21 Bathroom Houseplants That Can Absorb Moisture

Thinking of adding a plant to your bathroom, but aren't sure which one to pick in order to soak up that bathroom humidity? In this article, we've laid out a comprehensive list of plants that will thrive in your bathroom, and take all the humidity you can give them!

bathroom plants

Ah, the bathroom. It’s the place where you go to get clean. It’s the place where you go to relax. And it’s also the place where busy moms go just to get a moment’s peace. And sometimes it’s the place where you do your best thinking.

But did you know that bathroom air can be the most polluted in your entire house? Cleansers, soaps, perfumes, styling products, and other smell-good items leave toxins behind. Plus, warm and humid conditions with limited ventilation encourage the growth of all kinds of germs, bacteria, and mold.

While you could run an air purifying system and a dehumidifier, why tie up any more space or waste unnecessary electricity? Studies have shown that adding plants to your bathroom can boost your energy levels, and reduce stress. Using plants to create a spa-like retreat in your own home can also improve your outlook on life and spark creativity.

All you need are a few well-chosen plants that can handle the microenvironment of your bathroom. Like any garden location, you need to consider a few things before selecting the right plants for your bathroom oasis: lighting, airflow, temperature, and space.

Tips For Bathroom Plants

So, now that you’ve found the perfect plant for your bathroom, let’s touch on a few tips for making sure they are well cared for. You’ll want to make sure that you have the following planned out before you start placing your plants in your restroom.

Lighting

Does your bathroom have a natural lighting source? Windows and skylights are excellent sources of natural light, but the size, treatments, and direction windows face will affect the amount and quality of the plants’ available light.

Don’t have windows? Some houseplants can handle low light conditions if they are moved to a well-lit area for a few hours every week or so.

Airflow

Some plants can’t handle drafts well. Keep this in mind as you research the plants you want for specific locations in your bathroom.

Temperature

Temperature, specifically temperature fluctuations, can affect how well plants thrive in a space. Some plants have a very narrow temperature range, while others can handle significant swings between heat and cooler air.

Space

Large or small bathrooms can benefit from a single plant to an extensive collection of luscious foliage and fragrant blooms. With pretty hanging baskets and stylish pots, you can maximize the room you have to add a luxurious spa-like touch to your home.

Our Favorite Plants For Bathrooms

Convinced of the benefits of having natural greenery in the bathroom? Then you are ready to add some beauties to your spa. But what plants will thrive in a warm, humid bathroom? Here’s a list of our favorite plants for your bathroom that will absorb moisture.

Aloe Vera

Aloe barbadensis miller
Aloe vera is a plant that is quite familiar to all of us and feels great in the bathroom even with low lighting.
Scientific Name: Aloe barbadensis miller
  • Plant Type: Succulent
  • Plant Size: 1′ to 2′
  • Water Needs: Infrequently, allow the soil to dry out
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect sun

From sunburns to heartburn, aloe vera has treated minor ailments for centuries. Aloe vera can do very well in a humid bathroom as long as it doesn’t get too much water. However, it does need bright, filtered light because the skin of its long, spiny thick leaves will burn in direct sunlight.

Azalea

Rhododendron simsii
It is necessary to maintain high air humidity for Azalea plant: spray the plant regularly.
Scientific Name: Rhododendron simsii
  • Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen
  • Plant Size: 18″ to 5′
  • Water Needs: Keep moist; water regularly
  • Sun Needs: Medium light

Azaleas naturally love warm, humid environments. A steamy bathroom with some morning sun will keep the colorful blossoms happy and healthy. The best type of azaleas for indoors are called greenhouse or florist azaleas.

These azaleas are not the same as the hardy species for outdoor planting. Make sure the soil stays damp because they do not like soggy roots and will not tolerate drought-like conditions long. You may need to prune the roots back every year. The roots could strangle the root ball and harm the plant if left alone.

Baby’s Tears

Soleirolia soleirolii
Baby’s Tears prefers a well-lit place, protected from direct sun in summer, light partial shade is possible.
Scientific Name: Soleirolia soleirolii
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Plant Size: 4″ to 3′
  • Water Needs: Keep evenly moist
  • Sun Needs: Low to medium light

Going by a dozen different names, baby’s tears is a creeping herb with bright delicate leaves and dainty, usually white flowers. It can grow in swampy conditions, so a warm, humid bathroom is ideal for this little beauty.

Begonia

Begonia spp
Begonias are versatile and can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
Scientific Name: Begonia spp
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 5″
  • Water Needs: Keep moist
  • Sun Needs: Filtered morning light

With many begonia varieties, begonias can be grown indoors, but the best ones are the fibrous and rhizomatous species. These flowery tropical natives will rid your bathroom of moisture and add fragrant clusters of blossoms to the decor.

Bird’s Nest Fern

Asplenium nidus
The natural environment for Bird’s Nest Fern to grow is similar to what you might offer them in a bathroom—filtered, low light, and high humidity.
Scientific Name: Asplenium nidus
  • Plant Type: Epiphyte
  • Plant Size: 3′ to 5′
  • Water Needs: Weekly
  • Sun Needs: Medium light

Bird’s nest ferns originate in muggy, tropical climates. If your bathroom has a window, it will feel right at home. It will need sufficient light to keep the fronds wavy. If the light is too low, the fronds will flatten out. Still, it does not like too much sun.

Boston Fern

Nephrolepis exaltata
Boston Fern loves light, but direct sunlight is destructive to it.
Scientific Name: Nephrolepis exaltata
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Plant Size: 2′ to 3′
  • Water Needs: Water monthly
  • Sun Needs: Indirect sun

With broad, lacy fronds that love humid climates, the Boston fern is a lovely and showy choice for the bathroom microclimate. Keep in mind that it prefers indirect light before you hang it near your bathroom window.

The leaves can quickly burn, especially if left in the direct afternoon sunlight. Boston ferns can remove formaldehyde and xylene from the air very effectively, and have been studied by NASA as a method for cleaning the air in a sealed environment, along with several others on this list.

Bromeliads

Bromeliaceae
Bromeliads are originally from South America and therefore love humidity and warmth: it can even be placed next to a shower or bath!
Scientific Name: Bromeliaceae
  • Plant Type: Epiphyte
  • Plant Size: 1′ to 3′
  • Water Needs: Infrequently
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect light

The sword-shaped leaves and bright, unique blooms can make growing bromeliads seem intimidating. They are, in fact, easy to care for with a few tricks.

Bromeliads naturally grow with little to no soil and can be found growing in trees, on trunks, and in contact with other organic material. They absorb moisture and nutrients through the air. If it seems the bromeliad needs watering, gently fill the central vase. There are many different colors, types, and sizes of bromeliads to compliment your bathroom decor.

Calathea

Calathea spp
Calathea prefers high humidity and temperatures, much like it’s native environment.
Scientific Name: Calathea spp
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Plant Size: 6″ to 3′
  • Water Needs: Keep moist
  • Sun Needs: Low to medium light

With a seemingly endless choice of leaf patterns and colors, calathea is a stunning plant for darker corners of the bathroom. Their large, broad leaves allow them to take advantage of even minimum light sources.

Because it is sensitive to cold and dry air and certain metals and minerals found in water, keep it safely out of drafty areas and only use filtered or distilled water. The humid steam produced by a relaxing shower or bath is perfect for this plant.

Cast Iron Plant

Aspidistra elatior
These leafy green Cast Iron Plants can adapt to varying light levels.
Scientific Name: Aspidistra elatior
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 2′ to 3′
  • Water Needs: Infrequently
  • Sun Needs: Low to medium light

Also known as the barroom plant, this hard-to-kill plant does well in almost any temperature. However, it does not like to be overwatered or exposed to too much light.

Cyclamen

Cyclamen spp
Do not allow water to enter the core of the Cyclamen plant, in order to keep it healthy.
Scientific Name: Cyclamen spp
  • Plant Type: Primulaceae
  • Plant Size: 6″ to 9″
  • Water Needs: Water only when the soil is dry on top
  • Sun Needs: Medium light

This eye-catching little beauty has a sweet, pleasant scent. There are many varieties, and almost all of them will be happy in a bathroom. It hates soggy roots, so make sure it is in a well-draining pot and also use soil that drains well.

A little morning sun will keep it blooming. Protect it from cold drafts and harsh afternoon sun. This hardy plant will thrive on neglect, perfect for dark or infrequently used bathrooms.

Dracaena

Dracaena spp
Natural humidity can be a great incentive to grow dracaena in the bathroom.
Scientific Name: Dracaena spp
  • Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen
  • Plant Size: Up to 6′
  • Water Needs: Keep moist
  • Sun Needs: Medium to bright indirect light

There are lots of different types of dracaena. Most varieties of this palm can handle everything from humid to almost dry condition fluctuations. Needing some sun and just a little moisture, many of these will be fine in a well-lit bathroom.

They like to follow the sun, so if you notice yours is leaning a bit, rotate the pot around to straighten it back up. It can be sensitive to fluoride, an additive to most tap water. If you notice the leaves discoloring, use distilled water. Dracaena is one of the best pants to remove trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene from your home’s air.

English Ivy

Hedera helix
English Ivy tolerates drafts and sudden temperature fluctuations.
Scientific Name: Hedera helix
  • Plant Type: Vine
  • Plant Size: It will grow within the confines of its environment
  • Water Needs: Keep evenly moist
  • Sun Needs: Low to bright light

Climbing, trailing, and stretching as far as it can, English ivy will quickly create a lush, evergreen environment in almost any light. If left alone, it could take over the whole bathroom. Training the tendrils is possible. Their stolons like to reach out and connect to anything and everything, including other plants.

As long as their leaves are misted daily, they can go about a week without being watered. English ivy will also purify the air by removing harmful toxins such as trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene, some of the most common household pollutants.

Orchids

Phalaenopsis spp
Most species, as well as varieties of Orchids, need bright lighting but must be protected from direct scorching rays.
Scientific Name: Phalaenopsis spp
  • Plant Type: Flowering tropical
  • Plant Size: 12″ to 16″
  • Water Needs: Varies by species
  • Sun Needs: Low to bright light

In nature, orchids are found in a wide variety of locations, light sources, and temperature ranges. Be mindful of the amount of light you have in your bathroom when selecting an orchid.

The most common orchid variety found in many supermarkets is the moth orchid, also called the moon orchid. For this type, water when almost dry. It likes shade to filtered sunlight and warm, humid conditions.

Parlor Palm

Chamaedorea elegans
Parlor Palm prefers low light and can be harmed by direct sunlight.
Scientific Name: Chamaedorea elegans
  • Plant Type: Palm
  • Plant Size: 2′ to 6′
  • Water Needs: Moist
  • Sun Needs: Medium to bright, indirect light

Perfect for larger spaces, parlor palms thrive in warm, humid rooms. Their graceful fronds invoke a relaxing, exotic feel. They need watering in moderation. The humidity of your bathroom will help but may not be enough for all of the plant’s needs.

Be careful not to overwater because soggy pots can be breeding grounds for disease and mold. Make sure you consider the amount of light available when choosing the variety for your bathroom. You can slow their growth rate by allowing them to become pot-bound.

Peace Lily

Spathiphyllum wallisii
Peace Lily is a surprisingly unpretentious plant that perfectly cleans the air from household impurities.
Scientific Name: Spathiphyllum wallisii
  • Plant Type: Flowering tropical
  • Plant Size: 1′ to 3′
  • Water Needs: Only when the soil is dry and the leaves droop
  • Sun Needs: Low to medium light

Beautiful white flowers with dark green, spear-shaped leaves make the peace lily a favorite houseplant. Because it can tolerate low light, this is a good choice for darker bathrooms. For more lovely flowers, it will need a bit more light. The dark green leaves soak up the moisture from the air and remove toxins.

Protect it from cold drafts and rapid temperature changes. Because peace lilies remove toxins from the air, it’s good to have them in the bathroom. Not only will they remove trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene, but they also help clear the air of ammonia.

Philodendron

Philodendron bipinnatifidum
Philodendron needs to be watered regularly, especially in spring and summer.
Scientific Name: Philodendron bipinnatifidum
  • Plant Type: Vine
  • Plant Size: 6″ to 8′
  • Water Needs: Weekly
  • Sun Needs: Medium to indirect bright light

This tropical plant has several varieties and some can grow up to 8 feet, so choose wisely for your bathroom size. The most common varieties are ones that trail. Loving humidity and light, philodendron will be happy in a window with a curtain.

Pothos

Epipremnum aureum
In low light, the variegated leaves of the Pothos fade.
Scientific Name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Plant Type: Vine
  • Plant Size: 20′ to 40′
  • Water Needs: Keep slightly damp
  • Sun Needs: Low to medium light

This fast-growing vine is also called devil’s ivy. Pothos purifies the air of formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene as it removes any moisture. There are many different pothos types, and they are fast growing.

Its growth will slow down a bit if placed in a low-light area. However, it does very well in a north-facing window or if it is well away from a brighter light source.

Snake Plant

Sansevieria trifasciata
Snake Plant does well in low light conditions. Moreover, Sansevieria filters out formaldehyde, which is common in many cleaning products.
Scientific Name: Sansevieria trifasciata
  • Plant Type: Evergreen perennial
  • Plant Size: 6″ to 8′
  • Water Needs: Infrequently
  • Sun Needs: Low to bright light

Known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this spiky plant is a get-it-and-forget-it type. It adapts to available light, so you can place it just about anywhere you want. About the only thing that can harm it is too much water.

While it is soaking up any moisture in the air, it is also cleaning it. One of the best houseplants to purify the air, the snake plant will even get rid of formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, and xylene.

Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum
Spider Plant is one of the best plants for purifying the air from the remnants of household chemicals.
Scientific Name: Chlorophytum comosum
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Plant Size: 1′ to 2′
  • Water Needs: Very little; it removes it from the air
  • Sun Needs: Low light

Easily adaptable to most environments, the spider plant is a popular option. The fast-growing shoots and pups–those spider-looking parts–suck up humidity and remove air pollutants like formaldehyde and xylene. This marvelous plant will thrive with little effort on the owner’s part.

Tillandsia

Tillandsia spp
Tillandsia needs to be regularly ventilated, but avoid drafts.
Scientific Name: Tillandsia spp
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Plant Size: 6″
  • Water Needs: Soak in tap water every two weeks for a few minutes
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect light to full sun

The plant that can survive the blackest of black thumbs, tillandsia doesn’t need soil, much sunlight, and barely even water. You may need to soak it for a few minutes in tap water, but it will do just fine with the humidity of a nice, long shower.

Zanzibar Gem

Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Zanzibar Gem grows well at such a level of air humidity, which is typical for bathrooms.
Scientific Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
  • Plant Type: Tropical
  • Plant Size: 3′ to 4′
  • Water Needs: Infrequently
  • Sun Needs: Low or bright, indirect light

Nearly unkillable, this shiny-leafed gem is happy being left alone. Going by other names like ZuZu or ZZ plant, its roots can hold enough water to allow it to go 2 to 3 weeks without needing a drink in bright but indirect light and even longer in lower light conditions.

The humidity in your bathroom will help it to go even longer between long drinks. The gorgeous dark green leaves will stretch along its thick stems toward any available light source. To prevent it from becoming leggy, rotate the pot frequently and move it to a moderate light source.

Final Thoughts

Without question, plants add to your perception of quality in your home and your life. With the selection of plants well-suited for most bathrooms, plans for creating that relaxing and restful oasis can quickly take shape. Having a place in your home to clear the mind and clean the air is immeasurable. Start with a single plant on the vanity if you’re unsure where to begin. It will have some companions soon.

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