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21 Full Sun Plants for Garden Beds

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I have lived in a few houses and two of them were new builds with nothing but full sun. I feel like I have lots of experience on full sun plants so I am sharing 21 of my favorites with you today.

My husband and I built our first house which was formerly a cornfield. This is where I really cut my teeth on full sun plants and flowers. I had a lot of plant fails which I feel really turns you into a good gardener.

I have learned what works and what doesn’t work and want to share my experiences with you today.

Full Sun Plants For Your Garden Beds

Like I said, full sun plants are my jam, and felt really out of my element when we moved into our current home which has a ton of trees. The front yard though is full sun and the last couple of years my husband and I have transformed it.

Here are a few of my favorite full sun plants that you can put in your garden to have lots of colors all summer long.

Bee Balm

Spikey pink-red petals on a flower sten with medium green leaves.

Bee Balm is a native American wildflower that has bright, spikey blooms. It is a quick spreading through underground rhizomes and grows best in dry, non-humid conditions.

Bee Balm prefers moist soil and full sun to part shade. It is hardy in zones 3-9 and can grow up to 48 inches tall and 36 inches wide.

Bellflower

Purple flowers in the shape of a bell with a green stamen.

Bellflower is native to the Northern Hemisphere and is an annual or a perennial depending on your hardiness zone and the species you choose.

The blooms of the Bellflower are typically blue, purple, or white and can be upright, clumping, or trailing. They are hardy in zones 3a -8b and are deer-resistant, which is always a good thing!

Black Eyed Susan

A plant with yellow flower petals and a dark brown center.

I had Black Eyed Susan in my last house and just loved it. It’s very hardy, you hardly have to do anything to the plant.

Pollinators love this plant that blooms from June through August. They have bright yellow flowers with a dark brown center and grow from 1-3 feet tall.

Catmint

A plant covered in spikey purple flowers.

Catmint grows in my neighbor’s yard and it is really beautiful. It has gorgeous purple flowers that emerge just after spring bulbs disappear.

It grows 6-12 inches tall and 12-36 inches wide. Catmint is deer-resistant, drought-tolerant, and hardy in zones 3-9.

Coneflower

A flower with a red center and purple petals that lean toward the ground.

I just put a Coneflower in my front garden this year and it has such a pretty yellow bloom right now. They are hardy perennials and grow in zones 3-9.

This flower is loved by butterflies and bees and it’s also known for it’s herbal remedies for humans! The color variety in Coneflowers is too much to list here. If you are looking for a specific color you should be able to find it. I purchased a gorgeous yellow for my garden.

Coreopsis

Flowers with yellow tips, red in the middle and orange centers.

Coreopsis, aka Tickseed, is a very hardy plant native to North America. There are over 80 varieties and all are low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and bloom all summer long.

Coreopsis grows hardily in zones 2-8. It gets to about 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

Daylily

A palnt with bell shaped yellow flowers next to an angel statue and an ornamental grass behind against a brick wall.

Daylily is one of the most popular full sun plants and for good reason. It is drought-resistant, low-maintenance, disease-fee, and pest-free. You can’t get much better than that.

I have had these in every house I have ever lived in. In my current home, it lives around our mailbox at the end of the driveway. There are thousands of varieties to choose from ranging in many colors and many sizes.

Dianthus

blue-green leaves on a plant with purple flowers weaving around rocks.

I have Dianthus in my garden and I can attest that it is very hardy. My dog has tried many times to kill it by running over it but it still survives!

The foliage is blue/gray in color and the flowers can be white, pink, red, or even purple. They grow in zones 3-9 and bloom all summer long.

Lamb’s Ear

A plant with fuzzy blue-green leaves.

Lamb’s Ear is very unique because it has thick, fuzzy, silvery foliage. It grows very quickly and can be considered invasive. It grows well in zones 4-9 in acidic, well-drained soil.

I had Lamb’s Ear in my last house when we moved in and I tried taking it out but it took several years, this plant just doesn’t give up!

Lavender

A plant with grass like leaves and spikey purple flowers.

Lavender is a very popular plant here in Central Ohio. It’s all over the place in landscapes both residential and commercial.

Most varieties grow in zones 5-11 and grow to around 24-36 inches tall. It all really depends on the variety you choose.

Milkweed

Orange flowers on a plant with thin leaves.

Milkweed is a favorite for pollinators but especially for Monarch Butterflies. What’s even better is that it is also deer and rabbit-resistant!

There are over 100 varieties native to North America. It grows anywhere from 2-6 feet tall and is very aggressive. Do not plant in the garden unless you want it to take over.

Salvia

Tall spikey purple flowers with green leaves.

Salvia is part of the mint family and has spikey blooms in blue, purple, red, pink, or white. They love the heat, are deer-resistant, and the pollinators love them! They bloom mid-summer through the fall.

Shasta Daisy

A plant with glossy green leaves and flowers with white petals with a yellow center.

Shasta Daisy reminds me a lot of Black Eyed Susans but they have white flowers and yellow centers. They grow 2-3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide and bloom all summer long.

Shasta Daisy makes great cut flowers, lasting up to a week long.

Sedum

Plant with dark pink flowers at the top next to a road.

Sedum is a very popular plant for pollinators and blooms from midsummer to fall. They are considered succulents because of their fleshy stems and leaves. It grows well in shallow soil.

Butterfly Bush

A large bush with spikey purple flowers that are drooping slightly toward the ground.

We had a Butterfly Bush in our last house and I really loved it. But when we moved in it was so overgrown you couldn’t walk on the path to the front door. We trimmed it and kept it trimmed and it was a gorgeous bush.

That being said, this plant grows 5-10 feet tall. I advise you to not plant it next to a walkway. It’s great in the middle of a garden or yard. They can be invasive so make sure you do your research on which varieties are best for your garden.

Roses

Peach roses with lots of petals and dark green leaves.

When I was young my Mom would never plant roses because she said they were too much work. They have created several varieties that now are super easy to maintain and produce flowers all summer long.

They prefer full sun, if they don’t have enough they won’t produce as many flowers. Roses like slightly acidic soil that drains well. Make sure you water at the base, watering the leaves can make them open to disease.

Aster

Purple spikey flowers with yellow cneters.

Asters are gorgeous daisy-like plants that bloom late summer into fall. They are cold-hardy and grow 1-6 feet tall depending on the species (there are over 600!).

I planted Asters in my yard last year and unfortunately the rabbits ate them up. So if you have rabbits you might want to consider putting them in pots so they can’t reach them.

Blazing Star

Tall purple flowers with grass like leaves in a garden with red flowers around it that are very low to the ground.

Blazing Star is hardy in zones 3-9 and has tall spikey blooms that pollinators love. Once the blooms are done the seeds are a great food for small birds.

One great thing about Blazing Star is that they are deer-resistant! They grow 1-3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide and the flowers are typically purple/pink.

Dahlia

pink, purple, yellow, and white flowers all mixed together.

Dahlias are one of my favorite flowers and they come in just about every color you can think of. The blooms can range from 2 to 15 inches wide.

Dahlias grow from tubers that are best planted in late spring and bloom late summer through fall. They are native to Mexico and thrive in warmer climates. In zones 8 and up they are perennials.

Portulaca

Yellow, red, and pink flowers on stems with spikey leaves.

Portulaca is a gorgeous plant that blooms all summer long. It’s a succulent that thrives in hot, dry climates.

The flowers close at night and reopen in the morning. Keep in mind that if you have pets all parts of this plant are toxic.

Russian Sage

Tall purple flowers surrounded by purple and white smaller flowers and a shrub border with a large obolisk at the center.

Russian Sage is a woody plant that once established requires virtually no maintenance. It’s hardy in zones 4-9 and grows 2-3 feet tall and wide.

This plant is drought-tolerant preferring medium to dry soil. Some larger varieties tend to flop so they might have to be staked.

More plant and flower posts you might like:

A grid of eight plants with very colorful flowers for full sun with text overlay.

Full Sun Plants

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As a licensed Real Estate Agent and an avid home decorator, I strive to give my clients the very best I can when it comes to staging, selling, and decorating their homes. I have lots of experience with paint color choices and love to DIY my home so I can have everything just the way I want it. I share my ideas and projects with the world in the hopes that I can help others have their homes just the way they want as well.

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