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The Best Shower Plants for a Happier, Healthier Bathroom
So you have the perfect bathroom. Or maybe you don’t. What’s an easy way to take an already-beautiful bathroom up a level even higher, or turn your so-so bathroom into a spa-like environment?
An answer may be easier than you would think: Add plants! In just one year, Pinterest has seen an increase of more than 300% in searches for “shower plants.” You may want to search Pinterest for inspiration, but you can start here with an overview of why adding plants to the shower and bathroom is a great idea, which plants make the best shower plants, and how to care for them.
More and more, people seem to be pinning and sharing on social media bathroom scenes that feature beautiful tropical plants. What better way to bring nature indoors? Well, it does get better. Plants help to purify the air (Did you know that indoor air quality is estimated, on average, to be worse than outdoor air quality?), can bring a soothing presence to any room, and add an earth/water element to your environment. In addition, shower plants can take your bathroom from feeling like, well, a bathroom—simply a room of utility—to a place that feels like a spa. Your shower experience will be more grounded and relaxing with a plant or two—or more! Succulents, vines, flowers—all of these (and many others!) can enhance your shower experience.
Caring for Your Shower Plants
Before we talk about the best plants for your shower, let’s review a brief—and fortunately, easy—word about care.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb (I certainly don’t), you may be surprised and pleased to see plants flourish in your bathroom. Plants that live in warm, humid climates and need little natural light—think tropical—can thrive in the bathroom environment. This is the perfect place for them, because they have the humidity and heat they need to grow and flourish; and enough sunlight from a sandblasted windowsill will suffice for them, as they are used to living beneath shaded canopies of trees in the outdoors.
A rule of thumb: Be careful not to overwater your plants, as this can lead to root rot. Let the top of the soil dry between watering. If you stick your index finger into the soil to the first knuckle and it’s dry, it’s time to water. It will be easy to care for your plants (unlike my other forgotten house plants, if you’re like me), because you’ll be seeing them daily, and water is right at hand.
Let’s Get to It—The Plants!
There are suitable shower plants for all levels of caregivers, and a bathroom is the easiest place to start. Here is a definitive list of the ten best plants to keep in your shower, and a word on each of their personalities.
1. Moth (Phalaenopsis) Orchid
This no-fuss flower can afford some neglect and does well in humid climates. Just be sure not to over-water it!
2. Eternity Plant
Here is a plant that is nearly impossible to kill. After its name, this plant will last a long time, and bring beauty to your bathroom.
3. Spider Plant
Here is another no-fuss plant that will help to clean the air in your home. This plant requires little light and loves humidity. Beautiful leaves will sooth you during your shower.
4. Air Plants
Here is a truly amazing plant—and I have one myself! Air plants can be hung anywhere near a window, and they do not need soil. They soak up all their nutrients through air and water spray (or bathroom humidity). Try hanging air plants in your bathroom, and watch them thrive! If the humidity is not enough for them, spray them down with a squirt bottle once a week.
5. Snake Plant
For long, green, tall leaves, try the snake plant. It can handle some neglect (but please be gentle), and it needs minimal light.
6. Lucky Bamboo
Safe for your mischievous kitten, bamboo plants will grow well for even the worst of plant-keepers. They don’t even need soil—just a vase of water, and your bamboo can grow tall.
This is a favorite of mine, as I grew ferns as a child. There are so many varieties of ferns, and they are popular because they are both easy and beautiful. If you’d like to bring Victorian and woodland décor into your bathroom, ferns are perfect. Because they are accustomed to growing under the shadow of trees, they need minimal light, and they will love the humidity and heat from your shower.
8. Kurt Weiss Greenhouse Peace Lily
If you’d like a periodic bloom in your bathroom, here is the flower for you. The peace lily loves humidity, needs little light, and its blossoms last for weeks.
9. Aloe Vera
Not just beautiful, but also great for sunburns and other skin ailments! Aloe Vera grows quickly and thrives in the bathroom. It is both elegant and medicinal, and if your mischievous cat tries to nibble on it, there’s no problem. I have a cat who did this. Worse, the cat hunted and ate cockroaches because she was too hungry. If you have a sunburn, cut off a small part and apply it to your burn for immediate relief. The plant will quickly regenerate. This plant is especially effective if you have a window that faces east.
10. Gold Child English Ivy
Do you want a plant that drapes dramatically over your shower walls? Here is a beautiful plant that will grow along your walls and thrive in the humidity and heat from your shower. This plant just loves high humidity and needs little light, making it the perfect vine to grow in your bathroom.
An Elegant Bathroom
We hope that you have gained some inspiration from these ideas, and once you incorporate them into your bathroom décor, you will find pleasure and comfort in these plants’ soothing presence. You don’t have to be a master gardener or green thumb to bring nature into your shower experience. With the right plants and minimal care, you can transform your bathroom into a more grounded, beautiful oasis.
Now that you’ve greened your bathroom, it’s time to make your bathroom green! Read our 17 steps to a more eco-friendly bathroom.