Working out which plants prefer which windows in your house can be a bit of a conundrum. But it’s worth taking the time to do some research, as placing the best west facing window plants that you possibly can in that spot will ensure that they thrive there.
West-facing window light can be tricky though, as it tends to be indirect at certain times of day and much brighter in others. This is why plants that do well in west windows are those that like some light without being exposed to too much.
And that’s exactly why we’ve created this list of plants that do well facing west. By seeing whether you have a plant that likes western sun or not, you’ll be setting yourself up for a beautiful window display – while perhaps keeping other houseplants that don’t do well in a west facing window somewhere a bit shadier, if that’s what they prefer.
Is a west facing window good for plants?
A west facing window is good for plants that enjoy receiving a lot of light in the afternoon. It can be particularly good for plants that need partial sun, which is what a west facing window receives in the morning, but with more direct light at certain times of day, without the full exposure of a south-facing window.
Of course, not all houseplants do well in a west facing window. Those that prefer indirect light for the entire day or even low-light conditions should be placed elsewhere in your home, or at least a few feet from the window, just to make sure they’re not getting burned.
Best west facing window plants
1. Rubber plants
Rubber plants love a west-facing window as they’re big fans of having bright light to allow them to thrive. In particular, they prefer light conditions where they have bright, indirect light for around four to five hours per day, meaning that a south-facing window tends to be best for them.
If you don’t have that, a west-facing window is a great alternative. Just make sure that they don’t get any direct sunlight as their leaves can get sunburned. On this basis, you may want to consider adding a sheer curtain if the light coming through your west-facing window is too harsh.
2. Peace Lilies
Peace lilies are beautiful, low-maintenance plants that do well with moist soil and are partial to indirect sunlight, so can be some of the best north- or west-facing window plants.
A peace lily will usually start as a fully green plant with large, broad leaves and eventually a lily will emerge, making them a great addition to any home. Do be aware that some pets find peace lilies toxic; you don’t want any lilies in a house with dogs or cats.
If you’re looking for “easy” plants, orchids are actually not that hard – they just need time to grow. Orchids can be stick-like, climbing vines with gorgeous flowers. They can be good west facing window plants, although just keep an eye on them for the first few days of being placed in that location to make sure the light isn’t too harsh for them.
There are many orchids that only thrive under very specific conditions, but there are also orchids that are low maintenance as well. Easy orchids include boat orchids, pansy orchids, butterfly orchids, and moth orchids.
Philodendrons are beautiful, low-maintenance plants that are some of the best west facing window plants because they thrive in medium to bright indirect light. As above, keep an eye on whether your west facing window is providing too much light or not, as it may be worth slightly moving your philodendron away from it or adding a sheer curtain.
There’s a reason that these are one of the more popular types of houseplants in recent years. Just be aware that some of the varieties are extremely large and will continue to grow if left unchecked.
5. Snake Plants
Snake plants are known for being easy to grow and this includes in terms of their light needs. In particular, they tend to prefer bright, indirect light so can be one of the better west facing window plants, subject to you keeping an eye on just how much light they’re getting there.
These are also great plants for improving the air quality in your home because they aggressively filter out toxins and release oxygen. This plant does well in moist soil and with full sun exposure, but can also survive with partial shade. They grow very large and can sometimes be placed entirely within the house (away from a window) if the room gets enough natural light.
The kokedama is a beautiful, low-maintenance plant that’s a perfect west facing window plant. It does well with moist soil and is partial to full sun exposure, so your bright windows are great for this addition to your houseplant collection!
This plant is very unique looking. It definitely does look like a moss ball, so consider that it’s probably going to go with a more “natural” or “wild” look. It’s a ball of soil that’s covered in moss from which an ornamental plant grows.
Since it is a moss ball, remember to keep it moist. Spritz it with water every once in a while rather than directly watering.
Brassaia actinophylla, or the Schefflera plant, does well in moist soil with medium light. This means that they prefer bright light that isn’t indirect, meaning they can certainly be a good west facing window plant.
This interesting-looking plant has broad leaves on very thin, almost delicate stems. Its large, broad leaves are great at picking up the sunlight wherever it is, which means you can even position it in areas with indirect light.
8. Jade Plant
The Jade plant (crassula ovata) is a popular succulent that grows well in full or partial sun exposure with very little water. They tend to need quite a lot of light, making them one of the best west facing window plants where they can get light for at least four hours a day.
It has beautiful white flowers and it’s very low maintenance, meaning you don’t need to water it very often for it to continue to make a statement in your home.
9. ZZ Plant
ZZ plants are gorgeous and also fairly hardy. They prefer conditions where they get a good amount of indirect light, so being near a west facing window can work well here. Just make sure it’s not getting too much direct light, depending on the time of the year and whether or not you have a sheer curtain over your window.
They can also do well in low levels of light (it’s why this is one of our top picks for the best plants for an office with no windows) so don’t be afraid of moving it further away from your west facing window if you think the amount of light it’s getting there is causing problems. This plant also likes moist soil, so it may be a little more work than the average succulent – but nothing you can’t handle!
10. String of Hearts
The String of Hearts likes bright light, but just don’t leave it getting direct sunlight all day. This is why it can be a good west facing window plant, given that the amount of sunlight it gets there should be just the right amount. Keep an eye though that it’s not getting direct sun as this can result in its leaves being scorched.
It gets its name from its pretty heart shaped leaves with little flowers all around them. This makes it a great succulent for hanging baskets.
Aloe is another great choice if you’re looking for the best west window facing plants, as it’s beautiful and unique—not to mention you can use the aloe for many different purposes! Aloe will grow very big if you allow it to and will continue to grow for a long time, so continue to water deeply for the best growth.
As you can perhaps see from this list, succulents are often considered to be full sun plants, but that’s not true in every case. Succulents are, if anything, extremely hardy and they can generally survive in a lot of situations. Because of that, a succulent is actually a really solid choice when it comes to plants that do well in west facing windows.
Begonias are beautiful, colorful plants that thrive in partial to full sun exposure, making them perfect as southwest or west facing window plants.
They also do particularly well in planting zones 8 to 11, so this can be a good option if you’re considering, say, putting them on a balcony. That is, it’s always better to put begonias outside in a planter in the right zones rather than inside in the wrong ones.
A beautiful and bold hanging plant, spiderwort comes in quite a few different colors. You can choose from green, silver or black leaves; deep red, pink or yellow flowers; and even variegated leaves.
And importantly for your purposes, these are definitely plants that do well in west windows. A south-facing window can also work well here.
Any average cactus is going to be pretty low maintenance. In fact, the cactus tends to thrive if you forget about it, and fail if you try to coddle it too much.
Like most succulents, this will do well wherever you put it. It’s for that reason that if you want a plant that likes western sun and you’re looking for something a bit different to put on your window sill, a cactus could be just what you need.
Petunias are another great choice when it comes to west facing window plants, although they’re even better if you can put them outside the windows where they also definitely fit the criteria of plants that do well facing west. With exposure to partial sun or partial shade, petunias do well inside and out.
Many people choose petunias during the summer and fall months and pansies during the colder months. Speaking of pansies…
Pansies are a very cold hardy plant that will often bloom just out of winter, which is what makes it a popular choice for outdoors. If you have a window planter that’s west-facing, consider a bright, colorful array of pansies as this is definitely a plant that likes western sun.
And if you choose to keep your potted plants inside, fear not, as they can maintain their lovely appearance in a warmer climate, too.
17. English Ivy
English Ivy (Hedera helix) is another low-maintenance, good west facing window plant that also comes in a variety of colors – green, red, yellow, variegated – and has white flowers. For all these, planting zones vary; if you’re keeping them indoors, it doesn’t matter.
Like the other ivies on this list, this one is a beautiful, low-maintenance plant that thrives in just about any window. Ivies generally want moist soil and all are generally plants that do well facing west. However, they will grow untamed very quickly if they aren’t properly maintained – although that could be just what you’re looking for with your favorite ivy!
18. Grape Ivy
Grape ivy is a beautiful ivy that’s easy to care for, as it enjoys moist soil in full or partial shade. That’s why this is a great west facing window plant (north facing can also be a good option for this one) as it ensures it gets bright light, just not all day.
This plant makes a great houseplant. For ivies, some enjoy allowing the ivy to grow around their walls or their house. Take care that their roots don’t cause damage.
19. Sweetheart Ivy
Also known as Needlepoint, this is another ivy that does well in moist soil with partial or full sun exposure, but it tolerates shade better than the other types mentioned here.
Most hanging plants will do fine in low sunlight, although this does vary. Consider hanging these plants just behind a window, or draping them outside the window (in the right zones) in a box.
Is a west facing window direct sunlight?
West facing windows receive direct sunlight for about four to six hours each day, generally in the later evening. They also receive indirect light in the morning and early afternoon. This means that they do not receive as much direct sunlight as a south facing window might.
This means that plants that do well in west windows are those that like getting some direct sunlight. Just make sure that they’re not getting too much light, such as if you start to notice them having scorched leaves. If that happens, either move the plant away from the window or add a sheer curtain to filter the light.
How much light does a west facing window get?
A west facing window gets four to six hours of direct sunlight, enough light for a plant that needs partial sun, partial shade, or even full shade, since the sunlight should never be too intense. They also receive several hours each day of indirect sunlight.
This will, however, vary depending on the season. Like your other windows, the amount of light a west facing window gets will reduce in winter and increase in summer, so you may find yourself needing to shift your houseplants at certain times of the year to accommodate this.
Potential west facing window plants
What are some of the best west facing window plants? There are many flowering plants, succulents, and decorative plants that make a great choice, as listed above, but here’s some more information on some other types of plants that may or may not do well in west windows.
Are west facing windows good for succulents?
Yes! Most succulents like having full sun, which means having around six hours of sunlight a day. Because of this, there are a variety of succulents that can thrive in a west facing window, assuming there’s not too much shade to ensure they get enough light.
South facing windows can also be great for succulents.
Do Monstera like a west-facing window?
Monstera plants prefer having bright, indirect light and so a Monstera can like a west-facing window as long as it doesn’t get too much direct light. If the light is too strong, it’s leaves can burn, leaving unsightly brown spots. Instead, keep your Monstera near but not next to a west facing window.
Eastern windows tend to be best for Monsteras thanks to their bright morning light, but others can work too as long as you keep an eye on their leaves for signs of sunburn.
Do Pothos like a west facing window?
Pothos like a west facing window as this provides just the right amount of light for this plant to thrive. They tend to prefer indirect light, which a west facing window provides in the morning and early afternoon, and Pothos are generally fine with the bright afternoon light that this window offers, as long as it’s not too much.
That is, like some of the other houseplants on this list, keep an eye on your plant for any signs of scorching. If the light appears to be too intense, consider moving your plant away from the window or filtering the light with a sheer curtain.
Does the rubber plant like a west-facing window?
Your rubber plant will like a west-facing window as it thrives in the light that this direction provides. They tend to prefer bright, indirect light and so either east- or west-facing window light will work well for these plants.
You’ve probably noticed a common trend here of many potted plants and trees preferring to be grown in bright, indirect light. So if you’re interested: this is often because, in their natural habitat, they grow beneath tree cover and so light the slightly filtered light that taller trees provide. The more you know!
Does the Areca palm like to grow in west-facing windows?
The Areca palm likes to grow in west-facing windows, but south-facing windows can work well too for this plant that loves receiving bright light. You’ll find that this is a plant that certainly likes western sun, especially the brighter light that the afternoon provides in that direction.