Finding the right spot for your houseplants can literally make or break them! In fact, many people look to place their green friends towards eastern windows. You will find the orientation of your windows from observing the sun rising from the east and setting in the west. But, why is it that so many people are keen to grow east-facing window plants? What are the best houseplants for east-facing windows, anyway?
Eastern windows tend to deliver soft, gentle rays of light to plants when the sun first rises on a morning. This means that, throughout the day, you can expect your plants to get a healthy smattering of light that’s never too intense.
With that in mind, here are some plants which will reward you with great displays from the aspect of an east-facing window!
Best Houseplants For East Facing Windows
Spider Plants (Chlorophytum Comosum)
These fantastic plants seem to have been ‘on trend’ for generations! The fact is, spider plants can become an indoor gardener’s best friend. They are predictable when you know how to handle them, and with some simple steps for care, they’ll make stunning display plants.
They can sit in pots on east facing window sills, or suspended in baskets where they’ll turn into living chandeliers! In troughs on stilts or a table, they will happily share a container to make an interesting display, too.
Trailing Tradescantia (Tradescantia Zebrina)
Another favorite of indoor gardeners, this creeping plant can be trained to climb or tumble from a basket. Ideally grown alone in a pot, they can share a container with other plants that only require simple care.
Tradescantia comes in jewel shades of green, variegated with creamy white stripes and a pale, greyish green leaf. Tradescantia does not do well in strong sunlight. East facing light sources are ideal, and this plant tolerates shade well.
Housed near blinds, drapes, or with ornaments, this plant can become a prolific grower. When it’s happy, it grows freely. Nip off any superfluous stems and root in water as far below a leaf as possible – ideally root and plant six or eight stems to place in a circle in a pot.
Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens)
These delightful palms are becoming increasingly popular since becoming known as great natural air purifiers.
Areca palms make a stunning show all by themselves – like most palms, they can be a focal point or backdrop for a display. For even growth, it’s a good idea to turn their container so you can afford each stem a fair share of light.
These plants do not enjoy having drenched, wet leaves, but may benefit from a light misting. They don’t enjoy having their roots soaked, either! They grow best in a well-draining pot and watered little and as often as they begin to feel dry.
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Easily recognizable, their name describes their long, slender, tongue-like leaves. These grow upwards often with a point. They can be a solid green or variegated with yellow or lemon edges, too.
They are often promoted as excellent air purifiers! They can remove hidden nasties such as benzene, formaldehyde and toluene from the air. These east light lovers can have a surprise bonus, too, in the shape of pretty white flowers!
Umbrella Plants (Schefflera)
Umbrella plants thrive on light from east-facing windows. These stunning greens have distinct leaves – they are shaped like the fanning spokes of an umbrella, joining at a central stem. Each stem is then attached to larger main stems.
Umbrella plants can be deep dark green or variegated with lime or yellowish stripes. If your specimen starts to become too leggy, simply prune it. Reducing the lengthy stems will encourage your plant to become bushier.
These beauties are natives of tropical zones, so prefer humidity. You can mist them occasionally and treat them with a monthly feed. Take caution if growing these inside and you have kids and/or pets – as they can be toxic.
Fiddle-Leaf Figs (Ficus Lyrata)
These oddly-named plants have interestingly- shaped leaves that need approximately a minimum of four hours of good light per day. They do not do well in strong sunlight and are ideal for sources of light from the east.
These plants are higher maintenance than predecessors on this list, however. They don’t like drafts, strong sunlight or over-watering. If your fiddle-leaf succumbs to pests, it’s a good idea to clean the leaves. Super as a stand-alone specimen, they look great in pots.
String-of-Pearls (Senecio Rowleyanus)
I’ve juxtaposed string-of-pearls with number six, fiddle-leaf figs. Why? Because it may seem surprising, but they form a dramatically contrasting display when positioned together!
These dainty pearl-shaped leaves tumble like rows of unclipped necklaces. They are ideal on display from a pendulum, basket, or a pot on a shelf. This plant is perfect grown by an eastern-facing light source.
Caution! If growing this plant, apply water to the growth medium, not the plant above the surface. This is because it can be susceptible to attracting fungus, eventually destroying it. Otherwise, string-of-pearls can become a little dynamo, stealing the show from larger plants!
Jade (Crassola Ovata)
There is something about jade that seems to perk up a room! These popular succulents love bathing in light from the east. They do require some understanding and regular checkups, however.
Jade responds to gentle changes – preferring to be kept fairly dry, it only requires watering very gently and sparingly. Don’t be too generous with water, as these plants quickly develop root rot.
Panda Plants (Kalanchoe Tomentosa)
The panda plant is famously hairy! Its leaves draw attention as a strange but memorable talking point. Their hairy leaves reduce the loss of water and deflect captured water.
Panda Plants are ideal for busy or forgetful owners! They’ll happily sit on an east-facing window sill and wait for a drink without complaint. They enjoy a good drench – and you can then leave them to dry off, but not completely dry out.
Panda plants prefer the medium sold for cacti to grow in – follow your traditional potting habits for other succulents. In optimum conditions, your grateful plant will reward you with flowers, but don’t worry if you never see them. It is known that these plants can take a long time to settle into a new home, so be patient.
Rubber Plants (Ficus Elastica)
Ideally suited to east-facing light, these famous plants are show-stoppers! Natives of the jungle, rubber plants are regularly ready for a shower but not a bath! In other words, you must avoid root rot by never over-watering.
These plants do not like extremes – they dislike being subjected to a deluge, and they hate direct sunlight. Therefore, they make for fantastic east window display plants, and their pleasing aesthetic is always very familiar and soothing. Despite their sensitive natures, rubber plants are classic favorites with millions of indoor gardeners.
Cherry Tomato Plants (Solanum Lycopersicum var. cerasiforme)
Yes – you can even grow tomatoes at an east-facing window – and why not, indeed? A cheerful, bright red cluster of miniature tomatoes is a welcome sight.
Delicate cherry tomatoes are better suited to east-facing directions – having a more tender disposition than their larger cousins, these plants evolve over a season to produce tiny flowers followed by equally tiny fruits. Great for kids to plant, care for and then pick, they also taste great. East windows in a conservatory, verandah, kitchen, or hall are perfect for these delicate growers!
Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
Another common favorite of indoor gardeners, this bold and beautiful plant does like several hours of light (ideally between eight and ten hours per day), but does not tolerate direct sunlight for very long at all.
Suspended from a hanging basket or in a pot, Boston ferns are revered for their dramatic, symmetrical foliage and jewel green color. Water the growing medium carefully – and it’s best if drafts can be excluded. To maintain good health, a shot of fertilizer once a month during the growing season can be visibly beneficial for this plant.
Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana)
Usually grown in water in ornate containers, or planted in good quality soil, lucky bamboo is trending massively. When grown in water, it’s easy to understand and see how quickly the H2O heats up – and in direct sunlight, this would be detrimental to bamboo plants.
Lucky bamboo comes in different lengths for display and can grow for years. Eventually, you may wish to put this in a larger container – some people believe that this species of bamboo is indeed a bringer of luck, too. It is easy to care for with one simple request – don’t allow it to dry out!
Yes – you can bring early spring color indoors by planting some daffodil bulbs indoors and placing them on an east-facing windowsill!
Miniature daffodil bulbs work best in smaller spaces, and their leaves won’t fall too much. Tender spring petals can burn in direct sunlight, which is why a delicate spray of light is so important.
East-facing windows provide more than sufficient light for these blooms, and this natural light can only enhance the beautiful shades of its distinct looking yellow flowers.
Once the flowers are dying off, simply find a nice spot in the garden and plant them ready for an outdoor display next year. Alternatively, store them ready for next year’s indoor display.
Aloe vera is an amazingly popular plant that’s well-known for a raft of different health benefits, as well as being great to look at – and it doesn’t require much work to look after, either.
Aloe Vera plants can do well in sunshine, but positively thrive in shaded spots. The sap of these distinct, chubby-pointed leaves is used for medicinal purposes. Ideally, you should never allow this plant to completely dry out – but they don’t enjoy being saturated either. Therefore, keep an eye on the moistness of the medium and judge accordingly when you’re spraying or watering other plants.
Caution! Aloe vera’s leaves are sharp at the tips, so it’s best positioned high out of the reach of small children and inquisitive pets.
Sea Urchin Cactus (Echinopsis)
Sometimes referred to as the hedgehog cactus, this east-facing specimen is a curious one. In fact, the name sea urchin cactus actually applies to scores of different plants in the genus, and you’ll normally find it growing in the wilds of South America. They can grow long stems and strong-smelling plants.
Great for east-facing windows, this largely unassuming cactus tends to prefer being out of the way of intense, direct sunlight. It’s certainly something of a focal point or centerpiece!
Why should you choose specific plants for east-facing windows?
East-facing window plants, according to many anecdotal reports, seem to grow the best! Whether you’re looking for the best plants for an east-facing house, or simply have a window or two that’s looking bare, the 16 specimens listed above will bring you plenty of green-fingered joy for the months and years ahead. Many of them won’t require much attention or dedicated care, either – simply be careful with watering, and feed them occasionally for the best results.
These are just some of my personal favorites – there are plenty of other east-facing greens out there I’m certain will do perfectly on your sills. Why not take a closer look at some of our other guides here at Houseplant Corner for further inspiration?