8 plants that will actually thrive in your bathroom

Boston (and other) Ferns

Boston Fern Hanging PlantPlants.com$44.99Shop Now

Boston ferns, birds nest ferns, and asparagus ferns are all excellent plant choices for bathrooms. Ferns in general like high humidity environments. Boston ferns prefer low light while asparagus ferns do better with high light. I arrange my ferns so that the asparagus fern is next to the window itself and the Boston fern is farther away so that the light that reaches it is filtered through both the window and the plants in front of it.

My window is essentially inside my bathtub/shower stall so the ferns receive a good jungle-like soaking on a regular basis. If you’re growing ferns, make sure to keep them moist to mimic their native tropics. If you have pets or small children, forgo the asparagus fern as they are toxic plants.


Brussel's Live Lucky Indoor Bambooamazon.com$24.99Shop Now

A hardy plant, bamboo does well in humid bathroom environments with relatively sunny windows. Golden bamboo is the species most people grow indoors. It features bright upright canes with leaf clusters and tolerates both drought and soggy soil for short periods of time. While the plant needs moist soil, don’t let your bamboo wallow in excess water or the roots will rot.

Bamboo grows quickly and, if it has the space, will robustly spread. In the wild, bamboo can grow up to fifty feet or more – something you don’t necessarily want to encourage inside your bathroom. Growing your bamboo in a pot should keep it at a manageable indoor height.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Plant Live Succulent PlantsPlants for Petsamazon.com$13.64Shop Now

The insides of the leaves of aloe plants are used to soothe sunburns, treat minor scrapes, and relieve itching, making them a very useful plant to have around. My aloe vera was gifted to me years ago and now occupies three different pots, one of which lives in my bathroom window.

Aloe plants like bright light and, because they’re succulents, you can let the soil dry out between waterings. I’ve found my aloe vera to be quite hardy in my New York City apartment, in both my bathroom and kitchen windows with very minimal watering.


Bromeliad AntonioPlants.com$59.99Shop Now

Bromeliads produce large, center blooms surrounded by stiff green leaves. They do well in pots with a mixture of sand and potting soil as they require soil that drains well while retaining moisture. A native tropical plant that can handle temperature fluctuations, bromeliads are well suited to grow and live in your bathroom.

8 plants that will actually thrive in your bathroom

Be conscious not to overwater as bromeliads are prone to root rot. They can be finicky if you live someplace that has hard water; the deposits can damage their leaves. Use rain or distilled water to prevent any mineral buildup.

Spider Plant

Spider PlantPlants.com$76.99Shop Now

Spider plants enjoy the humidity found in most bathrooms. They do best when grown in low light conditions. Don’t place them in direct sunlight as they’ll develop a nasty sunburn in the way of brown spots and leaf tips. Try not to let the soil dry out completely.

Spider plants are quite easy to root from leaf clumps, or “spiderettes,” which grow on a long stem. You can clip off these spider plant babies and root them in a glass of water for a few weeks until they develop longer roots, then plant them in their own plants. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire family of spider plants.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant (Sansevieria)Plants.com$49.99Shop Now

Although my mom has a very green thumb, she has an inordinate number of snake plants scattered around her house. She says that she likes them because they don’t get upset with her if she doesn’t water them for a few weeks at a time (Yes, she anthropomorphizes her plants but don’t we all?)

Snake plants have sturdy, upright leaves in varying shades of green giving them a textured appearance. They can survive low light and drought conditions. Don’t water them too much as they do better when their soil dries out in between. When happy, some snake plant varieties can grow up to twelve feet high.


Urban Jungle Philodendron Cordatum in 6-inch Grower Pot (Live Plant)LIVETRENDSamazon.com$14.06Shop Now

Philodendrons are tropical plants with some varieties that produce trailing vines. They don’t do well with too much shade, preferring bright, indirect light. In the wild, they normally grow under a canopy of other plants. Watering too much or too little can cause them to lose leaves. A good rule of thumb is to water them when the top inch of the soil is dry.

Like the bromeliad, philodendrons are sensitive to salt buildup, specifically in the soil. I try to replace all the soil in my philodendron pot every few years to prevent leaf browning.


Easy Care Devil's Ivy Golden Pothos Live Indoor Plant 10-Inches TallCosta Farmsamazon.com$18.21Shop Now

If you’re looking for a houseplant that is almost impossible to kill, the golden pothos plant – also known as ‘Devil’s Ivy’ – is for you. These plants have earned their nickname by stubbornly surviving not being watered for a couple of months, being overwatered, and being stuck in low light corners across the world.

They like moderate to low indirect light and, when left unchecked, will vigorously grow and vine into, up, and around everything in their path in every direction (another reason why they’re called ‘devil’s ivy’. As long as you pay attention and trim them back, they won’t attack you in your sleep.

I love having plants in my bathroom. For some reason they make my 32-square-foot, pre-war bathroom feel more luxurious. Someday I want to own a house somewhere I can have an outdoor shower surrounded by a garden jungle. Until then, my fifth-floor window sill in the heart of Harlem will have to suffice.

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