Nothing looks better than seeing the sun beam on your best window plants, illuminating their lush, green beauty.
However, not all plants love the sun. Although you may think you’re doing your plants a favour by giving them that extra light, many have delicate leaves that can easily burn.
Struggling to find that special plant for a sunny spot? Delve through these ten best houseplants for direct sunlight that thrive on a sunny windowsill, and make that precious sunlight even more beautiful as it pours in!
1. Good Luck Plant
The Good Luck Plant is a true sun worshiper and one of the best houseplants for direct sunlight. This indoor window plant thrives in direct sunlight, the brighter the better. She loves warm climates and is happiest at around 15 degrees.
With bright striped green leaves, each outlined with hot pink, she has an uplifting style and brings colour to any windowsill.
In many Austronesian cultures, the Good Luck Plant is considered sacred and used to ward off evil spirits. She’s a plant that protects and beautifies your home, so she’s definitely among one of the best window plants.
2. Dracaena Bi-Colour
The Dracaena Bi-Colour is the best indoor window plant to add freshness and beauty to a spacious, sunny room. Her spiky green and pink striped leaves illuminate any space and give her her name, which means female dragon.
She loves direct sunlight and may even lose some new leaves if she doesn’t receive enough! She can grow up to a metre tall, so make sure you have somewhere spacious enough to accommodate this beauty.
She’s easy to care for and doesn’t require much water. Allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry before watering to keep her happy. However, depending on the water quality where you live, she may prefer rainwater. If this is hard to come by, leave some tap water in a watering can to sit overnight. This lets the chlorine evaporate, and makes the water more palatable for your little tree.
3. Candelabra Cactus
We all love sun-loving cacti, and these ones are certainly lookers. Their strong symmetrical structure and organic shape looks great placed in the centre of a windowsill, and can grow up to 30 inches high!
These stunning African Cacti don’t require much attention, and in the winter they can be left for months without water. However, bear in mind it will need more water during warmer periods, as windowsills can get pretty hot!
Place them on your sunniest windowsill and they’ll show their appreciation through fast new growth. The more direct sunlight they receive, the happier your Candelabra Cacti will be. This is why they’re one of the best house plants for direct sunlight.
4. Musa Acuminata Dwarf Cavendish
There’s nothing more exotic and jungly than peering out the window between the broad flat leaves of this miniature Banana Plant! Their lush green leaves are the epitome of exoticness. Although they can grow up to 3 meters high, a sunny windowsill is a perfect location for a young Dwarf Cavendish Banana Plant.
These plants love the heat, a mixture of direct and indirect sunlight. So they’ll certainly appreciate a toasty sun-drenched windowsill. If your windows are drafty, you may need to move your Musa Acuminata Dwarf Cavendish off the windowsill during the winter months.
These plants love a good drink. To keep it perky, water whenever the top layer of soil gets dry.
5. Polka Dot Begonia
On a sunny windowsill, these plants play a trick on your eyes. When the sun breaks through the cloud, their polka-dotted foliage appears to change colour. They go from deep green to bright ruby red! This beautiful red colour is usually just noticeable only on the underside of the leaves but truly takes over when the sun hits this plant.
These plants love bright light and their iridescent silver dots sparkle in the sun's bright rays. However, if the plants’ leaves start to discolour, the sunlight might be a bit too harsh. Just move your plant slightly further away from the window, or pop it on a west-facing window.
These extravagant plants have undeniable style. It’s easy to see why they’re rumoured to have inspired the French fashion designer, Christian Louboutin, infamous red-soled stiletto design!
6. White Bird of Paradise
Strelitzia 'White Bird of Paradise'
These plants get their name from their elegant pointed white flowers. They resemble birds of paradise with their wings open! They’re native to South Africa and thrive and blossom when placed in the warmth of direct sunlight.
Their deep green, shiny padel-shaped leaves are designed to catch as much sunlight as possible. When placed in a sunny spot, you’ll notice them reaching towards the sun!
The White Bird of Paradise has an elegance and leafy simplicity that brings beauty and charm to any room. Despite their delicate flowers, they’re very easy to care for - perfect for all the plant parent newbies.
7. Large Candelabra Aloe
These plants are adaptable intrepid explorers that thrive across South Africa. You can find them in all sorts of terrains, from beaches to the tops of the tallest mountain!
However, although they’re pretty cool and content in almost all environments, these sturdy plants are happiest in bright direct sunlight. Just as they can happily withstand a winter frost, a sun-drenched windowsill is no challenge for this plant.
If warm enough, Candelabra Aloe blossom in the summer with impressive orange and red firework-like flowers. They add a cheerful splash of colour to any room, and can grow up to 30 inches tall.
8. Clusia Princess
This lovely plant has thick, bright green and characteristic rubbery leaves. She creates a fresh, lively atmosphere, and a brings a touch of style reminiscent of her home in the Caribbean.
The Clusia Princess plant is suitable for rooms with large windows. Although she’ll be around 15 inches when she arrives, she can reach up to 5 metres high! However, when grown in a pot, she’ll stay nice and small. Her size can be easily managed through the occasional pruning session.
If placed in a sunny enough location, Clusia Princess will blossom with delicate pink trumpet-shaped flowers that can last for months. She craves bright light and will be very content by a sunny window, but can tolerate a lack of direct sunlight.
9. Jade Plant
Jade Plants need at least 4 hours of sun a day to thrive. So they’re a true indoor window plant that’ll appreciate a sunny window sill! They’re easily recognisable by their classic fleshy, tea drop-shaped leaves and strong, sculptural stem.
As a succulent, the Jade Plant requires little water - they store water in their chunky succulent-like leaves. Just give them a water when the top 5cm of soil gets dry, and they should be fine.
The Jade Plant can live for decades and will become a well-trusted sun-loving friend over the years. However, they’re slow growers so you don't have to worry about your window space being overtaken.
10. Zebra Plant
These striking plants look as though they’ve been x-rayed. Their stunning deep green leaves are decorated with bold, crisp white vein structures. Among indoor window plants, these plants reward you the most when you give them the sunshine they deserves. If looked after well, during the summer a crown of beautiful pointed yellow petals will blossom from the centre of the plant.
Zebra Plants are perfect for southwest-facing windowsills. They love a warm spot that gets the morning sunlight, but not the blazing direct sun. This plant is native to Southern Brazil is happiest between 15ºC and 23ºC.
To sum it up
With this collection of the best window plants, now you can choose a lovely plant that’ll appreciate the sun just as much as you do. Whether you have a small window with dappled sunlight or flooded with direct sunlight, you can find a plant pal or two to share the joy for that precious golden sunlight.