Best Houseplants for Sunny South-Facing Windows

croton in the sunlight ted lare design & build

You’ll often hear that plants need a lot of light. So, you might take a plant home and set it in front of a south-facing window, only to find it shriveled up, dropping leaves, and sunburned in a week or two. Some plants love all the direct sun they’ll get in a south window, and some want that bright light, without the sunburn.

Here are sun-loving houseplants that you can keep in or near a south-facing window, and they’ll love it. 

1. Croton 

These plants have a whole whack of foliage colors. They don’t need flowers to catch your eye. Large, shiny leaves are head-turning with their beautiful patterns of red, yellow, pink, orange, green, purple, and bronze. The more sunshine crotons get, the more vibrant and intense their colors will be. They can also get to be quite large. Croton’s are happiest with good drainage, but they do like consistent moisture, so see how the soil feels every day or so, and water when the top inch of soil is dry.

jade plants ted lare design & build

2. Jade 

Jade is a gorgeous sun-loving succulent. These exotic houseplants are eye-catching and easy to care for. They will need repotting occasionally, as they can get pretty large. Jade likes its soil to dry out almost completely between watering, and requires really good drainage in its pot. 

It’s easy to propagate a jade for a friend, just pluck off a leaf and set it on top of some dry cactus potting mix. Water lightly once roots start to form, and soon enough, you’ll have a plant baby to share!

3. Aloe

Aloe is great for a bright sunny spot, with its thick, spiky leaves, these plants are well adapted to desert life, so water sparingly. It may be easier to tell when to water aloe with the weight test. After you’ve given them a good soak, test how heavy the pot feels. Then pick it up every week to check the weight; when it feels super light, water it again. The soil should dry out almost completely between waterings.

ponytail palm houseplant ted lare design & build

4. Ponytail Palm 

Ponytail palms are another heat-lover that are well adapted to plenty of sun and low water levels. They store a massive amount of water in their wide trunks. Their huge trunks are the reason they’re sometimes called elephant foot palms. The choice of curly and straight varieties  offer so much personality! Similar to aloe and jade, don’t water your ponytail palm until the soil is fully dry.

5. Jasmine 

Jasmine features delicate leaves and small white flowers that are beautifully scented. When the light requirement for this indoor plant is met, Jasmine will bloom a few times throughout the year. There are several different varieties of jasmine, but all of them prefer to have consistently moist soil. If you’re going to have them near a south window, you will definitely need to check their soil daily, and if the top half-inch is dry, water it. But make sure the soil is just moist, not wet. Jasmine doesn’t like soggy feet. This heavenly-scented plant will use more water when in flower, so check it even more frequently then.

sago palm houseplant ted lare design & build

6. Sago Palm 

Sago palms are a unique small palm, perfect for bringing some tropical vibes to your sunny south window. Similar to the ponytail palm, they have a large trunk that they store water in, so let the soil dry well before watering. Their fronds are loaded with closely packed, dark green leafy blades, and the trunk is beautifully textured and attractive, as well. Warning: sago palms are poisonous to pets and people, so keep this one out of reach of curious hands and mouths.

7. Money Tree 

Money tree is not just pretty; it’s also believed to bring good luck to your home. These are often sold in a set of three, five, or seven, with the trunks braided together. They’re topped with pretty palmate leaves that are shiny and eye-catching. Money trees prefer very good drainage, and should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry.

8. Cacti  

Last but not least, cacti are always down to bask in a sunny south-facing window. There are many varieties of cacti available that will go on living without water for quite a long time, making great houseplants for busy or forgetful people. Similar to other plants in this list, don’t water them until the soil is completely dry. The variety of cacti seems endless; you may find yourself wanting to collect them all!

If you’re looking for some tough, beautiful, and charming plants that can literally take the heat, and the sunshine in your south windows, stop by the garden center today, and check out what’s in stock right now. 


The Ted Lare Look

Our garden style and trend blog, dedicated to helping you design and shape your dream home, garden, and outdoor retreat.

Inspiration comes in many forms. Have inspiration delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our email newsletter, where you’ll receive our best gardening articles, project ideas, and more!


Ted Lare Garden Center