Discover the best plants for bathrooms without windows to help beautify your bathroom as well as purify the air.
I’ve always wanted a tropical-style bathroom with a steaming shower, cascading vines, and lush green leaves. But in my moderate-sized home, I have a bathroom with a small window and one with none at all.
Apart from being dark, the rooms get very humid. What are the options for plants in bathrooms without windows?
The best plants for bathrooms without windows are hardy, tolerant of humidity, and can survive with very little natural light. Good examples are the Peace lily, ferns, Snake plants, Lucky bamboo, air plants, Philidenrons, Aspidistras, and Spider plants, all purifying your air.
Plants are one of the inexpensive ways to decorate a bathroom. That being said, no plant can survive in complete darkness, but even in a windowless bathroom, there’s always artificial light. Some natural light will filter through the door and be reflected on mirrors.
And all plants need, besides light, is water, which is abundant in a bathroom. Light plus water equals thriving plants! Let’s explore the best plants for bathrooms without windows. So you can still bring the outdoors in (with plants) even if your bath has no windows.
The 9 Best Plants for Windowless Bathrooms
Most plants that can tolerate humid, low-light conditions originate from tropical rainforests. They grow on the jungle floor with minimal light and continual moisture. Here are some plants I’m going to use to create a tropical jungle in my unassuming bathroom.
#1. Peace Lily
My favorite houseplant is the beautifully named Peace lily or Spathiphyllum. The white flower symbolizes tranquillity and harmony, like the white flag of peace.
The Peace Lily is a gorgeous, medium-sized plant with glossy, dark green leaves and a bright spike or spathe that houses the flowers.
Related to the Arum lily, Peace lilies originally came from the rainforests of South America, where they would live on the damp, dark forest floor. They thrive in humid, low-light conditions, making them perfect for windowless bathrooms.
Apart from beautifying your bathroom, Peace lilies purify the air, removing toxins.
Peace lilies are easy to care for, so long as you keep them moist and in well-drained potting soil. They don’t do well in bright, direct light as the sun will scorch their leaves. Peace lilies enjoy some indirect light, so they will do well being rotated to a better-lit area every two weeks.
I love having ferns around, as they remind me of beautiful conservatories in English stately homes. You can bring some relaxing living into your bathroom with the added bonus of a plant-shaped air-purification system.
Ferns love the high humidity, moist soil, and low-light conditions of tropical regions in Asia and South America – and your windowless bathroom.
With their long feathery fronds, ferns like to have space to grow and unfurl. Ferns do best when they are free-standing or hanging in a larger bathroom. You can even hang ferns in the shower, so long as they have drainage.
You can’t neglect ferns. They must be kept moist and warm, as the fronds will turn brown if the plant dries out. Ensure that your fern gets regular indirect sunlight and water.
Here are my suggestions for the best ferns to grow in your windowless bathroom.
The Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) is what I think of when I hear the word “fern.” These magnificent ferns are covered in bushy green fronds and give your bathroom a forest flavor. And attract fairies to your home, according to legend.
Bird’s Nest Fern
Another charming fern for your windowless bathroom is the Bird’s nest fern. These ferns have beautiful crinkly leaves and thrive in humidity.
Blue Star Fern
The Blue Star fern (Phlebodium aureum) is uniquely named and appropriate for this unusual plant.
For a start, the wavy foliage of these ferns has a blue-gray tinge. Unlike other ferns, the fronds don’t die and drop off but branch into finger-like leaves.
These ferns have star quality for two reasons. They originate in the cloud forests of Florida’s swamps, growing high among the trees as if reaching for the stars. Blue Stars are also star air purification machines.
Rabbit Foot Fern
With its adorable furry rhizomes extending from the base, the Rabbit foot or Squirrel foot fern is a delight. I grew up calling it the Monkey paw plant and delighted in petting the soft brown “feet.”
The Rabbit foot fern (Davallia fejeensis) has lovely variegated fronds and thrives when moist and warm. It is a more delicate fern, so it’s best not to have a toddler fiddling with the rabbit feet!
#3. Snake Plant
To me, the Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria masoniana) is unjustly named – it’s long, spiky, and sharp, yes. However, it’s a toxin-filtration powerhouse and can tolerate any conditions.
These popular houseplants thrive in high humidity and low light, even under fluorescent lights. They don’t need to be watered often – a bonus in my forgetful brain – and actually thrive off neglect. If you give them a little sun occasionally, Snake plants will grow, well, like, snakes.
Their tall leaves add height to a tiny, dull bathroom space, release humidity back to you, and purify your air. Definitely need a better name!
#4. Lucky Bamboo
If you’re keen to add a spa-like quality to your bathroom, Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is ideal. Shaped like larger bamboo plants, this member of the dragon tree family has tall, bright green stalks and delicate leaves.
Lucky bamboo makes a great gift as it is believed to bring prosperity to the home where it grows.
It’s also lucky that Lucky bamboo can grow quickly and healthily without soil and in low-light, moist conditions like the forests of Central Africa where it originated.
To keep being lucky, keep your bamboo in a vase of water, change the water regularly, or plant it in potting soil.
#5. Air Plants
Probably the lowest maintenance plant, air plants (Tillandsia) thrive in hot, humid conditions – without any soil. They can grow in deserts, mountainous regions, and forests.
Air plants are miraculous because they can feed through vessels in their leaves instead of their roots and survive off the artificial light in a bathroom.
Once a week, soak the air plant in a bowl of water. That’s it. This process makes them easy to maintain and prevents soil from muddying the shower.
You can keep an air plant alive in a humid, dark bathroom and enjoy its unique characteristics and appearance. Ideally, display them suspended in a glass terrarium.
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a go-to houseplant for those of us with dark homes. Also called Devil’s Ivy, these climbers will happily trail their leafy vines in humid, low-lit bathrooms.
They’re used to surviving in Asian rainforests, where they grow along tree trunks and branches and are the favorite food of many lizards.
We recommend Pothos plants because they’re low maintenance. So long as they are well-drained, they absorb water so readily that you can forget to water them for a week or two, and they’ll still flourish. They don’t like soggy roots and scorch easily in direct sunlight.
Thriving on neglect, Pothos plants proliferate, adding gorgeous color to your bathroom. They have enchanting foliage: their satiny heart-shaped leaves come in pale green, silver grey, and golden shades.
Because of their long climbing tendrils, Pothos plants are ideal for hanging baskets or high shelves. Like Lucky bamboo, Pothos can survive in a vase of water – and is also symbolic of good fortune.
Philodendrons are house plants you gift to beginners and people without green fingers. They’re extraordinarily hardy, requiring water only once a week, so long as their soil has drainage.
In return for your limited efforts, these plants reward you with beautifully shaped, variegated, or rich green leaves and purified air.
Related to the lily, Philodendrons grow well in dark, warm, humid nooks like windowless bathrooms. They’re tropical jungle plants, and some varieties can grow enormously large. Only a few species have been domesticated.
For a bathroom with no window, our Philodendron recommendations are the smaller houseplants:
The Xanadu variety has pointed, bright green leaves. The leaves can get quite thick, retaining water. It’s unlikely the plant will flower indoors, as it requires some sunlight to do so.
This Philodendron has the prettiest heart-shaped leaves, showing its love for beginner plant owners who want quick-growing success. The leaves will happily cascade from a hanging basket and thrive under artificial light.
The “cast iron” plant or Aspidistra is almost indestructible. It can tolerate extremes of temperatures, light, and water. With beautifully glossy dark green leaves, an Aspidistra will brighten any murky bathroom.
This forgiving plant will flourish in a windowless bathroom, so long as you water it only when the soil is dry and ensure it can drain well. It does need some indirect sunlight every two weeks, so ideally, have two plants that you can rotate.
After several initial houseplant failures, I tried an Aspidistra in my windowless bathroom and finally had a beautiful, leafy companion.
#9. Spider Plant
You’ve probably seen Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) in offices or doctors’ waiting rooms. These popular houseplants are survivors and can flourish under artificial light and with minimal water.
These are great plants for windowless bathrooms because they like moist conditions and prefer indirect or lack of sunlight. They have evolved to grow in South African rainforests. Harsh sunlight will burn the Spider plant’s leaves.
Spider plants have nothing to do with arachnids. Instead, their long, pointy leaves resemble spidery legs as they hang over the edge of a plant pot or basket. These members of the asparagus family produce lily-like white flowers.
A significant advantage of Spider plants is that they purify the air of the toxin formaldehyde, which is essential in any home.
Carefully chosen hardy plants make a lovely addition to a dark bathroom without windows. Choose plants that can tolerate low-light, humid conditions, and you’ll enjoy an abundance of greenery while lazing in the bath.
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