% will in fact hurt it.
  • Light exposure: medium bright, filtered light. No direct light from the window.
  • Blooming season: N/A
  • Size: ok, in nature, it can reach 98 feet (30 meters)! Indoors however it usually grows to about 7 or 8 feet (2.1 to 2.4 meters).
  • Soil requirements: any well drained and nutrient rich potting soil will be fine; the pH should be between 6.0 and 6.5.

5: Lady Slippers Orchid (Paphilopedilum Spp.)

⦁	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.

  • Air humidity: it likes it between 50 and 60% during the day and between 40 and 50% at night.
  • Light exposure: indirect and filtered light, medium bright. Absolutely avoid direct Sun.
  • Blooming season: it tends to bloom during the cold season.
  • Size: about 1 foot tall and in spread (30 cm).
  • Soil requirements: for epiphytes and litophytes, orchid bark as growing medium is perfect. You can even mount litophytes directly on rocks (shells etc.) Use orchid potting mix for terrestrial varieties, or mix sphagnum moss (or sustainable substitute), perlite, bark and some conifer bark chips.

6: Dragon Plant (Dracaena Spp.)

⦁	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.

  • Air humidity: while it will survive even drier places, it likes air humidity very high, between 60 and 80%.
  • Light exposure: it does not need too much light; semi shade or behind a curtain where life is filtered.
  • Blooming season: N/A. 
  • Size: some species are small (even about 1 or 2 feet in height and spread, or 30 to 60 cm); others can reach 8 feet tall (2.4 meters).
  • Soil requirements: regular but chunky and well drained potting mix, with some lava rocks or other drainage material in it. The ideal pH is between 6.0 and 6.5.

7: Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata) 

⦁	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).

  • Air humidity: it really likes it humid, possibly above 80%!
  • Light exposure: it likes lots of light, but indirect. It is ideal if your bathroom receives the morning Sun for this plant.
  • Blooming season: N/A.
  • Size: maximum 3 feet in height and spread (90 cm) but most specimens are much smaller (1 foot or 30 cm). 
  • Soil requirements: regular light, loamy but airy potting mix. Peat based potting mix is fine. It likes it acidic, though, preferably between 5.0 and 5.5.

8: ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)

⦁	Eternity 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.

  • Air humidity: it will like it above 40%. 
  • Light exposure: keep it in a half shade position, behind curtains, with middle to middle-low indirect light. 
  • Blooming season: mid summer and early autumn.
  • Size: in the wild they can reach 5 feet in height (1.5 meters) but indoors they remain shorter, usually 2 to 3 feet tall (60 to cm).
  • Soil requirements: mix 50% general but good quality pitting mix and 50% perlite or sand for drainage. The ideal pH is between 6.0 and 7.0.

9: Snake Plant (Sansevieria Spp.)

⦁	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.

  • Air humidity: it too needs a minimum of 40% humidity and it will need more humidity as the temperature rises.
  • Light exposure: moderate to bright indirect light. They can tolerate full Sun on balconies and outdoors, if you want to move it during the hot season.
  • Blooming season: spring, but it does not bloom frequently indoors.
  • Size: the smaller species are 8 inches tall (20 cm), the bigger ones can reach 12 feet (3.6 meters!)
  • Soil requirements: use light cactus potting soil, which needs to have excellent drainage with lots of sand in it. Avoid very rich potting soil. The pH should be between 4.5 and 8.5.

10: Staghorn Fern (Platycerium Spp.)

⦁	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?

  • Air humidity: stag horn ferns like air humidity above 70%! 
  • Light exposure: they don’t like strong light, a medium to low light position is fine and never direct.
  • Blooming season: N/A.
  • Size: the largest varieties can reach 3 feet in height and spread (90 cm); many are smaller though.
  • Soil requirements: they are epiphytes, so, no potting mix but growing medium. Something like sphagnum moss or a sustainable substitute. The pH should be slightly acidic.

11: Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

⦁	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!

  • Air humidity: it will tolerate low humidity, but it thrives at high humidity, above 50%.
  • Light exposure: bright to moderate indirect light.
  • Blooming season: N/A.
  • Size: it can grow to be 10 feet long (3 meters), but it’s very easy to trim.
  • Soil requirements: it is not fussy at all. Any good quality potting mix, with good drainage, will do. The ideal pH is slightly acidic, 6.1 to 6.5, but neutral will be fine too.

12: Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium Nidus)

⦁	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.

  • Air humidity: it needs air humidity to be above 40%. 
  • Light exposure: it really needs little light; indirect sunlight indoors and even full shade places are fine.
  • Blooming season: N/A.
  • Size: in the wild it can reach 10 feet across (3 meters!) However, in a pot it will remain much smaller.
  • Soil requirements: half peat and half perlite, or sustainable substitute to peat. It likes the pH very low, though around the 5.0 mark.

13: Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum Spp.)

⦁	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!

  • Air humidity: it wants the air humidity to be above 50%.
  • Light exposure: it likes bright but indirect and filtered light. However, it adapts to low light as well! 
  • Blooming season: spring.
  • Size: maximum 50 inches (1.2 meters), but most grow to a maximum of 40 inches 1 meter).
  • Soil requirements: a good, peat based (or substitute) potting mix with sand or perlite for drainage. The ideal pH is between 5.8 and 6.5.

14: Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia Spp.)

⦁	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!

  • Air humidity: it likes it above 40%.
  • Light exposure: bright but indirect light.
  • Blooming season: N/A.
  • Size: up to 3 feet in height and spread (90 cm).
  • Soil requirements: 1/3 peat or humus, 1/3 garden soil, 1/3 sand or perlite, add a pinch of lime. The ideal pH is between 6.1 and 6.5.

15: Prayer Plants (Calathea Spp.)

⦁	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.

  • Air humidity: between 50 and 60%.
  • Light exposure: no direct light, they like dark and places with lots of shade. Indirect and filtered light are fine.
  • Blooming season: N/A.
  • Size: depending on the species, about 3 feet tall and in spread (90 cm).
  • Soil requirements: 50% potting soil, 20% orchid bark, 20% charcoal and 10% perlite. The pH should be around 6.5.

16: Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum Spp.)

⦁	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.

  • Air humidity: it likes it above 50%; under this it will suffer.
  • Light exposure: no direct light; it also grows in dark places.
  • Blooming season: N/A.
  • Size: maximum 6 inches tall and in spread (15 cm).
  • Soil requirements: generic but fertile and well drained potting mix, with pH between 7.0 and 8.0.

17: Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra Spp.)

⦁	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! 

  • Air humidity: it is actually indifferent to low it high air humidity.
  • Light exposure: it does not stand direct light; excellent for very dark places.
  • Blooming season: N/A.
  • Size: up to 4 feet tall (1.2 meters) and 5 feet in spread (1.5 meters).
  • Soil requirements: normal garden soil with 1/3 peat or humus; the pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5.

18: Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa)

⦁	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.

  • Air humidity: it likes it very high, about 75%.
  • Light exposure: partial shade or full shade.
  • Blooming season: N/A
  • Size: in the wild, they can grow to be 10 feet tall (3 meters); indoors you can easily trim it down.
  • Soil requirements: peat (or substitute, like coco fiber) mixed with well drained compost, about 50:50. The ideal pH is between 5.5 and 6.0.

Turn Your Bathroom into a Tropical Garden

Turn Your Bathroom into a 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

Written By

Amber Noyes

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.

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  1. Avatar photo JOSE J DIAZ says:

    Which plants can I keep and grow inside the bathroom shower?
    Thank you.