Plants That Love Natural Sunlight

plants that love natural sunlight

Depending on the lighting situation in your home, you may be limited regarding what plants you can grow. If you have more north-facing windows, you may get less direct sunlight and will likely find more success growing plants that prefer growing in the shade. If you have more south-facing windows, you may get high amounts of direct sun so you’d want to grow plants that love sunlight. Or, you may grow a variety of plants with various sunlight needs. 

Many plants grow best in bright sunlight, while others may prefer to sit back in the shade. Find out what plants will love your sunny windows.

Plants That Like Indirect Sunlight

Most plants thrive best in indirect sunlight, as the direct sun can be too harsh on some plants. Plants that do well in lower light tend to be less finicky about their growing conditions, which means they can grow under many different circumstances. Here are several plants that prefer indirect sunlight.

Spider Plant

Spider plants are popular houseplants for their unique arching leaves and ability to produce offspring as it grows. These mini spider plants can be separated from the mother plant and potted to grow into new plants. Spider plants grow well in various settings, including adjacent to a bright window.

ZZ Plant

The ZZ plant grows thick stalks full of shiny leaves that can add foliage to any corner of your house. These plants have a reputation for being low maintenance for several reasons, including their ability to grow in low light. They also prefer a drought and require infrequent watering thanks to tubers in their roots that store water.


The pothos is a common houseplant, loved for its trailing vines and being easy to grow. Pothos can be found in numerous varieties, which include distinctive-colored leaves. These plants can grow in nearly any condition, most often thriving in the shade.

Snake Plant

Much like the ZZ plant, snake plants are popular for being low maintenance. They can go months without being watered, especially when growing in indirect or low light. Snake plants grow tall, spear-shaped leaves that can be quite striking. Some varieties feature a yellow strip around the outer edge of each leaf, adding a pop of color to any room.


Philodendrons are another popular trailing houseplant with long vines of heart-shaped leaves. They’re easy to care for and can make your room look like a jungle. Like most of these plants, philodendrons will grow in most settings, though they’ll grow much fuller and happier in bright, indirect light.


Monsteras are also known as the Swiss cheese plant because of their large, perforated leaves. The holes occur naturally to allow light to reach the lower leaves. These plants will grow happily in bright, indirect light, as direct light will burn the leaves.

plants that like direct sunlight

Plants That Like Direct Sunlight

So, what plants like lots of sunlight? Some plants thrive best when in the sun’s spotlight, requiring several hours of direct sun each day. Here are several plants that would love to sit front and center in your south-facing windows.


Most succulents are native to desert areas where sunlight is abundant, so when grown indoors, these plants need bright, direct sunlight. Succulents refer to a broad category of plant species with significant range. For example, aloe plants, jade plants, string of pearls, zebra plants and donkey’s tail plants are all types of succulents, though they offer widely different looks. With such variety, succulents can add many shapes and colors to your plant collection.


Cacti are similar to succulents — they can even be categorized as succulents due to their similar needs. Several cactus variations can be grown indoors and are relatively easy to care for. Like succulents, cacti prefer bright, direct light and should only be watered when the soil has completely dried out. 

Bird of Paradise

The bird of paradise is a tall tropical plant with large, oblong leaves and when mature will bloom colorful flowers that are shaped like a bird’s head. Since these plants are tropical, they need bright sunlight and high humidity. With their height, bird of paradise plants can act as umbrellas shielding the direct sun from plants growing below them. They’ll soak up the sun while adding height to your empty spaces.

Ponytail Palm

Ponytail palms are unique plants with thick trunks and curly foliage that resembles a ponytail. These are plants that do well in sunlight and only need to be watered when the soil dries out. They’re also slow-growing plants, which means they can live happily in the same pot for a couple of years. 

Yucca Plant

Yucca plants have numerous indoor and outdoor varieties, many of which can grow into full-size trees. Yucca plants have sword-shaped leaves that grow in clumps on a trunk. These plants love direct sun and can grow for several years indoors before getting too big for most spaces. 

How to Improve Natural Light in Your Home

While some plants can live in lower light conditions, all plants need some level of natural light to thrive. If you’re a plant lover and need more natural light in your home, consider replacing your windows. Installing new windows can improve the amount of natural light in your home, thus improving the lives of your plants. 

If your windows are old and dirty, they may not allow ample amounts of natural light into your home. Additionally, older windows tend to be faulty, allowing cold drafts inside during the winter, which can make your plants unhappy. Window replacements ensure you and your plants get the necessary lighting and help prevent drafts to make your home more energy efficient. 

Other ways you can improve natural lighting in your home include regularly cleaning your windows and avoiding blocking the windows. For example, if you have furniture placed in front of your windows, the sunlight may get blocked. Arrange your furniture so natural light can still reach your plants. Also, be sure to open your blinds or curtains, especially on sunny days, to ensure your plants can maximize the daylight.

let in more light with renewal by andersen windows

Let in More Light With Renewal by Andersen® Windows

Window quality can make a significant difference regarding numerous factors around your home, including the amount of natural light you get. Consider replacing your windows with Renewal by Andersen for high-quality windows and service. We offer various colors and window styles to meet your unique needs and will work closely with you to design and install windows for optimal sunlight in your home. 

If you know what you’re looking for schedule a free consultation online, or view our gallery of completed projects for inspiration.

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