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What Houseplants Like Direct Sunlight? (21 Examples)


We wait for the sun, the flowers and the heat all year round, but when they arrive, drought takes over our crops. To compensate for this, there are varieties of plants that are robust enough to withstand dry and hot climates, as well as direct sunlight, and these are the ones to be favoured.


21 houseplants that like direct sunlight

1) The Agave

Native to Mexico, the plant likes arid environments, heat and sun. It can support very strong temperatures. Exposed in full sun it must be watered every two months and fertilized once a month. 


2) The Corniculum Potato

The foliage of the trefoil proves its ability to adapt to sun and drought. However, it is more favorable to coastal climates and temperatures softened by the ocean. 


3) Pelargonium

Pelargonium geranium only grows at temperatures above 13°C. It will be ideal on all balconies and in window boxes. 


4) The Gazania

The Gazania appreciates the heat and the sun. It survives even in drought. It is under these conditions that it blooms its most beautiful flowers from the end of May to the beginning of October. 


5) Myrtle

Myrtle grows in full sun. Its bloom is at the beginning of the summer. It should be watered once a week moderately. 


6) Perovskia

Perovskia, the sage of Russia, is cultivated in full sun. All you have to do is water it once a week without excess and fertilize it twice a month.


7) The Anthemis

Plant it in full sun in a fertile and very well drained soil.


8) Bignone with tendrils

The bignone particularly appreciates the heat and supports the drought rather well, especially when the plant is well rooted.


9) Lavender

Lavender is a true sunshine plant, resistant to drought, sea spray, and forgetfulness of watering and enjoys climates as varied as the seaside, the city, the mountains. 


10) Lantana

Lantana grows in full sun. Its flowering is done in summer. It needs to be watered once or twice a week.


11) Virginia Sumac

Virginia sumac, native to North America, thrives in dry, poor, calcareous soils and requires little watering.


12) The Euryops

The Euryops needs to be exposed to full sun but not to be subjected to temperatures that do not overheat too much in summer. Indeed, it blooms best under moderate temperatures.


13) Cistus

Cistus is a shrub that grows in full sun. Their flowering is done from the beginning of the summer. Water them once a fortnight without excess.


14) The Crassula

It is a plant which likes the strong luminosity and the exposures to the sun and the heat. 


15) The Dasylirion

It is a desert plant which requires a very sunny exposure. It must be returned to the shelter in winter and exposed only in summer.


16) The Pink Laurel

Typically Mediterranean, it is cultivated in many warm and temperate regions of the world. 


17) The Dorotheanthus Bellidiformis

It is a fast-growing plant, but still requires a lot of heat to start growing.


18) Alderberry

The Aldermen love the full sun. A very exposed rockery is an ideal place for its culture. Let’s take the example of the lands of the south of France.


19) The Ceanothes or lilacs of California

Ceanothes grow in full sun and need to be watered twice a week for the first two years and then only once a week. 


20) Fremontodendron

Fremontodendron flowers from May to September. This plant requires a watering once every 15 days without excess.


21) Rosemary

Aromatic shrubs have the particularity of resisting drought well. Among them is rosemary, which grows wild in the Mediterranean basin. It appreciates dry, calcareous soils and loves the sun. To maintain it, just prune slightly after flowering so that it does not become bare.


Why choose plants that are resistant to direct sunlight?

Water is a resource that tends to become more and more precious, especially in times of drought when water restrictions are frequent. Rainwater can then be recovered for later use, or plants can be planted upstream to resist heat and drought. Aromatic plants, shrubs, Mediterranean perennials… the choice is vast to embellish your garden.


Other perennials and sunflowers

Apart from the Mediterranean plants, you can grow a multitude of other potted plants in full sunshine. Garnish for example south-facing window boxes with the traditional petunias, surfinias, verbenas and balcony geraniums. For a less conventional version, choose warm-colored gazanias and annuals.


If you want more originality and naturalness, opt for perennials that we are less used to see on balconies: anhemis and agatheas will happily rub shoulders with a beautiful ball of sagebrush ‘Powis Castle’ and aerial gauras.


Other sunny perennials that will be wonderful on your balcony: asters, daylilies, agapanthus with a soft blue color, if the sun is not too hot, heliotropes with purple flowers, sedums (especially Sedum spectabile, with pink flowers) and the whole range of decorative sage (blue sage, red Salvia microphylla…).


Other houseplants that like direct sunlight

Succulent plants and those coming from hot countries know how to “tan” in the sun without getting burned. But, in any case, it is better to avoid direct sunlight except in winter and spring.

Sansevierias, wickedly called “mother-in-law’s tongues”, are as unbreakable as aspidistras. Like them they will look best in a group, planted in a big pot.


Most cacti (except epiphytes, such as zygocactus or epiphyllums, which must live away from direct sunlight) like very sunny situations.

If you like flowers, collect mammillarias, lovers of the bizarre, choose lithops: the “pebble plants”, which disguise themselves in the desert to escape the eyes of predators.

Euphorbias, echeverias, crassulas and aloes, have both interesting silhouettes and beautiful flowers.


Among the sun-loving foliage plants, think of the yuccas standing on their trunks like palm trees, with very pointed and stiff leaves, or the nolinas, nicknamed “elephant feet” because of their oddly swollen trunks at the base, serving as a water reserve during times of scarcity.


All these plants have in common their taste for bright light and their resistance to drought (not too long anyway: you have to live well!).


In winter, the succulent plants rest. Put them in a fairly cool room (around 10°) and water them sparingly: once every fortnight or so, and very little at a time, just enough so that they don’t die.



Sunflower plants only produce flowers or keep their characteristic shapes if they are cultivated in full sunlight. We offer you a list of 21 plants that can be cultivated and that like direct sunlight.

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