Plants must be paired with compatible light conditions to produce adequate foliage and flowers. Placing shade plants in full sun will stress the plant, resulting in damaged foliage and death of the plant. Full sun flowering plants can tolerate the intense light and heat of direct sun throughout the day.
Full sun flowering plants tend to be drought-tolerant, although they need regular watering. Annual, perennial and full-sun-flowering plants exist to beautify the home landscape with a variety of colors and foliage options.
Perennials aid the home gardener by reappearing year after year. These plants tend to expand in size and eventually require division to control growth in the garden. Purple coneflower offers the option of brightly colored flowers with heat tolerance. Coneflower grows to a height of 3 feet and thrives in the hot sun. Coneflower produces a purple, daisy-like flower with an orange center. Foliage is medium green and enhances the flower that droop backward from the flower instead of lying flat like a traditional daisy flower. Purple coneflower blooms from June through October.
Black-eyed Susan is another sun-tolerant perennial with flowers resembling a traditional daisy. Black-eyed Susan feature gold-colored flowers with a black center. These plants prefer well-drained soil and spread readily in richly organic soil. Regular pruning of both the purple coneflower and black-eyed Susan will extend the blooming period.
Annual plants provide instant color in planters, hanging baskets and gardens. Annual survive only for one growing season and put on an impressive display of continual blooms throughout the summer growing season. Zinnia deserves a top spot on the list of full sun annuals. It grows rapidly with full sun exposure, producing a dense flower on a long stalk from May to September. Zinnia forms a mounded, tightly compacted flower in red, purple, pink, white and yellow. The plants grow readily from seed sown after the final frost and require well-drained soil.
Lantana offers the gardener the option of hardy full sun plant that works well in hanging planters. Lantana produces clusters of yellow flowers similar to verbena. This plant matures to 24 inches in height and thrives in dry soil conditions. Some cultivars produce multicolor blooms paired with thick foliage. Lantana comes in spreading or upright varieties and readily attracts butterflies and bees.
Full sun ground covers serve a dual purpose in the landscape to provide cover in dry locations and to help control soil temperature in full sun gardens. This tendency to reduce heat consumption in the soil often allows gardeners to plant other flowering perennials and annuals in full sun locations.
Dwarf creeping phlox serves as a hardy perennial with abundant flowers produced in the late spring. Colors range from white to pink and lavender. Creeping phlox prefer dry soil and require shearing after blooming to produce dense foliage.
Evergreen candytuft produces abundant flowers in a mound of thick foliage. This plant grows to a height of 12 inches and works well to retain soil on slopes due to its tendency to spread as a mat of foliage. Candytuft likes full sun and well-drained rich soil. This plant doesn't respond well to transplanting or division so allow plenty of space for mature growth of 3 to 4 feet wide.