Full sun generally means a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight daily.

Plants & Flowers That Grow Indoors in Full Sun

by Marylee Gowans

Houseplants provide various benefits to you and your family, including removing harmful airborne contaminants, according to North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. Most indoor plants and flowers need some level of sunlight to survive, but trying to grow shade-loving plants in full sun will lead to their demise. Thankfully, several indoor plants and flowers require full sun to stay healthy and vigorous.


Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is a versatile 4- to 10-foot-tall evergreen shrub that produces tropical blooms and grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. It can, however, grow as a houseplant elsewhere as long as it receives full sunlight. “Caruba” black good luck plant (Cordyline fruticosa “Bra01”) offers stunning purplish-black foliage. This 4-foot tall evergreen grows in USDA zones 10 and 11. It also grows well as a container plant if placed in full to partial sunlight.


Succulent plants have thick fleshy leaves, are generally easy to care for and can be grown indoors. Painted echeveria (Echeveria nodulosa), for example, is a succulent plant hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11. It produces green rosettes painted with shades of red at the middle and margins of its leaves. It grows to heights of 1 to 2 feet tall and thrives in cool yet full sunlight. “Cebenese” cobweb houseleek (Sempervivum arachnoideum “Cebenese”) is another sun-loving succulent that works well as a houseplant, growing 3 to 6 inches tall. It is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9 and produces light green rosettes, with fine hairs giving the illusion that the plant is covered in cobwebs.

Palm Trees

Palm trees bring a bit of the tropics into your home. Mediterranean fan palm (Chamaerops humilis) and Sago palm (Cycas revoluta) are two plants that grow as a houseplants in full sun. Mediterranean fan palm is hardy in USDA zones 8 and can reach heights of up to 15 feet outdoors. This slow grower has a multi-trunked form and a compact crown with bluish-green foliage. Sago palm grows 3 to 10 feet tall in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 10 and thrives in full sun or partial shade. It has arching shiny leaves that sit atop a shaggy trunk, creating an open feathery rosette.

Fruit-Producing Trees

Growing fruit-producing trees indoors may sound impossible, but in fact, several species of citrus can grow successfully inside your home. “Nagami” kumquat (Fortunella margarita “Nagami”), “Minneola” tangelo (Citrus x “Minneola”) and “Meyer Improved” lemon (Citrus limon “Meyer Improved”) are three such citrus trees that while hardy in USDA zones 9 and 10, can also be grown as houseplants. “Nagami” kumquat can reach 8 feet tall, producing bright orange fruit with a tart taste. “Minneola” tangelo is a tangerine-grapefruit hybrid that can grow up to 12 feet tall with orange or red fruit. “Meyer Improved” lemon grows between 8 and 10 feet tall, with white fragrant flowers that give way to lemons.

About the Author

Marylee Gowans has written about gardening for both online and print publications. She attended the University of Akron, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. In 2009, she received master gardener certification from the Master Gardeners of Summit County, Ohio.

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