Tips AU

The best indoor and hanging bathroom plants

By Gianna Huesch

Updated: May 4th, 2020

Bask in nature by bringing greenery indoors with lush bathroom plants

Live your greenest life by filling your bathroom with plants! Not only do they beautify this often sterile-looking space, adding life and personality, but they have a whole host of health benefits to offer including adding fresh oxygen, removing toxins in the air, boosting your mood and reducing stress. Gee, what’s not to love?

Bathroom plants are such a simple and affordable way to update your bathroom, whether it’s a single trailing plant on the windowsill or a full green plant wall.

In thinking about the best plants for bathrooms, consider species that thrive in a humid, warm environment—and there are many to choose from. You will need plants that enjoy indirect light, can handle varying temperatures, are virtually impossible to kill and are low maintenance (I mean, who needs another bathroom chore?).

And of course, go for those plants that look lush and create a sense of serenity for those all-important spa vibes.

Here’s my top list of the best plants for bathrooms:

  • Sansevieria
  • Pothos
  • Peace Lily
  • Spider plants
  • Heart-leaf Philodendron
  • Monstera
  • Staghorn ferns
  • Boston ferns
  • Aloe Vera
  • Bamboo
  • Calathea
  • Airplants
  • Orchids
  • Azaleas
  • Succulents and cacti

But there are plenty of options for plants that are perfect for bathrooms, and these are just a starting point. Your best bet is to speak to the experts at your local nursery or gardening centre, as they’ll know exactly what to recommend and they’ll have the healthiest specimens for you to buy.

Meanwhile, be inspired by our collection of more than 35 beautiful bathrooms featuring plants…

1. Allow your plants to do the decorating

Pare back the bathroom décor and focus on the plants. This bathroom is simple and minimalist but its stunning verdant outdoor aspect is captured and repeated by the placement of just one small potted Sansevieria (snakeplant) on the vanity.

white tub with green window
Source: Instagram

2. Have a feature plant

Enhance your bathroom by using materials inspired by nature as well as by adding a feature plant. Pick a strongly architectural plant such as the Rubber Leaf Plant, which is enjoyed for its glossy, dark green foliage that contrasts well with bathroom whites.

rubber leaf
Source: Apartment34

3. Use your corners

The corners of your bathtub are ideal for placing little potted plants. Make sure you choose a plant that doesn’t mind low light if your tub corner isn’t in a well-lit position. Your tub plant should also love humidity and water as it will get the odd spray. Plants like Pothos or Sansevieria (snakeplants) work especially well—and they’re great beginner indoor plants.

snakeplant
Source: Hunker

4. Add a touch of colour

Every bathroom should really have something organic in it—even just a tiny little burst. Here, a gorgeous modern bathroom with some serious tiling going on gets an injection of greenery in the form of a tiny succulent perched on a log stool. In fact, your greenery doesn’t even have to be “green”—succulents come in many hues. This one looks more like a blue-toned Echeveria or Sempervivum and the shade goes perfectly with this blue-grey toned bathroom.

tiny succulent
Source: Pinterest

Love tiles? Check out more bathroom tiling ideas and hire an expert tiler when you’re ready.

5. Fill up a neglected space

Do you have any “dead space” or unused floor space that doesn’t seem to fit anything? Fill it with an oversized floor plant such as a rampant fern, and now you have an instant focal point.

tiled floor single plant
Source: Pinterest

What a gorgeous floor, too. For more flooring options, why not talk to a flooring expert?

6. Hang baskets from the ceiling

Rather than use up valuable floor space, make use of the ceiling to hang baskets of plants, whether upright kinds or trailing plants.

hanging baskets
Source: Pinterest

7. Add lots of leafy greens

Surround your bathtub with greenery, whether hanging or placed in planters along with the tub or windowsill. Here, a Pothos (Devil’s Ivy) plant is hanging above the bathtub while a Parlor palm adorns the window. These two plants love medium light and need minimal watering.

white bathroom with lots of greenery
Source: Hunker

8. One plant makes all the difference

Just look at the impact that a single sculptural plant makes in the corner of the bathtub in this small bathroom. It completely changes the vibe and provides that all-important connection to nature.

single fig
Source: Domino

9. Mix greenery into a colour scheme

Although I love an all-white bathroom, it can lapse into looking clinical if you’re not careful. But plants–and a stunning marigold antique tub like this one—bring colour in and avoid that overly hospital-white feeling.

yellow tub
Source: The Mood Palette

10. Use plants as visual tricks

As you can see in the bathroom below, the eye is immediately drawn to the pair of Philodendrons hanging above the toilet and away from the cistern itself. Diverting attention from the ‘uglier’ aspects of your bathroom is a job that bathroom plants do exceptionally well!

hanging basket above toilet
Source: Hunker

11. Create a living plant wall

You can create wall art from plants by constructing a plant wall. These can be a bit high maintenance but are worth it for the effect. Just make sure to choose plants that stay green all year long!

plant wall
Source: TLC Interiors

12. Embrace trailing plants

Trailing plants are so popular in bathrooms thanks to how they combine function and aesthetic impact. As well as looking beautiful cascading gently over the edges of hanging baskets, their form provides texture and softens up any hard edges of your bathroom. I also love all the exposed piping here!

trailing bathroom plants
Source: Instagram

If you need some help with your plumbing, you can get an idea of how much a plumber costs, and find professional plumber nearby.

13. Take advantage of sunny windows

If you have a big, sunny window like this Boho bathroom here, you’ll be able to add a lot of greenery. Most plants prefer bright indirect to direct light, so your choices are simply greater when your space has access to sunlight.

boho vibes
Source: Bohemian Boho

14. Choose dramatic single plants

We all love the Fiddle Leaf Fig but consider as an alternative to the Monstera plant.  It makes just as much impact but is a little less common than the good old Fiddle Leaf Fig. Look out for the rarer Variegated Monstera whose white and green foliage provides even more interest.

minimalist bathroom
Source: Design Milk

15. Have a tree view

This home was designed to incorporate greenery all throughout the house, including in this tiny courtyard adjoining the master bathroom. I love how the architects describe their intended effect: “One must continually move through and experience the garden.” Talk about connecting the indoors with the outdoors.

tree view
Source: Dot and Pop

16. Invite plants into your shower

The stark straight lines of this modern bathroom are tempered by the soft, rounded shapes created by these in-shower plants. The result is a more serene space for you to shower. Just as with other placements of bathroom plants, having plants in the shower area improves the air quality, helps eliminate bacteria and absorbs excess moisture in the air.

shower vine
Source: Homes To Love

17. Decorate your windowsill

If you have a windowsill that’s flooded with sunlight, line up a bunch of sun-loving indoor plants on it. Sansevieria (snakeplants) and Chinese Money trees will reward you by thriving here.

plants on windowsill
Source: Idea Awards

18. Have plants at a variety of heights

If you are incorporating several plants, create more visual interest by placing them at different heights rather than all at the same level. Place plants on the vanity, the floor and add in a plant on a little wooden stool.

pretty bathroom plants
Source: Bellamumma

19. Make use of mirrors

When placing your bathroom plants, take advantage of how a bathroom mirror’s reflection can double up the amount of greenery you see. Here, a tall, slim Variegated Schefflera (umbrella) plant is the perfect shape for a narrow bathroom.

tall leafy
Source: Hunker

20. Have a plant wall shelf

You can also create a simple plant wall by filling open shelving, which is great if you lack floor space. This white shelving looks stunning thanks to the use of white planter pots to create unity despite the wide variety of plants incorporated.

white shelving plant wall
Source: House Mix Blog

21. Go with a botanical theme

If you love the look of plants in the bathroom, you might like to continue the fresh theme with a botanical or floral print shower curtain.

botanical shower curtain
Source: Instagram

22. Have a statement fern

A simple, minimal modern bathroom comes alive with a huge fern. Popular ferns include the low maintenance Boston fern and Sword fern.

statement fern
Source: architectureau.com

23. Mount a staghorn

If you’re looking for a bold feature plant, look no further than a staghorn fern. Mounted on the bathroom wall these look striking while they work their air-purifying magic.

shower staghorn
Source: SF Girl By Bay

24. Mount several staghorns for serious impact

One staghorn looks impressive, but what about a group of them? Not for the shrinking violet–staghorns are one of those full-on decorative plants that have no subtlety about them at all.

staghorn above bath
Source: Katrina Lee Chambers

25. Keep function in mind

Your bathroom serves many practical purposes, and you should keep this in mind when planning your plants. You need to be able to carry out self-care tasks without a plant interfering, no matter how good it looks. This means you may prefer to limit your greenery to something unobtrusive, such as this delicate trailing plant in a stylish black hanging planter.

delicate trailing plants
Source: From Luxe With Love

26. Think outside the box

If you are keen on a lush plant feature but don’t have a lot of room, consider alternatives to shelving or corners of the bathtub. Instead display your plants in a fun, unusual way, such as this DIY hanging shelf constructed from a ladder hung by ropes. Not only does it make a great plant display, but it will give you something pleasing to look at while you’re soaking.

bath plant ladder
Source: The Mood Palette

27. Fill recessed shelves with plants

A recessed wall shelf is a perfect spot to place plants without creating a sense of clutter. A single plant in this timber panelled bathroom makes a huge difference to the overall atmosphere. If you have a timber bathroom, you’ll need to watch the bathroom waterproofing.

timber bathroom with plants
Source: Paper n Stitch Blog

28. Go overboard

Love the jungle look? Then, by all means, make your bathroom a little extra by grouping a lot of large, leafy plants together. It’s bold, it makes a strong statement – and if you squint your eyes while you’re in the tub, you’ll be transported to a rainforest watering hole.

jungle fever
Source: Pinterest

29. Or exercise subtlety and restraint

But you don’t need a huge number of plants to get the benefit of bathroom greenery. Even just a single trailing plant creating a waterfall effect over the tub will have an impact, as you can see in this minimalist bathroom. With a minimalist bathroom like this, there’s a lot of visual focus on the tub, so make sure it’s in perfect condition – you may need to think about bath resurfacing.

minimalist trailing plant in shower
Source: Style Curator

30. Use bathroom plants for Boho vibes

An eclectic assortment of pretty potted plants easily evokes Boho style. Apart from the aesthetic effect, having plants in your bathroom will make your bath-time even more relaxing. Want to spruce up your tiling? Know how much tile and grout cleaning costs.

Boho bathroom
Source: Instagram

31. Juxtapose contrasting plants

Mix different kinds of indoor plants to create contrast and balance. For example some plants are more spiky looking, while others have soft rounded forms. Here, a linear, serrated Mediterranean palm sits beside a Chinese Money Tree plant with sweet round leaves.

feature plants
Source: Magnolia

32. Use plants as accents

Even just one or two plants can dramatically upgrade a bathroom, providing a pop of green to act as an accent to a plain bathroom.

Scandi
Source: Living, etc.

Love this modern bathroom style? Check out more modern house design inspo here.

33. Gather baskets

Planters in natural, organic materials, such as cane baskets, look gorgeous with bathroom plants. Place a plastic tray under your plant’s container in the bottom of your basket, so you won’t have to remove the plant to water it.

cane planter
Source: Homes To Love

34. Create some bathtime zen

Add hanging plants from the ceiling to resemble organic chandeliers. How stunning do these Spider plants and ferns look in contrast with the white subway tile?

bathtime zen
Source: Apartment34

35. Enjoy air-purification from succulents

Add some succulents and cacti to your green bathroom mix and take advantage of their superior air-purifying abilities. They’re typically easy care and love bright light, so place them on your windowsill.

succulents on windowsill
Source: Hunker

36. Bring green into an all-black bathroom

Although many of the bathrooms I’ve chosen to feature for this blog represent the classic white bathroom aesthetic, plants also look wonderful in black or dark toned bathrooms. If you’re thinking of switching up the colour of your bathroom walls, find a painting expert nearby.

black bathroom
Source: Apartment Therapy

37. Arrange plant cuttings in vases

Last but not least, an alternative to keeping potted plants in the bathroom is to pop oversized leaf cuttings into vases. Here, some Xanadu philodendrons cuttings create drama and texture, but you can really use any plant cuttings that appeal to you.

A tip from interior gardening designers is to snip a little eucalyptus as its soothing aroma and antimicrobial properties are released by the humidity of the shower.
cuttings
Source: Le Blog Mademoiselle

We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of green bathrooms—which plants are your favourites? Let us know in a comment below!

Also, we haven’t forgotten about the other rooms in the house. Here’s our beautiful guide to the best indoor plants.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gianna

I'm an interior design writer living on the mid-north coast of NSW with my two kids and three cats.

Enjoyed reading this? Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

Need A Helping Hand?Find a skilled Tasker on Airtasker to help you get things done!