Updated: Oct 16
Are you dreaming of junglelicious windowless bathroom but you're terrified of killing the plants? I hear you. There is absolutely no reason why shouldn’t be able to create a beautiful jungle in your bathroom even without any windows. As they say: when there's a will, there's a way. In this post, you will find out:
Which plants are the best choice for bathrooms without a window?
If plants can survive with zero light.
How to make your plants even more beautiful by choosing the right planter.
Ways of getting natural light in without any bathroom windows.
In urban areas most of the apartment bathrooms are built that way due to the practical use of space. Which allows rooms we use more on daily bases to get all the natural light needed.
Depending on the layout of a home, a bathroom window is placed in the shower or above the toilet. Very often, to optimise space, small bathrooms end up with no window at all. Either way, it should be well ventilated.
Bathroom Plants That Grow in Low Light
You want to pick the plants that will thrive in humidity while tolerating low light conditions. Every plant needs some light; however, some plants are more tolerant than others when it comes to the light challenge. Find out how to pick the perfect plant, here. Generally speaking, plants with lighter leaf colour require more light versus darker colour ones. Of course, there are always exceptions.
Firstly, let's see what plants are tough survivors:
Whilst living nature they do well in shade, which makes this low light indoor transition easier. That doesn’t mean they do not need light at all, they just need more humidity than light. Even so, not all the ferns are the same and survive in very low light conditions particularly the ones that have a lot of white on the leaf. However, the ones that do well are Phlebodium aureum - Blue star, Asplenium nidus - Bird's nest, Dryopteris erythrosora - Autumn fern or Pellaea falcata fern (images in order as listed).
Pair them with this cute Polka Dot Planter from Made.com and you've got yourself a stylish bathroom.
The brass planter with warm tones by Nkuku:
A little something to get you started - a cute pair of garden tools by Nkuku. Nothing too intimidating, especially if you are a beginner at plant parenting.
This is the kind that normally needs medium to the low-light environment. Like ferns, not all types of Philodendron like the same environment— some more than others are resilient to lower light. Philodendron that grows slower but still can live in your bathroom: Philodendron ‘Xanadu’ - Winterbourn (make sure you place it closer to the doors where it can receive medium-lower light), Pink princess philodendron, Rojo congo.
You could stack them on this beautiful Sustainable Handmade Solid Oak stand from Etsy:
Leafy friends with a super lush look, belong to the family Marantaceae, from tropical part of the world. The ones you could nurture in your bathroom are Calathea ornata, Orbifolia or Warscewiczii.
With its lush dark green leaves, it goes perfectly with natural colours - like this Noko Seagrass Basket by Nkuku, made of sustainably sourced seagrass.
Reclaimed Iron Planter gathered from old storage drums:
If you fancy bohemian style, you might like this charming Handmade Rattan stool on Etsy:
4) Sansevieria masoniana
Perfect for tiny bathrooms thanks to its tall long growth. Looks very similar to snake plant. It can live in darker areas, but if you would like to grow faster move it in a brighter corner from time to time. Let's not forget to mention the Snake plant and The Stem (cylindrical snake plant) - some of the most popular plants for a reason, as they tolerate any type of conditions.
Maximise the space in your bathroom by choosing a taller plant stand. For a minimalist vibe my absolute fave is this handmade Metal Planter from Etsy:
If you prefer more organic look, how about this Sustainable 'Huffer T' Oak Stool by KONK, on Etsy:
5) Peace Lily
This wonderful creature with glossy dark leaves can live anywhere. So versatile and easy to care, as long as you water it regularly.
If you have a tiny bathroom, you need to be creative with space and use every inch strategically. In small space, you have to thin tall, floating or hanging, anything that takes up the floor space as little as possible. You could use a stool or even a slim side table, something like this one - Sustainable Handmade Oak side table by KONK:
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely looove these lush-looking plants that either grow out to be a beautiful large bushy wonder or hang gracefully in all the colours of the green rainbow (if that’s even a thing). It loves lower light and regular watering. The two types in particular - Homalomena Truncata and Selby.
If you fancy keeping all of your plants in one place, how about showcasing them on this beautiful handmade sustainable Oak Plant Stand by KONK, Etsy:
Increase your floor space with a floating Wooden Locker Shelf:
7) Air plants
Extremely easy to maintain alive. These low light green friends don’t need soil to grow. Air plants flourish in many different environments as they are native to the forests, mountains and deserts.
What makes air plants cool is that you can get creative in displaying them, a terrarium style can be a unique way of doing so. Take a look at these two cuties:
The organic shape made from recycled glass - clear Viri Hanging Planters by Nkuku:
I have to say this is my absolute favourite. I know I said it many times, but hey, who doesn't like pothos? Super easy to care and doesn't require a lot of water or light. Your could pretty much hang it anywhere you like, and watch it grow (it does it pretty fast).
If you fancy Bohemian style, this Macrame Hanging Planter by Nkuku is a great choice to hang your Pothos:
Or perhaps organic looking Wood & Cotton Hanging Planter on Etsy:
9) Lucky Bamboo
Lucky bamboo is really lucky, since you can find in almost every plant shop. It doesn't require soil to grow and it grows fast and tall. Another great pick for extremely tiny and dark bathrooms.
A glass vase where you can see the whole stem would be super flattering. The Lua Glass vase in organic shape by Nkuku is a perfect match.
Or perhaps for organic look this Uma Cane Vase, Nkuku made of tactile glass and natural woven cane.
10) Aspidistra elatior - The Cast iron plant
A fantastic choice for a beginner plant parent. This plant can survive if you forget to water it and can be in extremes of temperatures and low light source.
To make this deep green leafy friend stand out event more, light tan colour of natural materials like rattan would be a perfect contrast. Something like this stylish Handmade natural rattan plant stand on Etsy:
11) Aglaonema - Chinese evergreen
Chinese Evergreen is a tropical plant that enjoys high humidity and partial shade, which makes it perfect for a windowless bathroom. It is a piece of decor on its own with gorgeous pink leaves and white markings.
Pair the colourful evergreen with a more neutral Affiti Clay Planter by NKUKU:
For some, it might be an odd choice, but I think it can be beautiful, especially as a framed piece of art or a green wall. Also, keeping it alive is super easy - all you need to do is mist the surface a couple of times a week to keep it moist, or leave it to take in humidity on its own just by placing it near the shower. My top pick is the Moss Hexagon Wall Panels on Etsy.
How To Get Natural Light In Without a Window
Just because you don’t have a massive window in your bathroom it doesn’t mean you can’t have some natural light coming through. Here are a few things you could do:
Keep the doors open - whenever you are not using your bathroom, remember to leave the doors open. It will allow natural light to sneak in from other rooms and plants to be fed. You will also get rid of extra shower steam quicker and reduce potential mould situation.
A mirror is your friend if you use it right - depending on what layout you are working with and where most of the light is coming from, you should place the mirror in the way that reflects natural light coming from the other rooms. You could hang the mirror on the wall closest to the bathroom doors, or maybe install a full-length mirrored doors.
I selected top five from handmade, vintage, reclaimed, sustainable or hand-painted mirrors for increasing natural light:
But what if you have a large mirror above the sink and you add another one on the opposite wall? The light will have no choice but to shine through big time. Before doing any of it, make sure you test it out and see what’s the best position for your bathroom. Read more about natural light benefits and ways to increase it - here.
Paint choice makes a difference - if you wish your bathroom to feel fresh, spacious and bright, regardless of no window situation, you need to choose your colours carefully. Warm colours, in general, are magical when it comes to reflecting natural light. My personal favourite, evergreen colour, is white. To maximise the light reflection choose the paint with a silk finish. You can also wipe the silk wall easily which makes them very practical. Learn more about how colour of the wall affects your mood in the previous article.
Can plants survive zero light?
Low light doesn't mean NO light at all. Even though all the above plants tolerate low light, you should still try to move your plants around from time to time and see what corner works best. There is no better way to learn than to try things on your own and see what sticks.
Just remember, when watering the plants that live in low light environment, not to over-water them, as the soil takes longer to dry. One thing is for sure - if your plant is unhappy, you'll know.
Which plants will you choose for your bathroom jungle?
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