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21 Bathroom Plants: The Natural Way to Improve Air Quality

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Although all plants can absorb moisture through their leaves, they are not equally effective. Some are specifically adapted for absorbing moisture.

Plants can take in some of the surface water that condenses on the leaf during high humidity, such as in bathrooms. Most plants get their water through their roots. Plants like the air plant (Tillandsia spp.) do not rely on moist soil for their hydration as they absorb moisture from the air.

21 Plants That Absorb Excess Moisture

The table below provides an alphabetized list of bathroom plants that absorb moisture, but before you order, consider what you need to look out for when buying bathroom plants that absorb moisture.

Common NameBotanical Name
Air PlantTillandsia ionantha
Asparagus FernAsparagus densiflorus
Bird’s Nest FernAsplenium nidus
Boston FernNephrolepis exaltata
Calla LilyZantedeschia
Calathea Calathea ornata 
Chenille PlantAcalypha poiretii
Cocktail OrchidCattleya forbesii
Curiosity plantTolmiea menziesii
Earth-Star BromeliadCryptanthus bivittatus
Flame VioletEpiscia cupreata
Grape Leaf IvyCissus alata
Maple Leaf BegoniaBegonia cleopatrae
Mother-in-Law’s TongueSansevieria
Peace LilySpathiphyllum wallisii
PhilodendronPhilodendron hederaceum
PothosEpipremnum aureum
Reed PlantChamaedorea elegans
Spider PlantChlorophytum comosum
Striped DracaenaDracaena fragrans
Swiss Cheese PlantMonstera deliciosa

Factors to Consider When Selecting Humidity Absorbing Plants

Lighting Levels

Because bathrooms are generally low-light environments, it is often surmised that a bathroom plant will do poorly. While it’s true that most indoor plants require bright indirect light, some flourish in filtered sunlight.  

Several options for low-light bathroom plants are presented here. With some, you may be able to depend on natural light, but all plants do equally well in supplemented light.

As you’ll see below, I have selected several low-light options. I have specified each plant’s light needs, and none require direct sunlight. Most indoor plants need bright but indirect light.

Indirect Sunlight

Indirect sunlight is your best option for these plants, although, as an example, the peace lily does exceptionally well as a bathroom plant in low-light environments. The same goes for the golden pothos.

Humidity Levels

Bathrooms are the most humid rooms in the house, so it’s important to choose plants carefully if you want them to survive.

I have provided twenty-one options of plants that thrive in indoor humidity. Some of the plants mentioned will perish in lower-humidity environments. All the plants listed prefer humidity levels of 70% upwards.

Bathroom humidity, unless managed, can be responsible for the spread of fungi (black mold), which may be dangerous for individuals with weakened immune systems. Some plants absorb humidity, reducing risks.

When selecting humidity-absorbing houseplants from my list below, consider the levels of excess humidity your bathroom contains, remembering that your bathroom may also benefit from some fresh air. 

Available Space

Before acquiring a plant, you must consider the space a plant will need. While a young snake plant is suitable for a desk, it will need a bigger pot and more space as it grows.  

Other plants that deserve to be on the list are the cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior), bamboo palm (Chamaedorea elegans), and the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata).

The truth is that the list of house plants that absorb moisture could have more than 60 entries.

If you’re wondering where the snake plant is, it’s listed under its other name, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue.  

Temperature Changes

It’s important to remember that the type of shower you take can drastically alter the temperature in your bathroom at any given time of day.

It’s imperative to pick plants that can adjust to rapid temperature changes.

Most plants have a problem with this, but condensation in a bathroom may cause high humidity but doesn’t affect temperatures as long as you keep your humidity-absorbing plants a reasonable distance from the shower.

Several humidity-absorbing plants listed are tropical and used to high-humidity environments; they prefer it that way.

Plant Toxicity

You should note that all aroids, members of the Araceae family, contain calcium oxalate that is toxic to people and pets. Keep these plants out of reach of those inclined to nibble their leaves.

Calcium oxalate will cause oral irritation and even swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips. Signs of consumption include excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty in swallowing.

Air Flow

While all these bathroom plants absorb moisture, all plants need access to oxygen and carbon dioxide for respiration and photosynthesis. Excessive moisture causes fungi and other pathogens to flourish.

Your bathroom plants that absorb moisture must be ventilated after the bath or shower. 

While these plants can process moisture, you need to reduce moisture levels occasionally for them to get access to the gasses they need to survive and stay healthy.

Bathroom plants that absorb moisture can help reduce humidity but cannot handle 24/7 steam. Open the door and windows and allow the damp air surrounding them to escape and recycle.

Hot air naturally rises, and opening a high window will replace the indoor air with fresh, cooler air, improving indoor air quality.

Benefits of Using Bathroom Plants That Absorb Moisture

Check out the benefits of using plants that absorb humidity if you’re curious about which advantages will motivate you to give them a go.

Bathroom Plants Are Easy to Maintain

The low cost of these plants is another perk. Just like with plants, the use of rechargeable dehumidifiers will not put a strain on your wallet. These plants can carry out their duties without an external power source.

Indoor Plants Are a Natural Solution to High Humidity Levels

These plants excel in this role because, unlike electrical dehumidifiers, they are completely natural. This indicates that our environment is safe from any harm caused by these plants.

These plants excel in this role because, unlike electrical dehumidifiers, they are completely natural. This indicates that our environment is safe from any harm caused by these plants.

Indoor Plants are Aesthetically Pleasing

Natural dehumidifier plants serve double duty by removing excess moisture from the air and also adding oxygen to the atmosphere. You can utilize any of these plants to enhance the look of your home while they perform useful tasks. 

There is no denying the reassuringly natural vibe these plants will provide your home. Some of these natural dehumidifying plants have blooms, which means they will enhance the aesthetic value of your home in several ways.

Bathroom Plants Freshen Up The Air

According to a NASA study, several air pollutants are reduced or eliminated by plants. You can use these natural dehumidifiers to purify the air in your home. 

As you can imagine, the extraordinary ability of air-purifying indoor plants is vital in office buildings and space stations.

In addition to eliminating odors, bathroom plants release oxygen essential for our and the planet’s health. Plants are preferable to air fresheners, especially long-lasting ones that can negatively affect our health.

The cost of buying and maintaining a dehumidifier will be higher than the cost of caring for the plant of your choice. Your only concern should be whether or not your plant receives enough light to flourish indoors.

These Plants Absorb Humidity

1. Air Plants (Tillandsia ionantha)

Even if this list were not alphabetized, air plants would still be on my list. The Tillandsia species make a great indoor plant. Air plants are epiphytes, which means that they grow on other plants, typically on the branches of trees.

Pink Quill Plant (Tillandsia cyanea), Sky Plant (Tillandsia ionantha), and Mad Pupper (Tillandsia aeranthos bergeri) are great examples of these easy-to-grow plants that love humid areas. Check out my articles on Air Plants.

2. Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus)

My second, third, and fourth choices are ferns. This species can grow 3 feet tall and needs less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight daily.

Pinch the stem tips back to maintain the plant’s compactness. The plant can be chopped down to the soil level and will recover.

3. Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)

Plants thrive, bamboo palm. The wavy green leaves of a bird’s nest fern, which grow from a central rosette, produce a jungle-like feel to your bathroom. The rosette’s developing frond is reminiscent of an egg, hence the common name.

Like the bamboo palm, these plants thrive in bathrooms’ high-humidity environments. The topsoil should be slightly dry before you water these plants, and they need indirect, moderate light.

4. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

The Boston Fern is a perennial that thrives in areas with high relative humidity, like bathrooms. Even the light conditions in a bathroom will suit Boston ferns.

Boston Ferns purify the air and maintain a healthy humidity level in the home. Boston ferns perish in environments that are not sufficiently humid. If the fronds don’t get water, the plant will die. 

The success of Boston ferns depends on the soil being kept consistently moist.

5. Calla Lily (Zantedeschia)

The Calla lily is an arum and, therefore, poisonous. The spathe is naturally green or white, but some cultivars produce red, yellow, pink, and purple hues.  They bloom from late spring to early summer.

These plants grow in shade and prefer moist, humus-rich soil, doing well in humid areas and can be a colorful addition to bathrooms.

6. Calathea (Calathea ornata)

Calathea Ornata is a plant that loves humid environments. However, you should not overwater it as it is susceptible to root rot.

So, to ensure you get rid of all the extra water, you should pick a planter with enough drainage holes. Or you can tilt the planter sideways to ensure all the excess water pours out.

Check out my article on Calathea ornata care.

7. Chenille Plant (Acalypha poiretii)

The chenille plant is great at reducing humidity and only needs indirect light for 2 to 6 hours a day. It so loves humidity that if it grows as a patio hanging basket, it needs occasional spraying.

The Acalypha poiretii has strikingly long, vividly colored blossoms that resemble a cat’s tail. It isn’t fussy regarding the soil as long as it is kept moist. Prune chenille plants in early spring to a height of 4 to 8 inches to promote new growth and fresh blooms.

8. Cocktail Orchid (Cattleya forbesii)

What a beautiful lover of humid areas, and it only needs diffused light for 2 to 6 hours a day.

Cocktail orchids prefer high humidity levels and thrive at temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (15 – 32 ⁰C). While you should never let the potting mix completely dry out, you should avoid overwatering. 

9. Curiosity Plant (Tolmiea menziesii)

Also known as the piggyback plant, the curiosity plant will reduce humidity in a low-light bathroom, needing only 2 to 6 hours of indirect light daily.

This plant is ideal in a hanging basket in moist, wet, shady environments. It needs moist soil, high humidity, and occasional fertilizing.

10. Earth-Star Bromeliad (Cryptanthus bivittatus)

This is native to the Amazonian rainforest and a popular houseplant requiring well-drained soil. It thrives in environments where it can absorb humidity, like terrariums and prefers soil that drains well and is rich in organic materials.

The Earth-Star is a low-growing plant; at most 6 inches tall, it can spread nearly three times as wide. The leaves can have stripes of white, red, pink, and other pastel colors.

11. Flame Violet (Episcia cupreata)

Some like it hot, and this flame violet is great for humid, low-light areas. 

Flame violets prefer indoor environments with medium light, moist soil and medium to high relative humidity and dislike recurrent cold drafts or dry air.

12. Grape Leaf Ivy (Cissus alata)

The grape Ivy is an evergreen perennial vine (epiphyte) with tendrils for climbing in the subtropics. It is popular as an indoor houseplant, especially as a hanging basket and a trellis climber. 

Let the plant dry out between waterings and fertilize it only during the growing season (monthly). Leaves will darken if it is well nourished and temperatures are kept low.

13. Maple Leaf Begonia (Begonia cleopatrae)

The begonias are great indoor and outdoor plants. The brilliant foliage of waxy begonias is the primary reason people keep these plants as houseplants.

Begonias are useful houseplants in hot climates because they can take water through their leaves. They eliminate the oppressive summertime heat and the sticky air that comes with it.

14. Mother-in-laws-tongue (Sansevieria)

This succulent plant is one of the most well-liked moisture-absorbing bathroom plants. 

It has the unique capacity to remove formaldehyde, a chemical found in much personal care and cleaning products, from the air.

Check out my Ultimate Snake Plant Care Guide.

15. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum species) offer attractive dark green leaves and showy arum-like white flowers. They aren’t true lilies but a aroid (members of the Araceae family).

Peace lilies are tropical evergreen plants that grow on the forest floor and enjoy dappled light and consistent moisture (peace lilies absorb humidity).

To learn more about growing peace lilies, check out my article on caring for this fabulous plant.

16. Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)

As plants acclimated to rainforest humidity, the philodendrons are one of the best plants that absorb humidity.

Bright, indirect light is ideal for philodendrons. Just remember, these plants can grow quite large. There are several exotic varieties to choose from – check out my 25 Types Of Philodendrons, The Ultimate Houseplants List.

17. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

A favorite houseplant, the pothos is a low-light, dry-root and humidity-loving plant. The marble queen is a variegated variety and one of several beautiful plants offered by the Epipremnum aureum genus.

Check out the Beautiful Marble Queen Pothos Care – Things You NEED to Know article for more info.

18. Reed Plant (Chamaedorea elegans)

Perfect plant

Reed palms require warm, humid climates to flourish and are perfect for steamy bathrooms.

Repeated tests have shown that these bathroom plants are effective at absorbing excess moisture, cleaning the air, and thriving in dim lighting, making them a sensible addition to any bathroom.

19. Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum)

The spider plant adapts to most environments and is a popular houseplant. Although it can survive in low light, spider plants prefer moderate light conditions. It can’t handle direct sunshine. 

Like most houseplants, keep the soil moist but not wet and relative humidity at around 50 – 60%. Avoid watering plants with tap water since the fluorides and chlorine might burn the tips of the leaves. 

Check out my Types Of Spider Plants For Beautiful Structure In Your Home article for guidance on growing this best plant for your bathroom.

20. Striped Dracaena (Dracaena fragrant)

Since dracaena thrive in damp environments, your bathroom is ideal for this plant.

Indirect light in a medium to the bright environment is ideal for these plants, but they can survive in low light.

21. Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)

The last of the plants that absorb moisture, the Monstera is not my last choice. Low humidity levels sometimes cause leaf edges to turn brown – it may also indicate sun scorching.

You can find out more about growing this magnificent plant in my article, The Complete Monstera Care Guide (Swiss Cheese Plant).