Houseplants For Direct Light: Keeping Houseplants In A South-Facing Window

Small Multicolored Indoor Potted Succulent Plants
south facing
(Image credit: Artistan)

If you are fortunate enough to have sunny south facing windows, you can grow a nice variety of houseplants, including many flowering houseplants that you would not be able to grow elsewhere.

Plants for South-Facing Windows

Many people would be shocked to find out that Sansevieria are actually good houseplants for direct light. These plants are commonly labeled as “low light” plants, but this simply means that they tolerate low light. This doesn’t mean that they REQUIRE low light! These plants will have sturdier growth in direct light and may also occasionally reward you with a spray of fragrant white flowers.

Many succulents will thrive as south-facing window houseplants. Among commonly available succulents that you can grow here include:

Many Euphorbias are available and do well in bright light conditions, such as African milk tree (Euphorbia trigona) and crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii). Of course, there are many more varieties of succulents and all of them will grow well in south-facing windows. One thing to remember about succulents is that if you don’t give them enough direct sun, they will experience etiolation. This simply means that they are producing weaker, stretched out growth from insufficient light. 

Many types of herbs will grow well in a sunny window. Choose rosemary, parsley, chives, mint, and basil as good candidates to grow in a sunny window for your cooking use. 

Flowering Houseplants for Direct Light

Hibiscus are wonderful houseplants in a south-facing window. You can’t beat the floral show of a hibiscus indoors and the flowers come in a variety of colors. Pinching the plants back periodically will keep them bushier. Be sure to regularly fertilize your hibiscus for the best show of flowers and choose a good bloom booster fertilizer.

Among other flowering houseplants that you can grow in a south window include the bold bird of paradise, with its large foliage and exotic flowers, and the climbing bougainvillea that you can train to grow around your window. Bougainvillea produce flower bracts in a variety of colors including white, yellow, pink, and purple. 

Gardenias are also suited to growing in a southern window, but they are trickier to grow indoors than most houseplants. They require plenty of direct sunshine and high humidity in order to do their best. Their delightfully fragrant white flowers may be worth the extra effort though.

Other plants that will thrive in a south exposure window include: