Window plants are light-loving, prolific, bright houseplants that bring life and beauty into every home. Plus, they’ll have your neighbors pausing on walks to admire your gorgeous botanical display. In this article, we’ll go over all things window plants and recommend some of the best ones.
What Are the Benefits of Window Plants?
Adorning your indoor windowsills with plants is a lovely way to invite nature into your home. Biologists and psychologists have long hypothesized that most humans have biophilia – which is “the tendency of humans to focus on and to affiliate with nature and other life-forms.” This is why many people enjoy desk plants in office settings.
The notion that humans are drawn to nature is not a recent idea. Most of the Romantic Period in literature focuses on the sublimity of nature during the Industrial Revolution. Humans have an intrinsic desire to be around plants, foliage in particular, and it may be because of all the benefits they bring us.
Plants Can Help Reduce Stress
In a 2019 study where participants added a small plant to their environment, 17 of 63 participants had reduced pulse rates throughout the study. According to a 2015 study, “interaction with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress.” Those studies are just the tip of the iceberg.
Green is an ultra-calming color, which likely plays a part in why plants can be stress-reducing. Working with your plants (repotting, pruning, watering, etc.) is a particularly great way to channel stress and anxiety into a nurturing activity.
Plants Have Air-Purifying Abilities
A famous 1989 NASA study detailed how certain plants can remove some volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air. Since then, more research has been done, and there are conflicting reports on how effective plants actually are at air purification. However, there is evidence to suggest that at least some kinds of houseplants can improve your home’s air quality.
Are Window Plants Safe to Have at Home?
Yes, window plants are safe to have at home as long as you’re aware of their toxicity. Some plants, while beautiful, are toxic to dogs and cats, and some are even toxic to humans. If you have inquisitive kids or pets, it may not be a good idea to keep one of those plants in your home.
You’ll also want to ensure that the plants are in a stable spot. If the window is in a high-traffic area of the home, the plants on the sill might get toppled over. Plus, on the topic of those curious kids and pets, the plants may get knocked down and could land on top of the kids or pets.
Which Window Plants Are Best?
When shopping for window plants, you’ll want to be sure to choose ones that tolerate bright direct sunlight and bright indirect light. Below, you’ll find some of the best plants for sunny windowsills.
Aloe vera originally hails from the Arabian Peninsula – a tropical to semi-tropical and arid region. It thrives in bright, warm sunlight and requires minimal watering. Plus, aloe vera’s are easy to take care of and have first-aid properties! The gel within its lush leaves can soothe sunburns, scrapes, and other irritations.
Also called “mother-in-law’s tongue,” snake plants are famous for their resilient nature. Snake plants are easy maintenance, can flourish in full sun to low light environments, and they’re excellent air purifiers. Under the right conditions, your snake plant might even bloom with small white flowers.
Orchids are whimsical, sun-loving, flowering houseplants. A north-facing window that gets bright, indirect light is the best spot for these sunbathing beauties. The unique, richly colored blooms add flare to any room and supposedly symbolize fertility, elegance, and love.
Ponytail palms are the perfect way to bring a touch of the tropics into your home. These miniature palm tree-looking plants are actually succulents – meaning they retain water and don’t require constant care. All they need is a bright, sunny windowsill in your kitchen or living room to thrive.
Which Plants Are Best for North-Facing Windows?
In general, north-facing windows are known for getting the least amount of direct sunlight. So, a north-facing window is the best spot for plants that require bright, indirect light. Some of the best plants for north-facing windows are:
Also called the swiss cheese plant, the Monstera deliciosa is a holey-leafed botanical wonder. True to its name, these plants grow to be quite large – indoor-grown Monsteras often reach several feet in height with broad, waxy leaves. They thrive in the bright, indirect light from north-facing windows.
Related: Monstera Deliciosa Care: Easy Techniques for Monstera Upkeep
Most pothos varieties flourish in filtered sunlight and only require pretty minimal waterings. These gorgeous vining plants tumble out of their pot as they grow and look fabulous in hanging baskets. Plus, pothos varieties are some of the top-rate air-purifying houseplants!
Norfolk Island Pine
You might think of misty gray forests when you think of pines, but the Norfolk island pine is a light-loving tropical evergreen. North-facings windows typically provide the perfect amount of bright, indirect light for these delicate, woodsy, unique houseplants.
Maidenhair ferns are majestic, wispy foliage plants that add ethereal beauty to windowsills. They don’t tolerate direct sunlight, so a north-facing window is a perfect option for one of these ferns. The delicate, light-green leaves will instantly brighten up your kitchen, living room, or entryway.
Which Spot is Best for a Window Plant?
Are north-, east-, south-, or west-facing windows the best for indoor houseplants? The truth is that each direction works well for different kinds of plants. Let’s go over what each direction-facing window offers in terms of light.
North-facing windows generally provide bright, indirect sunlight for most of the day. They make good homes for indirect light-loving plants, such as the ones we discussed in the section before this. Some other north-facing window plants are ZZ plants, peace lilies, Chinese evergreens, and cyclamens.
East-facing windows are great for plants with medium light requirements, like the Ficus elastica (rubber tree). These windows welcome soft, direct light in the morning and brighter, indirect light for most of the rest of the day. They make great homes for sunrise-worshipping plants.
South-facing windows typically get the most bright light throughout the day. A wide variety of houseplants can flourish on south-facing windowsills, including aloe vera, jade plant, ponytail palms, and crotons. South-facing windows are also the best for flowering houseplants.
West-facing windows get plenty of direct afternoon light, but they often miss out on the warmest noon sunlight. Plants with low to medium light requirements do well on west-facing windowsills. Some of the best plants for west-facing windows are the parlor palm, spider plant, orchids, and tiger jaws.
How Can I Protect My Window Sills From My Plant?
Decorating your windows with plants doesn’t have to ruin your wooden trim or pretty paint job. When shopping for plants and pots, look for matching trays to place underneath that will catch excess water. Or, grab one large (long and skinny) tray and place multiple plants in it on the windowsill.
Be sure to grab a tray with high enough edges to catch the excess water from your plants’ drainage holes. If you’d like, you can even fill the trays with pebbles or glass stones to add decoration and encourage extra drainage while also promoting moisture.
Where Can I Find Window Plants?
Some of the very best window plants are right here at Planted Pot! Norfolk Island pines, monstera delisciosas, snake plants, and more are just a few clicks away from this article. Plus, we offer the perfect plant stand for raising houseplants if you don’t have adequate windowsills!
Final Thoughts – Window Plants
Decorating your home with window plants is a majestic, beneficial way to bring the natural world into your humble abode. Watch the sunrise behind your rubber tree, illuminating the waxy leaves’ edges as you sip coffee. Watch it set over your dazzling orchids, glowing behind the brightly-colored blooms.
If you’re looking into spicing up your space, reduce your stress, cleanse your air, and practice responsibility, window plants are an excellent option for you. Taking time to connect with nature is so beneficial for us, and window plants make for easy ways to gain those benefits.