Plants That Grow in Full Sun

Often you see plants labeled as "Sun", "Full Sun", "Part Shade", "Shade" or some combination of the four such as "Sun/Part Shade". Generally, the first designation is the preferred light requirement and the plant will tolerate the second one given. Choose plants with light requirements that match the location you plan to put them in. Full sun plants require at least 8 hours of direct sunlight every day.

Floss Flower

The floss flower is a shorter annual that grows 8-12 inches tall. Classified as a hardy annual, it can withstand winter temperatures down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, but prefers warm summers. Various colors in blue, purple, violet, light pink and rose make this an ideal fill in plant for the full sun garden, front of the border or containers.


Most perennials show their colors in spring or summer. The aster saves its show for late summer and into the fall. The large, daisy-like blue flowers with yellow centers form a mounded habit 12 to 16 inches tall and up to 18 inches across. Asters are suited to USDA Zones 4-8, although they may withstand Zone 3 temperatures with protection. They're good for border plantings in full sun.

Butterfly Flower

An upright habit with heights to 16 inches make this perennial another good front of the border plant. Flowers of pink, light pink and white dance all summer over dark green foliage. Hardy in USDA Zones 6-11, the butterfly flower can also be planted in containers and protected from harsh winter temperatures.


This upright shrub grows to 3 feet or more and is a hardy perennial in USDA Zones 5 to 9. It will require some winter protection in the northern regions. Hydrangea make a good specimen plant or middle of the border planting. Plants purchased in containers should be planted out in the fall early enough to establish themselves before winter. Various colors ranging from bright pink to greenish blue and greenish light pink are available.


Half hardy annual zinnia should be planted out around the last frost date for your area or sown in the ground a week before. Ranging in size from eight to 16 inches tall, zinnias have an upright habit and form a single flower at the top of a stalk. Perfect for front of the border, sun-loving zinnias come a wide range of colors and flower shapes. Plant zinnias in masses spaced 6 to 15 inches depending on size.


This colorful shrub springs to life shortly after the winter snows subside. Bright yellow flowers adorn long branches before the leaves appear. Some varieties remain small, but others require annual pruning to keep them in check. A very good specimen plant or back of the border planting. Smaller varieties top out at 72 inches, whiles others can grow taller. Suitable for USDA Zones 4 to 8.

Keywords: full sun, garden plants, growing planting

About this Author

Michael Logan is a writer, editor, web page designer and self proclaimed perfectionist. His professional background includes electrical, computer and test engineering, real estate investment, network engineering and management, programming and remodeling company owner. First published in Test & Measurement World in 1989, Logan has been writing for more than 20 years.