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Erin Marino, director of marketing for The Sill, has a bathroom with a common problem: It lacks a window.

“If I had a window, you can be sure my bathroom would look like a greenhouse,” she says. 

Bathrooms are notoriously difficult to style. Given their obvious utility—and usually cramped square footage—the options for personalizing this room usually involve an overhaul. But as I stared at my bathroom, I didn’t want the hassle or price tag of choosing a tile or even picking out a paint color. I was looking for an easy and affordable change, without the need of a hammer. 

“A new plant is a simple and inexpensive way to update your bathroom, and give it a spa-like feel,” Marino says. “Nothing contributes lightness, warmth, and style to a space the way plants can.” 

While Marino has chosen a faux plant for her bathroom, I asked for real-life options to try for mine. The good news is there are a number of plants that thrive in the humid conditions of a bathroom, as long as you have a window. “A bathroom can mimic the native tropical habitat of some common houseplants, so your bathroom can actually help you keep some plant varieties thriving,” she says. 

These are the seven choices she recommends, depending on your needs and circumstances.

For Those With Pets

“There’s a wide variety of humidity-loving ferns to choose from, but one of my favorites is the Bird’s Nest Fern,” Marino says. “I love its large and wavy bright green fronds.” It’s also considered non-toxic, making it safe to keep around your furry friends. 

Tip: The Bird’s Nest Fern thrives in medium to bright indirect light, but can tolerate low indirect light.

For Those With Big Windows

“Because of its leafy stems and long-lasting blooms, the Phalaenopsis Orchid does best in a sunny, warm, and humid environment,” Marino adds. “If your bathroom has a big, bright window, then this is the plant for you.” 

Tip: The Phalaenopsis thrives in bright indirect light, but can tolerate medium indirect light. Avoid harsh direct sun that can burn its blooms.

For Those Who Love Color

“If you’re looking to add a pop of color to your bathroom all year round, look no further than the world’s longest blooming houseplant,” Marino says. “The Anthurium is rarely without its showy blooms, which aren’t really flowers but are modified waxy leaves. I love the pink variety because it feels very Palm Springs.” 

Tip: The Anthurium does well in the extra humidity a bathroom can provide, and thrives in bright indirect light. It can tolerate medium indirect light, too.

“A new plant is a simple and inexpensive way to update your bathroom, and give it a spa-like feel,” Marino says. “Nothing contributes lightness, warmth, and style to a space the way plants can.” 

For Those Who Like a Steamy Shower

“Tillandsia, otherwise known as air plants, thrive in humidity,” Marino notes. “A Xerographica will love being as close to the bathroom shower as possible, provided there’s a window.” And as an added bonus, this non-toxic option doesn’t need soil to survive. 

Tip: Xerographica like bright, indirect light and only need to be watered weekly. 

For Those Who Want a Decorative Shower Rod

“The Marble Queen Pothos is a hardy pick for any space,” Marino says. “As a low-maintenance trailing plant, it’s perfect for hanging off your shower curtain rod.” It’s a great option for anyone with a little less light, since Pothos can thrive in medium to low indirect light. 

Tip: If your marble queen pothos is getting a little unwieldy, it can be propagated for other areas of your home.

For Those With Shadow Play

“A Calathea Rattlesnake plant actually raises and lowers its leaves from day to night as a part of a circadian rhythm,” Marino says. “These movements are meant to follow sunlight, according to scientists, making them a great pick for bathrooms that get rays and shadows depending on the hour.” 

Tip: This plant is also pet-friendly, and only needs to be watered every one to two weeks. 

For Those Who Can’t Be Bothered

“Faux plants don’t have to be a faux pas,” Marino jokes, and she has a faux Watermelon Peperomia in a pale grey Grant planter next to her bathroom sink. With it, Marino is able to infuse her space with greenery and joy—minus the headache of worrying about the plant’s chance of survival. 

Tip: It’s still a good idea to place this faux plant in a pot, to give it a finished look.

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