Before purchasing that "must have" flower or tree for a sunny area, it is best to do your research and find plants that thrive in strong sunlight. There are numerous plant species that grow well in full sun. Whether looking for something that produces show-stopping blooms, or with unusual foliage, there are plenty of choices available.
Daylilies come in a wide range of colors and sizes. They offer single, semi-double and double blossoms on short or tall scapes. Some cultivars will even bloom more than once during the growing season. Daylilies are grown for their showy blossoms and grassy foliage. They prefer well-drained soils, rich in organic matter. Once established, daylilies are drought tolerant and do not require massive amounts of fertilizers. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds find daylilies attractive.
Tiger Lily (Lilium tigrinum)
Sporting multiple large, spotted orange blossoms, the tiger lily is an attention-getting flower in a sunny border. Tiger lilies prefer well-drained soils that have plenty of organic matter tilled in. This lily grows to nearly 5 feet under desirable conditions. Small black bulbils are produced at the base of each leaf, later falling to the ground to grow into separate plants.
Bearded Iris (Iris germanica)
Bearded irises come in many sizes, from dwarf cultivars growing less than a foot to the largest at just at or above 4 feet in height. They also grow in an array of colors, color combinations and scents. Bearded irises prefer well-drained, organically rich soils and plenty of sunlight. If left sitting in wet soil, they will begin to rot and die. Overgrown clumps can be carefully divided in July, but may not bloom the following year.
Waterlily (Nymphaea s.)
Waterlilies offer water gardeners a chance to grow showy plants in their ponds and other water features. Like irises and daylilies, waterlilies come in both dwarf and standard sizes, giving container gardeners, or those with very small ponds, a chance to grow these aquatic beauties. Waterlily plants prefer clay soil, full sun and plenty of food. Propagation is by seed and division.
Yellow Perennial Alyssum (Aurinia saxatilis)
Commonly planted as a groundcover for its low profile, yellow perennial alyssum grows up to up to one foot in height with a similar spread. Aurinia saxatilis (the plant's botanical name) prefers fast-draining soils, full sun and is a good rock garden or border plant. Deadhead after the flowers begin to fade to encourage another flush of blossoms. Allow the seeds to fall to the ground to ensure more plants for the next year.
Lupines come in a vast array of colors, yellow, red, blue, pink, white, purple and even bi-colored. At its best in sunny areas with sharp drainage, this perennial will put on a real show if planted in these conditions. The tall blossoms attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Dwarf varieties are available for groundcovers or front-of-the-border plantings. If allowed to go to seed after blooming, new plants will follow the next season. It can take one to two growing seasons for lupines to bloom from seed.