A Guide to Plants that Like Full Sun

A south-facing garden that gets plenty of light is a fantastic thing. But unrelenting full sun can be a problem for certain plants, causing them to wilt and struggle. The good news is that there’s a wide variety of plants that positively thrive in these sunny conditions.

Heat Tolerant Flowers

heat tolerant flowers

Beautiful pentas flowers attract pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and sunbirds due to the nectar. Pentas is a tough heat tolerant plant that you can grow in containers. This tropical flower grows as an annual.


afternoon sun plants

Lantana is a common tropical flower that blooms year-round in bright colours like red, yellow, orange, white or pink. It thrives in neglect and heat, it is kind of an afternoon sun plant, the more sun the better. Growing lantana is only possible as an annual plant in mild climates.


Plumbago auriculata

Plumbago is a beautiful vine-like African native shrub that thrives in minimal care in subtropical or tropical heat. Its sky blue flowers appear almost year long in the right climate. For growing plumbago outside in cooler zones you’ll need to protect it in winters.


If you’re searching for the best flowers for full sun then see our list of heat tolerant flowers.

The spectacular display of large and fragrant pure white flowers that resembles morning glory and open in the evening. You can grow this vine in a large container. It flowers year-round in subtropics but if you live in a temperate region, grow it as annual. Moonflower plant can reach the height of 6-15 feet in a single season and blooms from summer to fall.



Hibiscus is one the most popular flowering shrubs due to some reasons: It is low maintenance, can be grown in pots easily, available in myriads of colours and for both temperate and tropical climates. Tropical hibiscus can easily handle the temperature above 100 F or more.

Portulaca (Moss Rose)


Amazing needle-like foliage and bright and colourful small flowers, the portulacas worth a place in your container garden, in hanging baskets or window boxes whether you live in tropics or in temperates. They are one of the toughest plants that never mind the rising tropical heat and drought. Portulacas are annuals everywhere except tropical zones.

Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)

gaillardia orangeslemons

Also known as blanket flower, gaillardia is a heat resistant and drought tolerant plant belongs to the sunflower family. The blooms look so attractive and become excellent cut flowers. Grow blanket flower in full sun and provide afternoon shade in summer in peak tropical summer to save it.

Calliandra (Powder Puff)


Basically, a small tree that is famous for its puffy flowers that attract wildlife, you can also grow calliandra in a large pot indoors as this magnificent plant can’t survive harsh winters.



There are more than 250 species of verbenas that can be grown in a variety of climates. Almost all varieties require sun to thrive and bloom prolifically. Grow verbenas in well-drained soil and provide moderate but regular watering when the soil is dry.

Thunbergia Erecta (King’s Mantle)


Also called bush clock vine, thunbergia erecta is a shrub that is native to Africa. If grown in a subtropical or tropical climate (USDA Zone 9-11) this plant never fails from flowering. A year round prolific bloomer thunbergia erecta comes in shades of violet, purple and yellow.


afternoon sun plants

Grow Mandevilla as annual in cooler climates, it is a fast growing heat resistant tropical climber that blooms heavily, flowers are pink, white or red in colour and give a tropical look to any garden.


best flowers for full sun

With its brush like puffy flowers that appear throughout the year, bottlebrush is without a doubt one of the best large flowering shrubs. Bottlebrush can be trained in large containers, although it requires space. If grown in a cooler zone, bring the bottle brush plant indoors before the first frost to overwinter it.


afternoon sun plants

Marigolds love sun and heat. Keep them in a spot that receives full sun and they’ll bloom heavily. With the choices available, you can grow marigold either as annual or perennial.


afternoon sun plants

Due to the shape of flowers, it is often called summer snapdragon. One of the best flowers for full sun, this lovely heat resistant plant is usually grown as an annual. Flowers are available in blue, green, orange, pink, red, white and yellow colours.


If you're searching for the best flowers for full sun then see our list of heat tolerant flowers.

You cannot exclude geraniums from the list of heat tolerant flowers. Grow these old traditional flowers in containers, borders, and beds.



Create a lush tropical look with cannas. They require warmth, full sun, and moist soil to thrive. Depending on the variety cannas can grow between 1 to 8 feet tall and comes in the shade of red, orange and yellow colours.



We usually grow them as annuals but cupheas are perennial in frost-free climates, they are suitable plants for the warmer regions where the scorching sun burns the leaves of other tender plants.

Adenium (Desert Rose)


A popular plant in tropics. You can also grow adenium for quick bonsai, it can be planted outside in frost free zones. Once established, this magnificent plant covers itself with beautiful tubular flowers. In temperates, you can grow adenium as a houseplant.



Ixora is a perennial tropical shrub that bears flame like flowers in clusters. You can grow Ixora in containers providing it full sun and heat.

Celosia (Cockscomb)


Celosias are generally grown as annual but growing celosia in containers is a great way to have this unusual flower, grow celosia in your patio or balcony garden.



Petunias seem to love sun and heat; they are one the most beautiful and popular annual flowers. However, this frost-tender plant is perennial in warmer climates.

Texas Bluebonnets

Texas Bluebonnets

Bluebonnets is a state flower of Texas and it is one of the best flowers for full sun. You can grow it in your container garden too