It’s no secret that different houseplants have different requirements. Some plants need a lot of water, some don’t need much at all. Certain varieties might need more fertilizer than others. And whereas some plants need to be in low-light areas, such as the ones explored in this article, other types might need to live in full sun.
And today, we’re going to be sharing fifteen houseplants that can thrive in full sun, unlike varieties and genera that would wither away in such strong lighting. These options are great for people who want some plants directly in front of their windows, or in similarly lit areas throughout their home.
Before we begin though, let’s discuss what exactly “full sun” is. Having something planted in “full sun” means that the plant will receive 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight every day, excluding unforeseen weather conditions of course.
So now let’s get into some houseplants of which this is a requirement! But keep in mind that some of these plants can still handle more/less sun than others.
1. Jade Plant
The jade plant is a hardy little thing that can definitely withstand plenty of sun without any damage coming to its fleshy leaves. In fact, the jade plant actually requires about 4 hours of sunlight per day and can handle even more than that.
Part of the reason why it can handle so much sun is that it originates from a sunny place in South Africa, so it’s used to bright and dry conditions. But although it is a sturdy succulent, it will still need to be watered occasionally to keep it from drying out.
Furthermore, this houseplant can grow to be quite large, so you need to keep in mind that it might not always fit on windowsills. Eventually, it may need to sit on the floor in front of a window, or in an equally bright spot.
2. Snake Plant
The snake plant is actually a popular variety from the dracaena genus. In fact, it would probably be difficult to find a person who wouldn’t recognize the sword-like shaped leaves on site. Even novice gardeners could identify the snake plant!
And it’s popularity has a lot to do with the fact that it can handle a lot of different conditions without being any worse for wear, this plant is very hard to kill! For instance, it can thrive in front of bright sun but it can do the same in shady areas as well. Lighting really isn’t a super important factor for this plant.
Because of its easy-going nature, this is one of the top plants that people suggest for beginners to grow. Unlike more finicky plants, if you forget to water it, don’t give it the ideal environment, etc, then it won’t be the end of the world.
3. Ponytail Palm
The ponytail palm is a houseplant that not only withstands bright sun, but actually does the best in it. Generally speaking, the more sun your ponytail palm receives, the healthier it will be. Sunlight is actually the main thing this plant needs to grow.
The one exception to the “sun is great for this plant” rule is if your ponytail palm has been previously growing in a shady spot. If it was used to the shade, then you’ll have to slowly acclimate it to the brighter area in order to avoid damage.
Overall this is a great plant to add to your home, with its unique foliage, it makes for a fun accent in any room. And since it grows so slowly, it’s ideal to keep in a small pot on the windowsill.
Jasmine is one of those plants that we mentioned that might not need full sun, but still needs a more well-lit area than most variations. The ideal lighting for it would be somewhere bright, but not in the direct path of the sun itself.
When you take a close look at the jasmine plant, it becomes clear why direct sun could be harmful. The vines of this specimen look quite fragile, and when it blooms in the winter, it looks even more delicate.
And yet another reason why “full sun” is bad for this plant, is that it needs humid air. And we all know that extremely sunny locations can sometimes be dry, or at the very least, the sun itself will dry out moist leaves.
5. Sago Palm
Another palm that we’d like to mention is the sago palm, a long-living plant. In the wild it can live to be over 200 years old, and even when kept indoors it can last for 20 to 50 years easily if it has the right care.
And speaking of care, lighting is important for this variation. The sago palm is much like the jasmine plant we just discussed in the way that it needs bright but indirect light for it to reach its full potential.
If this palm is properly nurtured though, it’s a great option for modern decoration. And as an added bonus, the fronds hardly ever fall off, so it’s a clean option as well!
6. Aloe Vera
Another plant that has seen a lot of popularity is definitely the aloe vera plant, partly because of its cute appearance but mostly because of its sap. Aloe vera sap is used in gels, lotions, and even in its raw form to treat various things like skin issues.
As a succulent, this houseplant needs quite a bit of sunlight. It’s flexible in terms of which type of sunlight it receives, a certain amount of full sun is okay but partial sunlight is welcome. You do just want to keep in mind that all parts of the plant need to get the same amount of sunlight, so rotate your aloe vera once every few weeks if one side is getting more light than the other.
7. String of Pearls
The string of pearls is a lovely climbing plant which needs plenty of brightness to survive. It’s a bit tricky to get it just enough full sun though, so you really need to consider a few different factors when it comes to the lighting this plant is exposed to.
For instance, it needs to be getting exposed to about 6 to 8 hours of bright light per day, some of which can be direct sun, but you need to be mindful of the sun’s rays are at their harshest. During times like the afternoon, on very hot days, or if you live in a warm area, then you might need to have your string of pearls in a place with more filtered sunlight.
But the thought that goes into it is totally worth it, because you’ll be rewarded with some very unique tendrils adorned with pearl-like leaves which no other type of climber boasts.
8. Areca Palm
Next we have another palm, the areca palm. It’s a beautiful plant that was actually endangered at one time, but has since come out of endangered status. Even still, it’s tropical fronds don’t grace too many homes and you tend to only see this beautiful tree in malls and offices. But it’s a great decoration piece to have, and more people should feature it in their homes, especially if you’re partial to palm trees.
The areca palm will need to be placed in a bright room, but its fronds can be very delicate so your should beware of direct sunlight as it could cause scorching. Scorching is especially damaging to this type of plant because the fronds won’t return to their normal color afterwards.
The croton plant is another plant that definitely requires full sun for you to get the best result. The more sunlight your croton receives, the brighter the colors on its leaves will be. You should aim for about 6 to 8 hours per day!
But as with most of the plants on this list, full sun doesn’t mean harsh sun, it just needs to be in a sunny area. So if your croton is exposed to the harsher lighting then you could have scorching on your hands, even though it isn’t overly delicate.
But as long as the Croton is kept in the right environment, you can enjoy its bright foliage for years to come. And croton plants come in a variety of colors, so you can easily pick out one that will match the look of your home.
10. African Milk Bush
The African milk bush is a houseplant that some people will love and some people will hate, it honestly depends on preference and on what you’re willing to deal with. One of the largest challenges is repotting this plant, because it can be quite difficult due to the sharp spines that grow from this succulent.
Some people actually mistake the African milk bush for a cactus because of these spines, but rest assured that this tropical succulent isn’t part of the cacti family!
It does require quite a bit of sun though, it just needs to be filtered somewhat. This plant with thrive in bright, indirect light.
The hibiscus plant is undoubtedly known for its large, gorgeous blooms. But these blooms are notoriously difficult to grow indoors, although there is a secret to achieving the impossible!
That secret is… full sun! If you set your hibiscus plant up in a place where it will receive plenty of direct sunlight then you will probably be rewarded with a bloom. And a blooming hibiscus is quite the accomplishment for indoor gardeners, so it’s perfect for those who want a little gardening challenge.
Other tips include making sure it’s watered properly, fed with a good fertilizer, and giving it the right environment.
The papyrus plant needs an interesting mixture of full sun and constant moisture, which as you can guess could be hard to achieve. This is why it’s best to grow the papyrus in water, you might think this is odd but there are plenty of other houseplants that grow the best in watery habitats!
So as long as your papyrus is kept in a sunny place, and a container with water that is changed weekly, then you should be at go enjoy the cyperus papyrus in all of its. It’s quite the strange looking plant, with long slender leaves that almost look a bit pointy.
As you may of guessed by its scientific name, the cyperus papyrus, this plant is part of the cyperus family which also includes the umbrella plant!
The basil plant needs to constantly live in summer-type conditions for the best results, this means it needs to be provided with warmth and at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. It also needs to be kept away from drafty areas.
But this little houseplant would definitely make a cheerful addition to any home, and basil is used often in food, so if you grow enough of it then you could add some homegrown basil to your dishes for some extra flavor! And this is pretty easy to do because basil is an extremely easy plant to propagate and get more of, so if you take proper care with it, unlimited basil could be yours!
14. China Doll Plant
The China doll plant actually hasn’t been available as a houseplant for very long at all, and its origin story is one of the most interesting parts of this plant. It’s actually derived from a species of large trees that grew in Taiwan and China before it was adapted to be houseplant sized in the 1980s.
Even now, it’s a fairly large plant, growing to heights of 6 feet (almost 2 meters). So make sure you have plenty of space for it, and if you’re looking for some other large houseplants then check out this list!
This plant can handle direct sunlight as long as it isn’t too harsh, but if you want to play it safe then you could go for some bright and indirect lighting. But never move the China doll plant directly from a shady spot to a full sun location or it could cause damage.
15. Barrel Cactus
Of course when you’re talking about houseplants that do well in full sun, you have to mention a cactus or two. The barrel cactus is the perfect one to mention because it’s one of the most popular types. This cute little houseplant closely resembles a pincushion.
And it’s another plant that will not only survive in full sun, but actually reward you for giving it such an ideal location with some blooms! The blooms of the barrel cactus are bright, almost neon, colors and will only spring forth if the plant has had access to plenty of sunlight.
They’re also fairly small plants, so it’s great if you’re a bit short on space. If you’re looking for other small houseplants then you might find some other ideas in this article.
There are a lot of different reasons why you might be looking for houseplants which can deal with full sun. Maybe you’re wanting a plant display on your windowsill and don’t want to risk scorching any leaves. Or maybe you live in a home that’s very sunny, and you just don’t have any shady spots.
Either way, it can be handy to grow these sorts of plants because they’re typically hardy and easy to take care of in other ways as well. Plus, they’re all beautiful and unique, so you have plenty of options!
Hopefully this list has helped shine some light, pun intended, on a few houseplants that you could add to your collection. If you’d like to read more then feel free to check out our other articles. One fantastic article to follow this one up with would be our list of large-leaved houseplants!