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Six Indoor Plants to Soak in the Sun

In a previous blog post, we shared five indoor plants that will thrive in little to no direct light. Today, we’re diving into their sun-loving counterparts. If you’ve been meaning to add a splash of green to your well-lit space, here’s a list of six houseplants that thrive in bright, natural light.

aloe vera plant in the sunPhoto by Charles Deluvio

Aloe Vera

If you’ve ever gotten sunburned in your lifetime, you’re probably pretty familiar with this plant. A miracle skin-saver, this juicy succulent packs a punch when it comes to delivering natural healing and antioxidant properties. But it also sits pretty on a windowsill, and it does that best where it can soak up direct sunlight. Aloe vera is native to the desert and doesn’t need much moisture to survive, so be stingy on the watering to avoid root rot.

jade plant in the sunPhoto by Nathan Dumlao

Jade Plant

The jade plant has small, green round leaves reminiscent of small change — which is why it’s also been coined the “money plant.” In fact, the jade plant is hugely popular in Feng Shui, as it is said as a bringer of good fortune and wealth. Like aloe vera, the jade plant is a succulent and requires minimal watering. It does best in rooms with south-facing windows for ideal light conditions.

Photo by Noémi Macavei-Katócz

Money Tree

Unlike the jade plant, money tree is not a succulent, but it’s also rumored to bring good fortune and wealth! And while the strange, twisted trunk certainly looks like something out of a fairytale world, that doesn’t actually occur in nature — cultivators braid the trunks in nurseries when the trees are young before they turn hard and woody.

Your money tree will fare best in bright but indirect light, so it’s great for areas where the window is covered with a sheer curtain. It generally prefers moisture, but you can let the top two inches of the soil dry before watering again.

Prayer Plant

The prayer plant’s wide, multicolored leaves grow outward and horizontally, making it the perfect accent for a tabletop or hanging basket. Protect its beautiful foliage by placing it in indirect bright light, as too much sun can damage its leaves. This is a particularly thirsty plant, so it’s best to keep the soil moist at all times (though not soggy).

Photo by Ernest Porzi

Dwarf Citrus

Not only does the dwarf citrus provide you with all the health and aesthetic benefits of plants, but it actually produces edible fruit you can grow right from your living room. Oranges and lemons tend to be the most popular, but you can find lime and kumquat trees as well. Water your miniature citrus when the top two inches of the soil are dry, and place it where it will receive plenty of bright sunlight.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Bird of Paradise

The bird of paradise is a great addition to any indoor space in need of a tropical pick-me-up. Its stately, architectural leaves fan upward — and, hence the name, can get quite tall — so it’s best to place this plant where it has plenty of space to stretch its wings. In spring through fall, the bird of paradise appreciates consistently moist soil. In the winter, let the top two inches of soil dry out before watering.

Have you made an addition to your home with any of the plants listed in this article? Snap a photo and share it with us, or tell us about it in the comments section!

Cecilia Seiter
Cecilia is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. One of her favorite writing topics is sustainability, especially as it applies to beauty + wellness and the future of technology. She is a graduate of the journalism department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is based in Los Angeles, CA.

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