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Houseplants in the Wrong Spot: Avoid These Placement Mistakes (2023)

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houseplants you might be putting in the wrong spotNurturing houseplants isn’t always easy, and sometimes it can be tricky to figure out where you should put them for optimal growth. Knowing how to place your beloved greenery correctly is essential in order for them to thrive, as many of us have experienced the disappointment of putting a plant in the wrong spot.

To help prevent this from happening again, we’ve created this guide on common houseplants you might be putting in the wrong spot – so that you can keep your plants flourishing all year round!

From aloe vera and cactus through to snake plants and fiddle leaf figs – read on if you want perfect placement for each of these popular varieties.

Key Takeaways

  • Snake plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Pothos plants prefer medium to bright indirect light.
  • Coffee plants need bright but indirect sunlight.
  • Aloe vera requires at least six hours of bright, indirect light per day.

Bright Windows Vs. Dark Corners

Bright Windows Vs. Dark Corners
Gardening friend, when caring for your indoor plants, it’s vital to consider their individual light requirements. While snake plants and pothos can tolerate lower light, coffee plants need bright indirect sunlight in order to flourish.

Snake Plant Placement

You’re making a mistake if you stash your snake plant in a dark corner. Snake plants thrive best in bright, indirect sunlight.

  1. Position near an east or west-facing window. These provide consistent bright, indirect light.
  2. Use sheer curtains to filter harsh midday sun if needed.
  3. Rotate the plant occasionally for even growth.

Snake plants are quite adaptable to various lighting conditions. However, providing bright, indirect light encourages lush, vibrant growth and classic upright structure in these striking houseplants.

Pothos Plant Placement

Thriving in brightly lit windows, pothos yearns for scattered sunlight to bring out its vibrant greens. Give your pothos medium to bright indirect light for optimal growth. Pothos tolerates low light but may become leggy with sparse leaf growth.

When siting your pothos, aim for an east- or west-facing window where it gets 4-6 hours of gentle sunlight. Pothos is content in shadier spots but thrives in light. With proper placement, your pothos will reward you with lush, trailing vines.

Coffee Plant Placement

Instead of trapping it in a low-lit corner, let your coffee plant soak up bright but indirect sunlight to help it flourish. In assessing foliage, place this tropical beauty where it receives ample ambient brightness.

Without burning leaves, morning sun nurtures its essential oils. Monitor drainage and moisten soil when drooping commences. A thriving coffee plant boasts glossy leaves pointing skyward in gratitude for proper home placement.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera
Aloe vera needs plenty of bright, indirect sunlight to stay healthy. You’ll want to place your aloe vera in a spot that receives at least six hours of bright, indirect light per day. South-facing windows are ideal. Insufficient light leads to leggy, weak growth. Provide temperatures above 55°F, as aloe vera cannot tolerate cold.

Use a pot that’s slightly larger than the root ball with drainage holes. Water when the soil is completely dry, allowing excess water to drain. Yellowing lower leaves often indicate overwatering. Aloe vera communicates its light, water, and space needs clearly.

With proper sunlight, occasional watering, and room to expand, your aloe vera will thrive, providing you with its healing gel.


You risk singeing your sympathetic soul if the sun’s harsh rays strike your cactus. Like a grizzled desert wanderer, your prickly friend revels in the full radiance of daylight. Yet too much ultraviolet bombardment singes tender tissue, draining vitality. Filter direct sunshine through wispy curtains.

Bright, indirect light nurtures robust growth. To quench its thirst, allow soil to dry between thorough waterings. Excess moisture invites decay. Let your potted cactus guide you – wrinkled epidermis signals the need for a drink.

A gravelly, quick-draining foundation prevents damp stagnation. Warmth enhances metabolic vigor, but guard against temperature extremes.

With conscientious care, your cactus thrives. Mimic the desert: ample sunshine, infrequent moisture, and protection from scorching heat.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant
You’re likely keeping that snake plant of yours in too much light. Though they’re adaptable to various conditions, snake plants thrive in indirect or moderate light. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves and stunt growth. Position your snake plant 4-10 feet from a south or west facing window.

Their succulent-like properties allow them to handle periods of drought, so don’t overwater.

With the right balance of filtered light and infrequent watering, your snake plant will purify indoor air while adding an architectural, tropical look to your living space. Let those slender green leaves flourish by providing the proper hydration and gentle light for your shade loving sansevieria.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle Leaf Fig
You’d preserve its glossy foliage by providing your fiddle leaf fig with bright, indirect light and some direct morning sun. Theorists posit that slight sun exposure helps develop the iconic wavy leaves that make the fiddle leaf fig so recognizable.

  1. Place near a south or west-facing window for bright, indirect light.
  2. Provide a few hours of gentle morning sun to encourage lush growth.
  3. Maintain warm temps between 65-80°F.
  4. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy.
  5. Increase humidity through pebble trays or a humidifier to prevent leaf scorch.

A fiddle leaf fig thrives in your home when given the proper balance of light, humidity, and care. With the right conditions, its signature violin-shaped leaves will flourish. Adjust its environment as needed through the seasons to keep your statement-making fiddle leaf fig healthy and happy.

Peace Lily

Peace Lily
Having placed the peace lily in a well-lit window or under fluorescent lights allows its stunning white flowers to bloom in your low-light home. As a gardener, I recommend providing peace lilies with filtered sunlight and humidity to encourage blooming.

Mist peace lily leaves daily or use a pebble tray to increase humidity around this tropical plant. Check soil moisture before watering, allowing the top inch to dry between waterings. Give peace lilies a thorough soaking when needed, taking care not to overwater. Fluorescent lighting provides necessary brightness when natural light is insufficient.

Wipe leaves regularly with a damp cloth to keep dust free. With proper peace lily care – managing light, humidity, and moisture – these graceful plants will thrive indoors, rewarding you with elegant white blooms.

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect
Splashing about six inches of water weekly keeps your peace lily’s soil consistently moist for perfect pictures.

To achieve an envy-inducing peace lily:

  1. Place it near an east or west-facing window for medium light.
  2. Use a humidity tray filled with pebbles and water.
  3. Wipe dust off leaves with a damp cloth.
  4. Repot when it outgrows its current container.

With proper care, your peace lily will have flawless foliage and elegant blooms for your Instagram feed. Choosing the right spot and tending to its needs results in a showstopping plant. You’ll have visitors asking for care tips when they see your peace lily’s flawless form and vibrant blooms.

Boston Fern

Boston Fern
Stay fresh by placing your Boston fern in a bright, humid spot away from direct sunlight. The Boston fern thrives when kept in humid conditions, with indirect or filtered sunshine. Mist your fern regularly, or run a humidifier nearby to raise humidity around its lacy fronds.

Group it among other tropicals, like spider plants and heart-leaf philodendrons, which appreciate the same warm, damp environment. Let the soil dry slightly between thorough waterings, but don’t allow your Boston fern to completely dry out.

Keep it away from heating and cooling vents to maintain steady moisture and temperatures.

With the proper care, your Boston fern will continue producing those graceful, arching fronds that make it such a distinctive and popular houseplant.

Heart-leaf Philodendron

Heart-leaf Philodendron
You may be putting your heart-leaf philodendron in the wrong spot without realizing it. This popular houseplant thrives in low to medium indirect light. Place it in a north or east facing window out of direct sun, which can scorch its leaves.

Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings, taking care not to overwater. Yellow leaves often indicate too much water. Mist the leaves every few days to maintain humidity. As a vining plant, give your philodendron a moss pole or trellis to climb.

The flowing vines and deep green heart-shaped leaves will add a tropical feel to your home. With proper light, water and support, your philodendron will reward you with vigorous growth.

Calatheas and Marantas

Calatheas and Marantas
Take comfort, friend. Colorful calatheas and marantas prefer shade and thrive with misting. Consider bringing the vibrancy of the rainforest inside by growing these tropical beauties in your home. With proper care, the strikingly patterned leaves of calatheas and prayer plant cousins marantas will flourish in low light.

Place them in bright, indirect spots away from direct sunbeams to prevent leaf burn. Maintain high humidity by misting frequently, using pebble trays, or positioning near other plants. Allow the top inch of soil to dry between waterings, taking care not to overwater.

Feed monthly with diluted houseplant fertilizer during growing season. Checking moisture and soil needs will soon become second nature. In time, you’ll have a canopy of captivating foliage to appreciate as you care for your shade-loving calathea and maranta collection.

Spider Plants

Spider Plants
Though adaptable to various light levels, thriving spider plants showcase their vibrant colors best when nurtured in bright, indirect sunlight.

  1. Their graceful, arching foliage dances elegantly in a sunny spot, putting on a show for all to admire.
  2. Position near an east or west-facing window to provide the ideal balance of light and shade.
  3. Gently turn the pot every few days so all sides benefit from the sun’s nourishing rays.
  4. Mist leaves occasionally to increase humidity and promote vibrant variegation.

Spider plants are always a dazzling addition to any indoor oasis. Pay close attention to their preferred level of light, and they’ll reward you with a sensational, lively display. With a prime spot in bright, indirect light, your spider plant will thrive and showcase its true colors and character.

Swiss Cheese Plant

Swiss Cheese Plant
This versatile plant flourishes in filtered light like an emerald in the shade.

Category Description Tips
Light Prefers bright, indirect light Avoid direct sunlight
Water Likes moist soil Water when top inch of soil is dry
Temperature Thrives in average room temperature Keep above 60°F
Humidity Appreciates humidity Mist leaves or use pebble tray
Soil Well-draining, rich potting mix Add perlite for drainage

The Swiss cheese plant, or Monstera deliciosa, is a spectacular indoor plant known for its iconic split leaves. With proper care, this easygoing tropical plant will climb your home with vibrant green foliage accented by natural holes and fenestrations.

Though adaptable to various conditions, it truly thrives with bright, indirect light. Its lush leaves will flourish like emeralds with filtered sunlight from an east- or west-facing window. For best results, water when the top inch of soil is dry and increase humidity. Let your inner botanist shine by cultivating this uniquely shaped stunner.

Areca Palm

Areca Palm
You could add height with an areca palm on a stand in that shady, bright corner. Tolerant of lower light conditions, the graceful, feathery fronds of areca palms thrive when protected from direct sunlight.

Thirsty plants, arecas require moist but well-drained soil and frequent watering to maintain their lush tropical appeal. Situate arecas away from heat vents, provide moderate humidity, and mist often to mimic their native humid environments.

Prune brown fronds to encourage new healthy growth. Allow the topsoil to partly dry between thorough waterings and feed monthly during the growing season. Areca palms in the right spot grow upwards of six feet, so consider their mature size when positioning these statement plants.

With the proper care, your areca palm will provide elegant tropical vibes and graceful greenery.


Cause hoyas thrive in bright, shady areas, they’re ideal houseplants for filtering indirect light. Their tropical nature means providing brightly lit shade mimics their native environs. Focus on humidity and soil moisture when growing hoyas; use pebble trays or mist frequently, allowing soil to dry between waterings.

Prune off spent flowers, and propagating with stem cuttings rooted in water encourages fuller growth.

There’s an array of hoya varieties like compacta, carnosa, and kerrii to grow as hanging plants or trailing vines. Finding the right balance of humidity, moisture, and bright filtered light is key for these epiphytic beauties to flourish indoors.

Cast Iron Plant

Cast Iron Plant
Admirable aspidistra abides admirably in any abode’s darkest depths. Thou savvy shadow-dweller, gather a glossy-leaved cast iron plant, impervious to gloom, for thy dimmest nook. Once chosen, place its pot in the corners of thy home unreached by sunlight’s touch.

Needing naught but water sparingly given, these stalwart evergreens thrive where feebler fronds would fail. Dwarf varieties spread where space is scarce, thriving under fluorescent lights if natural brightness be lacking.

Misted occasionally, dust-free fans unfurl, fearless of darkness. Quench parched iron plants when lower leaves wrinkle, but let soil dry between drinks. Imperturbable, unfazed by neglect, these patient green soldiers withstand the blackest nights.

Forgiving and undemanding, cast iron plants ask little but give much with their brave verdure, brightening the murkiest margins where we need them most.


The hardy mother-in-law’s-tongue handles shade better than you’d think.

  • Thrives in low to bright indirect light. Keep away from direct sun which can scorch leaves.
  • Allow soil to dry between waterings. Overwatering leads to root rot.
  • Wipe leaves down periodically to prevent dust buildup.

Don’t let its common name fool you – this adaptable succulent is an excellent choice for low light areas of your home. Its arching, sword-shaped leaves add bold texture. Native to tropical regions, it tolerates dry air and shade with aplomb.

An easy care option for beginning or busy gardeners, let its striking form bring drama to a shady corner or bookshelf.

Parlour Palm

Parlour Palm
You’re depriving your parlour palm of needed light by placing it in too much shade. As an indoor palm, parlour palms require bright, filtered light to thrive. Situate this tropical native near an east- or west-facing window where it receives consistent bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day.

Too much shade causes leggy, sparse growth as the palm stretches toward elusive light sources. When grown in its preferred bright conditions, the parlour palm unfurls gracefully arching fronds in a dense, full habit.

Monitor light levels regularly and rotate the plant or use supplemental lighting to prevent overly shady conditions. With bright light mimicking its native rainforest habitat, your parlour palm will reward you with lush, vibrant growth.

Silver Inch Plant

Silver Inch Plant
The silver inch plant is another fantastic option for low light areas of your home. Also known as wandering jew, this colorful houseplant thrives in warm, bright, indirect light. Its stunning leaves feature a vibrant purple underside and silver-green topside with striking dark green stripes.

Place your silver inch plant in front of an east or west facing window to provide the right balance of light and shade. Remember to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Mist the leaves often to boost humidity around this tropical plant.

With proper care, your wandering jew will thrive indoors and provide an eye-catching pop of color even in the shadiest corners of your home.

When it’s time to quench its thirst, use a stylish watering can like the Elho black brussels 1.


As a horticulturist, botanist, and master gardener, I can attest proper placement of your houseplants is key to their success. Whether your home boasts bright windows or dark corners, plant placement can make the difference between a thriving indoor garden and a wilting one.

From aloe vera to silver inch plants, each requires a unique environment for optimal growth.

While the Elho black brussels watering can helps maintain the perfect environment, it’s up to you to get the placement right. By carefully considering each plant’s needs for light, temperature, and humidity, you can create a beautiful, long-lived indoor garden.

With the right care and attention, you can ensure your houseplants aren’t in the wrong spot.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.