A backyard full of sunshine is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. However, planting flowers in direct sunlight is a challenge unless you choose plants that tolerate long afternoons of sunny days. Fortunately, there are many amazing flowers for full sun that not only thrive in a bright yard but provide colorful blooms from spring through fall.
It’s easy to fill your garden with sun-loving flowers as long as you choose heat tolerant plants suitable for your growing zone.
Planting shade or low sun plants in an area that receives sunshine all day long leaves you with a sad and dying plant. While planting full-sun flowers in the shade generally doesn’t kill them, they do not thrive and reach their full potential.
- Choosing and Planting Full Sun Flowers
- What is Full Sun for Plants?
- What are the Best Flowers for Sunny Yards?
- How Do I Know Which Plants to Grow in My Yard?
- Are Full Sun Flowers Hard to Care for in the Garden?
- Salvia (Salvia officinalis)
- Marigolds (Tagetes) – Colorful Flower that Repels Insects
- Sedum (Sedum)
- Peonies (Paeonia) – Amazing Flowers for Full Sun that Produce Highly Fragrant Blooms
- Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
- Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis) – Tropical and Colorful Sun-Loving Flower
- Lantana (Lantana camara)
- Zinnias (Zinnia Elegans) – Best Flowers for Pots in Full Sun
- Verbena (Verbena officinalis)
- Daylily (Hemerocallis) – Easy-to-Grow Perennial Flower
- Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora)
- Geranium (Pelargonium) – Flowering Plant with Unique Foliage
- Petunia (Petunia × atkinsiana)
- Roses (Rosa) – Perennial Climber and Bush with Fragrant Flowers
Choosing and Planting Full Sun Flowers
Browsing your local garden center is sometimes overwhelming with all of the beautiful flowers in a variety of colors. It’s tempting to fill your cart with all of them. However, there are a few things to look for before making your purchase, including sun and maintenance requirements, size, and type.
Note that you are not limited just to flowering plants. Choose from some sun loving ferns and ornamental grasses, as well as shrubs and trees. Plan your landscape with a variety of plants to appeal to all the senses and attract pollinators.
What is Full Sun for Plants?
While browsing your local nursery, you notice that some plants are labeled direct sun or full sun. These types of flowers require unfiltered, direct sunlight for approximately six hours every day, if not more.
Anything less than this and the plant does not grow its best. These types of flowers are often tolerant of drought and arid conditions, making them an easy plant to grow.
What are the Best Flowers for Sunny Yards?
There are quite a lot of flowers that enjoy full sun locations, and the key is to check their care labels before deciding which ones are your favorites. Some of the best perennials are rose bushes and peonies. These also make excellent cut flowers for the home. Annuals such as zinnias and dahlias are also a favorite and are some of the best flowers for pots in full sun
How Do I Know Which Plants to Grow in My Yard?
Check the plant care guide attached to the plants before purchasing for specific requirements. The first thing to check for is the hardiness zone. Make sure that your area falls within the recommended growing zone for the flower.
The second thing to look for is the sun requirements for the plant. If you have a yard filled with sunshine for most of the day, it’s vital to choose plants that handle full or direct sunlight.
Another essential thing to consider when planting sun-loving plants is whether you desire annual or perennial flowers. Annuals only grow for one season and die back before winter, while perennials come back year after year with new growth each season.
Are Full Sun Flowers Hard to Care for in the Garden?
Sun-loving flowers are very easy to grow because many of them not only enjoy sunny days in the garden, but they are drought tolerant and heat resistant, making them easy to maintain, even on the hottest days of summer. Full-sun flowers require basic care, such as the pruning of dead flowers and daily watering, especially if they are in a container.
Salvia (Salvia officinalis)
This mint relative blooms in a broad spectrum of colors, including blue, purple, red, white, and pink. The flowers rise out of blue/green foliage in tall spires of blooms that last from spring through fall.
Salvia is a low-maintenance flower that is drought tolerant and deer resistant. It thrives in hardiness zones 3 through 10 and reaches a height of 3 to 8 feet, and a width of 3 feet, depending on the type.
Marigolds (Tagetes) – Colorful Flower that Repels Insects
Marigolds are every gardener’s delight. They easily grow from seeds and not only produce cheerful blooms in colors of red, orange, and yellow, but they repel insects such as aphids and mosquitoes. They bloom from late spring through the fall and make some of the best flowers for containers.
These low maintenance annuals are deer resistant and drought tolerant. They are a low growing flower that reaches a height of up to 12 inches with a spread of 6 to 10 inches. Pinch off dead blooms to encourage more new growth.
Sedum is a diverse group of flowering plants that comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Some have fleshy leaves and others are more typical of traditional plants.
The creeping varieties look their best growing through a rock garden or draping over a container while the upright types form tight clumps and grow well in gardens.
These summer perennial flowers produce tiny blooms in early summer and fall and love the sun but tolerate partial shade. It grows in zones 3 through 10 and is drought tolerant and low maintenance.
Peonies (Paeonia) – Amazing Flowers for Full Sun that Produce Highly Fragrant Blooms
No garden is complete without a few sun loving shrubs like peonies. These plants produce stunningly large blooms with intense fragrance in the spring with colors that range from red, orange, and pink, to white and yellow.
This low maintenance perennial thrives in zones 3 through 8 and makes an exquisite, fragrant cut flower for the home. It is low maintenance and deer resistant and grows to an average height and width of 3 feet.
Note that ants love peonies, too, so be sure to shake them off before bringing cut flowers indoors.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
These amazing plants for full sun are daisy-like flowers. Coneflowers are an American native favorite among gardeners. They produce purple, green, red, orange, pink, white, and yellow blooms in the summer and fall months and are great for attracting birds to the yard.
Echinacea is a perennial and grows best in zones 3 through 9. It is low maintenance, drought tolerant, and deer resistant, and reaches a height of up to 3 feet with a width of up to 1 to 2 feet.
Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis) – Tropical and Colorful Sun-Loving Flower
Hibiscus flowers are sun loving tropical perennials that produce exotic blooms in shades of red, white, and pink. These dinner-plate-sized flowers are a showstopper in the garden and attract all sorts of pollinators to the yard.
This perennial plant grows best in zones 4 through 9 and is easy to maintain. It blooms from summer through fall and reaches a height of 3 to 8 feet and a width of 3 to 5 feet, depending on the variety.
Unfortunately, some aphids seem to like your hibiscus plants as much as you do. One home remedy for aphids on hibiscus is to use a firm spray of water to dislodge them first. Then, sprinkle diatomaceous earth at the base of the plants to kill them. A mixture of dish soap and water sprayed on the plants works as well.
Lantana (Lantana camara)
Although not typically viewed as tropical flowering shrubs, lantana is an easy-to-grow flower that thrives in some of the hottest conditions. It blooms purple, red, orange, white, yellow, and pink flowers during the summer and fall months. You can often find differently colored blooms on the same plant.
These fragrant blossoms attract pollinators and grow well in containers. They are especially appropriate flowering plants for window boxes as they easily trail over the edges for a lovely look.
Lantana is a low maintenance annual that is also a perennial in zones 8 through 11. They are extremely drought tolerant perennials in warmer climates and deer resistant, too. Lantana reaches an average height and width of 3 feet if given enough space.
Zinnias (Zinnia Elegans) – Best Flowers for Pots in Full Sun
Zinnias are some of the easiest flowers to grow from seeds and they produce striking blooms in bold colors of purple, green, orange, red, pink, yellow, and white flowers throughout summer and fall. These bloomers make excellent cut flowers and fill containers with ease.
This low maintenance annual attracts birds and other pollinators like butterflies and bees to the yard and is deer resistant. Zinnias grow to an average height of 3 feet and a width of 12 to 18 inches. Place low growing Zinnias in baskets or borders and tall-growing types as a backdrop in the garden.
Verbena (Verbena officinalis)
Verbena produces countless clusters of colorful blooms all season long in shades that range from pink and purple to white and blue flowers. This plant looks best cascading over a flower basket or retaining wall and adds a whimsical touch to the garden.
This deer-resistant flower is one of the best annuals for a summer fragrance if you like citrusy aromas in northern climates. It’s a perennial in zones 7 through 9. It has blue/green foliage and grows from a height of 6 inches to 3 feet and a width of 12 to 20 inches, depending on the variety.
This pretty flower is also appropriate for putting in containers and in hanging pots. If you have a problem with squirrels and other small mammals, though, beware.
Why do squirrels dig in flower pots? Squirrels like the soft soil in planters and either attempt to bury their nut cache there or look for bugs buried in the dirt.
Daylily (Hemerocallis) – Easy-to-Grow Perennial Flower
There are so many different varieties of Daylily that it’s hard to choose just one. It is one of the easiest perennial flowers to grow and often plants its feet as a wildflower in ditches. While the blooms only last one day, a garden filled with an assortment of daylilies blooms continuously.
This perennial flower loves full sun but tolerates partial sun as well. It is low maintenance and drought tolerant and thrives in zones 3 through 10. Daylilies reach a height of 1 to 8 feet with a width of 1 to 3 feet, depending on the type.
Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora)
This succulent flowering plant brings character to the garden and is an excellent choice for containers. It is a hardy plant that requires less watering than typical flowers and produces trailing blooms in shades of purple, pink, white, yellow, and orange.
Moss roses are an annual that looks great in a hanging basket. These flowers reach a height of 6 to 12 inches with a spread of up to 18 inches. They are low maintenance, deer resistant, and drought tolerant.
Geranium (Pelargonium) – Flowering Plant with Unique Foliage
This classic garden flower is an old-fashioned favorite among gardeners and fills beds, borders, and containers with no trouble at all. It produces spikes of colorful blooms of purple, red, orange, white, and pink flowers out of uniquely shaped foliage.
Geraniums are an annual in all areas and a perennial in zones 10 and 11. This low maintenance flower is deer resistant and drought tolerant, and blooms from spring through fall. The flowers grow to 1 to 3 feet and a width of up to 2 feet, depending on the type.
Petunia (Petunia × atkinsiana)
Petunias add mountains of color from spring through fall and have a variety of colors and patterns, including pink, red, white, purple, blue, and yellow. These flowers produce a strong fragrance in the evenings and attract hummingbirds to the garden.
These annual flowers are low maintenance and deer resistant, and make an excellent choice for a window box or hanging basket. They grow to an average height and width of 3 feet and bloom from spring through fall. Pluck off dead flowers to encourage more blooms.
Roses (Rosa) – Perennial Climber and Bush with Fragrant Flowers
There are so many varieties of roses that it’s hard to know where to start. They are grown as a bush, climber, and ground cover plant and produce fragrant blooms throughout the growing season. The flowers range from simple and delicate blooms to profuse double blossoms and come in just about every color imaginable.
Most rose varieties grow well in containers and flower beds in zones 4 through 9. They are deer resistant and easy to maintain and attract birds and pollinators to the yard.
Creating a stunning flower garden in sunny locations is an easy task as long as you choose the right plants for your yard. Full-sun perennials and annuals not only thrive in sunny spots but tolerate the hottest days of summer with very little care, whether you plant them in hanging baskets, rock gardens, or a flower bed.
We hope that you choose some of these amazing flowers for full sun to create a beautiful garden of summer blooms, and we’d love it if you’d share our full-sun flowers with your family on Facebook and Pinterest.