Windowsill House Plant Guide

Windowsill House Plant Guide

8 minute read

Have you ever wondered what plant would do best in your window? Choosing the right house plant for your home environment is the easiest way to ensure that your plant will be provided with the right amount of sunlight therefore making your plant care routine less stressful. Whether you have a North, West, South, or West facing windowsill, we’ve got you covered! 

A photo of house plants in a north facing window

North Facing

North facing windows provide the least amount of bright light however there are a handful of plants that will  do well in a north-facing window. These species of plants are ones that naturally grow on forest floors and therefore receive dappled sunlight as opposed to direct sun exposure.

Peace Lily - An attractive and ornamental plant known for its dark green foliage and lovely white flowers that last 1 - 2 months long! Peace Lilies love shaded light and moderate humidity levels. 

Cast Iron Plant - A hardy perennial loved by plant collectors due to its easy-going care requirements which allow it to grow in wide range of conditions. It is also highly coveted for its dark and attractive arching leaves, popularly used in floral arrangements. It is one of the only large growing tropical plants that is pet-friendly!

Chinese Evergreen - A stunning tropical featuring beautiful, speckled patterned leaves making it the perfect accent plant for any collection. It is also popular due to its highly adaptive nature which means it can grow well in a number of environments, including low-light settings.

PothosEveryone's favourite fuss-free, low-light tolerant house plant! Perfect for beginner growers or those who want to add a little greenery to a shady corner. Pothos is a staple in every collection because of its ability to survive in just about any environment.

ZZ Plant - Aka Madagascar Jewel plant. Super easy and low maintenance plants. It thrives in indirect sunlight and only needs water sparingly as this plant is drought tolerant. The ZZ Plant can also be grown in an East facing windowsill.

Snake Plant -  One of the best house plant for beginners! Known for its tolerance to drought, capable of going for weeks without water, and tolerance to both high and low lighting conditions, the Snake Plant thrives on neglect.

A photo of house plants in a West facing window

West Facing

A West facing window receives plenty of bright and direct sunlight in the afternoon and is the ideal window for many tropical house plants. However, it is important to know afternoon sunlight is hot and may burn any plants that have not been properly acclimated.

If your West facing window is partially obstructed, for example, a neighbouring building or a large tree casts shade, then you can treat it like an East Facing window. If your West facing window is fully obstructed and receives no direct sunlight, you can treat it like a North facing window.

Monstera -  This popular plant is known for its very unique leaves which develop holes as they mature. They are tropical plants requiring warm, humid environments and love receiving bright sunlight.

Fiddle Leaf FigThe FLF loves bright light! This plant will not fare well long-term in low lighting conditions. The FLF also loves humidity and will suffer in dry environments. To help give this plant a humidity boost, we recommend placing it near a humidifier (especially in the winter months) and misting the plant daily.

Ivy - Ivy is a a popular ornamental trailing plant. You may often see ivy growing up the exterior of buildings. Its growth habits make it the perfect plant for a hanging basket.

PeperomiaPeperomia is a sun-loving and easy-to-grow classic house plant species with more varieties than you can count! Peperomia is also known as Pepper Elder, Radiator Plant, Shining Bush Plant, or baby Rubber Plant. But unlike Rubber Plants, peperomia are non-toxic to humans and pets!

Spider PlantIt’s easy to grow and multiplies faster than you can find friends to share it with! This plant gets its name because of its growth habit - each mother plant will send out multiple offshoots or "spiderettes" that hang down from the mother plant, making the plant look like a web. The Spider Plant loves bright light, high humidity, and is also pet-friendly.

Yucca The Yucca Cane is a tough and hardy evergreen that is native to hot and dry parts of the Americas and the Caribbean. Due to these harsh environments in which they grow, Yuccas have adapted ways to store water and moisture to survive long periods of drought. Provide bright light and water infrequently.

Hoya - Aka Wax Plant is a lovely vining plants with succulent leaves. These trailing beauties love bright sunlight and when mature, they will produce clusters of stunning star-shapes flowers that attract pollinators like butterflies!

Pilea - The pilea genus includes over 700 species of plants including everyone's favourite, The Pancake Plant! These plants love bright sunlight which will also help to keep them growing compact. Bonus: Pilea are safe for pets!

Birds of Paradise - The BoP is a stunning and popular tropical plant due to its large and lush foliage. This plant LOVES sun! They are happiest when placed in a spot with bright light. They also require lots of humidity to thrive and can be placed outdoors to grow during the summer months. 

Xeric Air Plants - Xeric species of Tillandsia (air plants) are found growing in dry and arid landscapes making them drought tolerant. They are characterized by their stiff leaves and light silvery-green colour due to their evolutionary need to reflect harsh sunlight in their native environments. A few examples of xeric air plants are T. Xerographica, T. Tectorum, and T. Streptophylla.

A photo of house plants in a south facing windowsill

South Facing

A South facing windowsill will receive the most warmth and direct sunlight making it suitable for only the most sun-loving desert plants. The heat and total hours of direct daily sunlight is too harsh for tropicals and will likely scorch their delicate leaves. That said, if your South facing window is partially obstructed or if you have a light curtain installed which filters the sunlight, you can treat this window like a West facing window. 

A South facing window in the absolute best window to grow succulents in! Everything from Echeveria, Crassula, Haworthia, Aloe, and Cacti. Succulents generally require at least 4-6 hours of bright, direct sunlight a day to keep them flourishing. Although succulents can survive in a West facing window as well, southern exposure will help keep them growing compact and colourful!

A photo of house plants in an East facing windowsill

East Facing

An East facing window will receive soft morning sunlight and is the ideal window for plants that love bright but indirect sunlight. If your East facing window is partially obstructed then you can treat it like a North facing window.

Prayer Plants - "Prayer Plants" is a nickname given to plants in the Marantaceae family, which includes Maranta and Calathea, because of the way their leave fold upwards at night. These stunning plants usually feature colourful and ornate foliage and are safe for pets.

FernsFerns are perfect for adding some lush greenery to your space. Coveted for their classy, lacey fronds, they are a great way to add some beautiful green texture into your home. Ferns love indirect light, lots of humidty, and are also pet-friendly!

Philodendron Philodendrons have been a staple in the planty home for decades. Known for their beautiful and varied leaves, Philodendron are perfect for adding lush tropical vibes into your space! Philodendron love bright, filtered sunlight, a well-draining soil. 

Haworthia - Although a succulent, Haworthia are the one succulent species that can grow well in lower lighting conditions!

Rubber Plant - These plants are easy to care for and are coveted for their attractive, shiny foliage. Rubber Plants do well in bright, indirect light.

Dieffenbachia The Dieffenbachia family consists of about 30 different species. Dieffenbachia have been highly coveted by growers and collectors for their cheery tropical appearance. They are easy to grow and love bright, indirect sunlight.

Alocasia PollyAlocasia “Polly” (also known as the Elephant’s Ear), is native to Asian Rain Forests. This plant loves bright, indirect sunlight, and warm, humid environments. 

Parlour PalmParlour Palm is a small palm species and is loved by plant growers due to its delicate fronds and soft, wistful appearance. Bonus: Parlour palm is pet safe!

Mesic Air Plants - Mesic air plants grow in moderate humidity environments such as rainforests where they receive less sunlight and more moisture than their xeric family members (mentioned earlier). They have smoother leaves that are often vibrant to dark green in colour. A couple examples of mesic air plants are T. Bulbosa, T. Bergeri and T. Psuedobaileyi.

A photo of a Monstera by a window

Ultimately, knowing what house plant will naturally do well in your space will not only set you up for greater success, but will also help save you a lot of time, money, stress, and even heartbreak! We hope that our guide will help you in selecting the right plants for your home. Happy planting! 🌞

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