Sunlight is a required component for plant growth. With insufficient amounts of light, a plant becomes leggy and weak. The foliage becomes discolored and pale. Excessive light, including direct sunlight, causes some plants to develop sunscald, discoloration or blisters. Fruit, leaves and flowers can even sunburn. For areas in the garden of full sun, choose flowers and plants that can adapt to direct sunlight.
Purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are showy summer perennials with lance-shaped green leaves. Red-violet and rose pink daisy flowers 24 to 48 inches tall appear in mid to late summer. The centers of the blossoms are brown cone-like structures. This wildflower is used in prairie gardens. Purple coneflowers are extremely heat tolerant and drought tolerant once they are established.
Blanket flowers (Gaillardia x grandiflora) grow 24 to 36 inches tall and spread 24 inches wide. Throughout the summer, the blanket flower produces ragged yellow and orange daisy-like blossom. This perennial flower prefers poor soil, since rich, fertile soil causes the plant to overgrow and flop over. Blanket flowers are drought tolerant and do well in rock gardens.
Strawflowers (Helichrysum bracteatum) are annuals that add long lasting color to your garden. This bushy flower has long, narrow green leaves that spread to 12 inches. Daisy-like flowers have stiff, paper-like petals in white, pink, rose, red, orange and yellow shades and dry quickly when hung upside down in a dark, well ventilated place. Cutting strawflowers for bouquets and drying will promote the production of more blossoms.
Annual statice flowers (Limonium sinuatum) form low rosettes of wavy-edged leaves. Stems reach 12 to 24 inches tall with flat clusters of white, pink, peach, red, orange, yellow, purple and blue flowers. To dry annual statice, pick when the blossoms are three-quarters open and hang them in a dark, dry area.
Summer-sweet (Clethra alnifolia) is a deciduous shrub with green leaves that turn yellow or orange in the fall. In mid to late summer, summer-sweet produces fragrant white flower spikes. Summer-sweet grows 5 to 8 feet tall and just as wide. This bush creates sweet smelling hedges and borders.
Trumpet vines (Campsis radicans) are summer blooming deciduous climbing vines. The leaves are made up of smaller leaflets. Orange and red trumpet-shaped blossoms appear in early to late summer. With the support of another plant or a trellis, the trumpet vine will reach 30 to 40 feet long.