From the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom, no space is complete without a touch of greenery — and the bathroom is no exception. Plants add a touch of life — not to mention fresh air — which can create a spa-like experience, perfect for getting ready in the morning and winding down at night.
However, bathrooms are often humid environments, sometimes lacking in natural light, which can make it tricky to select plants that will thrive there. For tips on selecting and caring for plants in hot, humid environments, 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.
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"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 tips on how to transform your space into a lush, verdant retreat, as well as some of the best bathroom plants. We're willing to bet you'll want to buy (yet another) plant before you reach the end.
15 Bathroom Plant Display Ideas
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, where a parlor palm sits on the windowsill and pothos hang above the bath.
2. Think outside the pot.
Your bathroom plants don't have to live inside a little round pot. This bathroom has all the trappings of an outdoor space — right down to the grass-green tile on the floor. The shower wall is decorated with cascading vines, coming from a planter at the top of the shower divider. It's a living wall right inside your bathroom.
3. 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 (both of which are great choices for beginners), as seen in this bathtub arrangement by KP and Mike of Snow Home.
4. Find symmetry.
While plants do a lot to bring fresh air and lightness into your bathroom, you can still treat them as pure decor. In this bathroom designed by Clark and Co. Homes, the hanging plants add a pleasing sense of symmetry. To recreate the look, pick a variety that really overflows from the pot, like maidenhair ferns or spider plants.
5. Clear the air.
It's no secret that greenery has tons of benefits. As Mariano says, "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."
Follow the lead of this bathroom from Snow Home and line your bathroom windowsill with assorted air-purifying succulents and cacti, such as haworthia, that crave bright, direct sunlight and only need to be watered every few weeks, Mariano suggests.
6. Fill the floor space.
If you have a large bathroom, you might find yourself with open space that looks a bit too empty. An easy and effective way to fill it is with a large potted plant on the floor, as shown in this scene by Design Theory. Choose a tall species (like a monstera or bamboo palm) that can make an impact without taking up too much floor space.
7. 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.
8. Fill your counter space.
Even if your counter space is limited, consider adding a plant or two. They will add freshness to what can sometimes be a stuffy area. Adjust the plants you pick based on the amount of room you have — if you have a larger counter, try a display like this one from Design Sixty Five that features multiple plants in varying sizes. For a small bathroom, consider a little succulent or air plant.
9. Don't neglect the shower.
If you have room to spare, take a cue from this bathroom 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 here, to elevate your greens in more ways than one.
10. Go big.
There are no rules to how big a plant for your bathroom should be, but if you have the space for a full-blown tree, why not go for it? In this airy, spacious bathroom design by Ohara Davies Gaetano, a large decorative tree takes up a whole corner of the room. If you're taking a bath in this tub, there's no doubt you'll feel like you're soaking in the shade of a tree outside.
11. 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. Take inspiration from this space by Sarah Sherman Samuel and position your plant near the bathroom mirror so its reflection visually doubles the amount of greenery in your small space. Genius.
12. Make the plants pop.
What's so beautiful about this bathroom from Christiano Homes is how the bright green of the leaves pops against the dark tile walls. While indoor plants will add beauty to any color scheme, they particularly stand out against deep colors like black. To bring the contrast up even more, choose a peace lily, whose white blossoms will really make an impact.
13. Make use of a large, sunny window.
Large and sculptural, a tall fiddle leaf fig — like the one in this primary 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, you could also get away with adding assorted air plants or orchids that will also thrive in higher humidity," the expert adds.
14. Don't forget the toilet.
In the same way you don't want to forget the shower, you also don't want to forget the toilet. A bathroom shelf over the toilet is the perfect spot for air-freshening plants. You could even DIY a display shelf for your favorite small plants.
15. Hang plants in dead spaces.
Fill dead space (such as that above a toilet) with plants in hanging baskets or pots to draw the eye up and create the illusion of a larger bathroom. Follow the lead of this space by Eden from Sugar and Charm and opt for a pair of green philodendron hung at slightly different heights.