Indoor Plants for the Bathroom (Reduce Moisture with Style)

As avid green thumbs, we often find bathrooms tricky spaces to decorate. Getting the aspects right is a challenge, but a well positioned indoor plant can elevate a bathroom from nice to wow!

Plus, they introduce other benefits, like:

  • Indoor plants (like azaleas and maiden ferns) are ideal, because bathroom plants absorb moisture from the surrounding air, and
  • plants are natural air purifiers that help to improve the bathroom air quality. However,
  • a few considerations need to be made before you introduce your first plant, like lack of light and temperature fluctuations.
Bathroom Plants that Absorb Moisture

Today at the Garden Bench Top we will be exploring the bathroom plants that absorb moisture, improve air quality, while also lifting your bathroom decor game.

However, before we get into our favorite bathroom plants, let’s go on a bit of a science lesson. So get your lab coat on, and let’s begin.

Not interested in scientific jargon? And just want to see some plants for the bathroom? Jump to our favorite bathroom plants that absorb moisture!

Benefits of Reducing Humidity in Bathrooms?

One of the biggest problems in bathrooms is the high humidity levels generated when we take baths or showers. Those of you who indulge in hour long hot steamy showers will know what we mean (don’t hide, we know you’re there).

steamy and humid window

The problem arises when the humid air lingers in the bathroom, and eventually settles on the surfaces. This is because it can encourage the growth of unwanted organisms.

Microbial organisms that exist in our houses are harmless in small quantities. However, when they begin to multiply and grow, it can be hazardous and lead to serious health issues. You may have already seen this growth in process without even knowing about it – it takes the form of black mold.

Black mold in bathroom

However, these microbial organisms require a moist environment in order to flourish. And guess what? The humid environment in the bathroom is the perfect breeding ground for these microbial organisms.

That is, unless you take proactive measures to reduce the humidity in your bathrooms.

Bathroom plants that absorb moisture are one (or many) ways you can reduce humidity in your bathroom.

How do Plants Absorb Moisture from the Air?

It is common knowledge that most plants absorb water via their roots.

However, did you know some plants have adapted to be able to absorb water via their leaves, such as epiphytic plants. They achieve this by absorbing moisture via the stoma cells in their leaves.

It is important to note, all plants evaporate water from the underside of their leaves by opening the stomata to allow for the necessary gas exchange of O2 for CO2, known as transpiration. This also has the added benefit of improving our bathroom air quality.

But wait, didn’t we say plants help to ‘reduce‘ humidity in the bathroom?

Let’s take a closer look at this conundrum in the next section.

Will a Plant Make a Difference in Bathroom Humidity?

So, if some plants absorb water as well as release water via evaporation, what is the point in having an house plant in the bathroom?

Besides looking great, the process that a plant goes through helps to regulate humidity levels. As we mentioned earlier, it also produces fresh air, which is much better than the alternative, breathing in stale humid air.

Plants help to regulate humidity in bathrooms.

One plant alone will not resolve your mold issue, but it will help.

In addition to plants, we also recommend implementing other strategies to dehumidify your bathroom. Like opening a window while you shower and running the exhaust fan to extract air.

Or if those two are not an option, operating a dehumidifier will also help prevent any mold growth.

Bathroom Plants that Absorb Moisture

Okay! That’s enough geeking out – let’s get into the fun stuff – finding the perfect indoor plants that absorb moisture in bathrooms.

To make it easier, we have divided our favorite bathroom plants into categories depending on the amount of light your bathroom receives.

Bathrooms with Plenty of Light

Snake Plants Sansevieria

Snake Plants, like the Sansevieria Cleopatra, are wonderful little plants that are perfect for injecting a point of difference into a bland bathroom. They are very easy to care for, and very suitable for beginners who are taking their first steps into the indoor plant world.

They are relatively slow growers, which means they are generally low maintenance (very little pruning). Plus, they can tolerate the warm temperature that a bathroom can reach.

They do require a lot of light (indirect or direct sunlight), and do like to dry out between watering. If you are planning on putting a Snake Plant in your bathroom, we would recommend placing it on the window sill that is opened every now and again.

Birds Nest Fern

Credit: Unsplash

One of our favorite plants for bathrooms, are Birds Nest Ferns. With their thick, long green leaves fanning out from the pot, we find it really lifts a bathrooms’ ambience.

They love humid environments, so the bathroom really is the perfect space. In fact, they require so much humidity, that we recommend implementing the wishing well concept to keep up the humidity in between showers.

When positioning your Birds Nest fern in your bathroom, ensure it is kept away from drafty areas like near the door or the window. A position out of the way will keep this plant as happy as Larry. It is important to bear in mind these bathroom plants can grow quite large.


Credit: Unsplash

Philodendrons originate in the tropics (and are therefore classed as a tropical plant), so they are very accustomed to the warm, humid conditions of a bathroom. Fortunately, they are categorized as easy-to-care for plant, meaning beginners can give this perfect houseplant a go.

There are over 450 philodendron varieties, and some can grow quite tall. Be sure to research the particular variety of Philodendron that will suit your space.

Philodendrons thrive in plenty of indirect light, so if your bathroom has the right aspects, it should grow quite happily.

They do grow quite quickly in their growing seasons, meaning some regular maintenance will be required, like removing dead leaves and repotting where necessary.

Bathrooms with Moderate Light

Maidenhair Fern

Maidenhair Fern reduces humidity

Similar to the Birds Nest fern, the Maidenhair fern love humidity, making them perfect for the bathroom. We love to contrast their delicate, light and lacy fronds look with the hard shiny surfaces of bathroom tiles.

They do require light in order to thrive. However, we have successfully kept Maidenhair ferns in moderately lit bathrooms. If you do have a limited amount of light in your bathroom, place them in the position that will receive the most light in the space.

They love excess moisture, which means you need to keep their soil moist. If you notice the leaves beginning to wilt or droop, give them a healthy spritz of water to bring up the moisture levels. If you are having trouble keeping the humidity up in your bathroom, you can check out some tips for increasing humidity without a humidifier.

Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo in bathroom

If you are tight on space and have limited light, Lucky Bamboo might be your solution for a pop of green in your bathroom.

Bamboo plants are truly a marvel of nature, with its ability to survive with little light and live in water like a hydroponic plant. It is one of the easiest adaptable plant to care for, and we highly recommend them to people new to caring for indoor plants.

Plus you have the added benefit of the bamboo leaves’ ability to absorb moisture from the surrounding air, helping to regulate the humidity levels in your bathroom.

Bathrooms with Little Light

English Ivy

English Ivy is perfect for reducing humidity

Have you ever wondered how English Ivy can grow so thick and quickly over fences and on the sides of buildings? It’s all due to its ability to absorb water through its leaves. In fact, not only does it absorb water, a study conducted by NASA proved that it was proficient in absorbing toxins from the air. Making it one of the best naturally existing dehumidifiers and detoxification plants.

There is something special about seeing English Ivy in bathrooms. It makes you feel like you are in a cottage over in ye ol’ England.

A word of warning, being a member of the Ivy family, English Ivy likes to climb. It sends out suckers to grasp onto any surfaces, and will use any opportunity it gets to start sending out vines to climb. After all, the more it spreads, the more exposure it can get to moisture and sun. With this in mind, we recommend isolating English Ivy in a hanging basket (like it is pictured above) where it cannot find any surfaces to use as leverage.

Peace Lily

Peace Lily are perfect for bathrooms

Another indoor plant that does well in low lit bathrooms are Peace Lillie’s. They do prefer a bit of indirect sunlight light, but they have been known to grow in shade or partially shaded spaces.

The artificial light from your bathroom lights will also help (to some degree) to grow your Peace Lily, making them ideal for spaces where other indoor plants will not thrive.

Peace Lillie’s love humidity, making them ideal for bathrooms and the humidity that is created from those hot showers.

We do recommend taking your Peace Lily out for occasional periods of time to allow the plant to receive some natural light. But besides that, they are relatively easy to care for.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section we attempt to answer all your ‘other’ questions that may not be addressed in the article.

Keep in mind, if you don’t find an answer to your question, please send us a message via our CONTACT page. We will endeavor to respond with a timely answer, and include it in our growing FAQ section below.

What plants absorb moisture in the bathroom?

Many plants absorb moisture from the humid bathroom air via their leaves. However, to determine which indoor plant you should get for your particular bathroom depends on a few factors. Such as the amount of light your bathroom receives and the amount of space the plant requires. Different plants require different lighting needs and have different growth habits. Use our guide above to determine which plant is suitable for your bathroom.

Do plants help with bathroom humidity?

Indoor plants do help to regulate bathroom humidity through the process of transpiration. They can also help to purify the air. However, one plant alone will not make a noticeable difference in reducing humidity. We suggest using plants in combination with other methods, such as opening windows and exhaust fans while showering.

What plants best absorb moisture?

Our favorite plant for absorbing moisture in bathrooms is English Ivy. The leaves of English Ivy are proficient in absorbing moisture, as well as other toxins in the air. This along with the low maintenance and ease-of-care, makes English Ivy the perfect bathroom plant.