If you have a south-facing window, you’re in luck! This type of window brings in lots of light and warmth all day long. As such, it can be the perfect place for certain plants to thrive. There are many plants that love full sunlight and will do well when placed near a south-facing window.
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From succulents to scented flowering plants, there is something for everyone looking to spruce up their windowsill with new plants. In this article, we’ll discuss the best plants for south facing windows, why these plants like the sun so much and what needs they have in order to stay healthy and happy!
Sun Amounts in this Area
South facing windows are the windows that will get the *longest amount of direct sunlight all day long. The sun shines here for around 8 hours and in the summer, this can be between 10-12 hours. This amount of sun is ideal for a huge variety of plants to thrive under, especially compared to areas that might not get any sun all day long.
Most of these are based on my experiences, there is a chance that some of these plants you would think thrive in other conditions better.
If you’ve got intense hot summer days, you may need to close your curtains partially for south facing windows to keep your plants from frying in the heat in the middle of summer.
*Where You Live Compared To The Equator
While most of the population live on the northern hemisphere, the amount of sun you get in south facing windows can vary significantly depending on how far away you are from the equator. The closer you are to the equator, the less sun you’ll get in south facing windows, and will want your sun loving plants more in east and west facing windows.
And if you are part of the 10% of the population that live on the southern hemisphere, the plants recommended for south facing windows will be the ones you’ll want in north facing windows, since the sun is at a different angle for you.
(Have windows facing other directions in your home? Check out the best plants for: north facing windows, west facing windows, east facing windows)
12 South Facing Window Plants
Cacti or cactus plants are some of the absolute best choices of plants to have in south facing windows. Cacti for the most part are made for hardy environments of hot, all day sun, and only occasional watering. Most cacti will be happy and thrive in these conditions of lots of direct sunlight.
There are such a variety of cacti to choose from that you could have just one or even multiple in the light of a south facing window.
Similar to cacti, succulents also (for the most part) like a lot of sunlight and thrive as plants for south facing windows. They don’t take up a lot of space normally and have small root systems, so you can have a large collection of succulents even in one pot!
Succulents don’t need a lot of watering, so you can save yourself some work by having these in your south facing windows.
Jade plants, or crassula ovata, are also plants that love a lot of sunlight. They tend to be a bit slower growing than some of the other succulents, but are just as easy to care for. These can come in all sizes, from propagating your own from a fallen leaf to being almost tree sized.
These are a hardy plant and difficult to kill with underwatering, making them a great choice for a south facing window. Just be sure to not give them too much water!
Keeping with the succulents and cacti theme for these sunny south facing windows, aloe is another great choice of a plant to grow in this window’s light. Aloe loves the light, just be sure to let it acclimate into the full sun from other positions in the house.
It won’t take up much space, and you might even be able to harvest some of the aloe for yourself if you end up accidentally getting a sunburn!
While you might be more likely to think of snake plants being a plant for low light areas, these plants can actually thrive in almost any amount of sunlight so long as they are acclimated and get the water amounts they need for how much sun they receive (more sun = more water).
Snake plants are so hardy and can be quite beautiful if allowed to reach their full growth potential. They don’t need much water and are great for the south facing window, even offering some shade to the rest of the house if you have a very large mother in law’s tongue plant.
The ponytail palm is a great choice for that south facing window. It loves the light, but not necessarily direct light. This makes it a great choice for a plant on the edge of a south facing window, or have it hidden behind other plants to block some of the harsh sunlight from reaching the plant.
Ponytail palms come in all sizes, from tiny pups to tree size, so it’ll be easy to find one that fits the ambience of your south facing windows.
The flowering plant, the geranium, is another great choice for a south facing window. It’s sure to add a pop of color in the window, doesn’t need much care to thrive, and if inside year round, you may be able to keep it flowering all year long.
While the geranium can be thought of more as an outdoor plant brought in only during colder months, it can be an indoor only plant. Just beware with the geranium – it does make a mess with flower petals everywhere, so be sure it’s in an area that’s easy to sweep or vacuum up!
Yucca is another interesting plant to have as a houseplant, as it can be either a tiny plant or grow to large sizes. This plant loves the sunlight and will thrive in south facing windows. Just be sure to give it enough water, as the sun can dry out this plant faster.
It’s a great choice for most homes, just keep it out of the way of pets that like to munch on plants, as it can be mildly toxic. Also, if you’re moving your yucca plant inside from being an outdoor plant, it should be done gradually and over a period of time to allow the plant to adjust.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Another large houseplant to grow in a south facing window (and even give shade for other plants) is the fiddle leaf fig. This plant, getting it’s name from the shape of its leaves, loves the direct sunlight but can sometimes be tricky to get it established in a new home. So if you’ve just gotten a fiddle leaf fig, start it in a shadier spot and slowly move it into more direct light.
It should be watered every 1-2 weeks, once the top soil has dried out. Try to keep this plant on a consistent watering schedule, or else it may start to drop leaves.
Lavender loves sunlight. This is one of those plants where it will thrive in full all day hot sunlight, making it the perfect plant for south facing windows, especially if you’re growing it indoors. Try to choose a smaller variety if growing indoors, and prune the flowers to extend the flowering season.
Grow lavender in an area where you want calming energy and can easily brush up on the lavender to enjoy the scent.
Personally, south facing windows are my favorite place to try and propagate plants in water. They get a decent amount of light through the day, and you really don’t have to worry about the soil drying out with the sun because the plant is completely in water!
Whether you’re growing an avocado from the pit, propagating philodendrons, swiss cheese plants, or anything else you may be attempting, south facing windows seem the best. Propagations need a lot of sunlight or else they’ll just rot in the water.
If you’ve propagated your own avocado plants from pits, another great window they can thrive in is the south facing window (alongside east facing windows). Avocado plants can take a lot of direct sunlight, so the south facing window is the perfect choice.
Be sure to give your avocado plant a lot of water, especially right after you transfer it from growing only in water to growing in soil.
In Summary: Best South Facing Window Plants
South facing windows provide the perfect spot for a wide variety of plants. From flowering and scented plants of geraniums and lavender to a whole cactus/succulent garden, there are many beautiful choices for these bright, all day light windows.
For those looking for something larger, the Yucca and Fiddle Leaf Fig are great choices. Or if you want to get creative, the south facing window is also a great spot to try your luck at water propagation with hard-to-grow plants like avocados.