The 10 plants you should never keep in the bathroom

Don't make the mistake of choosing a plant that can't survive in the bathroom. Here are the ones to avoid...

Plants to never keep in the bathroom
(Image credit: Future / Polly Wreford)

A humid and moist environment means that bathrooms can be the ideal place for a plant as conditions resemble those of a rainforest, but many are making the mistake of choosing plants that can’t survive in this setting.

With more time spent in our homes, houseplants are becoming increasingly popular with a 79% increase in interest compared to the same time last year, according to Google trends. 

'When choosing plants for your bathroom, look for the type that like to tolerate shade or low/medium light, higher humidity and warm temperatures,' advises Kiera Kay, Plant Expert at Bloom and Wild.

'Take care to keep the soil on the slightly drier side to counter the humid environment and avoid over-watering.    

'Stay away from succulents, fruiting plants, Jade and Hibiscus as plants like these don’t thrive in the typically warmer and less sunlit bathroom environment.'    

According to the experts at HeyPlants: 'Fluctuations in temperature and humidity means the bathroom can be a no-go zone for certain plants. The question to ask yourself is, 'what region is this plant originally from?'. If it's not native to a tropical region it may not survive well in humid conditions.'

Read on to see the plants you should never keep in your bathroom.

See: The top 10 house plants – that all interior design lovers should know about

1. Strelitzia Nicolai 

Plants to avoid in the bathroom

(Image credit: The Big Bathroom Shop)

Otherwise known as the white bird of paradise, this tall tree-like plant can grow up to six feet indoors making it an ideal plant to liven up empty spaces, best placed in large living areas such as entrance halls and sitting rooms. It has expansive leaves that take up much needed space in a bathroom so it is not worthwhile here.

2. Jade Plant

Plants to avoid in the bathroom

(Image credit: The Big Bathroom Shop)

The Jade plant is an extremely popular housewarming gift in Asia as it brings positive financial energy into the home. 

This plant thrives and brings good energy when located at the front of a house but avoid placing in the bathroom as this is too closed off for it to survive.

3. Hibiscus

Plants to avoid in the bathroom

(Image credit: The Big Bathroom Shop)

Hibiscus need a lot of sunshine to do well. During the winter, it needs to be placed in the sunniest place you have, which is unlikely to be the bathroom as it will always need bright light to bloom well all year round. 

The only time it should come near your bathroom is when washing it. Pop the hibiscus in a sink or bathtub and rinse it with warm water.     

4. Ponytail Palm  

Plants to avoid in the bathroom

(Image credit: The Big Bathroom Shop)

Ponytail palms prefer full sun or bright indirect light. They can tolerate lower light, growing slower but should not be kept in a bathroom as they are native to the desert which means they don’t need much humidity. 

Also avoid placing them near an open window or breezy area of the house as it may dry out their foliage. 

5.  Gardenia  

Plants to avoid in the bathroom

(Image credit: The Big Bathroom Shop)

Gardenias are hard to maintain but look fabulous. They grow best from morning sun and then an afternoon in the shade so unless you have a sun-lit window, they are best left out of a bathroom.     

6. Euphorbia Candelabrum

Plants to avoid in the bathroom

(Image credit: The Big Bathroom Shop)

The Euphorbia Candelabrum needs moderate amounts of water in summer but needs to be kept dry during winter. 

When grown in conditions that are too humid, cactus corky scab is a common problem due to being over watered. This will leave yellow and brown spots on the plant and therefore is not best places in a bathroom.     

7. Monkey Mask Monstera

Plants to avoid in the bathroom

(Image credit: The Big Bathroom Shop)

This plant does like humidity which would make you think it is perfect for the bathroom. 

However, the soil should be allowed to dry out following being watered, especially during the winter which means it might only need watering every few weeks, something a bathroom won’t allow as it would keep the soil moist.     

  • See more: 6 low light plants – perfect for brightening your home on dark winter days

8. Arboreum Zwartkop

Plants to avoid in the bathroom

(Image credit: Future / Amateur Gardening)

Arboreum’s don’t require much attention which makes them popular. Finding the brightest window in the house is the best place for them. 

As with most succulents, it is best to under water them rather than over water, so the bathroom isn’t somewhere they should be kept. Low light and constantly wet soil will be harmful to this plant, sending it to an early grave.     

9. Howea Forsteriana

Plants to avoid in the bathroom

(Image credit: The Big Bathroom Shop)

A tropical looking plant that requires little maintenance, the Howea Forsteriana is often labelled as being able to survive anywhere. Despite requiring little light and thriving in chilly rooms, during winter this plant needs watering less and doesn’t enjoy humid conditions as much as other plants. Therefore, it is best kept out of the bathroom.     

10. Haworthia Truncata

Plants to avoid in the bathroom

(Image credit: The Big Bathroom Shop)

The Haworthia Truncate is a popular house plant that looks different to any other Haworthia plant. The leaves look like large green teeth and have translucent ends that let sunlight in. 

A bathroom won’t provide the ideal conditions needed for this to prosper as they only need to be watered when their soil is completely dried out and when their leaves start to curl which happens around every three weeks or even longer during winter.

Thanks to Bloom & Wild, HeyPlants and The Big Bathroom Shop for the tips.

What plants will survive in a windowless bathroom?

A few plants will survive in a windowless bathroom. Some of the varieties that grow well in indirect sunlight (or no light at all) include the peace lily, Boston fern, philodendron, spider plant and more. These can be added in a hanging basket or popped on a shelf and left to drape down.

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.