For modern-day plant lovers living in compact houses, exposure to sufficient light for your plants is tough. This article will especially answer all your queries if you live in an east-facing home.
East-facing houses have a great source of mild morning sunlight that doesn’t burn the leaves and protects them against scorching sunlight. Some best-suited plants for east-facing windows include philodendrons, moth orchids, calathea, hoya, dracaena, and palms.
In this article, I will discuss the role of sunlight for your plants in the east-facing windows of your house. I will mention some plants that grow best in the east-facing windows.
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East-facing window light
The east-facing windows get plenty of direct morning sunlight that is not too hot and pleasant, ranging between 250-foot candles to 1000-foot candles.
However, the morning sunlight is moderate, and thus it is not suitable for plants that enjoy a lot of warmth and hot sun.
This kind of sunlight is enjoyed by plants that enjoy medium bright light and not too much warmth.
East-facing windows have less intense light than south-facing windows, and the east gets more light than the north.
The east-facing windows provide good lighting and a balanced heat source without making the sunlight too harsh to burn the plants.
Importance of light for plants
Light is extremely vital for the growth and health of plants.
All the activities of the plants occur with the help of light, air, and water.
Plants absorb this light to make their food through the process of photosynthesis.
Depending on the plant’s natural habitat, its light needs also vary.
For example, plants native to dessert or arid regions grow in a lot of light, and those natives to rainforests, grow in indirect or filtered light on the forest floors.
Environmental considerations for plants in east-facing windows
The sun rises in the east in the early morning, so the eastern windows or balconies get the first glimpse of sunlight.
This sunlight is milder and hits the plants directly, but as the day progresses and the direction of the sun changes, the direct light moves away, and indirect sunlight takes its place.
This condition is suitable for shade-loving plants or plants happy with direct sunlight for 2-3 hours.
Those plants you keep directly at the window or within 2-3 feet of the window will receive direct morning sun, and those within 5 feet from the window receive indirect bright light throughout the day.
Best houseplants for your east-facing window
Choosing the right plants for the lighting conditions might seem like a daunting task.
However, I am here to suggest ideally suited plants for your east-facing windows that flourish in those conditions.
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1. Watermelon peperomia
These stunning houseplants have strikingly beautiful heart-shaped foliage with stripes of light and dark green similar to those on the skin of a watermelon.
These plants are native to southern regions of America, where they grow under the canopy of larger trees.
These plants do not like hot sunlight, which easily burns their leaves.
So, the mild morning sun from the east-facing window suits them.
If you live in very hot areas, put a sheer curtain in summer to protect the leaves from burning.
Philodendrons are one of the easiest and hardy plants that suit almost all conditions.
They prefer indoor lights or indirect light instead of harsh, intense sunlight.
Philodendrons are climbers. Thus they need support.
Otherwise, the delicate stems might drop due to the weight of the leaves.
You can also grow them as hanging plants, as they are bushy and appealing and add a stunning dimension to any room.
They do very well in the mild sunlight during the morning and the indirect light throughout the day at the eastern window.
You must prune these plants frequently to make them bushy or tend to grow leggy and thin.
Water when the soil is dry and feed them during the growing season.
3. Boston fern
Boston ferns are evergreen plants with dark green fronds that cascade outwards from the center.
They are beautiful plants that uplift indoor spaces instantly.
They are bushy and fluffy and look gorgeous as hanging plants.
Direct sunlight quickly turns them brown and crispy, so east-facing windows are ideal for their best growth.
Too little sunlight can make them sparse and leggy.
Hence east-facing windows are ideal for them because they can soak the mild sunlight in the morning and stay in the shade during the afternoon.
Keep your ferns hydrated, as they require at least 60% humidity around them.
They also love getting misted, and using humidifiers helps.
Prune them frequently to remove dead parts, and do not let the plant stay in bone-dry soil fertile loamy soil mix is ideal for these ferns.
4. Fiddle leaf fig
The fiddle leaf fig gets its name from the fiddle-like leaves of these plants attached to a tall skinny stem.
These trendy plants require some hours of mild direct sunlight of about 4 hours to grow best.
In nature, they grow on forest floors where they do not get a lot of sunlight but enjoy bright sunlight for about three to four hours.
Placing them in east or south-facing windows gives them the best growth.
They can reach up to 6 ft indoors if they meet the required conditions.
If the sunlight is too less for them, it will result in leaves dropping and slower growth.
Keep the soil of your fiddle fig evenly moist but very well draining.
Fertilize them in the spring and keep the plant leaves clean to allow photosynthesis.
Calathea is a vibrant plant with large, showy leaves with purple, light green, or white stripes.
They are so perfect that they almost look like they are being painted.
They are known by other nicknames like the peacock plant, rattlesnake plant, and zebra plant, depending on their variety.
They grow best in filtered sunlight and are well-suited for eastern windows.
Too little sun can fade their colors and slow their growth.
They also need moist soil with plenty of humidity around them.
Humidifiers or pebble trays around them as they love humidity and water when the soil gets dry to the touch.
6. Umbrella tree/Schefflera
The Schefflera plant genus has over 600 species of plants that are native to tropical rainforests.
Among them, the umbrella plant is the most famous.
The plant gets its name from the foliage shaped like an umbrella.
These plants flourish best in some hours of morning sunlight with lots of indirect sunlight for the rest of the day.
The leaves of these plants get burnt in the hot afternoon sunlight, so the east window suits these plants well.
During very hot summers, you can put up a sheer curtain to protect the plant from getting burnt or move the plant a few feet away from sunlight.
Allow the soil of Schefflera to dry out in between watering in winter and maintain average humidity.
7. Rubber plant
The rubber plant, native to Asia, is a great indoor plant loved for its leaves that sits perfectly on east-facing windows.
They have shiny oval-shaped leaves that come in rich green or burgundy colors.
They also come in variegated forms, which require more light than non-variegated ones.
They reach a massive height of 100 feet outdoors, but indoors they remain up to 5-6 feet in height.
These plants need occasional pruning, and they are slow growers.
They grow well in moist soil and warm temperatures.
They require 3-6 hours of bright light for their best growth.
Anthurium is a genus of flowering plants with over 1000 species.
These plants are also known as flamingo flowers because of their bright gorgeous spade-shaped flowers in hues of fiery red and glossy green leaves.
They are one of the most popular indoor flowering plants that need little care.
Fertilize the anthurium during the growing season and place them in a spot that receives bright sunlight but stays protected from the hot afternoon sun.
Although many people grow them in full shade, they will not bloom if they do not get bright sunlight.
These plants are also quite resistant to pests and bugs.
9. Moth Orchid
Moth orchids are hardy, resistant, low-maintenance flowering plants for your indoor space.
Though most flowering plants require a lot of direct sunlight, moth orchids do very well in partial sunlight and produce weekly blooms.
A few hours of bright morning sunlight with indirect sunlight all day long is the ideal lighting requirement for these plants.
Unlike the other orchids, moth orchids need a host plant to cling to thrive.
However, you have to remember the soil mix for your orchids has to be very light, and you can use a special orchid soil mix available in the market or use an organic potting mix that comes from a tree, such as a fir tree bark.
They also enjoy humidity; therefore, pebble trays are a great option.
10. Japanese fatsia
They are an excellent plant for east-facing windows as they enjoy the shade and produce distinctive, striking foliage.
They have tall shrubs with big, firm leaves that give a tropical vibe to the space.
They are very easy to maintain, but they attract mealybugs and aphids frequently, so you must spray neem oil frequently to repel bugs.
They also enjoy humidity and moist soil.
Fertilize them in the growing season.
11. Hoya plant
Hoyas have recently become famous as tabletops or windowsill plants due to their pretty flowers and attractive leaves.
They need to be grown in fertile organic soil and prefer mild fertilization.
Keep the humidity rate around the plant high and the soil constantly moist.
Keeping them in east-facing windows is best for their growth as they do not need too much sunlight.
12. Jade plant (crassula ovata)
The Jade plant is one of the very popular indoor plants that have recently become very popular.
They are hardy and need very little maintenance; however, they are frequently assumed to be low light tolerant plants which are not right.
The primary reasons they die is because of overwatering and lack of sunlight.
Jade plants require four to six hours of direct sunlight every day falling on them.
Placing them in regions of complete shade makes them leggy and leads to leaf dropping.
They have semi-succulent leaves and thick stems that store water and are also grown as miniature trees.
These plants have also become popular due to their feng shui connections, which are believed to bring wealth and prosperity to the owners.
The gentle morning sunlight from the east is perfect for jade’s soft, delicate tiny round leaves.
13. Monstera plants – Monstera Deliciosa & Monstera Adansonii
The monstera plants are one of the trendiest houseplants, and they have become known for their unique split leaves, which develop once the plant reaches maturity.
These plants, Monstera Deliciosa and monstera Adansonii are the two most loved species.
These plants are native to the rainforest regions where they grow under the shade of bigger trees and get dappled or indirect sunlight through the bigger trees.
These are excellent choices for your east-facing windows because they do not like direct sunlight.
14. Prayer plant
These are tropical houseplants with vibrant, velvety leaves that come in a wide range of colors that instantly lift the indoor places.
These plants have a distinct feature that gives them their name.
They open their leaves during the day and then close them like prayer hands at night.
Prayer plants have vibrant-colored leaves that are glossy and vibrant with green and red marks and bright red veins that run in the center of the leaf margins.
Prayer plants thrive in partial or dappled sunlight and are thus fit to be grown in east windows.
Too much sunlight tends to fade the colors of the leaves.
They are easy to care for plants and are quite perfect for beginners.
They are slow growers, and in their mature state, they grow up to a height of one foot indoors.
Harsh sunlight burns the leaves, which is why east-facing windows are perfect for them.
They enjoy a warm temperature and greenhouse-like environment with moist and rich soil.
Feed them with all-purpose fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.
Ensure that the soil is dry in winter and humidity around the plant.
15. Chinese money plant
Native to subtropical areas of China and Taiwan, these plants are popular for their feng shui connotations as they are linked to wealth, good fortune, and luck due to their round leaves resembling coins.
These plants enjoy very bright light, which is not hot as that scorches the leaves quickly.
Complete shade also tends to slow the growth, which is why east-facing windows are ideal.
The mild sunlight does not scorch the plant simultaneously, providing it with sufficient nutrients.
If your area experiences very hot summers, place the plant two feet away from the window.
If you are looking for a tall bushy plant to fill your empty east window, then this is a great plant for you.
Palms are loved for their thin green fronds that grace large hallways or rooms.
Though many plant owners mistake palms for shade-loving, their best growth occurs in partial sunlight.
They do not do well in complete shade, and neither they do fine in full sunlight.
Too much sun tends to turn their leaves brown and dry.
East-facing windows are an ideal choice for plants.
The less intense sunlight of the east gives the plant the necessary warmth without making them too hot.
Refrain from watering your palms too frequently, as they catch root rot easily.
Water only when you see the soil fully dry to the touch.
Keep your palms away from air drafts as that tends to brown their fronds quickly.
Palms are also known for their excellent air purifying qualities, and the ASPCA also marks them as being toxic to pets and adding a lot of tropical vibes to your homes.
17. Dumb canes
Dieffenbachia, or dumb canes, is one of the most popular plants to grow indoors.
However, many people grow them in complete shade.
Though these plants can tolerate full shade, their best growth occurs when they get a few hours of direct sunlight.
Too much shade tends to reduce the leaf sizes of the plant and make them grow leggier.
However, if you have children or pets at home, keep this plant from their reach as they contain poisonous sap, which can be highly dangerous.
Crotons are trendy houseplants with vibrant colorful leaves native to tropical regions of Asia.
They are available in multiple bright hues of red, yellow, pink, orange, and so on.
One mistake people make with these plants is that they grow them indoors as houseplants where they do not get direct light.
But it is important to remember that the more colorful the species of crotons are, the more sunlight they need.
These plants need a few hours of direct sunlight, or their variegations begin to fade and turn green.
However, direct sunlight also tends to burn the leaves and leave brown spots.
Crotons need warmth, high humidity, and direct sunlight to flourish, making them grow well in east-facing windows.
Crotons also enjoy fertile soil so add fertilizer in the growing season.
Also, to be noted that these plants are toxic if ingested.
The plants enjoy plenty of bright morning sunlight and love soaking them up in the east-facing windows. The mild sunlight does not burn or make the plants too hot.
However, you need to remember the duration and intensity of the light vary as per the season and location. If you live in a hot area, move the plant a few feet away from the window or put up a sheer curtain.