7 Best Plants That Thrive In Full Sun

Best Plants for Full Sun

Gardening enthusiasts would know that certain plants thrive the most while basking under full sun. Perfect for those spots that get all the glorious rays, these plants aren’t just survivors; they’re sun-thriving show-offs! According to a study by Penn State Extension, sun-loving plants generally sport thicker but smaller leaves that can handle more light than their shade-loving cousins, making them ideal for soaking up those sunny vibes. From blooming beauties to tough succulents, our guide to the best plants for full sun is packed with options that promise to brighten your garden with vibrant colors and robust growth.

Let’s dig in and plant a garden that’s designed to shine!

Best Plants for Full Sun

No matter you want the colorful blooms on the ground or in the hanging baskets, here are some plants that simply love the sun:

1. Agastache

plants that like full sun and heat

Agastache can really spice up your garden with some Agastache. Also known as Hummingbird Mint, the secret to success with these aromatic wonders is all about location and soil.

Agastache thrives in hot, sunny spots where the sun pours down its strongest rays. They love ‘lean,’ well-drained soils and don’t do well in clay or rich, moisture-holding loamy soils.

Also, choose a spot that gets full, blazing sun throughout the day to keep them happy and healthy. You can enjoy the vibrant colors and delightful fragrance of Agastache in your sunniest garden spots without putting much effort!

Bloom Time: Summer to early fall

2. Bellflower

heat tolerant flowers

Bellflowers are real garden gems, and they’re pretty flexible about where they grow! While many varieties love soaking up full sunlight, which keeps those taller beauties standing strong without any stakes, some of the woodland types are happy in a bit of shade too.

Just plant them in a spot that gets from full to partial sun, in soil that’s moist but drains well.

Oh, and a little heads up for you: perennial and biennial bellflowers thrive in full sun. and like to spread their roots with rhizomes under the soil, so they might get a bit cheeky and take over if you’re not careful.

To keep this plant with purple flowers in check, simply divide the sun loving perennials every three to five years. This way, you’ll keep your garden looking neat and your bellflowers behaving!

Bloom Time: June to August

3. Blazing Star

low maintenance full sun plants

Blazing star plants are real sun worshippers and love to bask in a spot where the sun shines all day long! Native peoples of North America grind its roots and use it as a pain reliever.

They flourish in well-draining soil that’s not too rich—just the right mix for these beauties.

This is ideal for adding a splash of wild charm, blazing stars are perfect for prairie gardens, cottage gardens, wildflower meadows, and even as eye-catching border plants.

And here’s a pro tip: for a truly stunning display, plant them in groups of five or more. This way, you’ll create a spectacular sea of color that really shows off their star quality!

Bloom Time: Summer to early fall

4. Catmint

full sun heat tolerant plants

Catnip is a gardener’s dream! Easy to grow in sun to part shade, it thrives in average, well-drained soils and is incredibly drought-tolerant.

From 1999 to 2006, the Chicago Botanic Gardenstudied 36 catmints and found out they are great for disease resistance, adaptability, and winter toughness.

In warmer southern climates, it appreciates a bit of afternoon shade to keep it happy. Watch its white flowers with charming purple spots bloom in clusters from late spring into summer, creating a buzz of activity.

Honeybees, bumblebees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds can’t resist the alluring purple spikes of these brightly colored flowers.

For a vibrant, low-water garden, pair catnip aromatic foliage with fellow drought-tolerant pals like coneflowers, yarrow, black-eyed Susans, and salvia. It’s a delightful way to add color and life to your garden while being super easy to maintain!

Bloom Time: Late spring into fall

5. Bee Balm

heat tolerant plants

Bee balm, also known as horsemint, really shines when basking in summer heat. While it can manage in part shade, it prefers the spotlight, where it won’t get leggy over time.

For the happiest bee balm garden beds, plant it late fall or early summer in rich, organic, evenly moist soil. It can handle lighter soil too, but the richer the dirt, the taller and stronger your bee balm will grow.

A little mulch on top can keep the moisture right where it needs to be, especially in soil that dries out fast.

Not only does this attractive foliage dazzle in the garden with its vibrant appearance, but it also boasts dual superpowers: attracting friendly pollinators like bees and butterflies while keeping pesky mosquitoes at bay.

It’s a garden hero that beautifies your space and makes outdoor living more enjoyable!

Bloom Time: June and July.

6. Black-eyed Susan

plants that like direct sunlight

Black-Eyed Susans are not just a treat for the eyes with the yellow flowers; they’re a fall feast for butterflies and a winter snack for seed-loving birds!

These vibrant flowers are perfect for sprucing up your garden and making stunning, long-lasting, excellent cut flowers for your home. They attract butterflies and turn their breeding sites into pollinator gardens.

Thriving best in bright sun, all varieties of Rudbeckia love the spotlight, though some, like the Sweet Black-eyed Susan and the perennial Black-eyed Susan, are also content in partial shade.

These bright bloomers are ideal for areas that get full sun, but they won’t mind a little afternoon shade in the hottest climates. While they can manage in part shade, more sun means more flowers!

Not fussy about their dirt, Black-eyed Susans grow happily in average, well-draining soil, making them a low-maintenance houseplant for gardeners looking to add a splash of cheerful yellow to their outdoor spaces.

Bloom Time: Late summer months

7. Coneflower

plants for full sun

Coneflowers prefer high temperatures and sunny environments. They truly thrive when they can bask in full sunlight.

Planting them in shady spots isn’t ideal; they’ll grow leggy and are likely to flop over. Plus, shade increases their risk of annoying foliar diseases like powdery mildew. However, if you’re gardening in warmer zones, a little afternoon shade of the sunny days can actually be beneficial, helping to prevent the blooms from fading too quickly.

These sturdy plants that have daisy like flowers naturally grow in clumps and won’t take over your garden like some perennials might. Beyond their beauty, coneflowers have a rich history in herbal medicine, traditionally used to fight the common cold.

According to a USDA research, compounds pulled from Echinacea are not just cool, they’re superpowers in disguise! They’ve been found to help patients with some types of cancer.

Bloom Time: Mid to late summer


With these sun-loving plants, you’re all set to turn your garden into a dazzling paradise that thrives under the golden rays.

Each of these plants is ready to soak up the sun and bring vibrant life and color to your outdoors.

So, slather on some sunscreen, put on your gardening hat, and get ready to plant a garden that’s not just surviving but thriving under the sun.

Happy gardening, and let the sunshine in!

Johan Perez
Johan Perez is an experienced agriculturalist with over twenty years in the field. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences and has contributed extensively to research on sustainable farming practices. Johan has also written for numerous agricultural periodicals, offering expert advice on farming technologies and methods. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor adventures, which often inform his professional insights into ecological agriculture.

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