Finding the perfect spot in your home for each of your houseplants is part of the fun of being a plant parent. Often, you're trying to find plants that will do well in low-light spaces—but it’s important to decorate bright, sunny spots with the right plants, too.
Here are some of our favorite houseplants to grow in a bright, light-filled window that gets full sun. Ideally, you’ll want to put these plants right on the sill of a south-facing window, which will get the most light throughout the day, but a west-facing window that gets strong afternoon light is your next best option. Got east- or north-facing windows? Save those sills for plants that prefer bright indirect light.
Here are our favorite picks for sunlight loving houseplants.
Give your space a cool desert vibe with these spiny, rosette-shaped succulents that love dry, sunny conditions. If they’re happy, they’ll grow pups, or offsets—new baby plants that can be removed and propagated on their own. Choose the aloe vera variety and you can harvest the occasional leaf to rub the soothing gel on irritated skin.
These easy, low-maintenance succulents come in several different types. In addition to the classic with green, paddle-shaped leaves, there are varieties with tiny leaves, variegated colors, and even star-shaped pink flowers. With sufficiently sunny conditions, many jade varieties will develop a cute red border on their leaves.
To grow this trendy, flower-shaped succulent properly—with its rosette flat against the soil and its leaves tinged with intriguing color—it needs lots and lots of bright sunlight. Echeveria will still grow with less light, but the plants can become leggy and etiolated trying to reach for the sun. Choose from shades of green, blue, gray, and purple as well as variegated types.
Need a houseplant you can forget about for weeks on end? Snake plant—also known as mother-in-law’s tongue or sansevieria—is the perfect plant for you. This hardy succulent offers attractive, lance-shaped leaves in a variety of patterns, and if you forget to water for a while, it won’t be worse for wear.
The same geraniums you might plant in an outdoor garden can thrive (and bloom) indoors as long as they’ve got enough light. They come in shades from vibrant red to pink, white, orange, and purple. Bring your plant outside during the summer months to soak up extra sun, then bring it back inside when temperatures threaten to drop.
As long as you’ve got enough light, you can treat yourself to an aromatic indoor herb garden in spring, summer, and fall. Simply plant tender herbs like basil, parsley, chives, and cilantro in a well-draining potting soil in the spring; keep them in a bright, south-facing window; and snip off a sprig any time you need one for a recipe. Bringing your herbs outdoors in the height of summer will help them grow bushier and stronger, and you can extend the season by bringing them back indoors in the fall.
This easy-growing, low-maintenance houseplant is frequently sold as a bonsai tree, with several braided-together stems ending in a plume of lush, palm-shaped green leaves. They’re also a favorite in feng shui, where the plants are said to bring financial fortune—hence the name—when placed in the southeast part of the home, making them perfect for the corner of a south-facing window.
If you want to add some color to your plant collection without waiting for flowers to bloom, look no further than the croton. This sun-loving houseplant comes in a wide array of color combinations—mixtures of red, yellow, green, orange, purple, brown, and black—and patterns that will pop against the greenery of your other specimens.
String of Pearls
Long, trailing stems dotted with orb-shaped leaves give this charming succulent its name. String of pearls makes an excellent candidate for a hanging basket or a high shelf in a bright, sunny window. It comes in other shapes, too, like string of bananas and string of dolphins.
Hen and Chicks
These low-growing, rosette-shaped succulents are some of the hardiest plants around, thriving in dry, rocky areas in their natural desert habitat. The plant gets its name from its handy habit of propagating itself in good conditions. To make another plant, gently pull away one of the “chicks” and plant in a fresh pot of succulent soil.