Introduction

The best way to host plants under a skylight window is by hanging them via macrame. In this article, THE HOUSEPLANT DOCTOR™  (author of ukhouseplants.com) will include ten indoor species that are both sun-resistant and drought tolerant, so that you won't need to water the soil every day!


Three Quick Tips for Skylight Success

  1. Although these plants are suitable for skylight windows, be sure to read the signs of under-watering/dehydration (excessive brown/crispy foliage, leaf drop).
  2. When at a garden centre or plant store, try to purchase the largest specimen out of their collection; more vines will result in more future foliage!
  3. Feed every three months with a 'Houseplant' labelled fertiliser. For many plants from this list, prune once a year in spring by reducing the stem or vine's overall length by a quarter. Propagate the prunings as stem cuttings to place back into the soil once the roots are 8cm (3 inches). 


Searching for suitable plants for your skylight windows? Book a 1-to-1 consultation with Joe Bagley, THE HOUSEPLANT DOCTOR™ & website author, to guide you with choosing the right plants & where to find them at their cheapest price. Available on iMessage/FaceTime, WhatsApp & more!



Which Houseplants Are Best to Hang/Trail Under a Skylight Window?


1. Burro's Tail (Sedum morganianum)

Care Difficulty: Easy

Annual Growth: Slow (6cm per year)

Watering: Only rehydrate the soil once it becomes fully dry. Over-watering is the biggest killers with Burro's Tails!

Feeding: Every three months using a 'Houseplant' labelled product. 

Pruning: Prune the vines back by a third in spring to create new branches and a bushier appearance. Propagate the stems and any fallen leaves in a fresh pot of soil to grow-on.

Where to Buy: Garden centres & online stores.

Pet Friendly: No




2. Dichondra 'Silver Falls'

Care Difficulty: Moderate

Annual Growth: Fast (12-18cm per year)

Watering: Maintain evenly moist soil at all times.

Feeding: Every three waters using a 'Houseplant' labelled product. 

Pruning: Prune the vines back by a third in spring to create new branches and a bushier appearance.

Where to Buy: Garden centres (in the outdoor section during spring/early summer) & online stores.

Pet Friendly: Yes




3. Rhipsalis paradoxa

Care Difficulty: Easy

Annual Growth: Moderate (8-12cm per year)

Watering: Although Mistletoe Cacti prefer to have moist soil, they are excellent at being drought tolerant. Don't worry if it becomes shrivelled from dehydration - it'll soon bounce back after a drink.

Feeding: Every four waters using a 'Houseplant' labelled product. 

Pruning: Not generally needed; however, you can prune the vines back by a third in spring to promote a bushier appearance. Propagate the prunings in water to root and grow-on.

Where to Buy: Garden centres & online stores.

Pet Friendly: Yes




4. Fishbone Cacti

Care Difficulty: Easy

Annual Growth: Moderate (6-10cm per year)

Watering: Similarly to the Mistletoe Cactus, Fishbone Cacti also tolerate periods of dry soil. Water once the top third dries out, but don't stress too much about religiously keeping to a watering schedule. It'll be fine!

Feeding: Every fourth water using a 'Houseplant' labelled product. 

Pruning: Not generally needed; however, you can prune the vines back by a third in spring to promote a bushier appearance. Propagate the prunings in water to root and grow-on.

Where to Buy: Garden centres, DIY stores & online stores.

Pet Friendly: Yes




5. Elephant Bush Plant

Care Difficulty: Easy

Annual Growth: Slow (3-7cm per year)

Watering: Keep the soil reliably moist, especially during heatwaves. This plant is rather good at tolerating periods of droughts though!

Feeding: Every three months using a 'Houseplant' labelled product. 

Pruning: Not generally needed.

Where to Buy: Garden centres & online stores.

Pet Friendly: Yes




6. String of Pearls

Care Difficulty: Easy

Annual Growth: Slow (3-7cm per year)

Watering: Drought tolerant; allow most of the soil to dry in between waters. If there is excessive crisping/brown leaves, increase the frequency of watering slightly. 

Feeding: Every three months using a 'Houseplant' labelled product. 

Pruning: Not generally needed.

Where to Buy: Garden centres, DIY stores & online stores.

Pet Friendly: No




7. Lipstick Plants

Care Difficulty: Difficult

Annual Growth: Slow (5-8cm per year)

Flowering Period: Late spring to late summer

Watering: Maintain evenly moist soil. Avoid dehydration at all costs as rapid leaf loss may occur. 

Feeding: Every three months using a 'Houseplant' labelled product. 

Pruning: Not generally needed; however, take 10cm stem cuttings in spring if you're interested in growing-on a separate plant.

Where to Buy: Garden centres, DIY stores & online stores.

Pet Friendly: Yes




8. Monkey Tail Cactus

Care Difficulty: Easy

Annual Growth: Slow (3-7cm per year)

Watering: Being a Cactus, the Monkey Tail is the most drought tolerant species on this list. Only give the plant another drink once the soil is entirely dry. Perfect for the hottest of skylight windows.

Feeding: Every three months using either a 'Houseplant' or 'Cactus' labelled product. 

Pruning: Not needed.

Where to Buy: Online stores.

Pet Friendly: Yes




9. Spider Plants

Care Difficulty: Easy

Annual Growth: Fast (6cm each year in height & width)

Watering: Water the soil once the foliage begins to either wilt or become grey.

Feeding: Every fourth water using a 'Houseplant' labelled product. 

Pruning: Prune yellow/brown leaf tips and any dead leaves to improve its appearance. Propagate the 'pups' that appear on the stems. (Bottom-right of image).

Where to Buy: Supermarkets, garden centres, DIY stores & online stores.

Pet Friendly: Yes




10. String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)

Care Difficulty: Easy

Annual Growth: Fast (10-15cm each year)

Watering: Keep the soil moist to counteract dehydration from high temperatures.

Feeding: Every three months using a 'Houseplant' labelled product. 

Pruning: Remove crisping leaves that appear on the stems. Due to its rapid growth rates, prune the stems' overall length by half each spring, and propagate the prunings in water to root & grow-on.

Where to Buy: Garden centres, DIY stores (sometimes) & online stores.

Pet Friendly: Yes




11. (Extra!) Boston Ferns (For Shady Skylight Windows Only)

Care Difficulty: Moderate

Annual Growth: Moderate (8-12cm each year in frond length)

Watering: Keep the soil moist to counteract dehydration from high temperatures. The Boston Fern is only suitable for sunless/shady skylight windows. 

Feeding: Every third water using a 'Houseplant' labelled product. 

Pruning: Remove yellow or crisping leaves that appear on the fronds.

Where to Buy: Garden centres, DIY stores & online stores.

Pet Friendly: Yes




12. (Extra!) Cymbidium Orchids

Care Difficulty: Moderate

Annual Growth: Slow (Three leaves per year from its central bulb)

Flowering Period: Summer to autumn

Watering: Keep your Cymbidium Orchid reliably moist, all year round. Similarly to the Boston Fern, this plant is best suited for sunless/shady skylight windows. 

Feeding: Every third water using a 'Houseplant' labelled product. 

Pruning: Remove yellow or crisping leaves that appear, along with any spent flowers.

Where to Buy: Garden centres & online stores.

Pet Friendly: Yes




Other honourable mentions for plants under a sunny/hot skylight window;

  • Aloe Vera
  • Kebab Plants - Crassula rupestris*
  • Nepenthes - Monkey Traps Plants (Carnivorous)
  • String of Bananas
  • String of Dolphins
  • Swedish Ivy*


Shady skylight windows;

  • Clivia - Natal Lily
  • Devil's Ivy & Pothos - Epipremnum
  • English Ivy
  • Hoya (All Species)*
  • Monkey Mask Plants - Monstera adansonii
  • Monstera Minima - Raphidophora
  • Swedish Ivy*
  • Tradescantia - Inch Plants & Wandering Jew
  • Vanda Orchids*

*Pet Friendly (Non Toxic)



Book a 1-to-1 Consultation with THE HOUSEPLANT DOCTOR™

Need advice for styling your houseplants indoors? Book a video or message consultation with expert Joe Bagley, THE HOUSEPLANT DOCTOR™ (author or ukhouseplants.com). Choose between a ten or thirty-minute session & a platform of your choice (WhatsApp, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger or Zoom). Ask unlimited questions in one session, including queries on your dying/challenging plants, pests eradication, terrariums, repotting advice & everything in between! Available worldwide.



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