12 Garden Plants That Flourish In Full Sun

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These plants are one with the sun!

Finding the right plants for your garden is crucial to achieving the garden of your dreams, and when it comes to plants that love the full sun (6+ hours of sun/day), there’s a wide variety of options to choose from. With so many attractive options for plants that thrive in different levels of sun exposure, it can be challenging to sort through which ones are best suited for your unique gardening goals. Of course, these plants have a sunny disposition, from knockout roses and vibrant coneflowers to gorgeous grasses and fragrant lavender.

Here, you’ll find our list of our favorite sun-loving garden plants. Click the links to skip ahead to find what you’re looking for!

First, what do full sun, part sun, and shade mean? Watch to get all the answers:

Low-maintenance plants for full sun

orange yarrow flowers in a cottage garden

(Achillea)

Yarrow is a sun-loving perennial that is incredibly easy to grow and maintain. It requires full sun, is cold and heat tolerant, and is resistant to deer and rabbits. In addition, its vibrant array of color options makes it an attractive choice for beginner gardeners! We can’t think of any downside to this versatile plant: add it to a hedge or flower garden with plenty of sun and watch it thrive before your eyes!

(Echinacea hybrid ‘Sweet Sandia’)

Get the tropical flower look without spending your precious time on maintenance! Although coneflowers are drought-tolerant, they require dry to medium soil moisture. So plant in a sunny spot with low soil moisture and water weekly during the summer season. The compact habit of coneflowers makes them a great addition to small gardens without sacrificing big blooms.

tropical looking green coneflower
pink butterfly bush

(Buddleia 'Miss Molly'')

Showy shrubs that are easy to grow? Count us in! ‘Miss Molly’ Butterfly Bush features large clusters of pink and purple flowers for months once established in a sunny area.  The possibilities are endless, and no deadheading, special protection, or fussing is required. Plant and watch your garden become a beacon of activity for pollinators. For more information about butterfly bush, check out our blog “Questions Answered Series: Butterfly Bush (Buddleia).” 

Honorable mentions:

These aren’t the only low-maintenance plants that love full sun! Consider planting ornamental grasses, hibiscus and crapemyrtle too. You can’t go wrong; all of these are great choices for beginner gardeners.

Ground cover plants for full sun

(Delosperma)

The flowers from ‘Fire Wonder’ ice plant feature bright red, orange, and yellow hues, akin to a beautiful summer sunset! Ice plant features prolific and rapid blooms, making them a fast-establishing deer-resistant ground cover for your landscape. Just ensure these are planted in areas receiving more than 6 hours of sunlight and fast-draining soil.

close up of fire wonder ice plant
A sea of vibrant red blooms creating a carpet to cover the soil

(Thymus praecox 'Coccineus' )

Red creeping thyme is a best-seller for a reason: this ground cover is quick to spread and thrives with little care in sunny areas. The dense, vibrant blooms on red creeping thyme require full sun and well-drained soil, making a fantastic lawn substitute for small spaces. This low-grower is also great for adding texture and attracting pollinators. With red creeping thyme, creating a pop of color on sunny slopes and pathways has never been easier.

(Sedum rupestre)

The vibrant chartreuse appearance of  ‘Angelina’ stonecrop is almost as bright as the sun! This stonecrop can perform in high heat and humidity, making it a dependable choice for full-sun ground covers. While interest peaks in the summer with neon blooms, this plant’s succulent leaves look great year-round.

bright yellow and green stonecrop

Honorable mentions:

Not to fear: more sun-loving ground covers flourish in many gardening zones. Try planting sedumdianthus, tickseed, or ‘Emerald Blue’ phlox alongside sunny slopes or tucked between your other sun-loving plants.

Container plants for full sun

bright yellow daylily

(Hemerocallis 'Stella De Oro')

Nothing makes gardeners more eager for spring than the arrival of blossoming daylilies. Highly adaptable and compact, the daylily isn’t just for planting in masses; they also make for fantastic container plants in areas with high levels of sunlight! You’ll be wowed whenever you see the vibrant golden-yellow flowers from late spring to fall.

(Rosa x 'Chewgewest')

The classic beauty of roses isn’t just reserved for landscapes and hedges; they make amazing container plants too. Suñorita® rose from Proven Winners features orange-yellow blooms that add a statement to patios. In addition, these full-sun roses are extremely tough and durable, so you won’t have to pay these container plants any mind all summer long. I mean, it’s love for the sun is literally in it’s name!

yellow and orange rose flower
nautical green and yellow ornamental grass

(Miscanthus sinensis 'NCMS2B')

Didn’t think grasses could make impactful container plants? Think again! ‘Bandwidth’ Maiden Grass has an upright and compact habit featuring green and yellow horizontally striped leaves, making it a great addition to containers and small spaces. Try adding to a patio to create a nautical aesthetic or tuck between other sun-loving plants.

Honorable mentions:

It doesn’t stop there! Some of our other favorite container plants for full sun include red hot poker, calamint, barberry, and weigela.

Plants for full sun and heat

(Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote')

There’s nothing more classic, more timeless, more fragrant than lavender! ‘Hidcote’ features bright purple flowers and silver-gray foliage that stay evergreen even as the sunlight dwindles. As a bonus, these sun-loving perennials can withstand months of high heat and drought. Make a lavender wreath or press flowers for fragrance and art projects; the possibilities are endless. 

hidcote lavender in bloom
Field of white Shasta Daisy flowers

(Leucanthemum 'Becky')

‘Becky’ Shasta Daisy is a charming garden addition with full sun and heat. Featuring perfect petals and yellow centers, the shasta daisy is practically a picture-perfect perennial. So why not plant it next to colorful coneflowers and striking lavender foliage? After establishing, add to a cut-flower arrangement, and before you know it, you’ll be transported to Wonderland. Learn more about Shasta daisy HERE. 

(Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Sage Advice')

The strong, upright stems from Russian Stage keep your gorgeous bright purple flowers upright even in the highest of high temperatures and drought conditions once established! Peaking midsummer into fall, this plant loves abundant sunlight and is an excellent addition to a hedge or along a pathway. The deliciously sweet scent resembles its appearance, featuring a sage-like lavender smell.

purple russian sage in garden

Honorable mentions:

You know what they say: if you can’t take the heat (and the sun), get out of the garden! If you’re looking for more options consider planting stonecrop, allium, or dahlia. 

Written by: Lindsey Griffith, click here to read bio.

Questions, comments, or concerns? Let us know! We have an experienced, knowledgeable staff ready to make sure your garden turns out perfect. Or check out our other blogs, here.

 

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