When selecting plants for a southern exposure, choose species that prefer full sun or sun to light shade. Southern exposures receive the most sunlight and experience the warmest temperatures. Shrubs for southern exposures should have some measure of drought tolerance, as full sun exposure is often associated with dry soils, according the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. Before planting, enrich the soil with organic matter, such as peat moss or compost.
Large Evergreen Shrubs
The savin juniper (Juniperus Sabina) thrives in full sun. This spreading evergreen can grow up to 10 feet tall and has blue-green foliage. The savin juniper tolerates a wide range of soils but prefers moist, well-drained locations. The cocculus (Cocculus laurifolius) grows up to 15 feet tall. This evergreen shrub grows in a weeping, spreading shape and produces black berries in the fall.
Small Evergreen Shrubs
The Sherwood abelia (Abelia grandiflora Sherwoodii), a compact, spreading shrub, grows up to 3 feet tall. This hardy shrub produces tubular white flowers in summer. Sherwood abelia attracts butterflies and makes a good border plant. Yellow jasmine (Jasminum humile) grows up to 7 feet tall. A hardy shrub, the yellow jasmine can tolerate a wide range of soils. This evergreen shrub produces aromatic yellow blossoms in summer followed by shiny black berries.
Large Deciduous Shrubs
The European cranberry bush (Viburnum opulus) grows up to 12 feet tall. This dense shrub produces showy white blossoms in spring, red berries in the fall and red autumn foliage. The European cranberry tolerates a range of soils and makes a good screen, hedge or border. The common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) grows up to 15 feet tall. This sun-loving shrub tolerates alkaline soils. Common lilac produces a profusion of showy, fragrant purple flowers in spring. Border forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia) grows up to 10 feet tall. This fast-growing shrub is pest- and disease-resistant. Border forsythia produces abundant yellow blooms in spring.
Small Deciduous Shrubs
The dwarf crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) grows up to 3 feet tall. Shrubs produce multi-colored blossoms in summer and orange, yellow and red fall foliage. This fast-growing shrub thrives in moist, well-drained soil. Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) grows up to 5 feet tall. This thorny shrub produces an abundance of yellow flowers in spring and red berries in fall. This hardy shrub tolerates heat, drought and pruning. Dwarf fothergill (Fothergilla gardenia) produces white, showy flowers in late spring. This sun-loving shrub grows up to 6 feet tall. Dward fothergill needs moist, acidic soil to thrive.
- Texas A&M University, Texas Master Gardener Handbook; House Plants; Douglas Welsh and Samuel D. Cotner
- Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service; Landscape Plants for Areas with Full Sun; Michael Dana, et al.; 2006
- University of Florida IFAS Extension; Selected Shrubs for North Florida; Robert Black; 2009
- Texas A&M University: Outstanding Shrubs for Texas
- Virginia Cooperative Extension; Problem Free Shrubs for the Virginia Landscape; Mary Ann Hansen, et al.; 2009