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House Plants on a Windowsill

If you’re not already growing house plants on a windowsill or two at home, you are not taking full advantage of the daylight that comes through those windows day after day. The list of plants that can flourish on a windowsill is a very long one, so you’re not short of options. However, there are a few things you should know, or at least be aware of, before picking house plants for your windowsill, and we will try our best to cover them all in this article for you.

On this page you will find out about which houseplants are the best pick for growing on your windowsill, as well as avoiding a couple of pitfalls that you  might not have thought about, to ensure that you are getting the most out of your windowsill gardening.

House plants on a windowsill- things to consider

Before you rush out to the garden centre or shop online for plants, there are a couple of things to consider. The first one, and this is often overlooked, is which direction are your window sills facing. This is important to know as it will affect how well certain plants will grow there. For example, a windowsill that faces north will not get as much sunlight as ones that face other directions, so your best bet is to have house plants that like shade growing there like calatheas or spider plants.

On the other hand, houseplants that need a lot of direct sunlight will be better off sitting on a windowsill that faces east or south. West facing window sills are ideal for leafy house plants as it is that ‘goldilocks’ situation: not too much or too little direct sunlight.

Another thing to keep in mind, is the size of your window sills and the size of the plant or pants you intend to grow on them. A huge houseplant won’t look very nice if it is sat on a tiny windowsill, completely taking over every inch of space. Likewise, a tiny cactus sat all one and a huge sill will just look a little bit sad.

Finding the right house plant for your windowsills is all a matter of figuring out what will grow best in that position, and how it will look on your chosen windowsill.

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Here are a few houseplants that are very popular with windowsill growers here in the UK. It would be almost impossible to list all of the possibilities, so if you don’t really fancy anything we recommend here today, don’t let it put you off and a simple internet search can bring up a ton of options for you.


These plants are fairly easy to care for and don’t require much watering. In fact, you have to be careful that you don’t accidentally overwater them or it can cause damage to the plant. A good rule of thumb is to wait for the soil to dry out between watering times.

Echeverias like a lot of light, but their leaves can get burned by too much direct sunlight, so choose a windowsill that faces west or east but keep an eye out for signs of scorching if you choose the latter. Like most succulents, echeverias will need moving away from the window to warmer spots come wintertime or they will freeze and die.

Alocasia x amazonica

Better known as simply ‘polly’ this warmth and humidity loving houseplant is one of my favourites for bathroom window sills. Its distinct looking leaves are absolutely beautiful, and the plant’s fairly compact size make this a winner all round.

This plant doesn’t do well in overly shaded spots nor ones that get a lot of direct sunlight, so choose your spot carefully. Bright, indirect sunlight is what polly loves the most.


With its small, purple flowers and large, curved, green leaves, streptocarpus is the perfect plant to add a bit of colour to your dimmest window sills. This plant grows best on window sills that face north west, as this will provide them with the light they need, but without risking damaging them with too much direct sunlight.

When watering this plant, do so only when the soil has dried significantly from the last time you watered or it can lead to root rot. Also, the leaves are quite delicate so be careful when watering.

Pilea peperomioides

Native to Southern China, this round leaved houseplant is now a common sight in many homes around the UK and abroad. Like Echeverias, you should go light on the watering and make sure it is in well-draining soil.

This is another plant that likes bright light, but is susceptible to damage from direct sunlight, however when it comes to temperatures, the Pilea Peperomioides is quite hardy and can survive as long as the thermometer is reading above zero.


All kinds of herbs can be grown on a windowsill, from rosemary, basil and bay, to oregano, chervil, and chives. Each of these have their own quirks and preferences when it comes to watering and light requirements, and for the sake of keeping things simple and easy to read I won’t go into great detail here, but the information is easily found online.

Venus fly trap

These alien looking, and acting, houseplants are a very cool addition to any windowsill that gets a lot of bright, indirect light. You probably already know about venus fly traps, but allow me to continue anyway; these plants get their name from the way that they feed, which is to catch flies in their leaves and then use a natural fluid to digest them and feed on the nutrients.

These plants need insects to live on, so you might want to help yours out by feeding some house flies if the plant doesn’t get to catch some naturally.  You still need to water venus flytraps, but not in the same way as with other plants. In fact, you can just leave it sitting in a shallow tray of water and it’ll be fine.


Because they continue to flower in Autumn, pelargoniums are a wonderful way to add colour to your home and keep the memories of summer alive a little longer. These plants love full sun and brightness, so an easterly or southern facing windowsill is ideal. There are quite a few different varieties available too, and all of them look fantastic, making pelargoniums a firm favourite of mine for windowsills. Again, be careful not to overwater these plants, and make sure there is some airflow via an open window from time to time.