Discover creative ways to decorate with plants in a windowless or low light bathroom and the best plants with care tips.
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Plants are a great way to add that finishing touch to a bathroom and can really create a spa or vacation vibe that will transport you away to bliss! But what if you have a windowless bathroom or one with low natural light? Keep reading for creative tips to still create your tropical paradise.
One Room Challenge Week Five Update: The Best Plants for a Windowless or Low-light bathroom
Let’s talk about fun stuff today as our bathroom progress is slowly rolling along and I have yet any real updates to share. (Scroll to the bottom to see what’s left for the bathroom makeover.)
Welcome back to the Spring One Room Challenge where 100s of featured and guest designers have eight weeks to transform a space. This fun series is sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens and has been a source of interior inspiration for many years now. I’m ecstatic to be participating as a guest once again and this informative plant post is my week five update.
Ideas for Bathroom Plants Low Light and Bathroom Plants No Window
Here’s what you’ve missed if you need to catch up on our small ensuite bathroom makeover or looking for more helpful bathroom and room makeover-related articles!
- Week One: How to Work with a Small Ensuite Bathroom Design
- Week Two: Beautiful and Small Ensuite Bathroom Ideas to Try
- Week Three: How to Choose Bathroom Tiles: A Step by Step Guide
- Week Four: Room Makeover DIY Ideas Before and Afters that are Amazing
Four things to do if your dark bathroom has little to no natural light.
I wish there were some magical plant that could thrive without any natural light source but as you’ll remember learning in school, all plants need to conduct photosynthesis to be healthy and survive. Thank goodness for a few creative workarounds to help you achieve a green bathroom of your dreams.
- First, know your plants and select ones that love humidity and low light. You’ll also want to consider temperature tolerance and note how much indirect light your plant needs. I’ve got you covered with popular choices in the following section!
- Use a grow light to supplement natural light. An easy solution that can benefit you and your plants and a total game-changer for any dark corner in your home! Read how to use grow lights for indoor plants for more information.
- Replace bulbs in your bathroom with full-spectrum ones to enjoy natural light in your bathroom. Full-spectrum bulbs produce a balance of cool and warm light that replicates the natural solar spectrum. Bonus, exposure to full-spectrum lighting is proven to elevate moods and is prescribed as a treatment for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) to alleviate wintertime sadness and depression.
- You may have to leave lights on for 12-16 hours depending on your plant so using a plug-in lamp or light fixture that can remain close to your plant(s) may be a better option along with the use of a timer.
- The last option is to use lamps specifically for plants. Something like these grow lights.
- Rotate plants in and out of the bathroom. This option requires more time and consistency but is simple and may turn into a fun ritual every day especially if you love to baby your indoor greenies. Simply move your low-light plants to a different spot during the day so they receive adequate filtered light. Consider it indoor gardening!
- Use attractive fake plants. Of course, nothing beats live plants but the easiest method for a dark room is to display faux plants. I always select ones that have a rubbery texture and avoid silk leaves and flowers. Faux aloe, succulents, and air plants are my favorite. Try a trailing plastic eucalyptus, fern, or pearl plant for a hanging pot or high shelf. Dress up potted faux plants with a beautiful basket, ceramic container, or decorative planter.
The Best Low-Light Plants for the Bathroom
Now that you know your options for a dark bathroom, try one or a few of the low-light loving plants below for the best results. Trailing, succulents, and tropical plants included.
- Lucky Bamboo Dracaena sanderiana is a hardy, low-maintenance plant that can grow in low and indirect light. It helps keep the environment clean and is known for bringing good luck and fortune to the household. Keep soil slightly damp with filtered or low-chlorinated tap water. Replace the water every 10 days if growing in water instead of soil.
- Philodendron (derived from the Greek words philo “love” and dendron “tree”) can tolerate low-light and warmer climates and needs minimal watering. It loves lightweight soil and good drainage. Allow the topsoil to dry to touch before watering again.
- Pothos Plant Epipremnum aureum is often confused with philodendron but has thick and textured leaves and asymmetrical various shapes. The trailing, leafy vine can reach a length of six to 10 feet inside. It is similar in care to the philodendron as it thrives in warm temperatures, prefers indirect lighting, and needs minimal watering. Not only can pothos add green to your bathroom it ranks high on the list of plants that help clean the air. They increase humidity and replace carbon dioxide with oxygen.
- Spider Plant Chlorophytum comosum has long and skinny foliage that arches out from its roots which resembles the legs of a spider. They can produce a small white flower be easily propagated. They can thrive without much natural light and with a mix of fluorescent and natural light. Distilled water is the best watering method.
- Snake plant or Monther-in-law Tongue Sansevieria is a very tolerant plant that is hard to kill. It can thrive in low light and drought and help clean the air in your home. They can grow 8 inches to 12 feet high! Be careful to not overwater especially in winter. Allow the soil to completely dry between waterings. They thrive in sandier soils and warmer temperatures.
- Chinese Evergreen Aglaonema is one of the easiest houseplants you can grow, tolerating poor light, dry air and drought. Choose this tropical foliage with darker leaves to thrive in a low-light bathroom.
- Baby Rubber Plant Ficus elastica is a popular houseplant because of its waxy leaves. They prefer bright indirect light and require more watering during their growing season in the summer. Keep your rubber plant in well-draining soil to combat root rot.
- ZZ Plant Zamioculcas zamiifolia is perfect for first-time plant owners. This hardy plant is also known as Zanzibar gem, zee zee plant, zizi plant, or z plant. It prefers bright, indirect light, and humid conditions but can survive in low light. They do really well with bright, fluorescent light which makes them a popular choice for windowless or dark rooms. Allow the soil to dry between watering to avoid stem and rhizome rot. Underwatering is better than overwatering this durable plant.
- Dragon Plant Dracaena relexa is also among the top air-purify plants and can withstand a certain amount of neglect. The dramatic foliage with beautiful color patterns and reaches a height of about three feet indoors making it a great option for a bathroom floor plant. It needs filtered indoor light and minimal watering with good drainage. Misting the leaves and soil with purified water will help you not overwater and prevent yellow edges on the leaves.
- Peace Lily Spathiphyllum is an adaptable and low-maintenance houseplant. NASA put it on its list of top ten air cleaning plants and features a white hoodlike sheath that resembles a calla lily. They prefer low light and can tolerate fluorescent lights. The plant will start to droop slightly when it needs water and can easily revive if neglected for a while. This is another plant sensitive to chlorine so check your tap or use filtered water. It thrives in warm and humid conditions making it a great choice for a dark bathroom.
- English Ivy Hedra helix likes higher humidity levels! Keep the air moist but the soil well-drained to keep this easy plant happy. It will tolerate low filtered light although it grows faster in bright light which makes this a suitable plant for a bathroom shelf or windowsill.
- Cast Iron Plant Aspidistra Elatior is commonly referred to as the iron plant because of its hardy nature. It can survive in a wide variety of conditions making it a great choice for a low to no light bathroom. Keep the soil moist but not soggy to avoid root rot.
- Money Tree Plant Pachira Aquatica likes high moisture and can do well under fluorescent lights but prefers medium to bright filtered light. Water it deeply but less frequently and even less in the winter months. This beautiful braided plant is believed to bring luck and financial success and thrives in a steamy bathroom.
- Bromeliad Bromeliaceae is a tropical plant that usually comes with a vibrant pop of color. They prefer bright indirect sunlight and staying moist but not soggy. Keep air flowing around them and well-draining soil and this plant will stay happy!
- Ferns Polypodiopsida in different varities do extremely well in indirect sunlight. The Maidenhair fern is an elegant plant that beautifies any room but can be easy to kill! Boston and bird’s nest fern are the more hardy types and prefer humidity and distilled water which makes them a good choice for a dark bathroom.
- Succulents and Catci are very tolerant of low light conditions and artificial light. The ZZ plant and Snake plant varieties have already been mentioned but also consider Christmas Cacti Scclumbergara bridgesii, the Zebra Plant Haworthia fasciata, Ponytail Palm Beaucarnea recurvata, Star Window Plant Haworthia cuspidata, and Burro’s Tail Sedum morganianum.
- Air Plants Tillandsia are incredibly unique and come in 100s of varieties. Take note whether your air plant is desert-dwelling or tropical-dwelling to know their proper care. Tropical dwelling mesic enjoy more frequent waterings, humid and lower light conditions.
One Room Challenge Bathroom Update, Progress, and To dos
I mentioned in last week’s article that we found inactive termite and water damage in our master bath so now the entire room has to be gutted and rebuilt. Our contractor wasn’t available to start until last week so this marks only two weeks of active work. But we still feel pretty good about it being completed by the end of the month or at least rebuilt and tiled with the new vanity!
On the bright side, we’ve decided to enlarge the shower since the bathroom has no walls or ceiling right now and is opened up into a hall closet. Our workers will install a built-in shower seat which will take up about half of the current close depth so we still have storage there.
I’m hoping the rebuild is finished by this weekend so tile can start going in next week but there have been more setbacks just today so we’ll see. I would love to give you a sneak peek of the tile and other materials going into the room next week. The new vanity light selection was changed to a customized order and it looks gorgeous! The paint colors are almost finalized and there’s a surprise element that I can’t wait to reveal.
To do list: Gosh, there’s a lot left. Hoping it comes together fast at the end!
Demo bathroomContractor Check walls for damageand fix if necessary (the entire bathroom is getting rebuilt as I type!) Contractor
Rebuild the entire bathroom and then some…. UGH!!!
- Shower surround, floor, and niche Contractor
- Wainscotting tile Contractor
- Marble flooring installation Contractor
- Reroute plumbing and install a new vanity Contractor
- Install faucets and trim (it’s here and GORGEOUS!) Contractor
Sand texture down on walls(Won’t need to as the drywall will be brand new!) Me
- Paint walls Me
- Paint the ceiling Me
- Paint the trim Me
- Install frameless shower door Contractor
- Install vanity light, mirror, and towel rack Me
- Clean up and paint salvaged door Me
- Install barn door kit and hang door Contractor
- Decorate! Me
I’ve really enjoyed writing these in-depth posts for bathroom ideas and room makeovers while I’m waiting to share actual One Room Challenge progress. I hope you’ve enjoyed them too! If you are looking for a few more easy and quick decorating ideas, sign up for my 5-day email course below!
Until next time my friend,