Did you know that you don’t have to keep houseplants away from the most humid spaces in your home? Believe it or not, there are plenty of great bathroom plants that don’t need sunlight – meaning you can easily place them around your wet room, shower or tub without needing to worry about giving them too much TLC.
Bathrooms aren’t traditionally seen as great space for houseplants as they are often very humid – and some bathrooms have very small windows, if indeed they have any natural light at all!
We’ve lined up our favourite plants for dark bathroom spaces we think you’ll love – especially thanks to the low maintenance factor.
Best Plants for Bathrooms Without Natural Light
Air Plants (Tillandsia)
Offering stunning visual appeal, tillandsia naturally attract attention – and they normally won’t ask for much back in return. Air plants survive by extracting moisture from the air – this means they thrive well in bathrooms!
Air plants come in shades of silver, grey and green. They can take the form of spidery, fine limbed plants, or can have curly, broader leaves. They come in various sizes depending on their age and the circumstances in which they have been cultivated.
Air plants tend to not grow as quickly as plants with roots in a growth medium, however – so be patient! They are ideal in open pendulums, baskets or sat on a shelf in a suitable container.
These plants do need some light, however, as well as moisture to survive. If you’re going to keep them in your bathroom and you don’t have a window spare, look into setting up a grow light – this will work just as well.
ZZ Plants (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
These are great plants to have on show in a bathroom. In their native Africa, ZZ plants grow under the canopy of others – this means they can survive well in dim light. Great news, then, when you’re potting up in a bathroom without a sizeable window!
They can benefit from LEDs or fluorescent lighting to grow effectively, meaning you really needn’t worry about sunlight. However, that’s not the only thing that makes ZZ top (of the plants!).
ZZ plants became popular from the late 60s onwards, when they were first exported across the globe. ZZ fans know they are easy to care for and only require watering when their container is semi-dry. Highly shiny, glossy leaves develop on plants achieving a height of up to three feet tall. A word of warning, however, these plants can be toxic.
Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron Hederaceum)
Hailing from South America, philodendrons happily accept and grow in shady spots, and will only become leggy in extreme cases. They have large, shiny green leaves and can be cultivated in one of two ways – either by allowing them to climb, or draped like a vine!
These plants do well in bathrooms where they are seldom attacked by squads of aphids who are attracted to them! They require watering when the top quarter of their container becomes dry – so keep a close eye.
This plant isn’t big on being overwatered despite its suitability to bathrooms, so take caution. Again, this is another low light bathroom plant that can prove toxic – keep them out of the way of children and animals.
We have selected calathea for this list simply because its native home is the jungle floor! The humid, hot, shady conditions of your bathroom are therefore a good match for this particular plant.
Calathea prefers indirect light and is used to living in conditions where light is dappled and infrequent. Calathea plants have beautiful, vibrant green leaves which span flat and wide. This helps them to make the most of available light. Ideally, calathea enjoys temperatures of at least 18 degrees Celcius.
While it’s a great choice for your wetroom, calathea may show signs of distress if left in a completely dark bathroom whilst you are on holiday. Also, these plants prefer to be kept moist – they do not tolerate drenching with bursts of very cold water very well!
So, if you are going on holiday for longer than a week, it may be a good idea to move them to a room with some light.
Slender and colourful, orchids are fantastic houseplant favourites that you’ve likely seen pop up in a few of our lists. No matter the type, orchids bring a touch of class to any space they occupy!
Coming in an array of colours spanning pink, yellow and lilac, the classic white is a personal favourite for many. This can be moved around from room to room and light up a space wherever it lands!
Dimly lit bathrooms, no problem. Humidity? Ideal! Warmth, perfect! Yes, Orchids are a perfect choice for bathrooms – and of all the types available, we highly recommend the Phalaenopsis Orchid, simply because it is the easiest to look after. They can also remain in bloom for several weeks.
However, they do need careful watering and a well draining pot. They do not like to keep their roots drenched.
Snake Plants (Dracaena Trifasciata)
This is a dramatic looking plant with attitude! In healthy plants, this potted wonder’s distinctly shaped leaves are fleshy and upright. Snake plants are great for filtering the air, too. They enjoy a humid environment and can thrive even with limited light.
Bathrooms are ideal for them. However, iff you see leaves beginning to wrinkle, there’s a problem. It is likely your snake plant has root rot! This can be caused by overwatering.
Snake plants grow slower indoors than outdoors, meaning you’re likely going to need to be patient if you want to see it thrive. That said, they can still grow up to eight inches a year indoors.
Boston Ferns / Sword Ferns (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
Regardless of what you call them, these highly popular houseplants are extremely hardy and will fare well in low light, humid spaces such as smaller bathrooms. They have great chandelier-esque shapes – making them look super in baskets or on a shelf. In a bathroom they also look great in tall containers either side of your tub if you have space!
They do require some light, however, and you may need to start moving it between rooms. At least this means you can start showing it off across the house!
These ferns can grow exceptionally well in humid atmospheres and, as a result, require less water for their roots. When happy, this fern is a vibrant green with a gentle, curving form full of graceful leaves. They can sometimes grow wider than they are tall, so making sure you have adequate space is a must.
Bamboo / Lucky Bamboo
Bamboo is a super-fast-growing plant that’s often favoured by those who want to avoid noxious levels of pollen in their homes. What’s more, they tend to do amazingly in bathrooms and low light spaces. Bamboo is often sold and kept in water – this plant thrives in hot humid spaces where leaves have room to develop and stems become firm.
Weirdly enough, some varieties of bamboo in the wild are so strong, they are used as scaffolding! Bamboo loves space and if you have it in your home, you know it grows in spurts and can become very tall!
Bamboo needs light – but not necessarily sunlight. This reliable showpiece can live for years and be trained to take on various shapes. Growing bamboo in a window box or trough on the floor makes a superb natural green screen!
A useful tip is to buy or make some trellis and thread young shoots through the gaps. This will take time to grow but the result will be well worth the wait!
Golden Pothos (Devil’s Ivy)
The golden pathos is a fantastic bathroom bloom simply because it thrives in shady sports. Direct sunlight can actually burn this plant – so it’s safest to keep it away from windows! It is versatile to use in a display and, in your bathroom, can even be trained to climb.
Becoming a formidable climber against poles or canes, you can create a decorative screen with the right amount of ivy. Simply set up three or four individual plants and use some strategically placed ties to support them until their stems take hold.
For this reason, golden pothos is sometimes called ‘Devil’s Ivy’. It has distinctive, green, heart-shaped leaves which can fall if the plant becomes too dry for too long! Golden pothos do tolerate some degrees of neglect – ideally, they should be allowed to dry between watering – but not to the point where roots become completely dried out.
Ivy (Hedera Helix)
Now, let’s consider ‘traditional’ ivy – it is a born survivor! Only severe extremes kill healthy ivy plants. If you’ve seen plenty of it growing in your garden, then you may already know that it can take a lot to safely deter.
This variety is a common ivy plant which tolerates most light conditions and humidity. However, be sure to balance things carefully when watering. When ivy is watered too much, leaves can wilt. If not watered enough, it dries up.
A variably humid atmosphere can, however, suit it very well. Ivy requires some light but does very well in shade. It’s great suspended from baskets or dripping down from a shelf, and it can be trained to grow up a pole too!
It’s best to not allow the growth medium to dry out completely, however. If you accidentally neglect your plant to the point where it looks dead, don’t write it off immediately! Check for any white, healthy roots.
Be warned, however, that ivy can cause some skin irritation – so try not to make contact with it unless you absolutely have to.
Spider Plants (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Again – if you’ve spent any time reading our other guides, you’ll know that we love a good spider plant. What’s not to like? These are firm favourites for many indoor gardeners because they are so versatile!
Spider plants don’t need sunlight per se, but they do need light in some shape or form. Growth lights, for example, can be useful if you don’t have a window available.
Spider plants need careful watering, preferring a shower to a bath! In your bathroom, the humidity and warmth will not usually be a problem for these growths. Spider plants like space and are easy to care for, too.
When conditions suit them, you will see fronds developing which eventually bear small, white flowers. When these flowers fall off, tiny ‘spiderettes’ will form. You can choose to nip Spiderettes off the stem and root them in water. They’re brilliant value if you look after them properly!
Don’t let your bathroom look dull!
Setting up great plants for dark bathroom spaces will work wonders for your interior decor, as well as for keeping the air fresh and breathable. The best plants for bathrooms with no light listed here are pretty hardy, and while some may need moving around from time to time, you can rest assured they will help to bring out the best in your wetroom space.