While some plants can tolerate shade, others need full sun to grow. On the other hand, plants requiring at least some shade can be damaged by too much sun. When choosing plants for sunny areas, it's best to choose native plants rather than cultivated ones. That's because native plants are already well adjusted to the environment. For example, native plants are more resistant to insects and natural disease, besides being able to tolerate heat.
Many perennials do well in sunny and arid conditions. Most sun loving perennials are low maintenance plants that can be grown in containers. For best results match a plant's growing needs to those of your area. This is especially important when growing perennials, which may require drought tolerant plants. Primroses are ideal perennials for full sun. Unlike typical pastel colored spring flowers, primroses also come in bold colors of reds, yellows, blues and pinks. Other perennials that do best in sunny spots include miniature roses, hibiscuses, cornflowers, lamb's ears, lavenders, Artemisias and Shasta daisies.
Although annuals have to be replanted each year, they add a burst of color to a garden. Flowering annuals that flourish in a sunny area may also do just as well in other environments such as wet soil or dry conditions. A few of the best annuals for full sun include American Marigolds, American Baskets, cornflowers, Black-eyed Susans, Golden Fleece, sunflowers, zinnias and others.
According to Wilson Bros Nursery, shrubs doing best in direct sun need a minimum of four to five hours of sunshine daily. Knock-Out Roses are a popular shrub which can grow in full sun for as long as an entire day, although some afternoon shade is appreciated, especially during summer months. Other sun loving shrubs include Rosemary Arp, Emerald Green Arborvitae and Rosy Glow Barberry.
Plants used for borders have to do tolerate full sun because they're usually not shaded by other plants as they're grown more out in the open. There are several border plants that are well suitable for full sun. Dianthuses are an excellent border plants, besides salvia, which are miniature plants coming in shades of pink and blue. Others include blanket flowers, butterfly weeds, purple coneflowers, blanket flowers, coreposis, Shasta daisies, Russian sages, bee balms, lamb's ears and asters.
One of the best sun loving vines is the Scarlet Clematis, which blooms for long periods of time during summer. The Crossvine is another vine that thrives in sunny areas with colors ranging from brown to red and orange. Ivies such as America Ivy, Algerian Ivy and Chinese-Hydrangea Ivy are also good vines to grow in full sun, besides many other sun-loving vines.