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Flowering Shrubs That Can Take the Full Sun

gardenia image by Igor Zhorov from <a href=''></a>

Flowering shrubs that tolerate full sun create a vibrant display to sunny garden areas and are a landscape staple to plant along borders and beds, or grow in masses for a sea of blooms and color. Grown in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors, flowering shrubs also attract and provide a resting spot for winged creatures like butterflies and hummingbirds.

Korean Forsythia

Korean forsythia (Forsythia ouata) is a flowering deciduous shrub that has a stiff spreading form and medium texture. It grows 4 to 6 feet tall and wide and features bright yellow flowers that emerge along the arching stems in late winter to early spring. Drought-tolerant, Korean forsythia tolerate periods of limited moisture but without sacrificing their bloom. They have simple, green leaves that are ovate in shape. Korean forsythia grow best in full sun to part shade and loose soil but tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. Plant Korean forsythia in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 4 to 7.


Gardenia (Gardenia augusta) is an evergreen shrub with a moderate growth rate and dense, rounded and mounding form. It grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide. The fragrant, 2- to 3-inch-wide, waxy, white flowers on gardenia emerge in summer and fade to yellow with age. The 2- to 4-inch-long, dark green leaves on gardenia shrubs are lustrous and leather-like. Drought-tolerant, gardenia withstands periods of limited moisture and as an evergreen, remains with color year-round. Gardenia grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist soil that is acidic. They thrive in nutrient-laden soil amended with organic matter. Plant gardenia in USDA zones 7b to 10.

Glossy Abelia

Glossy abelia (Abelia x grandiflora) is a flowering deciduous shrub with a rounded, spreading form and graceful, cascading branches. It grows 3 to 6 feet tall and wide and makes for an ideal specimen shrub. Glossy abelia features clusters of fragrant, bell-shaped, ¾-inch-long, white flowers that are tinged with pink and emerge in late spring and last to fall. Flowers on glossy abelia appear on the upper leaf axils and stem ends. The dark green, glossy leaves on glossy abelia are ovate and turn purple to bronze in fall. Glossy abelia flower best in full sun, although they tolerate some shade. They thrive in well-drained, organically rich soil. Plant glossy abelia in USDA zones 5 to 9.

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