There are lots of good reasons to have indoor plants, even plants in the bathroom.
They are beautiful to look at and be around and they serve a practical purpose to keep your home environment clean and healthy.
Houseplants improve the air quality in your home by cleaning the toxins from the air. While it’s advisable to have indoor houseplants in every room, it is especially good to have them in the bathroom.
Even if your bathroom is dark and dimly lit, and even if you’re a bad plant keeper, having the right plants in your bathroom will make you productive.
Can Plants Live Without Light In The Bathroom?
The short answer to this question is “No!” All plants must conduct photosynthesis (the transformation of light to energy) to survive and thrive; however, some plants need less light than others to do this. Therefore, success with any bathroom plant begins with choosing the right plants. You can approach this process from several different perspectives.
- Choose plants that naturally grow in low light. Understory plants hailing from rain forest settings do quite well in the high humidity, lowly lit environment common to many bathrooms. Air plants (bromeliads) and some succulents can also do well in these circumstances.
- Use a grow-light and/or overhead fluorescent lighting to add needed light to your bathroom and expand your choices.
- Rotate plants in and out of your bathroom to give them turns at a sunny window elsewhere.
- Buy cheap plants and just throw them away and replace them when they die from lack of light (this is especially cruel and shameful if you do that!).
- Throw your hands in the air and purchase silk or plastic plants. This is also a dreadful option as you will reap no air purifier benefits from having artificial plants in your home and the manufacture of these impostors is very bad for the environment in general.
Carefully choosing live plants and providing them with proper lighting as needed is the best way to go. Luckily, there are lots of suitable plants to choose from. Under-story rainforest plants, bromeliads, epiphytes and even some succulents do very well in low light and humid environment.
Is It Expensive To Use Artificial Light?
I have not found any plants that need no light. Providing your bathroom plants with artificial grow lights for plants is one of your options.
The lighting is affordable and can benefit you, as well as your plants. You can replace the bulbs in your bathroom with full-spectrum bulbs for just a little more than you would pay for regular light bulbs.
Full spectrum bulbs allow you to enjoy a better quality of natural light in your bathroom. Exposure to full-spectrum lighting is a proven mood elevator and is prescribed as a treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which causes wintertime depression.
Second, it‘s best to have these bulbs close to your plants for superior results.
You can use these convenient bulbs in any lamp to place them close to your plants to provide bright light directly to the plant and create an attractive grow space for your bathroom plants.
Keeping a grow light bulb or two burning continuously is quite inexpensive (pennies a day) and the benefits you reap from having healthy plants thriving in your bathroom more than justifies the expense.
If your bathroom is truly windowless or very dark, keeping a source of full spectrum light burning will also make the room more comfortable and inviting for you and your guests.
You may also be happy to know that almost all the plants that do well in a bathroom setting reproduce with rather wild abandon when well-kept. If you take good care of your bathroom garden by giving it ample artificial light and the recommended occasional watering, you will be able to give your friends living plants on almost every gift-giving occasion! Think of the money you’ll save!
Managing Your Grow-Light
For bromeliads and epiphytes, overhead full-spectrum lighting left on for about 12 hours a day may be enough. For plants with a greater need for light, place a grow light bulb in an attractive lamp or light fixture placed close to the plant and make your lighting part of the décor.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
The temperature in your bathroom is likely to be fairly consistent for your comfort. For most house plants, the general rule of thumb is if you are likely to be comfortable with your plant.
If your current habit is to keep your bathroom cold except when you plan to take a bath or shower, you’ll need to alter that if you want to keep plants happy. Keeping a small heater running on a low temperature setting (or programming your smart thermostat to keep your bathroom at a comfortable temperature) is beneficial to you and your plants.
Humidity levels in the bathroom naturally vary quite a bit. The humidity will rise quickly and briefly whenever you take a shower. Luckily, this is very good for many tropical plants, bromeliads and some succulents in terrariums. In some instances, you may need to provide a little more humidity by misting your plants.
What Are The Best Bathroom Plants To Choose?
Choices in plants that will do well with low lighting, consistently comfortable temperature and reliable levels of humidity abound. Here are some of the best choices in succulents, bromeliads, epiphytes and tropical plants to brighten your bathroom décor.
Aloe vera is a handy plant to have around. The juice from the leaves can relieve the pain of scrapes and minor burns. It is a succulent, so it requires minimal care. Aloe prefers bright indirect light. Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves
Asparagus Fern (Asparagus aethiopicus)
Airy, lacy asparagus fern loves a bathroom’s moisture. It does well in moderate or bright light, so it’s best to have a spot by a window. Asparagus ferns may look soft to touch, but there are thorns in the stems, so be careful.
Even in containers, bamboo plants can get large. Still, it is a nice way to have bamboo and not have to worry about it growing rampantly. The clumping varieties will need repotting less often than those that run. Bamboo can grow in low or indirect light.
Many types of begonias grow well in containers, and they enjoy the warmth and humidity of a bathroom shelf. In particular, the rex begonias (Begonia rex) are extremely colorful and ornamental and grow well indoors. Begonias can handle low or indirect light.
Bromeliads are unusual looking plants. Many varieties are epiphytic and bask in the humidity of a bathroom. They get most of their moisture from the air and do not like sitting in wet soil. Bromeliads like bright but indirect light.
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
It is called a cast iron plant because it is so hard to kill. When grown in the ground, it is tough enough to be used as a ground cover. If you are looking for a low-maintenance houseplant, this is it. Cast iron plants grow well in low light or indirect light.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Few plants are as forgiving and adaptable as the Chinese evergreen. It will thrive even if you forget to water and feed it. It loves humidity, but cannot handle cold temperatures or drafts. Low or indirect light is best.
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
You will find croton plants in an assortment of colored foliage. These plants grow slowly, but they can get 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide, so be sure you have space for one. Croton plants need bright, but indirect light, and lots of moisture, although they do not like to sit in wet soil.
Cyclamen can be tricky to grow indoors. They are often sold in bloom and then fade away when you bring the plant home. However, with a little care, you can keep these pretty plants happy. Cyclamen need bright light, especially in the winter. Although they like moisture, it is best to water them from the bottom, rather than wet their leaves.
Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
Dumb cane plants, also well known as by its botanical name dieffenbachia, do best with minimal care. It needs to be watered when the soil feels dry a few inches below the surface. It will need more light during the short days of winter and dappled light in summer. Rotate your dumb cane plant every month, so it grows evenly on all sides.
Many ferns make great houseplants. Most can handle the temperature fluctuations in a bathroom, and they love the humidity. Ferns are especially ideal for bathrooms that do not get too cold. Because they are epiphytes, they thrive in the humidity. Some prefer moderate light; others need bright light.