13 Perennials for Full Sun

Pump up the color in your garden’s sunny spots with perennials that love rays.

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Photo By: Photo courtesy of Anthony Tesselaar Plants

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Proven Winners

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Altman Specialty Plants

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Perennial Resource

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Proven Winners

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Proven Winners

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Perennial Resource

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Proven Winners

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Perennial Resource

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Perennial Resource

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Perennial Resource

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Perennial Resource

Photo By: Image courtesy of North Creek Nurseries

Sun-Loving Perennials

Want carefree color? Fill your garden with perennials that thrive in full sun. Perennials stage a reliable show from year to year without heavy duty input, and sunny spots can host a wide and varied array of plants. With the right mix of perennials, you can savor seasonal color from summer to fall frost.

‘Ruby Spider’ Daylily

Daylilies open more flowers when they’re planted in full sun, and ‘Ruby Spider’ is no exception. This stunning beauty unfurls ruby flowers up to 9 inches across. Each bloom displays a contrasting gold throat. Plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 9. Botanical name: Hemerocallis ‘Ruby Spider.’

Mountain Marigold

Sunny yellow blossoms blanket this shrubby perennial in full sun settings. This tough plant thrives in thin, chalky soil and is drought tolerant once established. Flowering occurs during short day cycles. Expect blooms from fall until first frost in early winter. Plants are hardy in Zones 8 to 10. Botanical name: Tagetes lemmonii.

‘Purrsian Blue’ Catmint

This perennial has it all—deer resistance, drought tolerance and a long flowering period from early summer to fall frost. Catmints can be somewhat sprawling in the garden, but ‘Purrsian Blue’ tames the sprawl to a tidy 2 feet. Plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 8. Botanical name: Nepeta faassenii.

‘Leapfrog’ Foamy Bells

‘Leapfrog’ gives any garden a jolt of bright color. Leaves are chartreuse with burgundy centers in spring, fading to green with purple centers as summer heat builds. Plants withstand full sun, heat and humidity. Provide humus-rich, well-drained soil. Plants are hardy in Zones 4 to 9. Botanical name: Heucherella ‘Leapfrog.’

‘Banana Cream’ Shasta Daisy

If you have a thing for daisies, you’ll love the classic blooms on this one. Flowers open lemon yellow, then mature to creamy white. The 4- to 5-inch blooms cover plants all summer long. Plants are hardy in Zones 5 to 9. Botanical name: Leucanthemum superbum ‘Banana Cream.’

‘Kobold’ Liatris

Include several clumps of liatris so you have plenty of stems to cut for bouquets. This pretty bloomer adds a strong vertical element to gardens. The flower spikes beckon butterflies and other pollinators. Liatris is a great choice for Southern gardens because it can take the heat. Plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 9. Botanical name: Liatris spicata ‘Kobold.’

Lemon Drop Evening Primrose

Meet a perennial that has it all. This sunny bloomer is heat and drought tolerant, deer resistant, fragrant and can take the heat. Flowers start opening in spring and continue right to frost. Plants are hardy in Zones 5 to 9. Botanical name: Oenothera hybrid.

‘Midnight Marvel’ Hibiscus

Full sun brings out the darkest leaf tones in this perennial hibiscus. Flowers open a bright cherry red and measure 8 to 9 inches across. A compact size tops out at 4.5 feet tall. Plants are hardy in Zones 4 to 9. Botanical name: Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel.’

‘First Sunrise’ Red Hot Poker

Get ready for hummingbirds and butterflies when you plant red hot poker. This is a more compact hybrid, growing to around 3 feet tall. Flowers start appearing in early summer. Plants are hardy in Zones 5 to 9. Botanical name: Kniphofia ‘First Sunrise.’

‘Pardon My Cerise’ Bee Balm

Welcome this bee balm to even the smallest gardens with its tidy 18-inch height. Dark cherry pink blooms are full size, measuring 2 to 3 inches across. Flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds and all kinds of bees. Plants are hardy in Zones 4 to 9. Botanical name: Monarda didyma.

‘Hameln’ Dwarf Fountain Grass

Deep green leaves form a clump that’s usually 2 feet high. The bottlebrush seedheads appear in late summer and linger into early winter. This is a good grass for both wet and dry areas. Plants are hardy in Zones 5 to 9. Botanical name: Pennisetum alopecuroides.

Sedum 'Autumn Fire'

The easy-to-grow, low-maintenance Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ appears in late summer and thrives in arid climates. The blooms of rosy pink flowers age to a salmon bronze and finish with a deep coppery red.