PLANT TALK: Plants for Sunny Areas

Pencil Cactus.jpeg

Photo of a petite Pencil Cactus by

We get it, your diamond shoes are too tight: you have a space that is so sun-filled that you frequently have to close the blinds to be comfortable. Okay, fine – it’s an actual problem. While we most often receive low light plant queries, sunny spaces also need to have the right plants lest you run the risk of scorching leaves. What are the best plants for areas over-flowing with sunshine? Glad you asked:

Pencil Cactus - Euphorbia tirucalli

A unique looking plant often used as a hedge in sunny California, the Pencil cactus is a lover of light. While you may still get a few scorched spots it will thrive in bright, direct light. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering which could be as often as once a week during the growing season or only once a month in the darker winter months.

Photo by


Rubber Plant - Ficus elastica

Rubber plants have beautiful, thick leaves that will thrive in a sunny spot. It is one of the only Ficus that will tolerate direct sun. When the soil becomes dry, dense and firm it’s time to water. This equates to roughly every seven to ten days though watering by touch is always best, so be sure to check in with your rubber plant to ensure it does indeed need hydration.

Photo of a field of Croton Petra by @magna_flora


Croton - Codiaeum variegatum

Croton’s fiery, multicoloured leaves are captivating! This high light plant is actually made more vibrant in colour by the sun and is also a lover of humidity. If your place is on the drier side, we suggest you mist the plant regularly to keep it happy and prevent the dreaded spider mite from moving in. Water approximately once a week, or when the surface of the soil is dry. 

Photo of this mature and quirky echeveria by @noughticulture


Echeveria and the many succulents of the world.

We all remember that period when we bought succulents with reckless abandon, gifting little cuties to our office mates, friends and family without truly knowing how much light they needed to thrive. It was a rough time. Echeveria, the ones that look like succulent lotus flowers, are the most light-loving plants we’ve come to know. Place your succulent buddies in warm, sunny areas. Too little light and your succulent will grow tall and gangly like a teenager after a growth spurt. When the soil is completely dry give them a thorough drink.

Photo of ZZ's and Sansevieria laurentii by @iranplantoriginal


Sansevieria and ZZ Plants

We talk about these plants a great deal, but they truly are the most versatile. Both commonly known to be low light plants, we prefer the more accurate description: they tolerate low light. Similar to how you may tolerate that certain someone at work; not ideal but you’ll be fine. Place them in sunny locations and watch them thrive, growing at a much faster rate and perhaps needing a bit more frequent watering. 

A reminder for your sunny plants: take care in rotating them every one to two weeks to ensure that you even out their exposure and growth. Bask away, friends!

Author: Urban Gardener | Categories: Bright light plants , Croton , Echeveria , Ficus elastica , Pencil Cactus , Rubber Plant , Sansevieria , Snake Plant , Succulent , ZZ Plant