North Facing Window Plants: Discover the Best Houseplants for Northern Exposure

Are you worried that the lower light levels of north facing windows might hinder your houseplant dreams? Fear not! Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of plants that thrive in the indirect light provided by north facing windows. In this article, we’ll explore 15 fantastic options that will brighten up your home.

The best houseplants for north facing windows
Knowing the exposure of a window in your home can help you choose the best plants to grow there. This snake plant and pothos vine are great choices for north facing windows.

What Does Northern Exposure Mean?

When it comes to houseplants, northern exposure refers to windows that face north, meaning they are on the north side of your home. These windows receive low, indirect light levels due to the angle of the sun and the structure of your home. While south-facing windows are ideal for plants that love the sun, north facing windows are perfect for plants that thrive in the understory of tropical regions.

How to Determine if You Have a North Facing Window

Determining if your window has northern exposure is quite simple. You have two options:

  1. Observe the sun’s movement. Determine which side of your home the sun rises on to identify the eastern side. From there, determine north. The windows on the north side of your house are the ones you’re looking for.
  2. Use the compass app on your phone to find out which side of your home faces north. Even if your home is not perfectly aligned with the cardinal directions, getting as close as possible will work just fine.

The best light conditions for houseplants
The compass app on your phone can help you determine the exposure of a window.

What Conditions Do North Facing Windows Have?

Typically, windows with northern exposure provide low light conditions. These windows receive little to no bright or direct sunlight, even during the summer. Instead, they offer gentle and indirect light levels, which are perfect for houseplants that don’t require a lot of sun.

What Traits Do North Facing Window Plants Have in Common?

North facing window plants thrive in low light and don’t require intense or direct sunlight. They are low light plants that are well-suited to reduced amounts of sunlight. Most of them don’t need high humidity levels and are usually found in full or partial shade conditions in their native habitats. These plants likely evolved in the understory of tropical forests.

North facing window plants: 15 top choices
This collection of houseplants in a north facing window includes some easy-care favorites like spider plants and snake plants.

How to Choose Houseplants for North Facing Windows

When selecting houseplants for north-facing windows, consider the growth habit that best suits your space. There are various options to choose from:

  • Vining or Hanging Foliage Plants: Heart-leaf Philodendron and Golden Pothos are great choices. They are easy-care plants that can cascade down from hanging pots or climb trellises.
    Heart leaf philodendron for north facing windows
    The heart leaf philodendron is a terrific choice for windows with a northern exposure.
    North facing window plants for your home
    Pothos is another excellent vining houseplant for north-facing windows.

  • Swiss Cheese Plants: Both Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii are suitable for north facing windows. These vining plants with large, perforated leaves add a touch of jungle to your home.
    Monstera deliciosa: One of many plants for northern exposure
    The big, bold leaves of Monstera deliciosa are fun additions to a north-facing window.
    Houseplants for a window that faces north
    If you don’t have a lot of space, try the swiss cheese vine. Its leaves are unique and eye-catching.

  • Spider Plants: Don’t underestimate the classic spider plant! It’s perfect for hanging pots in various window orientations and produces cute baby plants on long stems.

  • Upright Foliage Plants: Moonlight Philodendron, Cast Iron Plant, Chinese Evergreen, Dragon Tree, Snake Plant, and ZZ Plant are great choices for their beautiful foliage and tolerance to low light conditions.

  • Ferns: Boston fern, Cretan Brake fern, and Blue Star fern are just a few of the many ferns that thrive in northern exposure. They are stunning additions to your plant collection.
    Houseplants for northern exposure
    There are many ferns that thrive in northern exposure, including this Cretan Brake fern.

Blooming Plants for Northern Exposure

If you want some color in your north-facing windows, consider these options:

  • Peace Lilies: These plants thrive in low light conditions and produce beautiful white spathe flowers. They are a wonderful addition to any home.
  • Moth Orchids: Moth orchids are easy to grow and come in a variety of colors. Place them in a north-facing window once they are in bloom for long-lasting flowers.
  • Beefsteak Begonias and Rex Begonias: These begonias offer both beautiful foliage and occasional winter blooms.

Flowering houseplants for north facing windows
The moth orchid is a good choice for north facing windows, but only when it is in bloom. You’ll need higher light levels to initiate the flowers, but once they appear, move the plant to a north facing window to extend the life of the blooms.

Now that you know the best houseplants for north facing windows, it’s time to turn your home into a green oasis. Bring nature indoors and enjoy the beauty and benefits that these plants provide. Remember to refer to the ASPCA’s Pet-Safe Houseplant List to ensure the safety of your furry friends.

For more on growing healthy houseplants, check out these articles:

North facing window plants: 15 houseplant choices for northern exposure