6 Simple Ways to Boost Your Bathroom With Plant Power

6 Simple Ways to Boost Your Bathroom With Plant Power

By Kelly Dawson
At a time when stress levels are rising, adding a touch of greenery to the bathroom can elevate both your space and your mood.

In moments of crisis, it's the simple things that matter. Whether that's reading a satisfying line in a book, letting out a hearty laugh with a friend, or listening to a dance-worthy song, these tiny acts give us the chance to exhale. In design, one of the easiest and most popular decompressors these days seems to be through the addition of plants. 

"Indoor plants can enhance a space, boost your mood, and decrease your stress—all reasons why you'd want at least one plant in every room of your home," says Erin Marino, director of brand marketing at The Sill

While you may already have a plant or two in a living space, one room where you might especially need to unwind is the bathroom. And as it turns out, that can be an ideal spot for greenery. "There are a number of plant varieties that thrive in the warm, sometimes humid conditions that a bathroom provides, because it mimics some plants' native tropical habitats," Marino continues. 

We collected our six favorite examples of plants in bathrooms from previous Dwell house tours so that you can get ideas on everything from creeping vines to outstretched leaves. Marino also shares which greenery gets her vote, making it even easier to have an ahhh-inducing hideaway as soon as possible.  

For a Soothing Shower Accessory

Hang lavender from your shower head for added relaxation and a soothing scent.

It makes sense that when Eva Holbrook and artist Jamie Williams set out to build a home that would connect them to the outdoors, they crafted a bathroom with plenty of natural touches. Take a cue from their Santa Cruz home and hang a bouquet of lavender from your shower head. The scent will disperse through the room as you lather or simply brush your teeth.  

If you'd rather keep flowers outside your shower, Marino recommends an orchid instead. "The Phalaenopsis Orchid, with its leafy stems and long-lasting blooms, does best in a warm and humid environment," she says. "If your bathroom has a big window, then this is the plant for you. One thing though: Avoid harsh, direct sun."

For a Pet-Friendly Pick

A simple fern can add color and movement to a bathroom corner, and it especially likes the humid temperature.

Sometimes a fern is all that's needed to accessorize a bare corner, and in the case of this San Francisco-based bathroom, it brings color and texture to an otherwise monochromatic space. Since ferns also appreciate humid temperatures, a seat right next to the tub is the perfect spot to watch one thrive. 

"There's a wide variety of humidity-loving ferns to choose from, but one of my favorites is the Bird's Nest Fern," Marino notes. "I love its large and wavy green fronds. It's also considered non-toxic, making it safe to keep around your pets. Allow it to grow in medium to bright indirect light, but don't worry if all you have is low, indirect light—it can tolerate it."

For a Small-Space Solution

Cramped bathrooms can still benefit from greenery, too—even if it's just a couple of leaves.

Small-space bathrooms may seem too cramped for a vase—or sometimes even a whole plant—so take a cue from this colorful Barcelona design on how to proceed. A large leaf, like one from a monstera perhaps, adds a complementary shade to a tight vanity and can be changed out with ease. 

But what if you have a cramped bathroom that also doesn't have a window? "The most important thing to consider when adding a plant to your bathroom is how much natural light your bathroom gets," Marino says. "If you don't have a window in your bathroom, then opt for a faux monstera."

For a Spa-Like Ambiance

Hang plants with creeping vines from your bathroom's ceiling for a calming visual effect.

If your goal is to have a spa-like retreat, then use this bathroom at The Posada Inn in Tucson as inspiration. We're particularly into its collection of hanging plants as a source of visual interest, and the fact these options don't require a lot of light to thrive. To follow along, pick a Marble Queen Pothos plant to sway by your side. 

"The Marble Queen Pothos is a hardy pick," Marion says. "As a low-maintenance trailing plant, it’s perfect for hanging off your shower curtain rod. It does best in medium to low-indirect light, so keep it away from intense sun."

Shop the Look
The Sill Maranta
The Maranta is paired with our August Planter, a ceramic pot measuring 4.5" tall and 5" wide. This plant is pet-friendly. Your plant height may vary slightly. It comes potted in our potting mix to increase plant health, longevity, and growth. The August features drainage holes and saucer.
The Sill Staghorn Fern
The Staghorn Fern is an epiphytic fern that gets its name from its green and silvery antler-like fronds.   Photo Courtesy of The Sill...
The Sill Xerographica Air Plant
Air Plants grow without being rooted in soil. This Xerographica is characterized by its silvery grey leaves that form a rosette shape. It measures approximately 5-6" in diameter. They require bright, indirect light and water weekly. All air plants are pet-friendly.
The Sill Jade Plant
The Jade Plant is known for its upright, treelike appearance and glossy green, spoon-shaped leaves. In bright light, the leaves can develop a red hue around their edges.
The Sill Potted Plant Subscription
Receive an easy-care plant hand-potted in one of our small 5" earthenware planters every month.   → Choose between four planter colors   → Switch your planter color anytime   → Plant variety changes month to month Photo Courtesy of The Sill...
The Sill Philodendron Silver in Small Prospect Planter
The Philodendron Green is paired with our Small Prospect Planter, an earthenware pot measuring 4.25" tall and 5" wide. Your plant height may vary slightly. It comes potted in our soil mix to increase plant health, longevity, and growth. The Prospect does not have a drainage hole.

For a Pop of Color

Add color to your vanity with a vase full of palette-matching flowers.

The pink-and-blue palette of this Los Angeles kids' bathroom is smile-inducing enough, but the addition of matching floral arrangements makes it even more appealing. Find an ombre vase of your own and fill it with pink Anthuriums and Ranunculus—which bloom in the spring—for the same effect. 

"The Anthurium is rarely without their showy blooms, which aren't really flowers but are modified waxy leaves," Marino says. "It does well in bright and indirect light, but can tolerate medium-indirect light."

For Minimal Commitment

Place a cactus or succulent in your bathroom if you want all the benefits of greenery but not much of the work.

Look no further than cacti and succulents if you want all the calming effects of a plant with a small amount of effort. This Montauk home incorporates the confident shapes of a cactus within its sculptural design, and benefits from the fact that it'll never require as much water as someone washing their hands.  

"Another option is the Xerographica air plant, which grows on top of tree branches and pulls all the water it needs from the intense morning fogs of its native habitat," Marino says. "It'll love the extra humidity that a bathroom shower creates."

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