Garden Plants That Need Full Sun

It is important to know the sun requirements for plants before you select a planting site. Plants that cannot tolerate full sun exposure will quickly wilt in the hot rays of the sun. Plants that need full sun, however, will not bloom well if planted in an area that's too shady. Garden plants that require full sun need a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day, according to the University of Illinois. If you have an area of your landscape that gets full sun exposure, there are plenty of plants you can choose that will thrive there.


Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) is a tall, showy flower that thrives in temperate regions. This plant grows best in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) zones 4 though 7. Due to their height, hollyhocks should be planted against a wall or other sheltered location, but still in full sunlight. Alcea rosea prefers rich, organic soil but is highly adaptable to all soil conditions. Deadhead (pluck off) wilted flowers to encourage re-blooming.

Common Bearberry

This small but striking plant only grows to less than an inch tall, but its copper fall color against scarlet red berries makes it a top choice for home gardeners who want an evergreen ground cover that loves acidic soil. Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) also thrives in the hot sun, according to Purdue University, and is cold-hardy to USDA growing zone 2.

Shasta Daisies

Shasta daisies (Laucanthemum x superbum) are a favorite with home gardeners, and for good reason. Their long-lasting blooms make excellent cut flowers, and the plants grow well in full sunlight without the slightest wilt, as long as the soil is kept moist. In fact, without a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day, these plants will not bloom very well. Shasta daisies are prolific bloomers, come in a wide variety of sizes, and can be planted in USDA zones 5 though 10.

Dianthus (Pinks)

Dianthus (Dianthus spp.) is a profusily blooming perennial with an attractive mounding habit. Often simply called "pinks," these plants thrive in full sunlight and well-draining soil. Dianthus are cold-hardy to USDA growing zone 3 and heat-tolerate to zone 9, but this can vary by cultivar. These plants bloom in colors of red, pink or white in flowers that have single or double, smooth or ruffled petals. Deadhead to encourage re-blooming.

Keywords: full sun plants, sunny garden plants, flowers for sunlight

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.