12 Houseplants That Can Tolerate Direct Sunlight

Best sun loving indoor plants

Bright rooms and sunny windows seem perfect for indoor plants but not all houseplants can tolerate direct sun.

Many houseplants will experience leaf scorch or wilt and die when they’re exposed to full sun, especially during the summer months.

Here are 12 indoor plants that thrive in direct sunlight.

If you have a large sunny window in your home or apartment then you can be assured that these plants will thrive there.

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indoor plant in direct sun


1. Jade plant (Crassula ovata)

Jade plants, also called money plants, are succulents with thick rounded leaves.

They’re a low maintenance indoor plant that will live happily for many years in the same pot.

Jade plants grow best in sunny spots and they like to dry out a bit between waterings.

Jade plant

2. Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a hardy succulent that has upright fleshy green leaves.

The leaves store moisture so you don’t need to water them too often.

It’s best to let the potting mix dry out a bit in between waterings.

Aloe Vera is a great low maintenance plant that will thrive in a sunny window.

aloe vera plant in direct sun

3. Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, also known as Snake plant, is a type of succulent with long, upright leaves.

They’re easy to care for and will tolerate a variety of conditions including direct sun or low light.

Mother-In-Law’s Tongue needs a well drained potting mix and doesn’t like to be overwatered.

You can easily propagate more plants from leaf cuttings or by dividing the clumps.

snake plant on sunny windowsill

4. Croton

Croton plants have brightly colored foliage in a range of colors including red, pink, orange, yellow, green and white.

Not all Crotons will tolerate direct sun, but the brightly colored varieties will need the most sun.

Crotons like warmth, humidity and regular misting if they’re in a heated room.

Croton plants don’t like being moved around and they can lose their leaves if they’re relocated.

croton plant

5. String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

String of Pearls, also known as Chain of Pearls, is an unusual trailing succulent that looks great in a hanging basket or cascading from a sunny windowsill.

It has little green balls, about the size of a pea growing along its stems.

Each stem can grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) long and you can cut them back regularly to encourage more growth.

The cuttings can be used to propagate more plants.

Important Note: String of Pearls plants are mildly toxic and should be kept away from small children and pets.

String of Pearls plant

6. Kalanchoe

Another type of succulent that loves direct sunlight is Kalanchoe.

They have beautiful, long lasting, brightly colored flowers that can be pink, orange, red, yellow or white.

Kalanchoes need plenty of sunlight to flower well and grow best in well draining potting mix.

Similar to other succulents, allow the soil to dry out before watering.

kalanchoe plant

7. Cacti

Cacti are the ultimate low maintenance houseplants and they love bright sun.

Plant them in a gritty soil that is well draining and water sparingly, especially during winter. 


8. Yucca

Yucca plants have thick woody stems and long green leaves.

They don’t require much water and will grow in poor quality soil as long as it’s free draining.

Yuccas are perfect for sunrooms or conservatories and you can take them outside when the weather is warm.

yucca plant

9. Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

Bird of Paradise is a stunning tropical plant with colorful flowers that look like flying birds.

The flowers can be orange, yellow, purple or blue in color.

They grow best in warm, humid areas but they can also be planted in pots and taken inside during the winter.

Unusual plant

10. Sago Palm

Sago palms are low maintenance indoor plants that will tolerate direct sun.

They’re a drought tolerant plant, so be sure to let the soil dry out before watering.

Important Note: Sago palms are toxic so they’re not a good choice if you have kids or pets. [1]

sago palm plant

11. Pleomele (Dracena reflexa)

Dracena, also known as Dragon plants or Corn plants, have long green leaves with yellow stripes.

They’re tropical plants, but they can be grown outside the tropics if you give them plenty of light and regular misting.

RELATED: How To Get Corn Plants To Bloom

striped indoor plants

12. Hibiscus

Hibiscus are stunning plants that can be grown indoors in bright sunny rooms.

They produce spectacular large colorful flowers and need lots of direct sun to flower well.

If you live in a cool climate you can bring your Hibiscus plant indoors over the winter months and take it outside once the temperature begins to warm up.


Common Questions

How many hours of sunlight is full sun?

8 hours is considered full sun. Most of these plants will live happily with 6 or more hours of sunlight each day.

Is sunlight through a window direct sunlight?

Sunlight that comes in through the windows of your home is considered direct sunlight.

Just be mindful that curtains and blinds will block out some of the sunlight, creating dappled light.

How do I know if my plant is getting enough light?

If you notice that the plant’s stem is looking weak or elongated, the leaves are becoming dull or yellowing, then it’s probably not getting enough light. 

Move your plant to a brighter spot and it should improve.

Can I water my plants while they’re in direct sun?

Yes, you can definitely water your plants during the day while they’re in the sun.

Indoor plants situated in full sun will dry out quickly, so if you forget to water them in the morning and the soil is dry, give them a thorough watering during the day.

Can I leave plants in front of the window in winter?

Sunny windows are a great spot for plants in the winter but try to make sure that the leaves aren’t touching the window if the temperature outside is very cold.

So there are 12 indoor plants that are perfect for bright, sunny windowsills.

If you’re in the northern hemisphere, place these plants near a south facing window or for those in the southern hemisphere place them near a north facing window to get the most amount of sun.


Have you tried growing houseplants in direct sun? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Indoor Plants and Houseplant Care that you may enjoy. You can also find me on Facebook.

houseplants for sunny windows

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin. I'm passionate about gardening and horticulture and I love growing just about everything including herbs, vegetables, flowers, succulents and indoor plants. I've been gardening most of my life and I created this blog to inspire beginner gardeners to create their own urban garden. Read more