Which Plants Enjoy Full Sun?
Knowing what to grow in your full sun garden can be tricky, especially when there is absolutely no shade to help filter out any excess heat. Some plants, if they aren’t cut out for the light, will end up burning if they are placed under constant, relentless sunlight.
However, sun-loving plants love being out in the sunshine for at least 6 hours per day and are also usually able to withstand drought quite nicely which makes them perfect for container gardening. You must choose plants wisely when you are planting them in containers, in full sun, with little reprieve. It can turn into something quite ugly if you let them sizzle all day long from the inside out. So let’s break things down a little.
Best Plants For Full Sun Container Gardens
Perennials which are made to do well in full sun can be grown in containers and do pretty well, without a lot of worry on your part. Make sure when you are planting container gardens, that the plants are drought resistant, that way they won’t suffer from extreme heat exhaustion in the full sun.
- Celosia Spicata (wheat celosia): This fiery, spiky plant is a beautiful reminder of summer and all things hot, fierce and beautiful. These plants can get up to 2 to 4 feet tall and come in various colors including red, pink, and purple. These plants can not tolerate cold soil or cold water, so make sure when you are watering your celosa, not to frighten it dead with cold water.
- Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower): These beautiful flowers are easy to grow from seeds and are an easy-going flower with no real problems associated with them. They will thrive in your containers and provide you bursts of color.
- Lavender: Who doesn’t love lavender? This aromatic, beautiful plant easily grows in containers with lots of sun in well-drained soil and lots of warmth. The seeds are slow to germinate, so do yourself a favor and buy seedling plants. Remember not to overwater lavender, as they are native to dry and arid regions, so don’t let them sit in water.
- Hibiscus: Who doesn’t love the beautiful, tropical touch of a hibiscus plant in your garden. These lovely little treasures work great in containers and in warm weather. Make sure the temperatures outside don’t go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, as they surely won’t appreciate cooler temperatures. Think of them like Florida snowbirds, not actually birds but retirees. Follow the warm weather, and they will be fine.
- Agave: While many of us love Agave for its Tequila and subsequential effects, agave is a wonderful plant to have in a full sun garden. While it’s not grown for any blooms or beautiful flowers, agave has a beautiful look to its sharp leaf tips and unique geometrical design. And if you are feeling lucky, why not try and make some tequila! Good luck.
Best Plants For Full Sun Garden Beds
While you can grow similar plants in garden beds and containers, it’s nice to parcel out the few that really excel in each category. Sunny border plants are great locations for flowers which thrive in direct sun. If you are using a garden bed, it’s best to pick plants which are native to your climate in order to give them the best chance of survival and success.
- Yarrow: Used in herbal medicine, yarrow root has amazing medicinal properties. Used all over the world, from the ancient Greeks to the native Americans to today, yarrow root fights bacteria, acts as a decongestant, astringent, anti-inflammatory, promotes digestion and more. Who wouldn’t want to grow yarrow in their garden? Yarrow is also incredibly easy to care for, almost self-parenting in a way. They thrive under full sun and well-drained soil. In the right conditions they can become invasive, so make sure they don’t grow out of control.
- Russian Sage: With its small purple and blue flowers, grayish-green foliage, and wiry stems, Russian sage is a fun, drought tolerant and easy plant to place in your garden. Plants reach somewhere between 3-5 feet tall and thrive in full sun with well-drained soil. Watering for these plants is minimal and they actually thrive in dry soil, so only water occasionally once the plants are an established member of your garden family.
- Daylily: The ultimate winners of the garden, Daylilies are survivors and can live anywhere from Canada down to Florida, tolerate different types of soil conditions, don’t succumb to pests or insects and bloom every year without a doubt. These perennials are suited for garden beds, landscape gardens, containers and everything in between. These full sun lovers do great in moist, well-drained soil. You can’t go wrong with these beautiful plants— so grow on!
- Bee Balm: Humming birds and humans alike love bee balm for their color and vitality. This plant also attracts butterflies and of course, bees, so if you want visitors in your garden, this is the flower for you. These are great late summer additions to your garden and flower borders and will thrive in full sun to light shade and rich, well-drained soil.
- Summer Snapdragon: Easy to care for, these plants are called ‘summer snapdragons’ due to the flower they produce which resemble small snapdragons throughout the summer and into the fall. They can grow up to 18 inches tall and some people think their aromas resemble apples. They do great on garden borders and will provide tons of color, good smells, and wonderful flowers all summer long!
There’s an endless supply of wonderful plants and flowers for your full sun garden, begging for bright, never-ending sun. If you are lucky enough to live in a place with so much vitamin D, enjoy not only the wonderful health benefits for yourself but also to your garden.