36 Plants for South-Facing Windows: A Comprehensive Guide

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‍Are you looking for the best plants to thrive in your south-facing windows? South-facing windows are a blessing for plant lovers, as they provide the brightest light and maximum sun exposure.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore a wide range of plants that are well-suited for south-facing windows.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced plant enthusiast, this article will help you choose the perfect plants to bring life and beauty to your indoor space.

Understanding South-Facing Windows

Before we dive into the best plants for south-facing windows, let’s take a moment to understand the unique characteristics of these windows.

In the Northern hemisphere, an unobstructed south-facing window receives the most direct sunlight throughout the day.

This makes it an ideal spot for plants that require abundant sunshine. In the Southern hemisphere, the equivalent would be a north-facing window.

There are several advantages to having a south-facing window:

  1. Abundant sunlight: Many plants thrive in full sun, and a south-facing window provides the maximum amount of light they need for optimal growth.
  2. Flowering potential: Plants that require maximum light levels, such as flowering plants, can truly flourish in a south-facing window and showcase their vibrant blooms.
  3. Light control: Even if you have plants that don’t prefer full sun, you can easily adjust the light exposure by using sheer curtains or placing the plants a little further back from the window.
  4. Survival during dark winter months: If you live in an area with limited sunlight during winter, moving your plants to a south-facing window can help them survive better until springtime.

Now that we understand the benefits of south-facing windows, let’s explore the best plants that will thrive in this favorable environment.

Best Plants for South-Facing Windows

1. Jade

Jade plants (Crassula ovata) are a staple in any houseplant collection and they truly shine when placed in a south-facing window. These African natives thrive in full sun, which results in compact and sturdy growth.

In fact, providing ample sunlight increases their chances of blooming. Jade plant care is relatively easy – they prefer a sunny window and need to be watered thoroughly after the potting mix has dried out completely.

Pruning can help make a spindly jade plant bushier, and stem cuttings or single leaf propagation can be used to propagate new plants.

2. String of Pearls

The String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) is a popular houseplant known for its cascading stems adorned with tiny round leaves resembling pearls.

While it is a challenging plant to grow, many people struggle with it due to insufficient light. However, placing the String of Pearls in a south-facing window can provide the bright sunlight it craves.

This plant requires a sharply draining potting mix and should be watered thoroughly after the top half of the potting mix has dried out. With proper light and care, you can enjoy the beauty of this delicate plant.

3. Snake Plant

Snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) are one of the most common indoor plants, and they are often underestimated when it comes to their light requirements.

However, many snake plants fail to reach their true beauty due to insufficient natural light. To ensure the fastest growth and sturdiest snake plant, place it in a very sunny window indoors.

Sansevieria trifasciata, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is just one type of snake plant. There are many more beautiful snake plant varieties that you can grow indoors.

Propagating snake plants is also fun, and you can even get your snake plant to bloom under the right conditions.

4. Aloe Vera

No houseplant collection is complete without an Aloe vera plant. South-facing windowsills are the ideal location for Aloe vera, as they produce sturdy and healthy plants.

While Aloe vera can tolerate less light, growth may be weak and the plant may become prone to tipping over.

To ensure optimal growth, provide your Aloe vera with a few hours of direct sun and allow the potting mix to dry out completely before watering. Aloe vera plants are easy to propagate from pups, making them a delightful addition to your indoor garden.

5. ZZ Plant

The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is often considered a low-light plant, but it can still benefit from a few feet of distance from an unobstructed southern window.

While it can tolerate low light conditions, a southern exposure window with limited sun is an ideal growing location for this resilient plant.

ZZ plants are known for their ability to withstand neglect and low light, but with proper care, they can become impressive specimens. There are various ZZ plant varieties available, and leaf propagation is a fun way to propagate new plants.

6. Ponytail Palm

The Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) can tolerate lower light levels than a south-facing window, but it thrives best with full sun indoors.

Despite its name, the Ponytail Palm is not a palm, but a long-lived succulent plant that can withstand neglect.

However, it’s important to water the plant to prevent the lower leaves from turning brown. If your Ponytail Palm has been in the same pot for years, it may be time to repot it. This unique plant adds a touch of tropical elegance to any space.

7. African Violets

African violets (Saintpaulia) are beloved for their stunning flowers, and sufficient light is crucial for their compact growth and abundant flowering.

While they don’t require full sun all day, you can filter the sunlight from your south-facing window with a sheer curtain or blinds.

This will provide your African violet with enough light for strong growth and prolific flowering. These plants prefer consistent moisture, so water as soon as the surface of the potting mix feels dry. African violets also thrive in a good self-watering pot setup.

8. Spider Plant

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are known for their arching foliage with spider-like plantlets cascading from the mother plant.

If you’ve ever grown a spider plant and noticed weak, floppy leaves that tend to fold in the middle, it’s likely due to insufficient light.

To prevent this, place your spider plant in front of a south-facing window, as it can tolerate plenty of sun or strong filtered light.

Be aware of the causes of spider plant brown tips, as they can be indicative of poor water quality or inappropriate soil moisture.

9. Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is renowned for its stunning tropical blooms, but they require ample sunlight to flower. Although the foliage of the plant is beautiful on its own, without sufficient sun and warmth, it will not produce flowers indoors.

To enjoy the vibrant flowers, provide your Bird of Paradise with enough sun in your south-facing window. While they don’t require excessive watering, make sure to keep the soil consistently moist and provide proper drainage to prevent overwatering.

10. Citrus Trees

Citrus trees, including Meyer lemon, key lime, and orange, are a delightful addition to any indoor garden. However, they have specific light requirements and need a very sunny window to ensure sturdy growth, flowering, and fruiting.

Growing citrus trees indoors can be challenging, as they require precise soil conditions, fertilization regimens, and protection against pests such as spider mites.

It’s important to pay special attention to their care needs to ensure their success. If you’re up for the challenge, a south-facing window is the perfect spot for your citrus trees to thrive.

11. Hibiscus

Hibiscus plants (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) are known for their large, showy flowers, and many stunning cultivars have been developed from this species. While they are typically grown outdoors, you can bring your hibiscus plant indoors and place it in a south-facing window for optimal growth.

Hibiscus plants require tons of direct sunlight, the right kind of fertilizer, warm temperatures, and a consistent watering routine to bloom abundantly. With proper care and ample sunlight, your hibiscus plant can flower year-round, adding a touch of tropical beauty to your home.

12. Golden Pothos

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a versatile and easy-to-grow houseplant that can thrive in various light conditions. While it may not be the first choice for a south-facing window, it can still grow well in this bright environment.

It’s important to note that excessive sun exposure can cause the leaves to develop a yellowish-green color. If this occurs, move your Golden Pothos slightly away from the window to restore its vibrant green color. There are many Golden Pothos varieties available, making it a popular choice for plant enthusiasts.

13. African Milk Tree

African Milk Tree (Euphorbia trigona) is a striking succulent with tall, columnar growth and thorny stems. It requires full sun to thrive, making it an excellent choice for a south-facing window.

This plant is relatively easy to care for – provide it with ample sunlight, a well-draining potting mix, and water thoroughly when the soil is completely dry. Take caution when handling this plant, as it oozes a white sap that can cause skin irritation.

14. Amaryllis

Amaryllis plants (Hippeastrum) are renowned for their stunning blooms, which typically grace our homes during the holiday season. However, with proper care, you can keep your amaryllis for many years, allowing it to grow into an impressive clump with multiple flower stalks.

To encourage optimal growth and flowering, place your amaryllis in a sunny, south-facing window. The foliage needs direct sunlight to ripen and provide the necessary strength for future blooms. With enough light and proper care, your amaryllis will reward you with gorgeous flowers year after year.

15. Croton

Croton plants (Codiaeum variegatum) are known for their vibrant foliage colors, but these colors can fade if the plant doesn’t receive enough sun. While crotons are not sun-loving plants, placing them a few feet away from an unobstructed southern window can still provide the bright light they need.

However, if your south-facing window is obstructed and only receives limited sun, it can be an ideal growing location for your croton. Take note that crotons are prone to spider mites, so regular monitoring and appropriate treatment are essential.

16. Jasmine

Jasmine plants (Jasminum officinale) are beloved for their sweet-smelling, pure white flowers. To ensure abundant blooms, jasmine plants need plenty of sun.

While they don’t require full sun all day, you can gently filter the sunlight from your unobstructed south-facing window with a sheer curtain or blinds.

This will provide your jasmine plant with sufficient light for strong growth and fragrance. Jasmine plants also prefer consistent moisture, so keep an eye on the soil’s moisture level and water as soon as it feels dry.

17. Sago Palm

Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) is a unique plant that adds a touch of elegance to any space. While it can tolerate lower light levels than a south-facing window, it will grow sturdiest and best with full sun indoors.

Keep in mind that Sago Palms are highly toxic, so it’s essential to exercise caution if you have pets or small children.

To ensure optimal growth, provide your Sago Palm with plenty of sunlight and water it when the top inch of the soil has dried out. With proper care, this ancient plant can thrive indoors.

18. Money Tree

The Money Tree (Pachira aquatica) is an interesting plant often associated with good luck and prosperity. Many people struggle to care for their Money Trees, often due to insufficient light and dry conditions.

However, these plants actually thrive in direct sun, making a south-facing window an ideal location.

It’s important to water your Money Tree thoroughly and consistently, allowing the top inch or so of the soil to dry out before watering again. Avoid letting the plant go too dry, as this can cause the lower leaves to turn yellow and fall off.

19. Cacti

No sunny window is complete without a cactus or two. Cacti are well-adapted to thrive in bright, sunny environments, making them perfect for south-facing windows.

These resilient plants have unique shapes and sizes, and they come in a variety of species and varieties. While they require minimal care, it’s important to provide well-draining soil and avoid overwatering.

With their striking forms and ability to withstand dry conditions, cacti are sure to add character and beauty to your indoor garden.

20. String of Hearts

String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii) is a delightful trailing houseplant with heart-shaped leaves. This plant grows exceptionally well in a sunny window, making it a perfect fit for a south-facing window.

String of Hearts is relatively easy to propagate, and there are several methods to choose from. With proper sunlight and well-draining soil, your String of Hearts will flourish and bring joy to your space.

Consider the variegated variety, which features pink leaves, to add a unique touch to your collection.

21. Areca Palm

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) is a popular palm that lends a tropical vibe to any interior space. While it can tolerate lower light conditions, a bright, sunny south-facing window is ideal for its optimal growth. Areca Palms require excellent drainage and should not be overwatered.

However, you should also avoid letting the soil dry out completely, as this can lead to leaf tip burn. With proper care, your Areca Palm will thrive and create a lush, green atmosphere in your home.

22. Geranium

Geraniums (Pelargonium) are vibrant, flowering plants that can brighten up any south-facing window. While they prefer to be grown outdoors, geraniums can be brought indoors and placed in a sunny location to continue blooming. They require ample sun to maintain their compact growth and produce an abundance of flowers.

Geraniums can be overwintered indoors until the next growing season, allowing you to enjoy their beauty year after year. With proper sunlight and regular care, these plants will reward you with a burst of color and fragrance.

23. Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe plants are popular choices for indoor gardens, especially during the holiday season. These plants, particularly the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana cultivars, produce bright and cheerful flowers in a variety of colors.

While they can tolerate drying out, it’s important to avoid letting the soil dry out completely, as this can cause wilting.

Kalanchoe plants thrive in a sunny, south-facing window, providing them with the bright light they need for strong growth and abundant blooms. With proper care, these succulents will reward you with long-lasting, vibrant flowers.

24. Rubber Plant

Rubber plants (Ficus elastica) are often mistakenly considered low-light plants, but they actually thrive in full sun. Placing your rubber plant in a south-facing window will result in fuller, stronger growth.

These plants are big trees in nature, and they require ample sunlight to reach their true potential as indoor specimens. There are various rubber plant varieties available, each with its unique characteristics.

Rubber plant care involves providing them with bright light, regular watering, and appropriate soil moisture. With proper care, your rubber plant will become a striking focal point in your home.

25. Fiddle Leaf Fig

The Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) has become an iconic houseplant known for its large, violin-shaped leaves. To ensure optimal growth, place your Fiddle Leaf Fig in a sunny south-facing window.

While they can tolerate less light, they will thrive best with direct sun exposure. Watering should be done thoroughly, allowing the top inch or so of soil to dry out before watering again.

Fiddle Leaf Figs require proper care and attention, but with their majestic presence and lush foliage, they make a bold statement in any space.

26. Ficus Audrey

If you’re looking for an alternative to rubber plants and fiddle leaf figs, consider the Ficus Audrey (Ficus benghalensis). This plant shares similarities with its popular relatives but offers its unique charm.

To ensure optimal growth, provide your Ficus Audrey with ample sunlight, making a south-facing window an excellent choice.

These plants require care similar to other Ficus trees, including regular watering and appropriate soil moisture. With its glossy leaves and striking presence, the Ficus Audrey is sure to captivate attention in any indoor setting.

27. Pencil Cactus

Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli) is a succulent that features slender, green stems resembling pencils. While it’s not technically a cactus, it thrives in bright sunlight, making it a great addition to a south-facing window.

Pencil Cactus prefers well-draining soil and should be watered thoroughly after the soil has almost completely dried out. Take caution when handling this plant, as it oozes a white sap that can cause skin irritation.

With proper care and abundant sunlight, your Pencil Cactus will thrive and add an architectural element to your indoor garden.

28. Panda Plant

Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) is a unique succulent known for its fuzzy, gray-green foliage. It thrives in bright, sunny environments, making a south-facing window an ideal spot for it.

Panda Plant is relatively slow-growing and can tolerate neglect without much concern. Watering should be done when the potting mix has almost completely dried out, as overwatering can lead to root rot.

With ample sunlight and proper care, your Panda Plant will showcase its delightful texture and add a touch of charm to your indoor space.

29. Burro’s Tail

Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum) is a trailing succulent with plump, blue-green leaves. It thrives in bright, sunny locations, making it a perfect fit for a south-facing window.

Burro’s Tail is delicate, and its leaves can easily drop off with the slightest touch. To ensure optimal growth, provide your plant with plenty of sunlight and water it thoroughly after the soil has dried out.

If a few leaves fall off, you can easily propagate them by placing them in a small pot of soil. With proper care, your Burro’s Tail will create a beautiful cascading display.

30. Hawaiian Ti Plant

Hawaiian Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa) is a stunning foliage plant with brightly colored cultivars. While it prefers high humidity, Hawaiian Ti Plant also thrives in a sunny south-facing window.

These plants require several hours of direct sunlight to maintain their vibrant foliage colors and strong growth. Regular watering and appropriate soil moisture are essential for their well-being.

If your indoor Hawaiian Ti Plant looks sad, consider moving it outdoors during warm weather to provide it with the sun and warmth it craves.

31. Brassavola Nodosa

Brassavola Nodosa, commonly known as the Lady of the Night Orchid, is an orchid that is relatively easy to grow. It requires a few hours of direct sun to flourish, making a south-facing window an ideal location.

Brassavola Nodosa produces beautifully fragrant flowers, and with proper care, your plant can bloom yearly or even more frequently.

These orchids typically grow in an orchid bark mix and require specific care to thrive. With their exquisite fragrance and elegant blooms, Brassavola Nodosa adds a touch of sophistication to any indoor garden.

32. Papyrus

Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) is a unique plant historically used to make paper. It grows well in soggy soil with standing water, making it an interesting choice for a south-facing window.

While it may seem counterintuitive, Papyrus actually loves this treatment. To ensure optimal growth, provide your Papyrus with plenty of direct sunlight and keep the saucer full of standing water.

With its distinctive appearance and ability to tolerate wet conditions, Papyrus adds a touch of novelty to any indoor garden.

33. Basil

Basil is a popular herb known for its aromatic leaves and culinary uses. While it may not be the first choice for a south-facing window, it can still thrive in this bright environment.

Basil requires ample sunlight to grow, so placing it in a sunny window will provide it with the necessary light for optimal growth.

Regular watering and well-draining soil are important for its well-being. With its fresh scent and versatility in the kitchen, growing basil in your south-facing window allows for convenient access to this flavorful herb.

34. Dragon Tree

Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata) is a striking houseplant known for its slender, red-edged leaves. While it can tolerate lower light levels, a south-facing window with ample sunlight is best for its optimal growth.

Dragon Trees require regular watering and appropriate soil moisture to thrive. With its unique appearance and air-purifying qualities, Dragon Tree adds a touch of elegance to any indoor space.

35. Echeveria

Echeveria plants are beloved for their charming rosette-shaped leaves and ability to thrive in arid conditions. While they prefer full sun, they can still grow well with the bright light provided by a south-facing window.

Echeverias require well-draining soil and should be watered thoroughly after the top inch or so of the soil has dried out. With their diverse colors and unique shapes, Echeverias make a stunning addition to any succulent collection.

36. Hens and Chicks

Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum) are delightful succulents that form rosette-shaped clusters. While they can tolerate various light conditions, placing them in a sunny south-facing window will provide them with ample light for optimal growth.

Hens and Chicks are drought-tolerant and prefer well-draining soil. Watering should be done when the soil has almost completely dried out.

With their unique shapes and ability to propagate easily, Hens and Chicks are excellent choices for a sunny indoor garden.


Choosing the right plants for your south-facing windows can make all the difference in creating a thriving indoor garden. Whether you prefer flowering plants, succulents, or tropical foliage, there is a wide range of options to suit your taste and care preferences.

By providing ample sunlight, proper watering, and well-draining soil, you can ensure the success and beauty of your indoor plants. With this comprehensive guide, you now have the knowledge to select the perfect plants to bring life and vibrancy to your south-facing windows. Happy gardening!

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