Full Sun Perennials: 10 Beautiful Low Maintenance Plants That Thrive In The Sun

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Looking for low maintenance plants with beautiful flowers that will grow well in full sun (even in the South!)? These full sun perennials are perfect!

Full Sun Perennials

Lately we’ve been doing a series on perennials that will do well in the shade and part shade.

However, if you live further south like I do (in South Carolina), it seems like almost anything will grow in part shade, the troublesome areas are actually in full sun.  It is just so hot in the summer that many plants don’t do well, even if they are normally deemed to be full sun perennials.

When I started gardening in Canada, it never even crossed my mind that full sun gardening was an issue…until I moved somewhere that it was.

I have had to learn what will (and won’t grow) in the sun in the south.  So I thought I would share the perennials I have found that are low maintenance, can take full sun and still look good in the middle of the summer. Click Next to see what they are.

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12 Responses

    • Thanks, Sherri! I’ve had good luck with butterfly bush, too…but haven’t tried bearded irises. I’ll have to find a spot for them 🙂

  • Upright stonecrop sedum is a wonderful low maintenance plant. The bees love it and the deer leave it alone. My favorite variety is Autumn Fire. I leave the plants intact over the winter to provide winter interest. Clip the stalks at the base in the spring to make way for the new growth. That’s it!

    • Thanks, Sandy! That’s a great suggestion! I have one of those in my garden, too, and didn’t think to include it on the list 🙂

  • The wax begonias grew in full sun for me last year to record heights an fullness. Very strange considering it’s a partial shade plant. Have had difficulty growing in that area because of the full sun. So I’ll go for the for sure thing this year BEGONIAS who knew.

    • Thanks, Chas! I would not have thought to try begonias in full sun. I’ll have to plant a few this year and see how they do 🙂

    • Hi Lillian…I think Coneflower (Echinacea), Salvia and Daylilies should all do well in your dry heat…but I haven’t lived in that area of the country so I don’t have any personal experience with what grows well in Phoenix. I found this Plants List from an Arizona landscaper that has a lot more options you might want to try.

    • Hi Mary…That’s a tough one 🙂 I’m not sure what zone you are in, but here’s a few possibilities: If you’re in zones 9 or 10, Garvinea Gerbera daisies and Pentas are long-blooming and fairly low maintenance. Romeo Cleyera doesn’t bloom but it’s evergreen and has really pretty variegated leaves (Zones 7 – 10). Ornamental grasses are another option for many areas. Dwarf versions of blue spruce do pretty well in pots in cooler zones. As do Arctic Fire and Arctic Sun dogwoods…they are not evergreen but their stems are really brightly colored red or yellow so they look good even in the winter. Hopefully that helps!

  • Golden oregano is a great ground cover for a hot area. It goes green in winter but becomes a lovely warm yellow in summer.
    Californian poppies are one of my favourites too, here in Western Australia.

    I like that you mention seasons rather than months in your comments. We in the southern hemisphere have similar climate conditions but everything happens in different months.
    I wish more gardening enthusiasts in the northern hemisphere would follow your lead and remember that we also love to garden down here.
    Thanks for an interesting site.

    • Hi Marie…thanks for the plant suggestions! I’ll have to see if I can find some golden oregano…it could be useful in some parts of my yard!
      Having lived (and gardened) in both Canada and the southern U.S., I find months don’t apply very well even in the same continent. In my South Carolina garden, the daffodils come up in February…in Toronto, everything is still covered in snow at that time, so I try to use seasons. I’m happy to hear you find it helpful 🙂

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