The sun shines most of the day in the windows on the south side, which is not a wonderful environment for every plant. Plants develop in a wide variety of natural locations, most of which offer sun and shade. Plants that also thrive in the shade on the forest floor or in the relentless sun of the desert are the extremes at the ends of the plant-friendly climate scale.

The south window from the plant’s perspective

The extreme light-heat-sun fans are suitable for the south-facing window. These include B. Plants that have developed in deserts or steppes with few trees and shrubs; for indoor plants that are to grow in rooms with average temperatures of 20 ° C, this development should have taken place in warm countries.

However, indoor plants are behind a window that absorbs a lot of the incident light (depending on the glass up to half of the light spectrum), which is why guests from Africa get almost too little light behind the south window and Mediterranean vegetation behind the south window gets just enough light.

The window glass continues to react to solar radiation and temperature changes; how it reacts is a little different for each window. The more modern the window, the more favorable the climate directly behind the pane should be; Old windows, in particular, can focus the sun’s rays like a burning glass and develop heat zones near the pane.

The extreme climate to which a plant on the window sill is exposed is very easy to test: Measure the temperature behind the window pane approximately where the plants are; at noon, in summer with full sun exposure and maybe also in winter. When it gets warm behind the window pane in summer, you could hang up a sheet of paper at the appropriate height and watch whether it gets brown burn marks after a few days. When you have done this, you will know what you can expect from your plants and, in case of doubt, you can choose “robust models” from the light, warmth and sun-loving plants listed above:

Beautiful houseplants for south-facing windows

The following plants with an unusually high need for sun, light and heat are available in our shops and feel really good at the south-facing window:

Astrophytum myriostigma

The bishop’s cap is representative of many cacti, usually desert dwellers, whose location requirements are closer to the south window than any other parking space in the apartment. With cacti, the green south window is also fairly easy to care for, because the succulents do not have to be watered very often. The Bischofsmütze loves every sun it can get, but is happiest when it gets some natural sunlight from time to time in summer.

Colored nettle
Solenostemon scutellarioides , formerly Coleus blumei

There are colored nettles in many beautiful leaf colors that become deeper and more beautiful the lighter and sunnier the location. The easy-care houseplant likes heat and is considered drought-resistant.

Euphorbia millet

A very special and particularly pretty milkweed plant that uniquely combines delicacy, bright red flowers and a grim prickly dress. In his home country Madagascar, the Christ thorn grows under the bright sun, dry and warm, the place at the south window gives every reasonably well-heated apartment a sense of home. There are around a dozen varieties of Christ thorn, such as the yellow-flowered Euphorbia milii var. Longifolia and some equally sun-tolerant hybrid varieties, a full selection of which are only available from specialist retailers.

Chrysanthemum, Winter aster
Chrysanthemum frutescens + Dendranthema Indicum hybrids (formerly Chrysanthemum Indicum hybrids )

The flowering composites are sold in late summer / autumn, only to freeze to death often enough on a grave (or the balcony). The perennial plants can live quite a long time and bloom from spring to autumn, preferably on the well-insulated south-facing window. If the flowering is to come again, the winter aster needs a hibernation at a cool 5-10 ° C (how short it can be has not yet been finally tested).

Dieffenbachia (meist seguine)

Dieffenbachia come from the Caribbean islands and are very happy to stand at the south window. If it is a question of hybrids that are bred and raised in Europe, there should also be varieties that prefer to be in partial shade than in the sun, so ask when buying.

flowers Tradescantia

Various types of Tradescantien, which are native to South America, feel at home in the south window, even if they sometimes need some time to get used to the midday sun:

  • Tradescantia sillamontana, the pretty little one from Mexico with pink to purple flowers is the best-known three-masted flower in this country, its very hairy leaves can withstand any sun after a little getting used to
  • Tradescantia fluminensis, three-masted flower with high ornamental value, e.g. B. in an unusual “quadricolor” play of colors and a weakness for south-facing windows
  • Tradescantia pallida, Mexican three-masted flower or red leaf, rewards the location in the sunny south window with particularly beautiful leaf colors

geranium Pelargonium grandiflorum

Noble geraniums need at least four hours of direct sun a day so that they bloom all season long, so they set a precedent for the south window, so to speak.


The species used as indoor plants are in the right place in the sunny south-facing window and even appreciate any heat build-up directly behind the window glass:

  • Triangular milkweed, Euphorbia trigona, expressive cactus that grows almost everywhere, but can finally show its full beauty at the south window
  • Spit palm, Euphorbia leuconeura, with its unusual, angular trunk and the habit of spitting seeds around, is highly decorative and entertaining
  • Spurge cactus, Euphorbia ingens, thick sprout, upright growth habit, deep green color: a beautiful decorative element for any interior greening
  • Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, well-known beauty that is sold today with bracts in various shades
  • Magic snow, Euphorbia hypericifolia, flowers from spring to autumn framed by tiny white bracts

That was only a small selection, euphorbia friends cultivate many more of the wonderfully diverse species.

Flaming Kitten (Madagascar Bell, Brutblatt)

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, our most popular Kalanchoe, was houseplant of the month July 2017, but other Kalanchoes also have beautiful, colorful flowering daughters / sons. Kalanchoes are seldom sold by botanical name or variety name, but rather by color. But never mind, they all like warm south-facing windows.

Bottle tree

The bottle tree, which comes from South America, is used to the intensity of the sun that hits the earth near the equator. Much more and more intense than ours, lack of light is the biggest problem of the elephant’s foot, especially when it has reached a certain size. In this country a south-facing window is the least of the feelings (depending on the glass with an additional plant lamp).

Cephalocereus senilis

What is known in Berlin as the lint cactus is called in more serious parts of our country (and officially) Greisenhaupt, comes from Mexico and with its white or gray cactus hairstyle can withstand almost any sun and warmth.

Crassula ovata

The money tree belongs to the cape flora and therefore would rather stand at the south window than in the moderately light corner that is usually intended for it. If every leaf on the penny tree means more money, it is in the best of hands for its owners in this growth-promoting brightness.

Hibiscus, rose

The mallow plant needs just as much light as its large, bright, exotic flowers suggest. This is why you can often not admire these flowers in locations with little light because the hibiscus sheds the buds or refuses to flower.

Royal Strelitzia
Strelitzia reginae

Are you in the mood for the right color? Then the Strelitzia, also known as the bird of paradise flower, is your thing. Originally from South Africa and at a final height of 2 meters it will eventually need a fairly large planter.

Pachypodium lamerei

The dog poison plant is only ostensibly a palm-like succulent that thrives best in a sunny spot by the south window.

Pachyra aquatica

The wild cocoa tree needs a lot of light in the growing season and a break in the winter to develop its chestnut-like flowers. If it becomes too big at the south window, it can be cut back to the desired height without any problems.

Room maple

The indoor maple is officially called beautiful mallow because it is a mallow plant. However, a tropical one that can bloom on the south window from March to November.

“A matter of course for sunny locations”, such as the green lily (Chlorophytum) and the palm lily (Yucca elephantipes) z. B. were not specifically mentioned, but they usually grow best on the south window. Newcomers that are not yet very familiar and who should be able to cope with south-facing windows are, for example, B. the Australian fuchsia, Correa pulchella (‘Salmon Pink’) and the ribbon bush, Homalocladium platycladum. If you would like to try out the rhombus plant with the lush bell blossoms in various colors or the unusual knotweed plant from the Solomon Islands, we recommend installing light blinds or blinds so that you can carefully test how much midday sun is really good for the newcomers.

You can simply try out the indoor culture of plants that are sold as balcony plants for the south-facing balcony. In the care instructions for houseplants for south-facing windows you will read again and again that the plants should be placed on the balcony in summer so that they can soak up natural light. So why shouldn’t the plants recommended for a location on the south-facing balcony also get used the other way around to a location behind the south-facing window? Flower tube (Canna), hyacinth (Hyacinthus), cape basket (Osteospermum) and snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) have already been tested on the south window; There are reports on the Internet from modern indoor gardeners who have tested many more plants on the south window.

Tropical fruits on the south window

The houseplant is a plant that stands in the room, and who actually says that this plant cannot bring a harvest? The more tasteless / pesticide-contaminated the fruit and vegetables from the trade or the more customers withdraw their trust from the trade, the more crops for balcony and indoor cultivation are cultivated in self-cultivation. Retailers have already reacted and are offering lots of “minis” for living areas.

When breeding these abundant dwarf forms, however, it is often necessary to intervene very vigorously in the genome of the corresponding plant species, which gardeners do not really like when looking at the whole (e.g. because the minis can no longer be propagated from seeds). That is why there is also a large indoor gardening movement that is daring “wild” experiments with completely normal plants – often with surprising success.

However, there are many plants that produce harvests in the living space, and the south window is naturally the best place for such experiments within the apartment. Because in case of doubt, light and warmth are the limiting factors for ripeness and full aroma in the fruit; This is exactly where you can start and offer the tropical fruits on the south window such perfect conditions that they feel at home:

With a little ingenuity you can offer the plants natural light and air with windows that can be left open for a while in summer: Put the “window garden” together in a light plastic container and place a matching wall table next to the window. When the table is the same height as the window sill, you can simply slide the container with the plants back and forth to open the window. And in September / October you can extend the season with a plant lamp just enough so that the last chilli is deep red, hot, sweet and aromatic.

If there is no space for a table and the plant lamp disturbs the look, you can still experiment with harvesting from the south window – the plants listed below should bloom and bear fruit there without “additional comfort”:

Baumtomate, Tamarillo
Cyphomandra betacea

Decorative tree-like evergreen plant with large leaves that can develop splendidly at the south window. It can be grown in normal soil from any tamarillo in the supermarket and grows broadly like a shrub if the young plants are pricked early enough. Good for home culture: fruits that are not fully ripe taste best; However, you have to be careful to leave a few flower branches on the annual pruning of the Cyphomandra.

Potato minimum

If you sow this special form of bonsai chilli, you can also bring in a considerable chilli harvest in your home.

Cucumis sativus

According to reports from courageous indoor gardeners, they grow quite well on the windowsill.

Zingiber officinale

The tropical forest plant loves warmth and forms greenery at the south window and new tubers at the bottom. However, it needs shade in the brightest midday sun and a fairly high level of humidity.

Solanum tuberosum

Very pretty plants that are sold in pot sizes and should be moved to at least 30 cm pots to form tubers. It won’t be a huge harvest, but it should be enough for 1x mini fried potatoes.

Tagetes filifolia

The fine dill-like leaves have some decorative value and should taste very good as a spice in salads, as a tea or herbal liqueur. Blooms from October, can still be harvested and dried well then.

Giant-leaved arrow-leaf
Alocasia macrorrhizo

The giant Pfleilblatt, also known as “taro”, grows well on the south window. Shade a little at lunchtime, spray frequently, harvest starchy rhizomes / shoot axes with many minerals, vitamins A, B and C (cook like potatoes before tasting).

These were the safest candidates, but there is a lot you can try in this area. Pineapple, bananas, peanuts, prickly pear, mallow, Malabar spinach, Monstera delicosa, paprika, peppermint, stevia and lemon have already been successfully tested by resourceful carpenters; every sprout that usually migrates into muesli also has the potential to develop into large, edible weed. You will have to experiment for a while until pineapples, bananas or a Monstera delicosa that you have grown yourself develop, but it is possible, and there is no better way to bring the “healthy respect for food” closer to the offspring than by harvesting and consuming your own Baby pineapple.

Conclusion It
can get quite warm behind the south window, but the climate can be tested and there are many plants that can withstand extreme heat. With a little imagination, there is really something going on at the south window. B. to let climbing roses overgrown was not even mentioned.

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