The best bathroom plants and how to look after them
Date Published: 11 March 2021
Your bathroom is your oasis. It’s warm, humid, and the one place in the house you can convince yourself that the island you live on is, in fact, tropical.
Do you know who else feels at home in your bathroom? House plants. Many house plants need humidity to thrive, which makes the bathroom a great place to store them.
Placing plants in your bathroom is a simple way to decorate your space or even give it a complete makeover. Use this guide to find the best plants to grow in your bathroom — even if you’re a notorious plant killer!
Aloe vera plants are a plant lover’s dream because they’re easy to source, simple to grow, and forgive you for going on holiday and leaving them behind. Aloe is also one of the best plants for your bathroom because it doesn’t need much light or water, and it thrives in warm, humid climates.
While you often see aloe vera potted, they (along with spider plants) are one of the best bathroom hanging plants. Just make sure you don’t hang it in a drafty area of the bathroom — aloe plants that get too cold start to droop and fall over.
Air plants (tillandsia)
Air plants are the starter plant for someone who likes the look of real houseplants but doesn’t want the commitment of a consistent watering schedule.
We love air plants because they can be anything you want them to be from large to small to bright to green. You can hang them, lie them down, or throw them at the wall, and they’re perfect for trotting out of your rented flat and into your first home.
Air plants look amazing in any space, but they do require a little bit of TLC, so do a little bit of research before filling your space.
So, you’re after bathroom plants that smell good, are you? We don’t need to ask why.
Most of the best plants for your bathroom are green, and they’re air purifying plants rather than odour-masking plants. The gardenia is an exception. Gardenias are one of the best smelling plants for the bathroom, but they are a fickle thing.
Gardenias need a huge amount of natural light, so you’ll need your bathroom to be one of the brightest rooms in your house. Keep in mind that while a gardenia wants all the light it can get, it doesn’t want direct sunlight.
The good news is that if you can get your gardenia to grow, the fragrance will be more intense compared to growing it in a larger room.
The snake plant is one of the more accessible plants on our list. You don’t need to run the risk of popping into the garden centre only to fritter away your budget on more plants than you can carry. Whether you’re short on time or strict on your budget, snake plants work well because you can often pick one up at Tesco, Supervalu, or Marks & Spencer.
Spider plant (chlorophytum comosum)
If you’re the kind of person who can (and will) kill a plastic fern, then we urge you to try again, but this time with a spider plant (chlorophytum comosum). Spider plants are incredibly easy to grow both in the bathroom and anywhere else in the house.
They also look well as hanging plants, making it easy to create the jungle look that pops so well off white ceramic tiles.
In addition to being easy to grow, spider plants (along with aloe vera and tillandsia) are also bathroom plants that absorb moisture, which also makes them ideal for smaller bathrooms that aren’t well ventilated.
Most of the best plants for bathrooms create a sea of green. While the look is very calming, there’s nothing wrong with a pop of colour or two. The croton gives you the green plant look with a multi-coloured backsplash.
A croton is a potted fern that loves humidity and is relatively low maintenance, needing water only when the first inch of the topsoil is dry. Crotons love direct morning or later afternoon sunlight, but they don’t like hot sun or dry air, so do keep it away from the radiator. You can tell whether your croton likes its spot by the look of its leaves: the leaves drop when the plant gets stressed. Plants suffering from a lack of sunlight will also lose the vibrant colour on their leaves, so take notice if they start to fade.
While crotons offer a unique aesthetic, they aren’t for everyone. We recommend giving it a miss if you have dogs, cats, or small children unless you can keep it far out of reach. You’ll also want to be careful handling the plant, as the sap produced by broken leaves can be very irritating.
China doll (radermachera sinica)
If you want a slightly different look or have a bathroom with an Asian aesthetic, then you might consider the China Doll or emerald tree. As an evergreen tree, the China Doll demands a bit more from you than a spider plant or air plant, but if you have the right space, it can really transform the look of your bathroom.
Because of its subtropical origins, you need a bathroom that meets three criteria:
- Plenty of humidity
- Indirect sunlight
- Free-from draughts
China Doll plants also require regular pruning, but they give as much to your space as you give them, so they’re a worthwhile investment.
Ask the Experts
At Halo Tiles, we get a lot of questions about building the perfect bathroom and bringing your best bathroom ideas to life. If you know you want plants in your bathroom, it’s worth considering this as you design your space. Here are a few things to know if you’re in the early stages of your bathroom renovation.
Q: Can I keep plants in a windowless bathroom with no light?
A: Strictly speaking, no. Plants need sunlight (either direct or indirect) to survive, so there’s no plant that will survive a bathroom devoid of sun. However, if you’re trying to add a splash of colour to a half bath, small bathroom, or windowless bathroom, you can invest in a grow light. Alternatively, you can select low-light plants and take them on walkies from the bathroom to an area with natural light on a very regular basis.
Of the options above, the snake plant or a group of air plants are your best bet for survival in bathrooms with no natural light!
Q: How can I hang plants without drilling?
A: Whether you’re a renter, limited in space, or have been told to stay away from a drill for your own health and safety, you may find that you don’t have the shelf space for plants, but you can’t just go to town on the wall or ceiling.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Some of those ways include: adhesive hooks, tension rods, coat racks, or even an upcycled wooden ladder. Planter stands are always a good option! Here are some creative ways other people displayed their plants.
If you know that you want to transform your bathroom into a tropical paradise, be sure to talk to your installer about the best ways to incorporate plants into your bathroom!
Are you planning a bathroom redesign or renovation? Visit our showroom and speak to the team!