10 Houseplants that can Tolerate Direct Sunlight

Last Updated: December 31, 2021

Houseplants that Thrive in Full Sun

The majority of houseplants thrive in areas with bright but indirect sunlight which can make finding the perfect plant for that windowsill or south facing room almost impossible. However, there are some plants that need direct sunlight and others that can tolerate it just fine.

It’s important to note that direct sunlight doesn’t always mean the same thing. During winter, the sun is a lot weaker than in summer, which makes direct sunlight a lot less harmful for your plants. During the summer months, however, the sun can become very intense and cause burnt or faded leaves. But don’t worry, we have curated this list of sunlight loving plants that love the sun all year around.


Ponytail Palm

Beaucarnea recurvata

This is a Palm that really brings its own personality! The Ponytail Palm is loved for its long curly leaves which instantly bring the tropical beach vibes…

Interestingly, the Ponytail Palm is neither a palm nor a tree, it’s actually a succulent which is why they are super low maintenance. All they need is a spot with a good amount of natural sunlight and warmth and they’ll be happy. They don’t need much water either as they are able to store it in their trunk. The only drawback of the Ponytail Palm is that it’s quite slow-growing so don’t expect it to be constantly growing new leaves.

Find out more in our Ponytail Palm care guide.


Bunny Ears Cactus

Opuntia microdasys

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance houseplant that still gives the wow-factor, then look no further than the Bunny Ears Cactus. Loved for their flat pad-like leaves, and lack of long sharp spikes (they have fuzzy glochids instead which are still a little painful to touch), they are great for beginner plant parents!

Native to the Mexican desert plains, the Bunny Ears Cactus will thrive if you replicate the native conditions. They don’t need much water and will thrive in bright direct sunshine. This makes them the perfect plant for those sunny windowsills that are too bright for a lot of other houseplants.

These slow-growing houseplants can reach up to around half a metre but will grow to double that if given the right conditions outside. They do take a while to grow but are definitely worth the wait.

Find out more in our Bunny Ears Cactus care guide.


Aloe Vera

Aloe Barbadensis Miller

Although Aloe Vera plants are commonly loved for their gel, they are much more than just their health and beauty benefits, as they make for a super minimalist and forgiving houseplant! Like most other succulents, Aloe Vera plants don’t need much tending to as they thrive in dry coarse potting mix. Giving them a spot with direct sunlight is really important as they’ll become quite straggly in areas with lower light.

As they mature a little, you’ll see lots of little Aloe pups popping up which can be very easily removed from the mother plant and propagated! Aloe plants are super affordable and you can pick them up basically anywhere that sells plants, even supermarkets will often sell them in the summer months.

Find out more in our Aloe Vera care guide.




There are probably more Cactus species than we could possibly count in the world, which makes them one of the most unique and popular houseplants to keep. On top of that, they are normally incredibly easy to maintain, make great gifts and can be good starter plant.

Bright lighting conditions, minimal watering and low humidity requirements make them one of the best windowsill plants you can have. Plus you only have to repot them every few years due to their slower than average growth. However, it’s important you keep these away from small children and pets as they often have sharp spines. When handling we also recommend you wear gloves to protect yourself.

Find out more in our Cactus care guide.


African Milk Tree

Euphorbia trigona

Although they may look like a Cactus, the African Milk Tree is actually a succulent, making it drought-tolerant and highly sensitive to overwatering. This plant gets its name from the white sap that is found in the leaves. Be careful though as this sap is highly toxic so make sure you handle this plant with gloves, and keep it away from small children and pets.

These plants thrive in bright direct sunshine and hate cold drafts so it’s important to find the right spot for them in your home. But once the environment is right, they need very little tending to and will reward you with plenty of luscious growth. During the summer months, these plants can grow quite quickly which makes them quite unique for a succulent!

Find out more in our African Milk Tree care guide.



Yucca elephantipes

A staple of many homes, the Yucca is one of the most popular houseplants and you’ll often see them around offices, shops and restaurants too! They’re super easy to care for so are perfect for all plant parents. They were very popular in the ’70s so are a great way to get a little bit of vintage style in your home.

As they mature, Yucca plants can grow about 2 metres in height so make it the perfect feature plant for your space. They are very slow-growing though so if you don’t have as much space, a smaller plant won’t outgrow the room very quickly.

They are very low maintenance and can adapt to most light levels which makes them a great bright light plant.  They aren’t fussy about temperature or humidity levels either but unfortunately, they are toxic to keep that in mind if you have pets or small children.

Find out more in our Yucca care guide.


Bird of Paradise

Strelitzia Reginae

If you’re dreaming of a tropical getaway, then a Bird of Paradise is the next best thing. Native to South Africa, they are loved for their incredible orange and blue leaves that resemble birds (which explains the name). Bright light will really encourage healthy blooms to grow but it’s really important that you keep your pets away from the flowers and leaves as they can be very toxic if ingested. This means we can’t recommend this one to pet parents, unfortunately.

It’s also important that you have a lot of space when buying a Bird of Paradise plant as they do grow up to about 2 metres in size. But if you have the space for it, then they are the perfect plant for those looking for something a little more exotic.

Find out more in our Bird of Paradise care guide.


Jade Plant

Crassula ovata

Believed to bring luck, Jade Plants are one of the most popular succulent varieties. They are best known for their oval-shaped leaves and strong stems which become quite woody as they mature.

When it comes to caring for your Jade Plants, the top two things to remember is to give it a spot with bright light for a few hours in the day as well as making sure the potting mix has fully dried out before watering again as they are susceptible to root rot if you’re not careful. Jade Plants are quite slow growers though, so even if the environment and care routine are perfect, they may only grow a few inches per year.

Find out more in our Jade Plant care guide.


Snake Plant

Sansevieria Trifasciata

The bold and striking leaves of the Snake Plant make it stand out wherever you put it! Not only are they slow-growing, but they transcend upwards so are great for small spaces or that corner you never know what to do with. They have some of the sturdiest leaves or any houseplant, and their sharp leaf tips have given the plant the nickname of mother-in-laws-tongue!

When it comes to care, Snake Plant are super easy to look after, they can adapt to a range of light levels (are great low light plants as well as direct sun plants which is quite rare), prefer dry soil and don’t need much attention in the way of misting or repotting etc. So if you’re looking for a low maintenance, sturdy houseplant, then the Snake Plant is your perfect match!

Find out more in our Snake Plant care guide.


String of Pearls

Senecio rowleyanus

It’s not difficult to fall instantly in love with the String of Pearls plant as their incredible small spherical leaves cascade dramatically out of every pot and hanging basket. The String of Pearls is a succulent plant meaning they love a lot of sunshine but don’t need much too water as they are quite sensitive to root rot.

It’s important that you continuously propagate your String of Pearls plant as the vines don’t survive that long. Without any propagation, your plant might only last about 5-6 years but luckily you can just take stem cuttings to regenerate growth.

The thing we love most about the String of Pearls is how quickly it grows during spring and summer. It really makes up for the lack of growth that happens during the darker colder months that’s for sure!

Find out more in our String of Pearls care guide.

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