We all know that houseplants need light and water to thrive—but what about the moisture in the air around them? While us humans don't always love hot and steamy conditions (summer frizz is real), some plants prefer it. Humidity is one of the more difficult conditions to control in your home, but there is a way to keep your jungle-loving plants happy without running a humidifier all day: Display them in your bathroom, where the steam from your shower will help keep them moist and happy. (It doesn’t hurt that regular watering is a snap when your plants are right next to a sink, either.)
Keep scrolling to see our round-up of the best houseplants that will transform your bathroom into a jungle escape.
These moisture-loving ornamentals can add a pop of vibrant color to any bathroom with a good source of bright, indirect light. Look for varieties like ‘Polka Dot,’ an angel wing begonia with deep green leaves and attractive white spots on its long, pointed leaves, or escargot begonias, a type of rex begonia with a swirling leaf shape and contrasting color pattern. Your bathroom is a great place to keep your outdoor potted begonias in the winter, too.
These graceful rainforest plants with shiny green leaves and white flowers will grow lush even in low light or purely fluorescent light with the right humidity. Thanks to their spreading growth habit, they make a great floor plant—just take care to display them on a high shelf or other inaccessible surface, as peace lilies are toxic to dogs and cats.
Elegant ferns, from the classic Boston to sleek bird’s nest fern, enjoy lower-light, humid environments. They look beautiful and grow well in a bathroom window with a northern or eastern exposure with bright indirect or filtered light. Keep your fern well-watered and gently spritz the leaves a few times a week to boost its humidity if needed.
To add lush greenery and vivid color to your bathroom, find a spot on a windowsill for one of these flower-shaped plants, which feature leaves in shades from solid green to variegated pink and blooms in bright, tropical hues. Bromeliads do best with bright, indirect light and will thrive thanks to your bathroom’s steamy conditions.
Prayer plant is the common name for a whole family of humidity-loving, low-light plants with beautifully patterned leaves, including marantas and calatheas—so named for the way their leaves fold up like praying hands at night. Start with a red-ribbed Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura, also known as herringbone plant, then graduate to calatheas like rattlesnake plant or peacock plant. Give your prayer plant a weekly misting in dry winter weather, and amp up the humidity if you notice brittle, brown edges on the leaves.
Looking for an excuse to bring this trendy specimen into your life? Monstera deliciosa, sometimes called Swiss cheese plant, will grow well in a bathroom with moderate to bright, indirect light thanks to the added humidity. A lower-light bathroom can work well, too—your monstera will just grow a little more slowly and may not develop as many of the characteristic slits and perforations in its leaves.
This moisture-loving, highly adaptable plant will add a sophisticated, tropical feel to your bathroom. Parlor palms are also some of the most versatile tropical plants in terms of light, since they can adapt to grow well in low-light conditions in addition to bright, indirect light. They’re great at cleaning the air in your space, too.
In bathrooms, space on a counter, shelf, or window sill is often limited—but there’s a solution: hanging plants like lush, trailing pothos. Simply anchor a plant hook in the ceiling near an east, north, or south-facing window and hang up your philodendron in a coconut coir basket or macrame hanger for an attractive, way to add some green and save space in your bathroom. Pothos can also adapt well to lower-light conditions.
These beautiful tropical flowers have a reputation for being finicky, but the steam and warmth from the shower in your bathroom will go a long way to keeping them happy. Be sure to choose a spot that receives a good amount of bright indirect light, but don’t let them get too close to a window that receives a lot of direct sun.
With minimal care needs and dozens of varieties with their own unique, almost otherworldly looks, air plants—also known as tillandsia—are some of the most attractive, foolproof bathroom plants available. Since they absorb moisture and nutrients from the air around them, a spot next to your steamy shower is the perfect place. And since they don’t need a container of soil, you can display them in all kinds of creative ways: grouped in a frame mounted on the wall, hanging from the ceiling in elegant air plant holders, or arranged on the window sill with seashells or driftwood, for example.
Looking for more design ideas to beautify your bathroom? Check out our guide to luxe master bathrooms.