18 Houseplants That Will Thrive in Your Bathroom

Little Girl Washing her Hands at a Bathroom Sink
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Adding a plant to your bathroom is the ultimate way to infuse the sometimes sterile space with more personality. But not all plants will thrive in the bathroom, so it's important to seek out options that are best suited to this space.

Many of the best plants for the bathroom are tropical, as the humidity from the shower and the often low or indirect light mimic the plant's native climate. But your options aren't just limited to the tropical variety when it comes to choosing bathroom plants.

Whether you're looking to liven up a small powder room or refresh the shared family bathroom with some greenery, there are a handful of plants that thrive in a bathroom setting. We explain what those options are and share advice on keeping your plants happy and healthy in their new home.

01 of 18


Potted Succulents by the Window
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You may be surprised to learn that there are some succulents that do well in the bathroom. "Succulents, like aloe vera and elephant bush, are great for bathrooms because they require very little care and very little water, so you could leave them for long periods of time without really thinking about them and they will still flourish," says Fran Lauretta, owner of creations by Fran Flowers & More. This means they are especially good for less frequently used bathrooms, like your first-floor powder room.

02 of 18

Rabbit Foot Fern

rabbits foot fern
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Plants in the fern family make great additions to your bathroom because they like being near a water source. "You can keep a fancy mist bottle on your vanity to mist your fern plants whenever you brush your teeth," says Jeanne Ha, the owner of Park Florist.

03 of 18

Paphiopedilums Orchids

Orchild Paphiopedilums
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Bathrooms are often warm with bright light, but indirect sunlight makes them the perfect place to grow orchids. "Orchids are great plants for bathrooms because they're low maintenance and only should be watered once a week with an ice cube or two, depending on how big the plant is," says Lauretta. The Paphiopedilums orchid is a particularly great option for those looking to add just a touch of color to their bathroom.

04 of 18

Spider Plants

spider plant in bathroom
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If you're looking for a low-fuss option, spider plants are a great choice. These green plants have long, skinny leaves that create a mounding effect and can produce "babies" that hang down past the leaves when the conditions are right. Spider plants require low to moderate amounts of light, but they will burn if there is too much direct sunlight. "They like humid environments, so bathrooms are a great location for them," says Lauretta.

05 of 18

Lemon Button Fern

lemon butter ferns
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Another fern that is perfect for bathroom spaces (and pretty hard to kill) is the lemon button fern, says Ha. This long frond fern needs minimal light and moisture to thrive. As an added bonus, it gives off a faint lemony scent.

06 of 18

Painted Nettle

potted painted nettle plant
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If you want to add a pop of color to your bathroom but don't care for flowers, try the painted nettle. The small green and red leaves have rippled edges and grow on a tall stem, says Ryan Woltz, CEO and founder of ēdn. They're easygoing plants that will grow in your bathroom spaces regardless of the light and humidity.

07 of 18


potted pothos plan on bathroom shelf
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Pothos is one of the easiest plants to keep alive, which means it's a great option for anyone who needs a bit of help in the gardening department. "It's a vine, so looks great hanging from a shower rod and can be trailed across mirrors and vanities," says Blythe Yost, CEO and co-founder of Tilly. These luscious green leaves can also get quite big, putting on a tropical show in your bathroom.

08 of 18

Boston Fern

boston fern indoors
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Boston ferns are common accent pieces in outdoor spaces, like covered porches and by front doors, but they can also feel right at home in your bathroom. These plants, like most ferns, can brighten up your bathroom. "Even though the fern plants might look very much like they're from a primitive jungle, they can be very fashionable and trendy when you style them in marble or gold-brushed pots, complemented to your bathroom interior," says Ha.

09 of 18

Walking Iris

walking iris flower
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Walking Iris thrives in medium to bright light and has fabulous mini-iris blooms that become new baby plants to give away to friends, says Yost. They can brighten up your bathroom and are fairly easy to care for since they like moist soil and full shade.

10 of 18

Bird Nest Ferns

Bird's nest fern in white planter
Getty / OlgaMiltsova

If your bathroom is humid and has low light, it's the perfect home for a bird nest fern. "Keep in mind, low light is different than no light," says Yost. "Think about how much sky they can 'see' from their location." They'll need at least a bit to thrive, which means they won't be a good fit for a windowless bathroom.

11 of 18

Foxtail Fern

close up of foxtail fern
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Also known as an asparagus fern, the foxtail fern will thrive in your bathroom thanks to its love of shade and humidity. Unlike some of the other plants on our list, a happy foxtail fern will flower. The plant produces white buds when well cared for.

12 of 18

Phalaenopsis Orchids

Closeup Of Purple Phalaenopsis Orchid In On White Table
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Despite their reputation for being fussy, Phalaenopsis orchids are easy to care for and thrive on neglect. "Just dunk them in the sink every few weeks and allow the soil medium to totally dry out between waterings," Yost says.

13 of 18


air plants in pot
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Tillandsia, or Tillys for short, are similar to orchids in that they are epiphytes. This means they use another plant for support. "Tillys are super easy to keep and just need to be dunked in your sink weekly for a quick dousing," says Yost. These "air plants" are easy to add to your bathroom in a variety of unique ways and don't need to rely on a traditional flowerpot.

14 of 18

Majesty Palm

majesty palm in pot
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If your bathroom is open, airy, and gets a lot of light, a majesty palm can be a striking addition. "They thrive in humidity so you can even stick them in the shower with you from time to time to give it a little boost," says Yost. Just remember, they will get tall and wide, which means they'll need plenty of room to stretch.

15 of 18

Maidenhair Fern

close up of maidernhair fern
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The maiden hair fern is another excellent fern variety that will fit right into your bathroom spaces, Ha says. The delicate, lace-like leaves look perfect with many different décor options. They like indirect sunlight and plenty of moisture, so make sure you're keeping your thirsty fern hydrated.

16 of 18

Purple Oxalis

purple oxalis plant
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A member of the shamrock family, this little houseplant is great when appreciated up close and can be a perfect addition to a vanity or next to a sink, Yost says. The leaves are dark in color and prefer the low light of the bathroom. If they get too much sun, the signature purple of their foliage can start to fade or look washed out.

17 of 18

Kangaroo Paw Fern

close up of kangaroo paw fern
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If your bathroom receives indirect light, you can add a kangaroo paw fern to the space. These ferns feature shiny, vibrant green leaves. While they like the humidity of the post-shower bathroom, they don't like wet soil, so make sure to avoid over watering.

18 of 18

Snake Plant

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This plant is a bathroom favorite because it doesn't require too much attention or light. You can place your snake plant in both frequently used bathroom spaces and those that only see the occasional visitor. Water once every 10 to 14 days for best results.

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