Can Succulents Survive In A Bathroom Without Windows?

As somebody who’s only ever kept succulents in places that have plenty of natural light I’d never considered keeping them in a room without windows, that is until we moved to our new house. A house that had a bathroom with no natural light source. After moving I started to think about keeping them in our bathroom so decided to investigate whether or not you can keep succulents in a bathroom without any windows and was surprised by what I found.

Can succulents live in a bathroom without windows? Succulents can thrive in a bathroom, with or without windows, but like all plants, they need some light from time to time. The good thing about succulents though is that as long as they get some light, even if only for a few hours every couple of weeks, most can survive in a windowless bathroom. 

Can succulents live in a bathroom?

In order to know whether or not succulents are suited to bathrooms, it’s important to understand the sort of environment they prefer, which tends to be dry, humid, and shady conditions. This is due to their native tropical habitat which has meant they’ve evolved to survive with little water and also don’t require much care and attention.

You might think this has little bearing on whether or not succulents are okay in bathrooms but it actually has more relevance than you realize. Most modern bathrooms are small, hot places which means the heat contained within them causes the water to evaporate much quicker, creating high humidity levels that can reach up to 90%. The exact same conditions a lot of succulents consider absolute heaven, just as long as they don’t get drenched with water.

Not only do succulents thrive in ‘typical’ bathroom conditions but they can even help keep the room clean and healthy. They’ll mop up a lot of the humidity and will absorb some of the nasties in the air (such as carbon dioxide and formaldehyde).

With proper care succulents can live happily in a bathroom without windows

Can succulents survive in a bathroom without natural light?

Okay, so we know that succulents can happily live (if not even thrive) in bathrooms but as many of us have either little or no natural light in our bathrooms are they able to survive? After all don’t plants need light to be able to photosynthesize?

You might expect me to say that no they can’t survive in a bathroom but, while there is some truth in this, it’s not completely true. Yes, succulents are just like all other plants in that they need light to grow but because they prefer shady conditions they don’t need anywhere near as much light as something like an orchid would. And when I say they don’t need as much light I mean they don’t need anywhere near as much light. As long as they get a few hours of indirect sunlight every week to ten days most succulents will be perfectly happy in a bathroom that doesn’t have any windows.

Which succulents can survive in a bathroom without windows?

It’s all very well and good talking about keeping succulents in a windowless bathroom but you can’t do that properly without talking about the best succulents for such conditions. 

Snake plant / Mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria)

The snake plant can be very happy I the bathroom

The snake plant is one of the hardiest plants (and most popular) around and thrives in bathroom conditions. It’s ideal for beginners because it’s so easy to take care of, it only needs to be watered every 10 days and can survive if you forget about it for a few months, as long as it’s in a humid place.

As an added bonus, NASA has classed the snake plant as one of the best plants for cleaning and purifying the surrounding air. [source]

Aloe vera 

Aloe vera can be very happy I the bathroom

Probably one of the most well-known of all succulents, like the snake plant, aloe vera loves bathroom conditions and is perfect for beginners. They’ll absorb the moisture from the environment and in return offer up a huge range of health benefits to humans, from treating insect burns to moisturizing our skin and even helping to treat stomach ulcers.

ZZ plant / Eternity plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)

The entirety plant can be very happy I the bathroom

The ZZ plant prefers humid conditions and doesn’t like bright light which makes it ideal for a windowless bathroom. Like the snake plant, they have tall leaves that grow upwards, making them ideal for smaller bathrooms.

Chinese money plant (Pile Peperomioides)

Chinese money plants can be very happy I the bathroom

Like the dragon plant, the Chinese money plant needs a little bit of light once a week but they act as powerful air purifiers. They’re also exceptionally easy to take care of.

How to keep bathroom succulents happy?

The most important thing to remember when keeping a succulent in a bathroom is that they prefer drier soil which means they can’t get too wet and shouldn’t be overwatered. That might sound silly as, after all, they’re in a humid room but succulents don’t like wet soil and absorb the humidity through their leaves. With this in mind, you should make sure the pot has drainage holes so that the soil can drain itself properly.

Overwatering can also be a problem with succulents that are kept in bathrooms. We’re conditioned to think that if the soil isn’t wet then the plant needs watering but doing this with a succulent isn’t a good idea. Instead, wait until the soil is completely dry, wait a few more days, then give it a little bit of water. This normally works out to be around once every 7 to 10 days.

Even if your bathroom has a window these tend to be frosted so won’t let as much light in as a normal window would. While this isn’t a problem your succulent will thank you for giving it a little bit of light every couple of weeks.

When cleaning your bathroom try not to get any cleaning products on your succulents, the chemicals in many products can damage the leaves and in some cases kill the plant. If you do get some of the plants then you can use plant wipes to remove them straight away. You can use whatever wipes you prefer, but I like to use these ones because they’re gentle and perfect for succulents.

The last thing to remember about keeping your succulent happy in a bathroom is to make sure you don’t put it too close to any heat sources. This includes radiators, electric clothes driers, and even hair driers.

Succulents can live happily inn the bathroom

Increasing the light in your bathroom

While you can easily rotate your succulents so that they get enough light you might prefer to keep them in the bathroom all of the time but don’t worry there are things you can do to increase the amount of light in your bathroom.

Grow lights

Not everybody likes the idea of grow lights, nor do they want to bother with installing them but they can drastically increase the amount of ‘natural’ light in your bathroom. Ranging from around $10 to well over $100, they work by emitting a full spectrum of light that helps to stimulate photosynthesis, this tricks the plant into thinking the light it’s getting is natural.

I’ve tried a few different grow lights over the years and have found the Ldmhlho LED light to be the best, it’s cheap (which is never a bad thing), fully adjustable, has a timer, offers the full spectrum of light, and is available with one or two heads. It’s also available on Amazon which means you can get it with free delivery too.

Keep the door open

When you’re not using the bathroom keeping the door open will allow natural light from other rooms to shine into the bathroom. Admittedly it might not be much but that’s exactly what succulents prefer.

Use mirrors

Okay, I know this sounds silly but hear me out here. If you leave your bathroom door open and place a mirror in the right place it’ll be able to reflect natural light from other rooms into the bathroom itself. 

Paint

You might think that painting your bathroom (or using colored tiles) won’t make a difference to the amount of light in the room but you might be surprised. Using bright warm colors will help to reflect any natural light around the room, making a better environment for your succulent. This is even truer of tiles and paints with a silk finish because they increase the reflection of the light.


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