Yes, You Should Turn Your Bathroom Into a Lush, Plant-Filled Retreat — Here's How

If Instagram is any indication, indoor plants have become the hallmarks of well-appointed spaces. From the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom, no space is complete without a touch of greenery — and, as you may have already surmised, the bathroom is no exception. For erudite tips on selecting and caring for plants in hot, humid environs, we turned to Erin Mariano, the director of brand marketing at The Sill, an online destination for modern plant lovers boasting brick-and-mortar shops in New York, Los Angeles, and San Fransisco.

"One of the most commonly overlooked — and underrated — places in your home to put plants is in the bathroom," Mariano tells Hunker. "Not only is a new plant a simple and affordable way to update the space (instant spa vibes!), but a number of plants also thrive in the warmth and humidity that a bathroom provides, making them even easier to care for." Intrigued? Keep scrolling for her expert advice on transforming a bathroom into a lush, verdant retreat. We're willing to bet you'll want to buy (yet another) plant before you reach the end.

1. Consider Lighting Carefully

First and foremost, make sure your bathroom has a window, advises Mariano. "Plants need light to survive, so even a low-light tolerant plant will ultimately meet its demise in a windowless bathroom (unless you plan to invest in a grow light for your washroom)."

Pothos and parlor palms both thrive in medium, indirect light and require water about once every one to two weeks, according to The Sill's resident expert. Take notes from this verdant bathroom belonging to Sophie from A Considered Life and place a parlor palm on the windowsill and hang pothos above the bath.

2. Opt for Low-Maintenance Plants

"Bathrooms are usually a place with high humidity (in comparison to other rooms of your home), and moderate to low light (unless you're lucky enough to have a large, sunny window)," explains Mariano.

For a corner of your bathroom that doesn't see much sun and is particularly humid, you can't go wrong with a pothos marble or a snake plant like this bathtub-shower combo — both of which are great choices for beginners.

3. Clear the Air

It's no secret that "plants can instantly beautify and energize a space, boost your mood, reduce your stress levels, bring you tranquility, produce oxygen, and naturally filter air pollutants," says Mariano.

Follow the lead of this bathroom and line your windowsill with assorted air-purifying succulents and cacti, such as haworthia, that crave bright, direct light and only need to be watered every few weeks, offers the expert.

4. Embrace High Humidity

A bathroom "is the perfect spot for plants that call wet, shady forest floors and river edges home — think assorted ferns and calatheas," advises Mariano. Get the look with a Boston fern, a bird's nest fern, a fiddle leaf fig, and a heartleaf philodendron like Sara Parsons did in her wet room.

5. Don't Neglect the Shower

If you have room to spare, take a cue from this space and fill your shower with plants accustomed to higher humidity levels, such as a calathea Freddie, a calathea rattlesnake, or a staghorn fern. Pro tip: Place a potted plant on an affordable IKEA stool, like designer Sarah Sherman Samuel did, to elevate your greens in more ways than one.

6. Play Around With Mirrors

In a bathroom that's lacking in square footage, opt for a tall, lean variety like a variegated schefflera plant, which is sometimes referred to as an umbrella plant, says Mariano. Gain inspiration from this space and position it near your bathroom mirror so its reflection visually doubles the amount of greenery in your small space. Genius.

7. Make Use of a Large, Sunny Window

Large and sculptural, a tall fiddle leaf fig — like the one in this master bathroom belonging to Erin from Sunny Circle Studio — does well in bright indirect to direct light and lends lots of greenery to an expansive bathroom, offers Mariano. "If your space has a bit more light (i.e., bright, indirect light), you could also get away with adding assorted air plants or orchids that will also thrive in higher humidity," the expert adds.

8. Hang Plants in Dead Spaces

Fill dead space (such as that above a toilet) with hanging plants to draw the eye up and create the illusion of a larger bathroom. Take a page from this space by Eden from Sugar and Charm and opt for a pair of green philodendron hung at slightly differing heights.


Megan Beauchamp

Megan Beauchamp

Megan Beauchamp is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in MyDomaine, House Beautiful, Bustle, and Brit + Co., among others.