7 Humidity-Loving Plants That Will Thrive in Your Bathroom
Go ahead, turn your bathroom into a lush, plant-filled oasis.
Adding a live plant is one of the easiest ways to make your bathroom feel more spa-like, but if you don't get a variety that's suited for a high-humidity environment, it won't last for long. To figure out which plants will not only survive but actually thrive in a humid (and often dimly-lit) space, we reached out to the plant pros at Greenery NYC and The Sill to get their picks for the best plants for the bathroom. From hanging plants that will happily live with shower mist, to plants that can tolerate a low-light room, these are the varieties most likely to flourish.
Remember, the number one rule to follow before bringing home a new plant baby is to consider the environment in which it will live. Before choosing from the plant types below, take a look at what varieties can survive humidity, low-light, or both, then let those considerations guide your decision. From there, select a mix of hanging plants, potted varieties, and those that will work in a plant stand to create a lush-looking bathroom.
The plant pros at both The Sill and Greenery NYC agree: a bird's nest fern is one of the best plants for the bathroom. "Native to areas of Southeast Asia and Polynesia, the bird's nest fern loves the extra moisture a bathroom can provide," says plant expert Erin from The Sill. "It rewards high humidity with big growth over time and less browning on the leaf edges," explains Rebecca Bullene, the founder of Greenery NYC.
Bonus: While most ferns, contrary to popular belief, prefer bright light, the bird's nest fern can tolerate lower light spaces, making it ideal for a bathroom that's not flooded with sunlight.
Alocasia love a bright and humid home, so they'll thrive in a bathroom with a big sunny window. Just be careful not to set this leafy plant too close to the windowsill—the leaves are prone to sunburn.
To buy: From $9, greenerynyc.com.
"Another favorite fern of ours, the staghorn fern—like the birds' nest fern—loves the extra humidity a bathroom provides," says Erin from The Sill. However, it prefers a bit more light than the bird's nest fern, so save this variety for a sunnier powder room. Staghorn ferns are epiphytes—meaning that in nature they live on trees rather than in soil—so you can mount this fern on wood and hang it on the bathroom wall or pot it and set it on the windowsill.
To buy: $42, thesill.com.
The experts agree: pothos is a hardy, easy-to-care-for plant that can survive in most spaces. In fact, Erin from The Sill says that pothos is sometimes referred to as a "cubicle plant" for that reason. Although it doesn't necessarily need the high humidity of a bathroom, it will tolerate it. Plus, it can survive lower light levels and irregular watering.
This fast-growing plant flourishes into a hanging vine, so set one on a high shelf or suspend it from the shower curtain rod to give your bathroom jungle vibes.
Air plants thrive in a humid climate, so a steamy bathroom is the ideal spot for them. However, they do best in bright, indirect light. "If you have a bathroom with a big sunny window, these fellas are for you," says The Sill.
To buy: $30 for 6, thesill.com.
Although aloe doesn't really need the added moisture of a bathroom, it's still an asset to the bathroom for its natural beauty benefits. "The gooey insides of the aloe plant's leaves can be used to help sooth skin, heal minor burns, reduce itch, and more," explains The Sill. Slice off a mature leaf at the base of the plant, then squeeze out the interior gel and apply to skin. Set the plant near a window, as it appreciate bright, direct light.
To buy: $29, thesill.com.
Calatheas are well-suited for most bathrooms: they respond very well to humidity and can tolerate indirect light. "If you want to bring a splash of color and elegance to the bathroom, calatheas are the way to go," says Bullene.
If your bathroom doesn't get a ton of natural light, The Sill recommends opting for a variety called the "Freddie" calathea.