These 15 Houseplants Will Thrive by Your Windows

best window plants: jade

Anne Sage

There's nothing quite as cheery as a windowsill filled with lush, thriving houseplants. But beyond contributing to a good mood (and good feng shui), plants help clear indoor air of pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Consider that just another reason to fit foliage into every corner of your home, from dimly lit nooks to sun-drenched spaces beside a window.

While it’s helpful to know which houseplants can thrive in low light, it’s just as important to put light-loving plants where they can grow best. In the Northern Hemisphere, south-facing windows get the most light and are best for plants that need lots of bright light or full sun. East-facing windows get weaker morning light, so they can be good for plants that do best with bright, indirect light but could sunburn in a south-facing window. Meanwhile, north-facing windows get the weakest light, making them perfect for plants that do well with less indirect light or even dappled shade.

Meet the Expert

Based in Philadelphia, Alexandra Jones wears many hats as a writer, master gardener, food educator, and cheesemonger. Her writing has appeared on sites such as Food & Wine, USA Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and, of course, MyDomaine.

Ready to wow your windows? Read on for 15 window plants best suited for the sunnier spaces within your home. From succulents to palms, there's a variety for every plant parent.

01 of 15

Jade

best window plants: jade

Anne Sage

  • Botanical Name: Crassula ovata
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light (some direct sun is OK)
  • Soil Type: Sandy, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.1 – 6.5

Like most of its succulent cousins, jade plants grow best in full sun—ideally a south-facing window with lots of light to create the signature red tips on their bright green leaves. However, they can still survive in bright indirect light, near a sunny window, or in a lower-light, north-facing window. 

Jade plant, lucky plant, money plant or money tree, (Crassula ovata)
Plant Shed Jade Plant $24
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02 of 15

Aloe Vera

best window plants: aloe vera

Ashley Montgomery Design

  • Botanical Name: Aloe barbadensis miller
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light (some direct sun is OK)
  • Soil Type: Sandy, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 7.0 – 8.5

You’ll want to put these adaptable succulents in the brightest place in your space. Set them up in a south-facing or west-facing window. The trick here is to give your aloe as much light as possible without giving it sunburn, so move to a spot a little farther from the window if you notice brown spots or fading leaves. Aloe can also grow (albeit more slowly) near a window with weaker light. 

Aloe Vera
Bloomscape Aloe Vera $35
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03 of 15

Burro’s Tail

Sedum Morganianum (Burro's Tail)
Sian Irvine/ Getty Images
  • Botanical Name: Sedum morganianum
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light (some direct sun is OK)
  • Soil Type: Sandy, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0

This charming succulent, known for its signature long “ropes” of seafoam-green leaves, will grow the quickest with lots of bright, indirect light—a south- or west-facing window is a great option. Keep this one out of direct sunlight, though.

succulent assortment the sill
The Sill Succulent Assortment $24
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04 of 15

Fiddle-Leaf Fig

best window plants: fiddle-leaf fig

Becca Interiors

  • Botanical Name: Ficus lyrata
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Rich, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0

A high-ceiling, light-filled space is a must to successfully grow this tall, sought-after plant. In this case, you’re looking for a spot near a large window that gets lots of bright, filtered light. That can be indirect light from a big east-facing window or a brighter window with translucent sheers to help act as a filter. Avoid exposing your fiddle-leaf fig to direct sun, which can cause brown patches on your plant’s leaves. 

fiddle leaf fig
The Sill Large Fiddle Leaf Fig $140
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05 of 15

Rubber Plant

best window plants: rubber tree

Amy Bartlam; DESIGN: Jette Creative

  • Botanical Name: Ficus elastica
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 5.5 – 7.0

This member of the fig family does best in spaces with bright, indirect light—but unlike the fiddle-leaf fig, most varieties of rubber plant can adapt to spaces with lower-light conditions. That gives you options, from a spot in a bright, south-facing window to a lower-light north-facing windowsill. 

rubber tree plant
The Sill Rubber Tree Plant $52
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06 of 15

Prayer Plant

best window plants: prayer plant

Casa Watkins Living

  • Botanical Name: Maranta leuconeura
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Free-draining soil mix (kept moist)
  • Soil pH: 5.5 to 6.0

Since their natural jungle habitat gets partially shaded or dappled light, prayer plants—marantas and calatheas—are great options to display in east-facing or north-facing windows. Too much sun will cause their leaves to fade, but just the right amount of indirect light will keep these charming, colorful plants happy. 

potted maranta plant
The Sill Maranta $45
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07 of 15

Wandering Jew

tradescantia 'red hill' houseplant from top against tan background

 

Crystal Bolin Photography / Getty Images

  • Botanical Name: Tradescantia 
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Light, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 – 8.0

Most varieties of spiderwort family plants commonly referred to with this name are highly adaptable and easy to grow, with most preferring moderate to bright indirect light. Choose a spot out of direct sun, keeping in mind that wandering Jew plants with more light will be more likely to produce flowers. 

wandering jew
Bloomscape Tradescantia Zebrina $35
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08 of 15

Monstera

best window plants: monstera

Anne Sage

  • Botanical Name: Monstera deliciosa
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Rich, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 5.5 – 7.0

For your monstera plant's leaves to achieve their characteristic notches and perforations, you’ll need a spot with lots of bright, indirect light to display it in. A big, light-filled window is an ideal spot to place your monstera, as long as it’s out of direct sun.

monstera
The Sill Monstera Deliciosa $67
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Monstera can survive in lower-light conditions, but it will grow much more slowly, and the leaves will have fewer or no holes.

09 of 15

Snake Plant

best window plants: snake plant

Alvin Wayne

  • Botanical Name: Sansevieria trifasciata
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Sandy, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 5.5 – 7.5 

The ever-adaptable, easygoing snake plant can grow in a variety of conditions from low light to full sun, giving you lots of flexibility with where you display them. However, the ideal is somewhere in the middle, so it’s best to put this low-maintenance plant in a window with lots of bright, indirect light. 

snake plant
The Sill Snake Plant Laurentii $57
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10 of 15

Chinese Money Plant

best window plants: chinese money plant

Coco Lapine Design

  • Botanical Name: Pilea peperomioides
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Light, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.5 

Good light is a must to successfully grow this cute, trendy houseplant, making it the perfect candidate to display in a brightly-lit window. Just make sure that your plant is out of direct sunlight, which can cause sunburn. Since its leaves will naturally gravitate towards the light, it’s a good idea to rotate your pilea peperomioides occasionally to help it grow evenly. 

Pilea Peperomioides plant
The Sill Pilea Peperomioides $35
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11 of 15

Croton

best window plants: croton

Casa Watkins Living

  • Botanical Name: Codiaeum variegatum
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, direct light
  • Soil Type: Rich, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 4.5 – 6.5

This sun-loving window plant is best known for its colorful, patterned foliage, which turns heads in vibrant combinations of red, orange, yellow, and purple. While the tropical plant is stunning, it's not without its drawbacks: Croton is reputably fussy about its surroundings, preferring an air temperature of at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the humidity-loving plant on a pebble tray or mist the leaves regularly to keep it happy, and ensure that the soil is evenly moist without being soggy.

12 of 15

Areca Palm

best window plant: areca palm

Alvin Wayne

  • Botanical Name: Dypsis lutescens
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Free-draining soil mix (kept moist)
  • Soil pH: 6.0 – 6.5 

Bring a boho, tropical vibe to a sunny corner of your home with this statement palm. Capable of growing up to eight feet tall when kept indoors, the palm is best suited to spaces that can accommodate its height as well as the reach of its delicate, arching fronds. Give your areca palm a good, long drink when the top two inches of soil are dry, and keep it away from drafts and heating or cooling vents.

13 of 15

Ponytail Palm

best window plants: ponytail palm

Black and Blooms

  • Botanical Name: Beaucarnea recurvata
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Sandy, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.5 – 7.5

The aptly named ponytail palm features long, tendril-like leaves that appear to spout from a short, stubby trunk. Native to eastern Mexico, this window plant—which is actually a succulent—is accustomed to bright light and semi-dry conditions. That said, the easiest way to kill a ponytail is through overwatering, so if you're unsure if your plant needs a drink, err on the side of caution and put down the watering can.

best window plants: ponytail palm
Bloomscape Ponytail Palm $65
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14 of 15

String of Pearls

best window plants: string of pearls

Blue Copper Design

  • Botanical Name: Senecio rowleyanus
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Sandy, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.6 – 7.5

With its unique sphere-shaped foliage and cascading growth habit, this window plant pairs perfectly with a hanging basket. Plant your string of pearls in sandy potting mix, place it in a bright spot (away from drafts and too much direct sun), allow the soil to dry between waterings, and this succulent vine will reward you with tendrils that grow up to two feet long.

best window plants: string of pearls
Succulents Box String of Pearls $6
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15 of 15

Bird of Paradise

best window plants: bird of paradise

Anne Sage

  • Botanical Name: Strelitzia reginae
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect sunlight (some direct light is OK)
  • Soil Type: Rich, free-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 5.5 – 7.5 

A native of South Africa, this statement-making plant (a relative of the banana) is noted for its large, paddle-shaped leaves that seem to be plucked straight from a tropical-vacation postcard. The bird of paradise can reach a height of six feet when grown indoors, but it'll need some help getting there: namely, plenty of bright light; an indoor air temperature above 65 degrees Fahrenheit; and moist (but not water-logged) soil.

best window plants: bird of paradise
Bloomscape Bird of Paradise $150
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Article Sources
MyDomaine uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Moya TA, van den Dobblesteen A, Ottele M, Bluyssen PM. A Review of Green Systems Within the Indoor Environment. Indoor Built Environ. 2019;28(3):298-309. doi:10.1177/1420326X18783042

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