Crassula 'Budda's Temple'

Houseplants for sunny spots

Discover nine of the best sun-worshipping houseplants to grow indoors, as seen at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.

Many houseplants are chosen for their preference of shade, but if you have an indoor suntrap, it’s well worth picking some choice plants that will enjoy basking in the rays.


Be mindful that, while the plants we’ve picked enjoy sun, they may need some regular watering in summer. As a rule of thumb, let the pot dry out between watering, and never let plants stand in water, as this can lead to root rot.

When choosing pots and containers, go for terracotta, cement or clay. These porous materials will help ensure the compost doesn’t remain moist for too long. Make sure the pot has drainage holes, too.

If you’re seeking unusual cacti and succulent hybrids, seek out plant fairs or specialist nurseries that sell hybrids online.

Discover some of the best houseplants for sunny spots, spotted at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, below.

While most of us are familiar with Aloe vera, it's far from being the only aloe to grow indoors.

Adenium obesum

Commonly known as the desert rose, Adenium obesum is native to many countries south of the Sahel, which spans Africa from Mauritania in the west, to Eritrea in the east. A popular bonsai plant, water it as you would cacti.

Red desert rose flowers
Red desert rose flowers


The best aeoniums to grow in direct sun are the darker cultivars, such as ‘Zwartkop’. Don’t discount the greener varieties altogether, though. They prefer a bit more shade, so are useful for growing in areas that don’t receive full sun all day.

Dark bronze Aeonium 'Zwartkop'
Dark bronze Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’


While most of us are familiar with Aloe vera, it’s far from being the only aloe to grow indoors. ‘Bill Baker’  (pictured), a gasteraloe (Aloe x pachyveria), is just one of the aloe hybrids you could grow, on top of other species aloes like Aloe aristata and Aloe rauhii.

Dotted spikes of Aloe 'Bill Baker'
Dotted spikes of Aloe ‘Bill Baker’


Diverse and easy-to-grow, cacti are some of the best house plants for sunny spots. Cacti you could grow include Rebutia, Mammillaria, Echinocactus and Cereus species. Plus, most will produce beautiful blooms without much effort.

White flowering cactus Rebutia krainziana
White flowering cactus Rebutia krainziana


This group includes long time houseplant favourite, Crassula ovata, or the jade tree. Popular Crassula cultivars to grow include ‘Hobbit’, ‘Gollum’ and ‘Buddha’s Temple’ (pictured). Grow them in cactus compost and water sparingly.

Crassula 'Budda's Temple'
Crassula ‘Budda’s Temple’

Cycas revoluta

While they can grow to a fairly large size, sago palms (Cycas revoluta) are slow-growing, and make beautiful, striking houseplants. Good for a spot that doesn’t receive direct sun all day, particularly hot midday sun, as this can scorch the leaves.

Sago palms growing outdoors
Sago palms growing outdoors


These pretty succulent plants form neat rosettes of podgy leaves, in frosty blues, pretty pinks and fresh greens. Echeverias are supremely simple to propagate from leaf cuttings, too, so you’re assured a steady supply of new plants.

A pink echeveria
A pink echeveria


If you’re after something truly curious, the Haworthia genus deserves some attention. Some of the more unique haworthias to grow include Haworthia truncata (pictured) and Haworthia cooperi, which has pretty, translucent leaf windows.

Haworthia truncata
Haworthia truncata


Pachyphytums are largely similar to echeverias in that they also form rosettes of succulent leaves. In fact, not only can you grow visually pleasing species like Pachyphytum oviferum, but there are numerous Pachyphytum hybrids to grow, too.

Succulent Pachyphytum viride
Succulent Pachyphytum viride

Give them a summer holiday

While requiring winter protection, most of the plants above will enjoy being moved to a sunny, sheltered spot outdoors in summer.

Succulent hybrids to grow

  • Graptoveria
  • Sedeveria
  • Pachyveria
  • Gasteraloe
  • Graptosedum