With the growing popularity of houseplants, more people want more information about growing plants inside the house. If you have east-facing windows in your house or apartment, you might want to know if it is good for your plants. Let’s understand.
The east-facing windows are ideal for many houseplants as they get gentle, filtered sunlight in the morning, followed by indirect light throughout the rest of the day. Syngonium, Schefflera, Pothos, Monstera, and English ivy are some plants that thrive in these windows.
If you want to know no more about the impact of east-facing windows on plants, you are at the right place. I will explain why east-facing windows are good for plants and which plants you can keep.
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How much sunlight do east-facing windows get?
East-facing windows get the direct sunlight of the morning as the sun rises from the east.
The light during this time is gentle and perfect for most indoor plants.
This light lasts for about 5 hours.
Eventually, the sun moves away from the east, and these windows stop getting direct sunlight.
These windows keep receiving indirect sunlight after midday.
Many plants that do not prefer scorching direct sunlight will thrive in east-facing windows as they will never receive the harsh afternoon sunlight.
And the morning sunlight is too mild to burn their leaves.
This reason makes east-facing windows suitable for many plants.
Also read: Is Sunlight Through A Window Direct Sunlight For Plants?
Can plants survive east-facing windows?
Many enthusiasts have this misconception that plants don’t grow well on east-facing windows, but that is not true.
Although east-facing windows don’t get as much light as west-facing windows, it is still suitable for many plants.
I have kept many houseplants on my east-facing window, and they have been doing pretty well.
One thing to note here is that east-facing windows tend to be smaller in many houses, and you should note that while choosing your plants.
If the windows are large, you can grow small and big plants.
However, if the windows are small, it would be better to go for smaller plants.
Also read: Do indoor plants need sunlight?
Are east or west-facing windows better for plants?
Another common question that comes to plant parents’ minds is whether to grow plants in the east or the west-facing window.
Since I have both in my house, this question popped into my mind, and after years of experimenting, I can say that east-facing windows are better.
You may ask why.
Many indoor plants we grow, especially those from tropical and subtropical regions, prefer indirect or filtered sunlight.
Many indoor plants grow in forest beds in their natural habitat, where they do not receive direct sunlight.
Such plants will do well in east-facing windows because the direct sunlight they will receive is mild.
And they won’t experience the scorching heat that west-facing windows get since the sun sets in that direction.
When I started growing houseplants, I didn’t know much and placed many plants in my west-facing window.
Many of them ended up with sunburn and brown leaves.
Therefore, an east-facing window is much safe and suitable for indoor plants.
Many plants thrive in the west-facing window, too, but you might need to place them away from the window or use curtains to filter the harsh sunlight.
The east-facing windows have a cooler temperature compared to the west-facing ones.
So, plants that need a lot of warmth will do better in the west-facing windows.
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What plants thrive in an east-facing window?
Now let’s look at a few popular plants that thrive in east-facing windows and some care tips for them.
1. Syngonium (Arrowhead plant)
Syngonium is a popular fast-growing plant that is called arrowhead plant for its arrow-shaped leaves.
Beautiful variegations of arrowhead plants are ideal for decorating your indoor space.
Since these plants don’t enjoy direct harsh sunlight, they are well-suited for east-facing windows that get medium sunlight.
Keep the following in mind to help them thrive:
- Allow 50% of the soil to dry out before watering.
- Average room temperature will work well.
- Use a humidifier to provide humidity to these plants.
2. Schefflera (Umbrella plant)
One of my favorite indoor plants, Schefflera, is also ideal for east-facing windows.
These plants have beautiful leaves that together take the shape of an umbrella.
And therefore, the plant derives its name from them.
You should be careful if you have these plants, as they are toxic.
Here are a few tips for growing a healthy Schefflera:
- Grow it in a well-drained potting mix.
- These plants prefer high humidity, so mist them or use a humidifier.
- Water thoroughly once the potting soil dries out.
Pothos is a versatile and easy-to-grow plant that can thrive in different lighting conditions.
But, since they thrive in indirect light, an east-facing window would be ideal.
You can grow them both in soil and water.
Remember these if you decide to grow pothos:
- Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering.
- Provide high humidity to these plants.
- Use well-draining soil that doesn’t retain excess water.
A very popular and stunning plant that can grow quite big is monstera.
These plants prefer bright indirect light and do not react well to harsh sunlight.
The leaf holes of monstera give them their unique look and adorn your interior space too.
Here are a few things to remember while growing monstera:
- Water them with filtered water once every 1-2 weeks, depending on the soil’s moisture.
- Use a humidifier to provide humidity.
- Use well-draining soil.
5. English ivy
English ivy, or Hedera helix, is a popular plant that grows fast and is loved for its shiny leaves.
You can grow them in pots or even in hanging baskets.
Since these plants don’t prefer harsh sunlight at all, growing them in an east-facing window would be the wisest.
To help your English ivy thrive, remember these:
- Use loose and well-drained soil.
- Allow the soil to dry out before watering.
- Medium to high humidity is perfect for English ivy.
Some other plants that thrive in an east-facing window are:
- Boston fern
- African violet
- Fiddle leaf fig
- Prayer plant
- Areca palm
- Hoya plant
- Moth orchid
Also read: 18 Best Indoor Plants For East-Facing Windows
Is an east-facing window low light?
If you think eas-facing windows get low light, you are wrong.
Among all the directions, north-facing windows get the lowest light.
But, east-facing windows get a very balanced lighting condition.
Plants that don’t mind the mild direct sunlight of the morning and indirect light for the rest of the day enjoy staying in the east-facing window.
Plants that thrive in low light, such as pothos, are great for the east-facing window as they grow more here than staying in complete low-light space.
Small plants for east-facing window
If you live in a compact space, you might want to have small plants that fit your interiors.
Here are a few small plants that thrive in an east-facing window:
- Polka dot plant
- Nerve plant
- Watermelon peperomia
- Prayer plant
- Purple shamrock
Tall plants for east-facing window
If you are like me, you might be in love with big or tall plants.
Here are a few tall plants for your east-facing window:
- Areca palm
- Parlor palm
- Fiddle leaf fig
- Boston fern
Can I put cactus in the east-facing window?
Cacti usually require more light and warmth than most plants.
However, you can keep the epiphytic cacti on the east-facing window as they don’t need too much sunlight.
They will do well with some direct and then indirect light.
The desert-type cacti will require more light than the epiphytic ones.
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Tips for growing plants in the east-facing window
If you are growing plants in the east-facing window, these tips will help:
- Water your plants during the morning, so they have enough time to absorb the water, and the excess water can evaporate throughout the day. This will save the plants from getting overwatered.
- If your plants need more light than they are already getting, introduce artificial lights. You can also move them to the south or west-facing windows but make sure to protect them from the harsh direct sunlight. You can take the help of curtains or blinds.
- If you notice sunburn on any plants, move them a few feet away from the window.
- Avoid placing big plants or hanging baskets on your east-facing window if it is small, as that will block the view and the airflow.
East-facing windows are great for many indoor plants that do not need too much sunlight. East-facing windows provide an ideal balance of direct and indirect light. So, if you are thinking of growing plants in your east-facing window, go for it.
However, check the window size before deciding which plants you want to keep. Many houses have smaller windows on the east side, so if that is the case, go for more compact plants like peperomia or Syngonium. But, if the windows are big enough, you can keep bigger plants like the fiddle leaf fig and monstera.
I have been growing various plants on my east-facing window, and they have been doing great. So, I definitely recommend east-facing windows for growing plants.
Sources: University of Minnesota, David H. Trinklein, Horticulture State Specialist, The University of Georgia, The Royal Horticultural Society.
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