Plants That Need Full Sun

Gardeners with a South-facing yard may worry that their plants don't have a shot at surviving a long, hot summer. Luckily there are a number of plants that crave a full day of hot sunlight, producing vibrant flowers and foliage that would never survive in the shade.

Blanket Flower

Native to warm prairies in North America, blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella) is a sun-loving plant that produces vibrant, sunflower-like blooms in shades of yellow, orange and hot pink. The plant is quite hardy and easy to maintain, requiring little water and tolerating dry, sandy soils. Blanket flowers should always be planted in full sun in well-draining soils. Gardeners can prolong the plant's flowers by deadheading spent blooms. Avoid over watering, as wet soils can cause root rot, especially during the winter.

Christmas Palm

Christmas palm (Adonidia merrillii) is a medium-size palm that makes an excellent house plant. The palm offers lovely deep-green fronds and a tapered trunk. Christmas palm thrives in high humidity and full sunlight (ideally coming from the south or west side of the house). Christmas palm will grow in a general-purpose potting soil, provided the soil is well-drained. The plant's leaves should be dabbed with a clean damp cloth to keep the palm looking healthy. The Christmas Palm does require regular watering, so keep the soil moist during the growing season.


Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) are sun-loving plants that are ideal for the beginning gardener or those who are seeking a low-maintenance bedding plant. Cosmos plants offer rich green foliage and simple but brilliantly colored blooms that are available in a range of different bold colors. The plant thrives in full sunlight, preferring soils that are well-drained and somewhat sandy. Cosmos should be watered regularly during the summer months to keep the plant fresh and healthy.

Keywords: full sun, sunny plants, plant types

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.