for An Easy, Always Blooming Indoor Jungle
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I am a serious plant lover who is always looking to expand my personal collection. So whether you’re plant-obsessed like me or came here because you’re interested in learning more, a great and easy way to get your feet wet in having house plants is starting with a sunny windowsill.
Sunshine to plants is like oxygen for humans, and in most houses, the sunniest space is on a windowsill. Many of the plants that you’ll find on this list love lots of filtered sunlight and love to be left alone (=minimal work for you). In contrast, some of the suggestions are plants that prefer lower amounts of sunlight, proving that you don’t necessarily need a sunny windowsill to have thriving house plants.
Let’s get started so you can get planting!
Best Windowsill Plants
Botanical Name: Aloe barbanesis miller
Sun: 6-8 hours (indirect)
Soil: Well-draining soil
Aloe plants are the easiest house plant to care for and very forgiving if you forget to water them, making them a perfect choice for beginners. Simply place them in front of a windowsill that gets lots of sun and make sure that the soil properly drains in between waterings (I water mine once a week).
Botanical Name: Saintpaulia
Sun: 6+ hours of indirect sun
One of the most under-rated house plants, African Violets are extremely versatile and thrive in almost any environment. In addition, they produce beautiful purple blooms all year long!
Style Tip: Complete the farmhouse look with a simple and sweet wooden pot planter from Magnolia; $44
Meet the Writer: Based in Lancaster, PA, Emily King makes frequent use of the many greenhouses in her area and has a wide variety of houseplants (30+). Starting with windowsill plants, she has since expanded her collection to include rare house plants.
Botanical Name: Pilea peperomioides
Sun: 6+ hours of bright, indirect light (Do NOT place in direct sunlight, as its leaves will get scorched)
Soil: Similar to succulents, you will want to let the soil dry completely before watering; about once a week.
This is a plant with a unique story. The Chinese Money, also known as the “Friendship” plant, got its name from a Norwegian missionary, who brought back a small sample to hand out to friends. It is a very easy plant to care for, simply place in front of a bright, sunny window and watch it grow!
Style Tip: Complete the look with a unique ratan pot; Anthropologie, $34.
Botanical Name: Ficus elastica
Sun: 6+ hours of bright indirect light; can thrive in low-light conditions as well
Soil: Well-draining soil is key
A cousin to the Fiddle Leaf Fig, the rubber plant is a very low-maintenance plant that will love to make your bright, sunny windowsill its new home. You will want to make sure not to put it in a place with bright, direct sunlight, as this could burn its leaves. This plant is also an excellent choice for low-light settings, as it does not necessarily need lots of sun to thrive (just don’t be scared if it takes longer to grow).
Botanical Name: Crassula Ovata
Sun: 5+ hours of direct sunlight
Soil: Well-draining; we recommend using high-quality potting soil for succulents.
A timeless beauty, the jade plant is very easy to care for and is the perfect place for a very sunny windowsill; unlike many other plants that made it on this list, the jade plant needs lots of direct sunlight. Just make sure that the top parts of its soil are dry before re-watering (but don’t let the soil completely dry out).
Style Tip: Bring a taste of boho with a stunning half-moon planter; Urban Outfitters, $14
Botanical Name: Senecio rowleyanus
Sun: 6+ hours of bright, indirect sunlight
Soil: Very well-draining. I use potting soil with coconut coir for my string of pearls, and they love it!
One of the top-trending house plants right now, it’s no surprise why everyone wants a string of pearls! A beautiful way to give your windowsill a touch of elegance, this dainty beauty loves lots of bright, indirect sunlight (the more the better). It only needs watered when the first few inches of soil are dry to the touch (once a week or once every two weeks, depending on its environment).
Style Tip: Give your string of pearls plenty of room to trail in this handmade pottery hanging planter; $40
Botanical Name: Codiaeum variegatum petra
Sun: 4-6 hours of bright, indirect light
Soil: Well-draining; we recommend using a high-quality potting mix that is specially formulated for indoor plants.
It’s almost unbelievable that a plant that produces leaves as colorful and beautiful as the croton petra is actually a shrub native to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia! To keep your croton alive and happy, simply make sure that it gets tons of sun, water only when the top surface of the soil is dry, and don’t leave in a space that is exposed to too much cold (for more information, check here).
Botanical Name: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Sun: 6+ hours of bright, indirect light
Soil: Extremely well-draining; we recommend using a pre-made potting soil with moisture control
Believe it or not, it is possible to grow beautiful, tropical hibiscus on your very own windowsill! The key to keeping these gorgeous blooms happy and thriving is to give them lots of sunlight, make sure to only water when soil is almost completely dry (especially in the winter), and make sure that you don’t leave them in a cold place.
Botanical Name: Sansevieria trifasciata
Sun: 6+ hours a day of bright, indirect light (can handle less)
Tip: Snake plants can thrive in low-light conditions, too! They will just not grow as fast.
We would be remiss not to include the classic snake plant in this list. The original windowsill plant, the snake is the perfect choice for beginners or those looking for a plant that you can (quite literally) place on your windowsill and forget. Just make sure to water every week or so (whenever the first few inches of soil feels dry), and your windowsill will look completely transformed into an indoor jungle paradise!
Botanical Name: Ficus lyrata
Sun: 6-8 hours of bright, indirect light
Soil: Well-draining; do NOT overwater (only once a week)
My personal favorite member of the ficus family, the fiddle leaf fig thrives in big, bright sunny windows (I have one in my most sunlit window). However, while this graceful beauty hails from Africa, make sure not to put it in front of direct sunlight, as this will cause the leaves to brown.
Style Tip: Up your design game with this stunning raised planter; Anthropologie, $100
Botanical Name: Dypsis lutescens
Sun: 4-6 hours of bright, indirect light
Tip: Repot your Areca Palm every few years, and it could live up to 10 years!
Areca palms are one of the longest-living plants on this list and are an easy way to bring the tropics to your home! Simply place them near a south or west-facing window and make sure to water them adequately (check here to learn more) for gorgeous fawns all year long.
Botanical Name: Tradescantia
Sun: 4-6 hours of bright, indirect light
One of my very first house plants, I quickly came to absolutely love having a wandering jew perched on my windowsill! A very fast-growing plant with beautiful pink, purple, and burgundy leaves, this is a great trailing plant to keep your windows looking fresh and beautiful.
Style Tip: How cute would your wandering jew look in this modern hanging pot?; Terrain, $42
Botanical Name: Monstera Deliciosa
Sun: 6-8 hours of indirect light; Monstera plants also thrive in lower lighting as well. If you keep them in a space with low levels of indirect lighting, you will see their leaves produce fewer holes.
Tip: Place sponges in the bottom to ensure that your Monstera gets proper drainage. We highly recommend purchasing a soil moisture meter to prevent root rot.
No matter how many new plants I get, Monstera is still one of my favorites! The classic house plant, this gorgeous beauty hails from the Amazon rainforest and is the perfect choice for a bigger windowsill or on a stand near your window (which is what I have mine in). Just make sure to give your Monstera proper drainage and check the soil before watering.
Botanical Name: sawblade
Sun: They need as much direct sunlight as possible! (This rare-ish bromeliad comes from the mountains of Brazil)
Soil: Sandy or rocky fast-draining soil. We recommend using high-quality potting soil that contains specific nutrients necessary to help your plant grow.
There are so many intriguing things about this plant. Let’s first start with its nickname—grape jelly plant—due to the beautiful red-purple color of its foliage. Then, it’s also a bromeliad and has an official botanical name of sawblade because you literally can’t kill it! So, just give them as much sun as possible and watch your guests awe at your tropical beauty.
Botanical Name: Calathea Makoyana
Sun: 4-6 hours of indirect light
Soil: Consistently moist; use a high-nitrogen fertilizer every six months
Tip: Although considered a very hard plant to grow, the solution is fairly simple: they need lots of humidity. Run a humidifier and watch those beautiful spotted leaves grow!
The spotted leaves of peacock plants are mesmerizing to say the least and are so easy once you get them situated in the right spot. The key to having a thriving peacock plant (in addition to humidity) is to constantly keep the soil moist.
Botanical Name: Opuntia
Sun: As much direct or indirect as possible!
Soil: Rocky or sandy soil preferred; any potting soil mixed for cacti will work well
Isn’t this the cutest cactus you’ve ever seen? If you live a busy life and are looking for an extremely low-maintenance plant, you are going to want to add this beauty to your cart ASAP. Needing very minimal water (I would start by giving it a good watering once every two weeks and checking the moisture level in between), this cactus produces beautiful pink blooms when placed for a long period in direct sunlight.
Style Tip: Give it a super stylish home with this herringbone raised pot; West Elm, $25