Indoor gardening: 11 plants that can thrive in your bathroom

Bathrooms tend to be fairly functional places, designed primarily to cater to personal hygiene. However, the dreary, damp, moldy cells of yesteryear are increasingly a thing of the past, and their furnishings have changed significantly in recent years.

“The bathroom has long since ceased to be just a place of basic functions,” says interior design expert Jan Kurth, who works with the German Furniture Industry Association. “They are now expected to create a cozy ambience with a lifestyle character.”

Nature – in the form of indoor plants – plays an important role in making the modern bathroom a place of peace and relaxation, not just cleaning oneself. But which ones are best suited to this environment?

Peace lilies are quite hardy and pretty. (Photo Shutterstock)

Strengthening, not just functional

“Used correctly, plants can transform a bathroom into an oasis of well-being, especially during the dark winter months,” says Christian Engelke, specialist in hydroponics and indoor plants.


Zamioculcas can thrive in very little light.  (Photo Shutterstock)
Zamioculcas can thrive in very little light. (Photo Shutterstock)

Many homeowners worry that houseplants can’t handle the extreme temperature differences or large amounts of water vapor typical of bathrooms. But Engelke says those concerns are unfounded.

“If you’re lucky enough to have a large bathroom window that lets in lots of light, you can put almost any plant in the bathroom — apart from cacti,” he says.

Plant lovers can really let off steam in bright, warm and humid rooms and combine different plants. “Ferns like Nephrolepis or the Staghorn Fern work especially well in the bathroom,” says Engelke. The tropical plant is attractive due to its long fronds which, when used extensively, create a jungle feel.

This also applies to marantas, whose elongated oval leaves reach about 20 centimeters (about 8 inches). Palms, orchids and aloes also feel comfortable in light, damp rooms.

Light is important, but not everything

If you only have a small bathroom window that doesn’t let in much light, you’ll need to think a little more carefully about which plants to choose. “But there are plants that are less light-loving,” says Engelke.

Some varieties of dracaena trees, for example, will do well in these conditions. “Members of the spathiphyllum family, like the peace lily, are quite hardy and look great in the bathroom,” he suggests.

Philodendron and monstera (Swiss cheese plant) are also recommended. Another option is zamioculcas, which can thrive in very little light.

If you have less space, simply place the small plant pots between the bathroom utensils on shelves or use the edge of the bathtub. Tillandsias are particularly space-saving.

These little herbaceous plants don’t need a nutrient medium, just something they can cling to. They draw water and nutrients from the air and can be simply tied to a branch or stone, placed in a small flowerpot, or hung from the ceiling.

Even small succulents become eye-catching when they are several in a pot or hung from the bathroom ceiling in pots or planters. If you have an empty wall, you can mount several wall vases and fill them with Tillandsias, succulents or small hanging ferns.

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