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Do Houseplants Need Direct Sunlight?

Do Houseplants Need Direct Sunlight?

Houseplants are great for the air in your home and can even help you in your own health journey. It is important for you to take care of these plants in order to allow them to last as long as possible.

The proper lighting requirements are crucial.

Some houseplants require direct sunlight but this is not the case for every houseplant that you may own.

It is important to put any houseplant in an adequate spot to allow it to receive the needed light levels and grow happily.

This article will give you the information needed to make the best lighting choices for your plants.


Do Houseplants Need Direct Sunlight?

Some plants do need direct sunlight. This can be achieved in a sunroom or directly in front of a window. Many houseplants require indirect sunlight, though. There are even houseplants that only require lower levels of sunlight. This can be provided in a shady spot such as near a staircase or by a window that has tree coverage. A partially shaded spot can come from a window where there is only sunlight in the cool, morning, or evening hours.


Caring for Houseplants that Require Direct Sunlight

Many plants require direct sunlight, but it is important to ensure that the sunlight provided is truly direct. Do not place curtains or blinds in front of the window in the daytime to ensure the light is unfiltered.

You should also be ready to monitor your plants when they are under direct sunlight.

The water that you give them can evaporate quickly from the heat, making the soil dry out quickly. If you monitor your houseplant in the morning or in the evening, it may need water again by the afternoon hours. So be vigilant and check-in regularly with your houseplants as they might become thirsty.


Placing a Houseplant that Requires Direct Sunlight

Your houseplant needs to be put within two to three feet of a window that faces south. If you have a sunroom, this is an even better location for your houseplant as the sun comes from every direction!


Plants that Need Direct Sunlight


String of Pearls

The string of pearls looks wonderful in a hanging basket. It allows the vines to grow and develop, but be sure to provide it morning or afternoon sun.


The Jasmine is a houseplant that is not just a succulent or an ivy. It has heavenly white flowers that grow to their fullest potential when the plant receives six hours of direct light.


Geraniums are another beautiful flowering houseplant. If they are not flowering the way that you hope, they probably are not receiving ample lighting.


Most know that the cactus originated in the heat of the desert. With this in mind, make sure you give your cacti at least four hours of direct sunlight a day. Otherwise, they may become thin and leggy.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a succulent with amazing health benefits. It needs six hours of sun per day in order to grow its largest.


Houseplants that Require Indirect Sunlight

Houseplants that require indirect sunlight are great for homes that do not have a lot of window space or that do not have sunrooms. These plants need a spot where they get at least a few hours of sun each and every day. 


Where to Place Plants that Need Indirect Lighting

If you are relying on artificial light, place a flowering plant at least six inches from your light. Greenery needs to be at least 12 inches below the light.

If you are using indirect sunlight, set the plant near a window that faces either the east or west. This will provide the best results, though you can place it at least three feet away from a window that faces the south.


Houseplants that Require Indirect Sunlight

Spider Plants

The spider plant is extremely easy to grow, and it is easy to re-pot as it creates its own buds. They do well in artificial light and indirect sunlight, though they can work with shade as well.

ZZ Plant

The ZZ Plant is literally perfect for you if you live a busy lifestyle as it requires very little care. It does best under a fluorescent light or near a window that can produce bright light.

Boston Ferns

Boston Ferns are some of the most popular houseplants as the fronds are easily recognizable. Make sure to give these plants ample moisture, a lack of cold air, and indirect sunlight.


The Gloxinia has beautiful trumpet flowers that are brightly colored. Make sure to give the plant warm water and bright, indirect light to reach full bloom.


Houseplants that do well in low light

If you have a home that does not have much window space, you need a houseplant that does well in partial shade or full shade.

These plants generally do better in lower temperatures as well, so be sure to rely on only the morning light if it is available. You can even leave one of these low-light houseplants in the corner of a room where all you have to do is give it water.


Where to Place Low-Light Houseplants

Low-light houseplants that only require partial shade can go about five feet from a window that faces the east and only receives the morning sun. You can also place them directly near a window that faces the north.

Low-light houseplants that do well in full shade should be at least six feet away from a window that faces the south. Do not be afraid to put these further from a window.


Houseplants that Require Low Levels of Light



The Pothos is literally one of the easiest plants to take care of as it can even survive without ample water. You can put this plant in full shade or in partial shade to see its beauty.


Peace Lily

The Peace Lily is a beautiful plant with large white flowers. It does well in partially shady conditions where its tall stems can grow.



Peperomia looks beautiful in terrariums and arranged with succulents. It is a small plant that is easy to care for due to its low-light capabilities.



The Columnea is native to the jungle meaning that it is used to being under tree coverage. In shaded rooms, the Columnea will showcase its beautiful, bright green leaves.



Although some houseplants require direct sunlight, not all do. The best tip is to be sure to follow our specific houseplant care guides for proper lighting requirements for each plant.

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