Sun-loving plants may be in the majority, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at a list of the most popular houseplants ever.
Houseplants are usually picked for the beauty of their flowers and foliage, and plants that natively grow in tropical regions can be found in home all across the globe. True, these plants do like it hot, but because they tend to grow right below much taller trees that form a dense leaf canopy, many houseplants actually require dappled sun, partial shade, and sometimes even deep shade.
Place these shade-loving plants right in front of a really sunny window, and they’ll quickly begin to protest (and, in the worst case, even die).
Don’t worry — the hunt for houseplants that love the sun is nothing like looking for a needle in a haystack, and you’ll have plenty of options to pick from. This list will make it easier, though! Ready to hear what absolutely gorgeous plants will have a great time sunbathing in front of your bright windows?
Good Luck Plant (Cordyline Terminalis)
- 1 Good Luck Plant (Cordyline Terminalis)
- 2 Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum)
- 3 Crown Of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)
- 4 Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
- 5 Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus)
- 6 Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
- 7 Sago palm (Cycas Revoluta)
- 8 Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
- 9 In Conclusion
Cordyline terminalis, better known as the good luck plant or Ti plant, can brighten your home up with numerous shades of green, crimson, purple, or lavender, and sometimes even has stunning variegated leaves.
This plant’s large and glossy evergreen leaves gently fan down, and though it’s difficult to get tired of them, the good luck plant has another thing going for it — its interesting panicle flowers. These can be white, purple, or red, and will make way for equally beautiful (but toxic!) berries after the growing season comes to a close.
The good luck plant will give indoor gardeners something fascinating to look at year-round, and since the plant needs at least six hours of bright sun a day, it’s definitely a sun seeker!
What else should you know before you look into getting a good luck plant of your own?
- These plants don’t bring good luck to your pets, as they’re mildly toxic. Save this one for pet-free zones!
- A rich neutral to slightly acidic potting mix is the right choice for your good luck plant.
- Good luck plants will need to be watered whenever the topsoil dries out completely — and when you do water them, they’ll enjoy a nice soaking. Remember to empty the drainage tray when the good luck plant is done absorbing the water!
- Offer your good luck a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer about once a week during its growing season to keep it happy.
- Good luck plants will feel right at home in your living room, as they prefer the same kind of temperatures people do — at least 62 °F (about 17 °C).
- While the good luck plant is a sweet little thing when it’s young, these plants can grow to be an impressive two to four feet (60 centimeters to over a meter) tall. As the good luck plant grows, its stems risk becoming leggy, so pruning your good luck plant from time to time is an excellent idea.
- Good luck plants are extremely easy to propagate through stem cuttings, so if you have other sunny window spots, they won’t need to remain bare for very long!
Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum)
This slow-growing plant is popular for its incredibly complex and pretty pink blooms and is often grown as a bonsai. Desert roses are succulents native to the tropical areas of Africa and the Middle East and they come from the Apocynaceae family.
hese romantic plants often grow to be around three to nine feet (one to three meters) tall and three to five feet (one to one and a half meters) wide — but if you’re keeping one as a houseplant, you will want to prune it regularly to impede its growth. The desert rose has a thick succulent truck with fragile leaves and gorgeous pink flowers.
Does the desert rose sound appealing to you? If you want to give it a proper home, you should:
- Place your desert rose in a spot where it will get plenty of direct sunlight, as this plant thrives in the sun. A south facing window could be a good choice.
- Water your desert rose frequently in the late spring and summer while not watering it as much in the fall and winter. This is because the desert rose will need plenty of water in its growing season but will go dormant in the wild in the winter time.
- Make sure to keep your desert rose in a fairly warm spot at all times, as temperatures any colder than 50 °F (10 °C) could kill your plant. This means that your desert rose won’t have trouble inside your home, but should probably not be placed in a hallway, where it will often be exposed to cool weather when someone opens the front door.
- Choose a well-draining gravelly or sandy soil for your desert rose. Desert cactus also prefers a neutral to acidic soil pH level of around 6.0.
Crown Of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)
The crown of thorns plant, which also goes by the name Christ thorn, may be the right choice for you if you’re hoping for a sun-loving houseplant that produces long-lasting flowers you’ll be able to enjoy throughout much of the year.
This perennial shrub technically gives rise to small flowers with extremely large and bright bracts, and these will be visible from the late winter all the way to the next fall when crown of thorns is grown as a houseplant. Crown of thorns features thick thorns on its woody stems, hence its name, and has beautiful spear-shaped leaves, which may be fresh green, white, or variegated.
If you like the look of this plant, take a look at crown of thorns’ care needs before bringing one home!
- Crown of thorns is the most sun-loving plant imaginable, and it’ll be thrilled if you make sure it can get as much light as your home has to offer. That may mean moving it around your home throughout the year to catch the brightest spot available.
- Although a run of the mill potting mix for houseplants will serve the crown of thorns just fine, the soil absolutely needs to be well-draining. Crown of thorns prefers not to be placed in a large pot — just an inch or two bigger than its roots is the best option.
- Crown of thorns dislikes soggy soil, but won’t care too much if you forget to water it once it a while, as Christ plants are quite drought-tolerant.
- These low-maintenance plants won’t need to be fertilizer at all.
- Some occasionally pruning may be required.
String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
The string of pearls plant is one of the most interesting houseplants anyone could ever encounter — at first sight, it looks just like someone spilled a bunch of small peas into a pot!
No, those aren’t actually peas, but folded leaves. Senecio rowleyanus is a vining succulent with a lovely trailing growth habit that makes these plants perfect for a hanging basket. String of pearls plants aren’t exactly low-maintenance; by growing and caring for them, you’ll be rewarded with a unique experience, but know what you’re getting yourself into:
- String of pearls plants do love the sun, but they also require some shade. It’s ideal if you can place your string of pearls in a location that gets bright and direct sun through the morning, and that gets partial shade or dappled sun later in the day. Some nice blinds can help you achieve this effect without too much trouble.
- Remember that string of pearls is a succulent — so it needs a potting mix designed for succulents.
- Watering a string of pearls plant is a little tricky. This succulent needs plenty of water during its growing season, usually once a week, so its soil stays moist. The soil does need to be well-draining, on the other hand, because string of pearls is uniquely vulnerable to root rot. When the plant goes dormant for the winter, you’ll need to halve the water you give it.
- String of pearls love dry climates and won’t be happy if they’re placed in humid conditions.
- String of pearls plants are sensitive to seasonal changes. They prefer summer climates that expose them to temperatures of, at the very least, 70 °F (21 °C), but in winter, string of pearls likes to be kept at a temperature of around 60 °F (16 °C).
- String of pearls plants can live for about five years at most, and will need to be propagated through stem cuttings to keep them going.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
The snake plant, which has the botanical name Sansevieria trifasciata and has earned itself plenty of other fascinating nicknames, including mother-in-law’s tongue (easy to see why!) and golden birds nest, primarily rewards plant parents with a cornucopia of upright and slightly wavy long leaves.
Whatever you want to call it, this plant from the asparagus family is quickly rising in popularity as it photographs very nicely, but remains quite affordable for the moment.
The snake plant can thrive in a variety of lighting conditions, including full sun and bright but indirect sunlight, so if you’re looking for a plant with gorgeous evergreen leaves to place in front of a sunny window, you’re good to go with this one. Here’s what else indoor gardeners should know before bringing this beauty home:
- A loose sandy or cactus soil is a great choice for this plant, which needs excellent drainage and is happy with soil that’s mildly acidic or alkaline.
- Hailing from tropical West Africa, snake plants are used to periods of drought. Water your snake plant whenever the soil feels pretty dry, and give it less water in the winter than in the summer. Many plant parents worry that they’re not watering their plants enough and inadvertently harm them by overdoing it. Remember — it’s much better to give your snake plant too little water than too much!
- Snake plants come from a warm climate. While normal room temperatures will meet the snake plant’s needs fine, never place it in a room where your snake plant will get colder than 50 °F (10 °C). Since you won’t like it that cold either, this is unlikely to be a problem.
- A balanced liquid slow-release fertilizer will greatly help in keeping your snake plant strong, healthy, and beautiful during its growing season. Don’t feed your plant during the winter, however.
- Snake plants are a great are a great choice for novice indoor gardeners are they’re easy to keep alive (unless you seriously overwater your snake plant, that is!).
These beautiful plants aren’t pet-friendly — if you have curious cats or dogs, keep looking for other options, because snake plants are toxic to your furry friends.
Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus)
The papyrus is a striking ornamental grass-like plant, and to be more precise a sedge — which is a family of plants related to the grass family. Papyrus is a quite a tall plant, growing to be around five to eight feet tall when mature, with a triangular stem and a pretty umbel on the very top.
This sedge also gives rise insignificant green flowers in the summer, but there’s no getting around the fact that anyone who brings a papyrus home is in it for the foliage.
Would you like to add the pretty papyrus to your home garden? Before adding this beautiful sedge home, keep in mind that:
- Papyrus loves direct sunlight and would very much prefer to be placed in a delightfully sunny spot.
- This ornamental grass thrives in moist conditions, as it’s native to boggy zones, and will need to be watered regularly to survive. Water the papyrus daily, never allowing the soil dry out.
- The papyrus plant does best in slightly acidic to alkaline soil pH levels of 6.0 to 8.5. Papyrus also likes its soil to be fertile. When grown as a houseplant, it’s best to feed your papyrus fertilizer occasionally.
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
Codiaeum variegatum, better known as croton, is a superbly attractive tropical evergreen that does best if it gets at least six hours of bright sun every day — making a croton the perfect choice for your sunniest areas.
Its amazing foliage is croton’s biggest selling point, as this tropical babe has large variegated green and creamy or burgundy and deep pink leaves when croton is grown in full sun. Some cultivars are even known for green leaves with bright yellow splotches. A word of warning, though — place your croton in a shadier spot, and this plant will “punish” you by reverting to a solid green.
Want to get to know the croton just a little bit better? Here’s a cheat sheet for you:
- These plants, which originate in the tropical regions of Asia and the Pacific, will do best if you can offer them a nutrient-rich soil, which means that natural compost should become your new best friend.
- Croton will also greatly appreciate a slow release fertilizer, offered three times a year during its growing season.
- Since you’re looking for a houseplant, you won’t have any trouble keeping your croton in a room that has a temperature of at least 60 °F (16 °C). Meeting the plant’s rather high humidity needs may prove to be a little more challenging, though, as crotons prefer relative humidity levels of 40 to 80 percent — and anything over 60 percent is too much for a home, as this poses a risk of mold. If you can, place your croton in a naturally more humid spot, such as a large kitchen with great natural lighting.
- Water your croton every week during its growing season, or even more often if the top layer of soil dries out. In winter, when the croton goes dormant, it only needs to be watered very occasionally.
- It’s also rather helpful to know that prolonged contact with any part of a croton can cause nasty and itchy skin rashes, so indoor gardeners will probably want to don garden gloves before pruning a croton — which will be necessary, because croton plants can quickly become leggy.
Sago palm (Cycas Revoluta)
This mysterious plant isn’t, in fact, a palm but a Japanese evergreen more closely related to conifers. It’s called the Sago palm because, well, it does look like a palm. The Sago palm belongs to the Cycadaceae botanical family, which dates back millions of years. Do you want to grow a dinosaur in your home?
The Sago plant is the closest you’ll ever get! These plants feature delicate feather-like leaves (fronds), that form a lovely rosette pattern. They also give rise to incredibly attractive cream or yellow cone-shaped fruits that appear during the fall.
Sago palms thrive in very bright but indirect sunlight, as direct sun exposure can scorch their delicate leaves. Sago palms also:
- Thrive in a soil designed for cactus palms when they are grown as houseplants.
- Appreciate a modest amount of watering — offer your Sago palm some H2O whenever the soil feels dry!
- Tolerate cooler conditions quite well, even withstanding temperatures as low as 23 °F (-5 °C). For this reason, you may even be able to grow a Sago palm outdoors in your garden if you would like.
- Love to be placed in more humid conditions.
- Suffer if you prune their browning fronds, which form an essential part of their life cycle. Accept this plant for its unique features, and don’t mess with the fronds!
One thing you definitely need to be aware of before you add a Sago palm to your home garden is that every part of it is severely toxic. While handling a Sago palm won’t cause any issues, so long as you are careful to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, ingesting the plant can be very dangerous.
That’s even more of a problem because cats and dogs seem to love this plant. If you have young children or pets, the Sago palm may not be the right choice for you.
Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
The jade plant, which is also often known as the dwarf rubber plant, is a small succulent native to South Africa. This charming little succulent has pretty oval-shaped fleshy leaves with a woody stem and can sometimes produce small white flowers, though it rarely blooms when grown indoors.
Jade plants are also thought to bring good luck to you making for a great plant to keep on your desk, and a lot of people get these as housewarming gifts.
If you’re thinking about growing the jade plant yourself, be aware that:
- These sun-loving plants need to be placed in an extremely bright spot (where they get at least four to six hours of sun) to thrive, but be warned that direct sunlight can damage their gorgeous leaves.
- Jade plants do best when they are grown in a potting mix designed for succulents, with a slightly acidic pH level.
- Jade plants need to be placed in a pot that can offer excellent drainage, but will need to be watered frequently during the growing season. In winter, jade plants don’t need as much water.
- A normal room temperature will meet your jade plant’s needs just fine.
- A diluted liquid fertilizer will help your jade plant stay strong and healthy.
Sun-loving houseplants are a little tricky to find, but once you start looking, you’ll soon discover that they’re some of the most unique plants out there. By choosing a houseplant that loves sun, you’ll get a specimen that isn’t already a dime a dozen, and transform the brightest spots in your home to a green oasis in no time!