Window direction matters for houseplants, because it affects how much sunlight they receive. Different plants have different light requirements, so it’s important to place them in a spot where they will receive the right amount of light.
It sounds like a simple thing: just put a plant in front of a window and let it grow. However, there’s more to consider. In this guide, we’ll go over the best window direction to place certain plants and why it matters.
Which Direction is Best?
North-facing windows receive the least amount of sunlight, so they’re best for plants that can tolerate low light. South-facing windows receive the most sunlight, so they’re best for plants that love full sun. East-facing windows receive bright, indirect sunlight in the morning, which is ideal for many plants. West-facing windows receive bright, indirect sunlight in the afternoon, which is also ideal for many plants.
Why the Right Light Matters
If you place a plant in a spot where it doesn’t receive enough light, it will start to show signs of stress.
Signs of Not Enough Light
- Leggy growth
- Yellowing or falling leaves
- Failure to bloom
If you place a plant in a spot where it receives too much light, it may also show signs of stress.
Signs of Too Much Light
- Brown, scorched leaves
- Leaf drop
By placing your plants in the right spot, you can help them thrive and look their best.
More Reasons Why Window Direction Matters
Here are some additional reasons why window direction matters for houseplants:
- Temperature: North-facing windows tend to be cooler than south-facing windows. This is because the north side of your home receives less direct sunlight. If you have plants that prefer cooler temperatures, you can place them near a north-facing window.
- Humidity: East-facing windows tend to be more humid than west-facing windows. This is because the morning sun helps to evaporate moisture from the soil. If you have plants that prefer high humidity, you can place them near an east-facing window.
- Airflow: Windows that are open frequently can create drafts. This can be harmful to plants, especially those with delicate leaves. If you have windows that are open frequently, you may want to avoid placing your plants near them.
By understanding how window direction affects your houseplants, you can choose the right spot for them and help them thrive.
The Best Window Direction
The direction of your windows plays a big role in how much sunlight your plants will receive, so it’s important to choose the right spot.
North-facing windows receive the least amount of sunlight, so they’re best for plants that can tolerate low light, such as:
- Snake plant
- ZZ plant
South-facing windows receive the most sunlight, so they’re best for plants that love full sun, such as:
- Citrus trees
- Aloe vera
- African violet
East-facing windows receive bright, indirect sunlight in the morning, which is ideal for many plants, such as:
- Spider plant
- Peace lily
- Fiddle-leaf fig
- Monstera deliciosa
- Prayer plant
West-facing windows receive bright, indirect sunlight in the afternoon, which is also ideal for many plants, such as:
- Chinese evergreen
- Rubber plant
- Boston fern
- African violet
If you have plants that need different amounts of light, you can adjust their placement in your home to give them what they need. For example, you can move a plant that needs full sun closer to a south-facing window, or a plant that needs low light further away from a north-facing window.
Best Plants for Each Window Direction
Here is a table that summarizes the different light requirements for different window directions:
|Window direction||Light intensity||Best plants|
|North||Low light||Snake plant, ZZ plant, pothos, aglaonema, philodendron|
|South||Full sun||Succulents, cacti, citrus trees, aloe vera, African violet|
|East||Bright, indirect sunlight||Spider plant, peace lily, fiddle-leaf fig, Monstera deliciosa, prayer plant|
|West||Bright, indirect sunlight||Chinese evergreen, rubber plant, Boston fern, African violet|
How to Guarantee Your Plant is Getting Enough Light
If you’re unsure how much sunlight is coming through your windows, you can also use a light meter to measure the amount of light in a particular spot. This can be helpful if you’re not sure which window direction is best for a particular plant. Light meters are either available for purchase, or there are basic free light meter apps available.
You can also use supplemental grow lights to give your plants the light they need, especially during the winter months when days are shorter.
More to Consider
Here are some additional tips for choosing the right spot for your houseplants:
- Consider the size of your plants. Larger plants will need more light than smaller plants.
- Think about the temperature of the room where you’re placing your plants. Some plants prefer cooler temperatures, while others prefer warmer temperatures.
- Avoid placing your plants near drafts or vents.
- Be sure to rotate your plants regularly so that they receive light from all sides.
- If you’re unsure which direction your windows face, there are free compass apps available.
By following these tips on how to find the right window direction for your houseplants, you can choose the right spot for your houseplants and help them thrive.