During the long summer months, many of us enjoy nothing more than spending time sitting on a sun-drenched patio or balcony. This is even better with a cool drink, while surrounded by bright, colorful blooms. While you’re enjoying the sun, however, many flowers struggle in the heat. This is especially true for flowers grown in containers, because they can quickly dry out on hot days. So, what are the best flowers for full sun?
If you don’t want your sunny patio or balcony to become a floral graveyard, you have to spend a ton of time watering and shading your plants. If this doesn’t sound like your ideal summer there is another, easier way. Fill your containers with a collection of full sun-loving flowers instead.
These will add color, scent, and interest to your garden as well as attracting butterflies, birds and pollinators. Ultimately, they’ll make your sunny summer days even more enjoyable and relaxing.
What are Full-Sun Flowers?
Every plant needs sunlight to grow, but the amount of sunlight plants like differs greatly. Some like cool, shaded positions, where they can receive lots of indirect light and are protected from the sun’s direct heat. Others prefer to sit in a bright, sunny position receiving lots of light, and warmth for most of the day. These are the ones known as full sun flowers.
Filling your containers with a collection of sun-loving flowers is a great way to make use of a sunny location. Here are 20 of the best flowers for full sun that won’t wilt when the temperature rises.
1. Black-eyed Susan
The large, yellow, daisy like flowers of the black-eyed Susan are a great addition to any pot or container. Attracting birds and beneficial insects to your garden, black-eyed Susans earned their name because of their distinctive black centre. The dark brown (almost black) stigma sits in eye-catching contrast to the flowers’ bright petals.
These are some of the best flowers for full sun. Coneflowers, also known as Echinacea, bloom in shades of purple, pink, orange, red, yellow and white. While they can take up to three months to flower, coneflowers will happily grow in containers on balconies or patios. They’re happy in full sun, and are a colorful addition to any garden.
Producing daisy-like blooms coreopsis flowers are incredibly easy to grow. They can be cultivated both in the ground or a pot, and love full-sun positions. These beauties will flower throughout the year, as long as you remember to water them. Their tiny black buds will burst into stunning yellow, maroon, red, and pink flowers.
4. Million Bells
Also known as calibrachoa, million bells is one of the best flowers for full sun. Coming in a range of spectacular, eye-catching colors, this particular variety thrives in container gardens, as long as you water it regularly. It’ll also flower all summer long, without the need for deadheading. It also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, making it ideal for your pollinator garden.
Dahlias come in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes, and are an attractive addition to any container garden. They’re happy to grow in hot conditions, and this hardy little plant will add color to your garden during even the hottest spells. Dahlias also attract scores of bees and pollinators to your outdoor space.
One of the best flowers for full sun, the colorful verbena is an old favorite of gardeners and pollinators because it flowers from late spring until the fall. It’s happy to grow in a container, but will need regular watering and feeding to ensure continuous flowering. There are over 250 different verbena species to choose from, but for something slightly different, lemon verbena is a stately addition to any garden.
Commonly known as cape daisy, this is a bright, easy-to-grow, sun-loving flower that will thrive in a container. They come in a range of colors, from purple and deep pink to white or melon. In addition, regular deadheading will encourage continuous flowering throughout the summer.
This is absolutely one of the best flowers for full sun. Hibiscus is a colorful, low-maintenance addition to your garden, and will bring gorgeous hues wherever you plant it. This variety originated in China, but is now commonly grown around the world. Adding a couple of hibiscus plants is an easy way to add some tropical flair to your garden.
Despite its exotic appearance, hibiscus is an easy-to-grow plant. Hibiscus is happiest when growing in a pot on a sunny balcony or patio, and will bring late-season color to your space.
Not strictly a flower, ixora is a sun-loving shrub that thrives in containers. Ixora originated in the tropics, and is a perennial in USDA zones 9-11, and an annual elsewhere. When situated in a warm, sunny position ixora will produces clusters of flame-like flowers.
This species is sometimes known as cockscomb. Celosia’s showy flowers are an eye-catching addition to any sun-drenched location. They’re part of the amaranth family , and usually grown as an annual. In USDA zones 9-11, however, it can be grown as a perennial. Despite its exotic appearance celosia is an easy to grow and maintain addition to any container garden
Marigolds are long-standing garden favorites, and with good reason. They’re easy to grow, sun-loving flowers that attract scores of beneficial insects. The sunnier the location, the more flowers marigolds produce. Depending on the variety, marigolds can be grown as an annual or a perennial.
Heat-tolerant pentas thrive in container gardens. They produce clusters of distinctive, star-shaped flowers, and attract butterflies, pollinators, and hummingbirds throughout the summer. While they need more attention than other plants on our list, they’re well worth the effort. Once established, pentas will flower throughout the summer and well into the fall.
Some of the best flowers for full sun, the clustered, colorful flowers of the lantana shrub will attract scores of butterflies and pollinators to your garden. They thrive in hot conditions, and require little regular attention. Lantana really is the perfect summer plant, and can be grown as an annual in milder climates.
Happy to grow in full sun and warmer climates salvias come in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes. Just as happy in a container as they are in the ground salvias make a fantastic addition to any sunny patio or balcony. Flowering from spring until the fall, the small clusters of salvia flowers will also attracts pollinators, birds and butterflies to your garden.
Zinnias are some of the most popular sun loving flowers, and an attractive addition to patios and balconies. They produce large, colorful flowers, and these determined little flowers thrive in even the hottest summers. Young zinnias need more care than older plants, but will add color throughout the summer once established.
Petunias may be sun-loving plants, but they dislike too much heat. This means that you’ll need to provide them with some shade during the hottest part of the day. They’re available in an almost never ending range of sizes, and colors, and will happily flower in containers throughout the summer. Just remember to deadhead them regularly. In warmer climates, USDA zones 9-10, petunias can also be grown as a perennial.
Another old garden favorite, geraniums are some of the most common sun loving flowers. You can grow them as a perennial in USDA zones 9 and higher, and geraniums absolutely thrive in container gardens. They will provide you with hundreds of bright flowers from late spring until fall, adding tons of color to your outdoor spaces.
This tropical vining plant will happily grow in a container, but you’ll need to provide it with some form of support structure. Its exotic red, pink and white flowers sit attractively against the rich, green leaves of the vine. Mandevilla plants can be grown as an annual in cooler climates, and give a tropical feel to any garden.
This variety is great for filling that awkward, empty space in the middle of a mixed container garden. In fact, browallia, or bush violet, works well with most plants. These plants also like to have some protection from strong winds. If fed regularly browallia will produce scores of velvety textured blossoms.
This species is sometimes called summer snapdragon, because of its distinctive flowers. Angelonia also comes in a range of complimentary colors, including light blues, deep greens, shocking pinks, bright reds, and eye- catching yellows.
These 20 flowers are just some of the best flowers for full sun container gardens. Growing one, or a collection, of these flowers will add color and interest on even the hottest summer days. Hopefully we’ve inspired you to add some new varieties to your own space this season!