Best Houseplants for West-Facing Windows


My mint plant placed by the West facing window so it can receive as much light as possible

West-facing windows receive between four and six hours of sunlight every afternoon into the evening (if not more), so not every houseplant can handle them. Knowing which plants thrive in this type of light can be extremely helpful. That’s exactly why I’ve curated a list of the best houseplants for west-facing windows.

The best houseplants for west-facing windows include the echeveria, strawberry begonia, gold lace cactus, hibiscus, tiger jaws, kalanchoe, aloe vera, ponytail palm, ZZ plant, and many more I’ve listed below. 

If some of these houseplant species are new to you, I’ll introduce you to them and elaborate further on their lighting preferences to make it clear why these indoor plants grow best when placed near your Westerly-facing windows. 

Let’s get started! 

The 32 Best Houseplants for West-Facing Windows

1. Strawberry Begonia 

Strawberry Begonia in plastic container still too young to bloom.

The strawberry begonia is a plant that likes bright but not direct sunlight, making a west-facing window ideal for this begonia.

Overhead lighting suits this plant best if you can swing it. A happy strawberry begonia will grow more leaves from its long pinkish or reddish tendrils. 

2. Agave 

Growing in arid and hot regions, it should come as no surprise that when keeping the agave as a houseplant, it needs plenty of direct light for at least six hours each day. 

Periods of shade are okay too but keep them few and far between. Turn up the temperatures to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but no higher.

Be on the lookout for signs of overwatering and too much humidity when caring for your Agave indoors. As I’ve mentioned the Agave’s natural environment is very dry, making its root system more susceptible to root rot. 

3. Echeveria

By far the most classic succulent by looks alone, echeveria grows rosette-like leaves. Yours will do best if it receives six hours of direct light per day.

If the echeveria doesn’t get enough light, it doesn’t wilt. Interestingly, it begins to stretch out, so the rosette-like arrangement of its leaves is no longer as appealing.

If you’re having issues with your indoor plants beginning to stretch out or become “leggy” I recommend reading my article Leggy Plants: What Does It Mean When a Plant Is Leggy?

4. Mint

How about a houseplant you can eat that also happens to like westerly-facing windows? That would be the mint plant, which has upwards of 24 species. 

Mint does like some periods of shade, but hours of full fun are just fine for this plant as well. 

5. Hibiscus 

Summer never has to end when you have hibiscus in your indoor garden. This bright-colored, fragrant, tropical houseplant requires at least eight hours of direct sun every single day. 

Some periods of partial shade are fine, but if you want the biggest, brightest blooms from the hibiscus, the more sunlight it receives, the better! 

6. Gold Lace Lady Finger Cactus 

The Mammillaria elongata is appropriately referred to as the gold lace ladyfinger cactus or gold ladyfinger cactus for short due to its finger-like growths.

Although it’s not overly picky about its lighting preferences, the gold lady finger will grow the most if it has more sunlight making it a great plant to grow in front of a West-facing window.

A little bit of shade is okay but try to limit it as best you can.

The gold lace cactus can flower between the middle of winter and late into the spring, even when grown indoors, but proper lighting is a major requirement! 

7. Spiderwort 

The Tradescantia or spiderwort includes more than 80 species that thrive in west-facing or east-facing windows

The spiderwort needs at least several hours of light per day but doesn’t require bright sunlight all day. 

If you do grow the spiderwort in conditions deemed brighter than normal, make sure you replenish its water levels as frequently as required. The plant does best in moist but not waterlogged soil.

8. Tiger Jaws

A type of succulent, tiger jaws or Faucaria tigrina earn that name due to the teeth-like spines that grow on each fleshy, thick leaf. 

The tiger jaw can sprout appealingly yellow flowers, but the plant needs between three and six hours of bright, direct sunlight per day to do it. That makes the Tiger Jaws a great candidate for your Westerly windows.

If you can give the tiger jaws even more sunlight this plant will respond well. Just make sure it’s placed close enough to the light source that it doesn’t need to lean toward the light.

9. Kalanchoe

Yet another succulent that likes light (you’ll be seeing a lot of them on this list) is the kalanchoe, which includes 125 tropical houseplant species.

All prefer indirect to bright sunlight, so a west-facing window is the perfect option for this plant. 

The kalanchoe does like periods of darkness or at least significantly less light after it blooms, so keep that in mind.

10. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera plant enjoying the sunlight coming through the window on the West side of the plant room

Did you know that aloe has 650 species within its genus? The one that most people know and love is true aloe, which can relieve sunburn and skin maladies.

Aloe prefers periods of direct, extended light for at least six hours per day. This light requirement makes it a great option for your West-facing windows.

But beware, Aloe plants that are grown indoors that aren’t given enough light can begin to stretch out and become saggy if they receive less sun than they need to thrive. 

If your aloe plant is looking unhappy, lack of light might be the problem. To remedy this , I suggest reading my related article on what to do when an aloe vera plant is limp or droopy.

11. Hedgehog Cactus 

The aptly-named hedgehog cactus is attractive not only for the wide, cylindrical shape of the cactus itself but for the gorgeous blooms that grow from its bulky body. They sprout in colors like red and neon pink.

The hedgehog cactus will be in much more of a blooming mood if yours gets at least six hours of sunlight per day and preferably up to eight hours. 

12. Ponytail Palm 

Although you maybe wouldn’t have guessed from its delicate-looking fronds, the Beaucarnea recurvata or ponytail palm can do more than handle light from a west-facing window. It prefers it.

A couple of hours of direct sunlight each day is all the ponytail palm needs. 

If your home or office doesn’t have a west-facing window, a south-facing window works just as well. 

13. ZZ Plant 

ZZ plant placed across the room from my West facing window is happy and thriving

The Zamioculcas zamiifolia or ZZ plant is known for being one of the hardest indoor plants to kill, but that doesn’t mean the plant lacks lighting preferences. 

Bright but indirect light through a curtained west-facing window is best for this resilient houseplant.

It’s worth mentioning that an east-facing or north-facing window can also make this plant happy. 

14. Corn Plant 

The corn plant grows natively in tropical Africa, which should go a long way toward telling you what kind of lighting it requires. That would be bright, filtered light.

How to get that light? Position the plant in front of a west-facing window, of course. An east-facing window suffices just as well.

The corn plant needs only about a half day of sunlight to thrive. 

15. Inch Plant

The inch plant is a type of tradescantia that’s specifically known as the Tradescantia zebrina. Its maroon-purple striped leaves will do just fine in an easterly or westerly-facing window. 

Otherwise, the inch plant will grow happily in dappled sunlight. 

16. Jade Plant

Believed to bring luck and prosperity, the jade plant is a popular succulent to add to your indoor garden. 

Its circular, rubber-like leaves do best when exposed to four to six hours of bright light daily from a west or south-facing window. 

Fun fact: the jade plant can grow flowers in hues like white or pink, and you could see those flowers indoors with proper care.

17. Snake Plant 

Snake plants are surprisingly versatile, as they’ll survive in lower light and brighter light alike.

My snake plant loving life near the West facing window in the plant room

You don’t want your plant to merely survive but thrive, and that requires a west-facing window.

You can also position the snake plant near a south-facing window, and it will be able to drink in plenty of indirect light. 

18. Lady’s Slipper Orchid 

Orchids of all kinds prefer bright light, but I wanted to focus on the exquisite lady’s slipper orchid specifically, which is also known as the slipper orchid. 

This magnificently-shaped orchid can grow in a west-facing window, but the window should have a sheer curtain to filter the light. 

An easterly-facing window without a curtain is also fine.

If you see that the edges of the leaves have developed a red tint, this is a bad sign and indicates an overabundance of sunlight. 

19. Ti Plant 

Now here’s a houseplant that’s an unabashed sunlight lover, the ti plant, also known as the Cordyline fruticosa. 

Beloved for its gorgeous deep red foliage, the ti plant when grown indoors does best in direct sunlight. 

Low light will produce greener leaves, which is a clear sign you need to move the ti plant to a brighter part of the home or office, stat! 

20. Burro’s Tail

Known by some as the donkey tail and the burro’s tail by others, the Sedum morganianum hails from southern Mexico and looks especially good when grown in a hanging basket.

The burro’s tail might look fragile, but it’s a succulent, so bright light to full sun is this plant’s M.O. 

If you notice your burro’s tail isn’t looking as full as it should, that’s due to lack of sunlight. 

21. Yucca

As natives to the driest and hottest regions of the Caribbean and the Americas, the yucca genus and its 50 species can handle some sunlight, that’s for certain.

A west-facing window will give the yucca just the light it needs. 

Southerly or easterly-facing windows are good alternatives depending on the layout of your room.

Direct sun suits the yucca in cooler climates while bright, indirect sun is better in warmer environments. 

22. Parlor Palm

Chamaedorea elegans - Parlor Palm on wooden shelf

The parlor palm is another plant that grows natively in warm regions, this time Guatemala and Southern Mexico. 

Lower light is tolerated but not preferred, so try to give the parlor palm as much sunlight as you can. 

23. Philodendron

One of the best-known and most beloved houseplant species, the philodendron (including its heart-shaped variety) is appropriate to grow in a west-facing window.

Philodendron Mican trailing across the room

That said, the plant prefers bright, indirect sunlight, so make sure the philodendron is a couple of feet away from the window.

You can put the philodendron nearer a window if it’s an east-facing window

24. Croton

It’s only one look and it’s love when it comes to growing the croton, what with its bouquet of colorful leaves in hues like red, orange, yellow, and green. 

To encourage those colors to show up in all their beauty and luster, give the croton light from a westerly-facing window. A southerly or easterly-facing window also works well for indoor Croton.

You’ll know your croton needs more sunlight if the new leaves don’t emerge as colorful as they should.  

25. Norfolk Island Pine

Admittedly, growing the Norfolk Island pine indoors isn’t the easiest thing to do. Where most indoor gardeners fall short is in the lighting department.

The Norfolk Island pine needs to be positioned about four feet from a west or south-facing window. 

There, the plant can receive as much light as it needs without basking in direct sun, which could be damaging to its foliage.  

26. Citrus Tree

How about another edible houseplant that loves a west-facing window? This time, it’s the citrus tree. 

A citrus tree can grow limes, lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits, but not without six to eight hours of bright light each day. This much light means a west-facing window is an ideal choice for your indoor lemon trees.

A southerly-facing window works just as well as a west-facing window if that’s all you have available. 

27. Rubber Plant

The rubber plant is a fast grower, which makes adding it to your collection of houseplants very rewarding. 

The key to its growth, at least in part, is providing the right lighting, which you can get from a south or west-facing window. 

In the dark, the rubber plant can go downhill fast, so keep up its light each day. 

28. Bird of Paradise

The utterly enchanting and elegant bird of paradise or Strelitzia is a South African genus with five species in all. This flowering plant grows angled, sharp flowers in stunning colors that indeed resembles a bird. 

To see flowers out of your bird of paradise, choose an easterly or westerly-facing window that gets plenty of bright light. 

Just make sure the light isn’t too intense, as that can burn the flowers of this beautiful plant. 

29. Zebra Plant

Speaking of appealing plants, the zebra plant from Brazil’s Atlantic Forest region is certainly one that should go on your shortlist.

How do you maintain its white striped variegation and encourage those small but lovely yellow flowers the zebra plant is known for? 

That’s right, you provide bright sunlight. 

Avoid sunburning the zebra plant’s precious foliage by installing a sheer curtain over your west-facing window. 

30. Air Plant

The air plant might not need soil to grow, but it still requires sunlight. 

Position your air plant at least one to three feet from a west-facing window.

Depending on your locale and the time of year, keep it moist with a humidifier, misting it manually or by dripping a few drops of water close to it every few days to keep it moist.

The distance can be shorter for an east-facing window since these don’t get as much bright light.

You have to water the air plant more regularly if you’re putting it in front of the bright sun. The proper hydration enables the air plant to withstand periods of direct sunlight. 

31. Urn Plant

Although its name is depressing, gazing upon the Aechmea fasciata or urn plant is anything but. 

This plant grows stunning pink and red flowers that will give you birds of paradise vibes. 

Bright, indirect light from a west-facing window will help the plant do its best indoors.

Shade is okay for the urn plant in small doses, as anything more frequent than that might hinder its floral growth. 

32. Jasmine 

Prepare to be enchanted by the floral fancy that is breathing in the fragrance of the jasmine shrub’s plentiful white flowers.

West-facing windows will be bright enough to encourage the jasmine to grow to its fullest potential, especially species like the Jasmine sambac

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Fred Zimmer

I'm a lover of plants, animals, photography, & people, not necessarily in that order. Currently, I'm focused on photographing indoor plants & chachkies. I write & rewrite articles about creating an environment where indoor plants can thrive. I'm good at listening to music but bad at shopping to muzak.

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