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Before choosing which plants to bring to your home, you need to determine the level of light you have so that your plants can photosynthesize. In order to do this, consider the direction that your window faces.
There are four exposures – west, north, south or east, so based on that you can make separate selections of west, north, south or east facing window plants. North exposure is ideal for low-light plants because it receives the least amount of natural light, south exposure is great for high-light plants including succulents and cacti as it provides direct light, west exposure offers medium to bright yet a hotter light, while east light is also medium to bright, but low-temperature light.
So, you have an east-facing window? Why not add some marvelous plants to adorn the place? This article will help you decide east-facing window plants are the best choice for you.
Understanding Eastern Exposure
To begin with, let’s see what eastern exposure means. If the sun rises in your window earlier than you would like it to, casting a bright, warm light, it faces east.
This type of light is medium to bright light and it is a soft, low-temperature light. As such, it will not damage and scorch the leaves of your plants. The east exposure is not affected that much by the seasons since the sun always comes in at an angle and sets throughout the year.
Does East Exposure Offer Direct Sun?
We’ve already said that east-facing windows provide medium to bright, cool light. This means that east morning sunlight may be strong and somewhat direct, which gives plants a good bath of light, but it lasts for only part of the day. The rest of the day plants receive light shade.
Put differently, east position receives very little or no direct sunlight, but rather, rooms with eastern exposure receive sunlight for only part of the day. A windowsill would be the brightest spot in the room and you can always manipulate light levels by placing your plants behind a sheer curtain.
Remember to take into account neighboring buildings or tall trees that may case additional shade throughout the day.
Related: Best Houseplants for Direct Sunlight
The Very Best East Facing Window Plants
Rooms that receive east exposure are great for housing large, glossy-leaved, climbing or vining plants, orchids and woodland plants. Here is a list of 35+ amazing east facing indoor plants.
Peperomia puteolata or the parallel peperomia is a weeping tropical plant with heavily veined leaves whorled around the red stems. Peperomia plants in general are very easy and undemanding growers, as long as you don’t overwater, because most of them are succulent in nature.
Polka Dot Plant
Polka Dot plants are stunning in dish gardens and terrariums as they need high humidity to grow to their best selves. The leaves are thin and splotched with pink, white, cream and green, while the flowers are small and inconspicuous.
Related: Begonia Maculata care
This plant has been a staple plant in every house for a long time. Beside an east exposure, you can grow an African violet under electric lights for at least 8 hours a day, but ideally 12 to support the symmetry and flowering. The plant itself is compact and miniature and you can now get hold of hybridized forms for your plant kingdom.
This is a creeping plant that appreciates moisture and humidity, which makes it a great terrarium plant. Keep it moist at all times and never let it dry out. Given enough light, you will get to witness lovely white flowers.
Elephant Ear Plant
Alocasia plants are dynamic, with strong, stiff stems holding heavy, thick leaves. Species like Alocasia calidora have tall, upright stems with green leaves that closely resemble elephant ears, hence the name.
It is an easy-care plant that prefers living in an eastern window, where morning light hits it daily. I recommend cultivating Alocasia amazonica in particular. It will grow more giant leaves near a sunny window.
This flowering plant is named so for its bright reddish-orange flowers that look as if they are growing from a lipstick tube. This is simultaneously the feature that has made the plant very popular. Keep it evenly moist, in a mix with a lot of peat. Give it dappled light next to east- or west-facing windows.
Related: 70+ Vibrant Orange Flowers
Mini Monstera Vine
This vine resembles the Swiss Cheese Plant, but the leaves are quite smaller. Its official name is Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma. Keep the soil evenly moist and the plant will grow to 3 m in length under the right conditions. Avoid positioning it next to south-facing windows by all means as filtered sunlight is the best for it.
Haworthia’s upper crown was made to form-fit geometric terrariums, while its white and gold accents infallibly elevate any design and make it more architectural and rich.
Haworthia doesn’t require as much light as other succulents, which makes it more forgiving and tolerant of lower or indirect levels of light.
Related: 20+ Haworthia Types
A basket of azaleas is a stunning choice for an east-facing bedroom. Always keep the plants in the plastic pot and then insert it in a decorative one. This makes watering it a lot easier. Keep azaleas always moist but without waterlogging them. Mist them daily to increase humidity.
Cyclamen plants are charming flowering plants available around Christmas, in many colors such as red, orange, yellow and cream. They are short-lived, but they make great gifts nevertheless. Provide cool conditions, a bright room and careful watering to extend the longevity of the flowers.
This plant is named for its shiny, quilted leaves. They are colorful with shiny silver splotches that look like aluminum. Aluminum Plant is quite compact and can reach a height of around 40 cm. It grows best in an east or west window, absorbing indirect sunlight and at a safe distance from direct sunlight.
This vine is an exuberant grower with its diminutive leaves and wiry stems and, as such, it makes an excellent groundcover. It prefers bright light offered by an east or west window. Keep it well-watered and don’t allow it to dry out completely.
Aglaonema or Chinese Evergreen is prized for its ability to hybridize with a rapid rate. The newer colorful hybrids prefer medium light in an east or west window. Given low light, they lose variegation. Cut the flowers off after flowering. Some popular cultivars are Creta, Silver Queen, Pink Dalmatian, White Lance and Sparkling Sarah.
Dumb Cane’s main feature are its splotched leaves of darker green or white. However, don’t be seduced by the beauty of it, as the sap contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause a temporary paralysis of the vocal chords. That said, keep the plant away from pets and children and position it on an elevated plant stand or shelf where the long stems won’t reach your loved ones.
This plant is a distant cousin of the much-loved Spider Plant, but it doesn’t bear any resemblance to it at all. It has vibrant orange petioles and medium dark green leaves – such a nice contrast!
Give it a medium-light situation as in an east window and this is ideal because too much light will cause the leaves to look bleached and pale.
This plant features tubular white, yellow, lavender, red or pink flowers and colorful, vibrant foliage. It is a relative of the African violet and both are members of the Gesneriad family.
Grow this baby in a terrarium and expose it to an east window in your bedroom. That’s an amazing sight to wake up to.
Related: 80+ Pink Flowers
Gasteraloe Little Warty
This plant is a cross between gasteria and aloe. It forms a rosette of stiff succulent leaves with green and white stripes and warty texture. It is easy to care for and prefers medium light, so that’s what make the plant so abundantly popular.
Christmas Cactus is one of the few cacti that prefer light shade out of direct sunlight. Keep it in hanging baskets for the best visual effect. Water well in summer and late fall, but reduce watering before the flower buds form in fall. Mist to increase humidity.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Fiddle Leaf Fig looks great either as a full plant or a spindly one. It is a very fast grower that can easily outgrow whatever place you choose to grow it in. The leaves are large, deep green and very prominently veined. Depending on the size, it makes a stunning display in a standard, white pot, either next to an eastern windowsill or on a plant stand, even as a floor plant.
This plant features large, palmate leaves that make quite a statement in a living room. Variegated versions need bright light the most, or else they lose their variegation and become leggy. The red spikes of flowers aren’t likely to appear in the home conditions.
Prayer plant is a slow growing plant very jazzy and extremely diverse with stripes and streaks of color. It tends to be thirsty, so keep the soil moderately moist. Pair it with begonias, ferns, peperomias and slipper orchids as these plants have similar needs which include an eastern exposure.
Boston Fern is another great candidate for a cool, slightly shaded area like that offered by an east window. It looks exceptionally beautiful if displayed on a large pedestal, its green fronds cascading over the sides of the pot. Ferns are generally considered to be architectural plants and this one doesn’t disappoint in that regard.
Hoya plants are somewhere between foliage and succulent plants. They have thick, leathery leaves that withstand neglect. But the stars of the show, however, are the majestic star-shaped flowers.
Hoya plants are real vintage collectibles that look handsome as hanging plants near a light-filled window. They prefer bright, indirect light offered by an east window.
Unlike other ferns, this one prefers a less humid environment. Its leathery leaves are delicate to breakage or browning up as a result of dry air. It has a strong, defined look, so sit it where others can admire its interesting growth. It prefers indirect light and a bright window with a bit of morning sun is good for Holly Fern.
Peacock Plant is grown for its majestic foliage in green, cream and burgundy. The first prerequisite for the successful cultivation of it is bright light offered by an eastern window. The second prerequisite is high humidity, so make sure to mist frequently or sit the plant on a pebble tray. In case you have a lot of plants, invest in a humidifier and it will do your plants a world of good.
Orchids are amazing floral decorations with exceptionally strong impact, ideal for east-facing bedrooms. This is especially true of the slipper orchid and the moth orchid which enjoy good light on the east-facing windowsill. Once temperatures drop, find them a different position.
This palm is a slow grower, but one of the best plants for dish and basket gardens. It can tolerate low light, but does best in medium to bright light. Given too much light, it will turn yellow. If they receive enough light, it will produce tiny yellow sprays of flowers. Propagate it from seed.
This is a vining plant whose flowers resemble tiny orange fish, hence the very descriptive and evocative name. In order to induce flower, provide medium to bright light offered by an east window. If you nail the light levels and keep it evenly moist, it will produce flowers year-round.
Being a vining plant, Grape Ivy is a perfect plant for a trellis or hanging basket. It is a robust grower that can add liveliness to dark corners with not much effort. Grow it in a peat-based well-draining medium and keep it evenly moist.
It is undeniably the most favored houseplant ever with its heart-shaped leaves and ease of care, it is simply impossible not to love it. Some popular cultivars are Lemon Lime and Brazil. They make excellent windowsill plants.
Related: Heartleaf Philodendron Care
Pachira aquatica is one of the favorite indoor plants that grows in water in its native habitat, but it doesn’t need to be standing in water to survive. However, do provide evenly moist, well-drained soil and medium to bright light. The flowers of money tree plant are large and white, but they are not likely to appear in the home situations.
Baby Rubber Plant is a member of the Peperomia family and most of them have thicker, upright stems and large, marbled leaves that mature to take on a bushy appearance. It thrives in bright light, so the east exposure is the best for it. Allow the soil to dry between waterings.
Cast Iron Plant
This plant has tall, straight and lance-like green leaves with various markings. It is a slow grower and gets on surprisingly well with ferns and mosses. Provide east or west exposure and keep the soil lightly moist.
Butterfly Palm is a bright green species with yellow stems, very easy to grow provided that it isn’t overwatered. Besides, it is one of the top air-purifying plants. Place it in a prominent spot, as a focal point.
Rose Grape- Medinilla Plant
This plant in full bloom is a sight to behold. Its pink flowers and large dark green heavily veined, leathery leaves are simply show-stopping. Raise the humidity levels and water thoroughly, allowing the plant to dry out partially before the second application of water.
This low-growing vine is otherwise known as Watermelon Begonia because of the dark burgundy edges and marbled center of the plant. To keep the rich burgundy color, give it bright light offered by an east window. Water evenly to prevent leaf drop.
Tips for Increasing Light Levels
- Clean leaves regularly using a soft, damp cloth to increase the amount of light that gets to your plants.
- Rotate your plants every few days so that each side gets enough light and grows evenly.
- Take note of light variations between seasons.
- Use grow lights to imitate the sun’s rays.
- Variegated plants require more light, ideally moderate light or filtered light as this will help them retain variegation and colorful foliage.
Determining the amount of light your window receives is crucial for deciding which plants to grow and growing plants successfully. If not given enough light, plants will become misshapen, the stems will become spindly, lopsided and stretch towards the sun, leaves will become yellow or pale, bearing few or no flowers at all. So, choose the right plants for the light you can offer and enjoy the sight of a thriving plant!
Do East Facing Windows Get Direct Sunlight?
East-facing windows may only get a small amount of direct sun in the early morning, but for the most part of the day, it is medium to bright light that cannot burn plants’ leaves.
What Houseplant Do Well in East Facing Window?
Great east-facing window plants are moth orchids, boston ferns, radiator plant, lipstick plant, African violets, dumb cane, hoya plants, flame violet, prayer plants, jade plants and piggyback plant. East-facing windows offer exposure that is similar to west-facing window, but the temperature for the latter is slightly higher, while eastern is cooler light. In both cases, however, it is indirect light.