Do you have a spot in your yard that gets a lot of sun? Full sun perennials are easy to care for and come in a huge variety of colors, habits, bloom times, and sizes. Furthermore, sun loving sun perennials are low maintenance, tolerant plants that can withstand a water shortage and, as the name suggests, love sunny growing conditions.
When selecting full sun plants, make sure they are suitable for your location. It is important to check how much sun your garden area receives in a day. Most full sun perennials need at least eight hours of direct sun daily, or at least bright light most of the day. When planted correctly and given proper care, these plants will reward you year after year with spectacular blooms and fresh cut flowers all season long!
15 Sun Loving Perennials:
Paint sunny spots in your yard and garden with these colorful, carefree beauties. Perennials come back year after year, so just plant them and enjoy them!
1.) Blanket Flower– Gaillardia
Blanket Flower – offers red-and-yellow-orange flowers that exude color and charm. It loves hot, sunny spots, producing waves of single or double daisy-like flowers all summer and into fall. Blanket flower has simple needs. All it really wants is a sun-filled spot and an occasional drink of water.
Blanket flower grows 1 to 3 feet tall and is deer resistant, too. Plus it’s perfect for attracting butterflies! When you want a plant that just shines all season long, Blanket Flower – Gaillardia will do the job beautifully. Deadhead to encourage new blooms!
2.) Salvia –
Salvia – this is one of the most popular flowers for butterflies and hummingbirds! Stately stems are loaded with spires of violet-purple flowers that can bloom from late spring throughout the summer into fall. Perfect perennial to counteract the bold shades of other perennials. It coordinates beautifully with just about any hue, from white to yellow to orange, red and shades of pink.
Mass plantings can be created using a series of zig-zagging staggered rows. Mulch between plants and keep new plantings weeded. To increase bloom time, Salvia should be cut back after the first bloom. Thrives in sun, heat and humidity.
3.) Butterfly Weed –
Butterfly Weed – produces vivid orange and yellow blooms that attract monarch butterflies. Butterfly weed leaves and nectar are monarchs’ favorite food, so plant butterfly weed in clumps for a colorful show of flowers and lots of butterfly visitors. It’s super easy to grow, drought tolerant and not picky about soil.
Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t a nuisance plant. Asclepias tuberosa is a native wildflower that thrives in meadows and along roadsides, but belongs in your garden, too. The outstanding blooms float high above the airy, dark green foliage. The main stem starts off unbranched at the base, but divides so that several smaller branches hold up the blooms for a vase-shaped effect.
4.) Liatris –
The rosy-lilac flower spikes of Liatris (also known as Gayfeather) are adored by beneficial pollinators. With its lovely color and strong vertical effect, it provides an interesting architectural dimension. These unique, sky reaching flowers of this native American perennial open from the top and move downward in succession. They bloom from June to September.
Don’t forget to snip a few Gayfeather blooms for floral arrangements indoors, as they make great cut flowers. They also make an interesting look in dried flower arrangements!
5.) Potentilla –
These gorgeous, compact shrubs are perfect for foundation plantings. Also known as Cinquefoil, Potentilla are highly ornamental shrubs loved for being hardy, tidy and carefree. Their soft and fine textured leaves are green on top with a grayish color beneath. Mainly produce yellow flowers, there are varieties that bloom white, pink or orange.
They are native to North America, and will do best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. However, these little guys are pretty darn tough. They can handle a variety of soils and resist disease and insects. They are butterfly magnets and deer resistant.
6.) Sedum –
Workhorses of the perennial border, Sedums need little care to look great. Nearly impervious to heat, drought, and disease, sedums grow bigger, stronger each year.
This perennial family includes ground-hugging varieties such as Angelina and Tricolor as well as taller types such as the classic 3-foot-tall Autumn Joy. The blooms of rosy pink flowers age to a salmon bronze and finish with a deep coppery red. Talk about easy care! Plant them and practically forget them.
7.) Shasta Daisies –
Shasta Daisies are one of the cheeriest flowers you can grow! These classic yellow-centered, white-petaled daisies brighten up any sunny garden plot or border. Give them plenty of space since they don’t like to be crowded by other plants.
Blooming can be extended by continued deadheading to spur on more flowering. For best success, provide good winter drainage and wait until spring to cut back. These daisies look incredible as centerpieces in rock gardens or accents in a cottage garden. They’ll also do wonderfully as border plants!
8.) Russian Sage –
Russian sage is a popular garden and landscape plant valued for its lavender-blue flowers over a generous
bloom period, silvery green leaves, shrubby habit, and companionability with many other plants.
Easy to grow and adaptable to dry sites. Russian Sage (Perovskia) is a beautiful, fragrant, rabbit & deer resistant, pollinator plant. I especially love pairing it with pink landscape roses and yellow coreopsis. Graceful, airy, tough-as-nails, Russian Sage is a standout addition to your garden!
9.) Daylily –
One of the most popular sun-loving perennials grown, daylilies have been cultivated for over 2500 years. Daylily in Greek means “beautiful for a day”. Hardy, reliable and easy to grow … daylilies come in a wide variety of colors (not just yellow!) heights, and bloom times.
The lovely specimen above is the ‘Chicago Apache’ variety. It blooms in mid- to late summer. There are many types to choose from varying from bi-color beauties to orange, red, purple, pink, cream, gold, peach. The most seen around town award goes to ‘Stella de Oro’ which is used extensively by landscapers for its reliable rebloom and easy care.
10.) Coneflowers –
Coneflowers (Echinacea) are dependable and showy in the garden. They have daisy-like flowers, a raised cone and frequently drooping petals. The seed heads are an important food source for songbirds and make excellent dried flower arrangements.
The dazzling coneflower pictured above is ‘PowWow Wild Berry’. It puts on a non-fading color show in early to mid summer. Coneflowers attract birds, butterflies and are deer resistant. They like average, well-drained soil and are drought tolerant. You’ll find them in many colors from purple, orange, pink, white, yellow, green, red and more combos.
11.) Penstemon –
A little drama is a good thing … in the landscape that is! Add interest and charm with easy-care Penstemon. You’ll encourage flying visitors, too. Hummingbirds adore the light purple-pink flowers with white, flaring tubes of the Penstemon digitalis ‘Blackbeard’ pictured above.
The sturdy stems stay strictly upright all season long. In general, this plant grows 18″ – 24″ high and is best suited to loose , well-drained, dry (even sandy soils) in the full sun. Even after the flowers are past, attractive dark burgundy seed pods develop for an attractive display.
12.) Black-Eyed Susan –
Beloved by generations of gardeners, black-eyed Susan (rudbeckias) are always vigorous, well-flowered and showy. They can be counted on to provide bold splashes of color with their vivid yellow, golden or rust colored flowers.
Most varieties grow around 2 feet tall. These easy perennials tolerate heat and drought like a champ, but look their best with ample moisture. Black-eyed Susan makes a long-lasting cut flower, too, so plant lots for summer bouquets!
13.) Yarrow –
Yarrow are old-fashioned long blooming garden staples that are very easy to grow. The silvery, fern-like foliage is aromatic and the attractive flowerheads are good for cutting and drying. They are drought and salt tolerant and seem to thrive on neglect making them a good choice for mailbox gardens.
Their flowers come in a wide array of colors and are an important nectar source for many butterflies and pollinators. Photo above is Achillea ‘Pomegranate’ with its pretty red clusters. Rabbits and deer steer clear of yarrow probably due to the scent.
14.) Dianthus (Pinks) –
Dianthus are also called ‘Pinks’ and are known for their old-fashioned charm and wonderful fragrance. The sweet flowers look wonderful as a border plant, in rock gardens, along walks or paths, for edging and a definite in cottage gardens.
The often shaggy little posies look like they have been cut with pinking shears, hence the alternate name. Many varieties are evergreen providing winter interest with their attractive low mounds. All Dianthus prefer full sun and well-drained soil and will benefit with deadheading after flowering.
15.) Fountain Grass –
Grasses have a special grace and beauty that no other group of plants can match. Fountain grass, with its fabulous color and textures creates visual interest in all seasons. Narrow, arching leaves sway in the slightest breeze and truly gives a fountain-like appearance. Use in mass plantings, in large containers, or use the dwarf variety as an edging plant to soften the perimeter of a mixed shrub border.
The showy seed heads of fountain grass (pennisetum) look like giant, fuzzy caterpillars! They’re deer and rabbit resistant and features great fall color. Ornamental Grasses are gaining in popularity all over, due to their undemanding nature and long lasting, year-round beauty.
Easy Care Perennials For Full Sun
We have carefully selected the best sun perennials that have exceptional disease and pest resistance, along with excellent performance in drought, heat, humidity, and cold. Sun perennials do thrive in any sunny area and look best planted in a mass of at least three of the same plant for a spectacular show of color.
Planting tips: Add plenty of organic matter, such as compost, in the planting area and make sure the soil is well drained. Apply a thick mulch to keep in the moisture and discourage weeds. Make sure to water regularly, especially during dry periods.
Remember … most full sun perennials need at least eight hours of direct sun daily, or at least bright light most of the day. When planted correctly and given proper care, these low maintenance plants will reward you year after year with spectacular blooms!