When bringing plants home, it’s essential to find the best spot with enough light for them to grow. While some plants need to be placed in front of a window to receive a lot of light, others can tolerate lower-light conditions.
In this case, positioning them in front of a north-facing window, which has the lowest amount of light and remains cool, is ideal.
Some plants that want to be in a north-facing window include the cast-iron, snake, spider, and Swiss cheese plant. These don’t require a lot of light or heat to grow and look healthy.
In this article, I’ll explore 10 of the best plants that thrive when placed in a north-facing window. They’ll bring beauty to areas of your home that you might neglect, while their low-maintenance nature will make them a pleasure to take care of, whether or not you have gardening experience.
10 Of the Best Plants For North-Facing Window
North-facing windows usually don’t receive much direct sunlight. This is why they’re not good candidates for sun-worshipping plants, such as cacti. However, they’re the perfect spot if you want to grow plants that don’t need a lot of harsh light.
What follows is a rundown of the best plants to grow in a north-facing window that will provide gorgeous greenery and, in some cases, colorful flowers – even with a lack of light.
1. Golden Pothos
Golden Pothos is a type of green plant that has yellow-gold specks or patches on it, hence its name. Although it looks like it’s been drenched by the sun, it actually doesn’t want to be in direct light as this can cause its beautiful leaves to burn.
While it can tolerate bright, indirect light, it can also survive in medium or low-light conditions, making it perfect for a north-facing window.
Keeping a Golden Pothos in a low-light area of your home also means that you can water it less. This plant can survive on being watered about once a week or every two weeks, but it needs more water if it’s in a sunnier area. Allow its soil to dry out between waterings, as it doesn’t want to sit in soggy soil.
This plant is perfect for areas in the home where you need a burst of decor. It can grow up to a height of 6-10 feet (1.8-3m) and it has the tendency to vine.
2. Cast-Iron Plant
This plant is hardy and tough, hence its name, and is the perfect solution for those looking for low-maintenance indoor gardening. Cast-iron plants don’t like direct sun, as this can scorch their leaves. That means north-facing windows are ideal. You can also place them in an area where they’re far away from windows.
Since it doesn’t need a specific level of humidity, a cast-iron plant can adapt to a variety of indoor conditions. Water it when the top two inches (5.08cm) of its soil feel dry. If you see that its leaves are turning yellow or brown, this is usually an indication that you’re watering it too much.
Keep your plant at temperatures between 45-85°F (7-29°C) in the home. With such a wide range, you won’t struggle to keep it comfortable.
3. Snake Plant
The snake plant has upright, long green leaves that usually have yellow borders. A snake plant can tolerate full-sun conditions, but it wants indirect but consistent light, although a bit of direct light isn’t problematic. And, if your room has low light levels, your snake plant won’t die! This is what makes it such a user-friendly plant to own.
Allow its soil to dry out between waterings. During winter, scale back on your watering as it isn’t a thirsty plant. It’s better to underwater it instead of overwater it. You should also provide your snake plant with a well-draining, loose potting mix to prevent it from sitting in water.
Another important thing for this plant is humidity. Aim to keep your indoor humidity at approximately 40%. Anything much higher or lower than this will make the plant struggle to live. Also, maintain a room temperature of between 70° and 90°F (21-32.2°C) to keep your snake plant healthy, but it can survive in temperatures as low as 50°F (10°C).
4. Heart-Leaf Philodendron
Otherwise known as the sweetheart plant, the heart-leaf philodendron gets its name because its leaves are heart-shaped. These are gorgeous dark green in color that can sometimes be bronze when they first appear on the plant. Sometimes, a mature philodendron displays white-green flowers.
Avoid keeping your philodendron in areas of the home that get direct light as this will burn its pretty leaves. It wants to be in bright but indirect light. Check that it’s getting enough light by noticing its leaf size. A healthy plant will have leaves that are about three inches (7.62cm) long.
Let this plant’s soil dry out between watering as it doesn’t want to be in damp soil. Since it’s a tropical houseplant, you should always water it with lukewarm water instead of cold water, as the latter can shock its roots.
Although this plant wants about 40% humidity to thrive, it can withstand dry indoor air.
5. Peace Lily
The pretty peace lily is a houseplant that’s known for purifying the indoor air, but it’s also really easy to care for and will bring a creative display to your home. This plant has a specialized leaf bract that is white in color and contains a yellow spadix that is its true flower.
Besides their unique appearance, peace lilies are praised for their ease of care, specifically because they love being in low-light conditions. They want to be placed in areas of bright or filtered light. This doesn’t mean they can’t survive in low-light conditions, though. They can happily grow in dark areas of the home. But, while their green leaves will still be on display, they might not flower.
You should keep your plant’s soil moist and well-draining, as it is susceptible to root rot if left in damp soil. To learn more about potting soil and potting mix, as well as which one is better for your houseplants, read our guide.
Try to maintain an indoor room temperature of 60°F (15.5°C) or higher, as peace lilies don’t want to be exposed to temperatures lower than that.
6. Spider Plant
A spider plant is one of the most popular houseplants because it’s low-maintenance. It’s also pretty, thanks to its yellow-and-green striped leaves that cascade over the rim of its pot.
Although it can handle bright light, moderate light is also fine. Comfortable indoor temperatures are suitable for your spider plant, but don’t let the temperature drop to lower than 50°F (10°C). Protect the plant from drafts as these can be damaging.
A spider plant’s soil should be kept a bit moist, so aim to water it once a week during the hot months. During winter, let the soil dry out for an extra few days before watering it.
Keep the room’s humidity at around 50 to 60%. If you notice that its leaves are becoming dry, this is an indication to increase your home’s humidity level.
7. Swiss Cheese Plant
Also known as Monstera, the Swiss Cheese plant looks like cheese because it has large holes, or fenestrations, in its glossy green leaves. Since in nature these plants grow underneath larger trees and therefore receive filtered light, when kept indoors they want indirect light. This is why they’re great for north-facing windows.
This plant is easy to look after as it can thrive in both humid and dry conditions, and it needs moderate indoor temperatures between 60-85°F (15.5-29.4°C). Ideally, give this plant humidity of approximately 50% or higher.
When watering it, do so thoroughly so that water seeps out of the bottom of its pot or container. It will require watering again when the top few inches (approx. 5-7 cm) are dry. Overwatering a monstera is a common occurrence, and it’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make with this plant.
8. Chinese Evergreen
A Chinese Evergreen plant has gorgeous green leaves that can also be white, red, or pink. When these plants bloom, they display small flowers that look a bit like those of the peace lily.
A Chinese Evergreen plant can tolerate different light conditions. If you want to keep it in a north-facing window of the home, choose a variety that has dark leaves as these will grow in low levels of light. If you want a variegated variety, you will have to place it in a brighter area of the home.
These plants prefer indoor temperatures of between 65-80°F (18.3-26.6°C). Don’t overwater them – only provide water when the first two inches (5.08cm) of their soil have dried out.
Although they can grow in low humidity, these plants grow best when they’re provided with high humidity levels, so consider keeping them in a humid area of the home, such as the bathroom. They want humidity of between 60 and 70%.
9. English Ivy
English Ivy has rounded or pointed green leaves with yellow borders. It’s a vining plant that looks stunning in hanging baskets.
All ivy plants can grow well in north-facing windows, although they also thrive in east- or west-facing windows of the home. You should water your English Ivy thoroughly, but only when the soil is dry to a depth of about half an inch (1.27cm). This plant can handle low or moderate levels of humidity, so aim for approximately 40%. A moderate indoor temperature of around 50-70°F (10-21.1°C) is beneficial. English Ivy isn’t tolerant of freezing temperatures, so maintain this temperature range for success.
English Ivy is susceptible to spider mites, which thrive in dry and warm conditions. If you see them, rinse the plant’s leaves with water to dislodge them.
10. Nerve Plant
A Nerve Plant is a beautiful addition to your home as it has dark green leaves marked with veins. Although based on this you might assume that it requires a lot of light, it can actually thrive in low- to medium-light conditions. You want to avoid giving it a lot of harsh sunlight as the leaves can turn brown.
You don’t have to worry too much about watering it also, as it only requires it when the surface of the soil has started to feel dry. Strive to keep its soil slightly moist to ensure it gets enough hydration.
To prevent wilting, provide it with indoor temperatures that are between 60-70°F (15.5-21.1°C). Keep it away from any drafty areas, such as doors, especially during the winter as it’s susceptible to damage from icy winds. If your indoor temperature is too low, this will cause the plant to become droopy.
When it comes to humidity, the nerve plant wants a humidity level of approximately 50%. If your plant has started to get crispy leaf tips, this could be an indication that it’s not getting enough humidity. If you’re certain you’re providing it with enough humidity, the other reason for this to happen is if you’re not giving it enough water.
The north-facing windows in your home don’t have to be free of greenery. By knowing what types of houseplants can grow in low-light conditions with ease, you’ll be able to enjoy glossy green foliage and possibly even colorful blooms.
In this article, we’ve featured 10 of the best plants for north-facing windows, looking at how to care for them so that they grow and what to know when finding the perfect spot for them. We hope you picked your next favorite plant among the choices here.