7 Indoor Plants That Thrive In The Vicinity Of The West Windows

  • (Crisp Architects)

  • (Nanette Wong)

  • (DHV Architects)


For most houseplants, in the light of a west-facing window is a welcome compromise between the light, but usually weaker light from an east-facing window, and the direct and often very bright light through a window on the south. As a result, plants that like a little more light, but can not cope with the hot sun, are the happiest with this exposure. It is often a good location for flowering plants as well as those with fur or even nongreen foliage, as it tends to intensify the foliage.

A west-facing window is also a good place for many plants that do well with an eastern or southern exposure, so feel free to experiment with including them. Those who prefer an eastern exposure may need to be placed away from the window, or shielded by a curtain, while those who prefer a southern exposure may need to be closer to the light. Either way, you have plenty of options to fill your space.

Basic care. Most of the plants that thrive in the west windows are not as picky about their growing conditions. They want light, of course, but otherwise they are generally well-to-do with default home, the humidity and the temperature, although they prefer to be kept out of drafts and protected from extreme temperatures. Some people prefer to be kept evenly moist; others can dry between waterings.

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Feed them, while they grow, generally from the spring until the autumn. When using a liquid fertilizer, use a quarter of the strength of each week or half-strength, every two weeks.

Light needs. The west windows in the direct sun at the end of the afternoon, when it is brightest — a plus for flowering plants, in particular — but also as it can be the hottest. If the plants are getting too much sun or heat, especially if they also receive light from other windows, they may cause the development of withered leaves and signs of spindly growth. If that is the case, move the plant out of the direct sun or filtered light during the hottest part of the day. Plants may also need to be moved away from the warmer places in the summer and returned in winter, when the sunlight is weaker.

If the plant does not grow and flourish, it may not be receiving enough light, especially if the light that is filtered by the trees and buildings. If so, move the plant closer to the window to increase the light it receives.

1. Coleus

(Plectranthus scutellarioides)

Eye-catching leaf. A western exposure can bring out the best in a lot of popular houseplants that are grown for their unusual foliage. If you are looking for a house with an unexpectedly light and velvety foliage in colors ranging from green to yellow, orange, red, brown and purple, coleus is a good plant to start with. Are brightly colored leaves stand in a space, and it is relatively easy to grow.

Keep the soil evenly moist, but do not let the plant stand in water. Fertilize every two weeks from spring to fall with half strength fertilizer, and cut back in the winter. Bright, or even direct sunlight to speed up the leaf colors, but if it is sunlight that is too intense, the leaf tips may scorch. It is happy with an average indoor temperature and the humidity, but if it’s a little cooler as it is not growing. It can also be a form of flowers, but that’s pretty rare.

More: Other plants with intriguing foliage are bloodleaf (Iresine herbstii), croton (Codiaeum variegatum), false aralia (Schefflera elegantissima), pleomele (Dracaena reflexa), Veitch’s screwpine (Pandanus veitchii), and tiplant (Cordyline fruticosa), a source of leaves for hula skirts outdoors.

Note: Croton, pleomele and tiplant are toxic if they are swallowed.

2. Geranium

(Geranium spp.)

The bloom a favorite. An advantage of the bright light from a west-facing window, is that flowering plants are often the happiest. This means, among other things, that old covered favorite, the geranium. For dismissal of this as “your grandmother’s house,” consider the advantage: many flowers in a wide range of colors, bright foliage, easy maintenance, an option for a hanging basket and the ability to blend with different decorating styles.

To a geranium fortunately, water thoroughly and let it drain completely, then let it dry a bit before watering again. In the winter the water is a little less, but allow the roots to completely dry. Feed with a half strength fertilizer every two weeks, or a quarter-strength fertilizer every week from spring to autumn. Deadhead regularly and pinch back the stems to keep the plant well formed.

More: Another favorite flowering plants that thrive in the west windows are azalea (Rhododendron indica), cape jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides), hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.), New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hybrids), Persian violet (Exacum affine) and clover (Oxalis spp.).

Please note: Geranium, azalea, cape jasmine, hibiscus and shamrock are toxic if they are swallowed.

3. Aloe Vera

(Aloe barbadensis)

Juicy sun lover. Aloe vera is probably best known for its healing sap, but it is also an excellent choice as a houseplant. Its strappy leaves look at home in almost any setting, but especially shines in a modern or rustic spaces. It is also easy to grow and can cope with some neglect.

For best results, plant in a well draining cactus mix and regular water from spring through fall, allowing the pot to drain after you water and the mix to dry out until about a half inch of the top before watering again. Cut back on water almost completely in the winter, water sparingly about once per month.

Aloe is fine with normal house temperatures and humidity, but keep the design and cold spots; the leaves are mostly water, so they freeze when it is too cold. If the leaves get too pale, allow for more light. You can start new plants from the plantlets that form.

More: Although aloe vera is a great succulent choice to get started, you can also consider using an easy-to-grow jade plant (Crassula ovata) or spineless yucca (Yucca elephantipes), which have similar care. Another option is to start a small indoor cactus garden, which is also the love of the fierce afternoon sunshine, a west-facing window provides.

Caution: Aloe, jade, and yucca plant are toxic if they are swallowed.

4. Air Plants

(Tillandsia spp.)

No soil is needed. Many of the bromeliads are often sold as indoor plants are good choices for a west-facing window. The fact that one of these, tillandsia, is often sold as an “air plant” is probably a factor contributing to the growing popularity. Although it does not remain only on the air, it does not need soil and can therefore be displayed in a small dish garden, attached to a piece of wood that hangs on a wall or sits on a table, or be used as the centerpiece in a terrarium to hang in a window.

Although a tillandsia maybe not the bottom, it should be a little cautious, including the provision of adequate moisture. A few times a week to water the grasslike leaves lightly until they are barely damp, then let them dry out completely (use a mister if you want). Fertilize with a quarter-strength fertilizer twice a month when watering, as these plants take up nutrients through their leaves. Allow for good air circulation. If your plant develops brown tips, the humidity may be too low.

A tillandsia can deal with the direct sun in the winter, but will probably need more filtered light in the summer. It can also handle indoor temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) and the needs of the higher temperatures to bloom.

More: Other popular bromeliads are blushing bromeliad (Neoregelia carolinae), earth stars (Cryptanthus spp.), queen’s tears (Billbergia nutans) and vase or urn plant (Aechmea spp.).

5. Bird-of-Paradise

(Strelitzia reginae)

Indoor tree. One of the most eye-catching within “the trees” is the bird of paradise, with its broad leaves and tropical appearance. Give them lots of room to grow, because it can take up to 6 metres high.

The bird of paradise is happiest inside with the bright light from a west-facing window offers, but you may need to take a bit of a screen in the form of a light curtain when the direct sun is very bright. Water thoroughly, but let dry between waterings and let it get almost dry in the winter. You should water frequently if it is in an exceptional bright location. Fertilize with a half strength fertilizer twice a month in the spring and fall.

More: Bird-of-paradise is perhaps the most dramatic, but there are also other options for filling a large space in a west-facing location, including the avocado (Persea americana), dwarf citrus (Citrus spp.), butterfly palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), jaggery palm (Caryota urens) sago palm (Cycas revoluta).

Caution: Bird-of-paradise, butterfly palm, cane palm and sago palm are toxic if they are swallowed.

6. Holiday Cacti

Seasonal stars. Long-lasting bright flowers in shades of white, pink, red, orange, and lavender are one of the bonuses of growing what collectively can be called the holiday cacti: Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii), Thanksgiving cactus (S. truncata) and Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri or Hatiora gaertneri). The common name refers to the time of year they bloom, and although there are some small differences between them, overall they require much the same care.

These cacti need rich soil that is evenly moist held. Weekly fertilizing with about a quarter strength fertilizer from spring to summer, while the plant is growing, then cut back when it’s in bloom. She wants to but not in direct sun, but they appreciate the light of a west-facing window and are usually fine with normal temperatures after they bloom.

Bloom is triggered by the shorter days and a decrease of the temperatures in the night once they start to form peaks, usually around October or November. Put them in a place where they can get 12 hours of darkness to stimulate flowering. You should also cut down on the watering at this time. It will be the Easter cactus longer bloom.

More: If you are looking for other holiday-plants for a west-facing window, consider amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrids) and the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) for the holidays, chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp.) for Thanksgiving, and lily(Lilium spp.) and primrose (Primula spp.) within nods to the spring.

Please note: Amaryllis, poinsettia, chrysanthemum, lily and primrose are toxic if they are swallowed.

7. English Ivy

(Hedera helix)

Trailing form. There is a reason why English ivy is a tried-and-true indoor houseplant, especially at home in a hanging basket. It grows fast, sending cascades of green or variegated leaves down, but it can also be trained to climb. It can deal with different humidity and light levels, and it requires no special care.

Keep the soil evenly moist and fertilize weekly with a quarter-strength fertilizer. It likes bright light, but keep it out of direct sun in the summer. Prune or pinch to maintain its shape.

More: the Other choices for a hanging basket are spiderwort (Tradescantia spp.)and geranium (Pelargonium spp.).

Caution: English ivy, spiderwort, and geranium are toxic if they are swallowed.

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