A sunny, southern-exposure window provides the perfect indoor environment for growing flowering houseplants, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Home gardeners with southern indoor growing spaces need to pay special attention to watering these plants, as the sun has a tendency to bake moisture out of container plantings, especially in a dry winter climate. Other than the need to attend to water needs, a sunny southern window holds a host of indoor gardening potential.
Foliage and Flowers
Many foliage plants thrive in a full-sun window, adding interesting texture or leafy green shade to the room. These include burro's tails, coleus, dumb cane, devil's ivy and sprengeri asparagus fern. Flowers for southern-exposure window growing include geranium, gardenia, miniature roses, lavender and summer annuals which can be grown through the winter including nasturtiums, calendula and marigolds.
Herbs love full sun and flourish in the varying temperatures and dryness that growing in a hot southern-exposure window can sometimes entail. Culinary herbs for indoor growing include chives, garlic chives, oregano, thyme, parsley and cilantro. Tea herbs will also thrive indoors but require larger pots and two to three feet of vertical growing space. These include mints, lemon balm, lemon verbena and hyssop.
Dwarf fruit trees designed for container gardens will grow well in a sunny southern window given sufficient moisture. In addition to watering these small trees frequently, mist their foliage daily and set them on trays filled with pebbles and water to maintain a humid environment. Figs trees, dwarf avocado and citrus fruits are all appropriate for year-round winter growing; apples, pear and cherries need their winter dormancy and so are not suited to indoor cultivation.
A sunny southern window can be used as a greenhouse to grow many vegetable varieties year-round. As with fruits, be sure to maintain significant humidity, and include a water-soluble fertilizer in the watering at least once a week. For the best results, focus on vegetables with a short growing season, including radishes, lettuce, spinach and chard. Root vegetables like turnips, beets and carrots, all picked at the baby, or 2-inch, stage can also be grown indoors in 1-gallon nursery containers or in a line in a window box. Full-sized tomatoes, peppers and eggplants will not likely thrive in indoor conditions, but specific container varieties of these vegetables are available from many seed suppliers, such as Tumbling Tom cherry tomatoes and Prairie Fire hot peppers. These container varieties will produce delicious, smaller-sized edibles year round in your sunny window.