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The Best Perennial Flowers for Full Sun

As the warmer months approach, it’s time to start dreaming of a garden overflowing with vibrant blooms that thrive in the radiant summer sunshine. Full-sun perennial flowers are the workhorses of the flowering plant world, reliably putting on a colorful show year after year with minimal maintenance. From classic cottage favorites to modern marvels, this season’s lineup includes a diverse array of easy-to-grow perennials perfect for sunny borders, containers, and cutting gardens. In this post, we’ll explore over 20 stunning perennial flowers that thrive in full sun, offering not only breathtaking colors but also the promise of effortless growth and natural re-seeding.

Full Sun Perennial Flowers

the best perennial flowers for full sun

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just getting started, incorporating these radiant bloomers into your outdoor spaces will provide months of enjoyment and seasonal interest. Get ready to bask in floral brilliance from early spring through late fall! Here are the 27 perennial flowers that are like full sun.

  1. Beardtongue (Penstemon spp.)
  2. Bee Balm (Monarda)
  3. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)
  4. Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)
  5. Blanket Flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora)
  6. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  7. Catmint (Nepeta spp.)
  8. Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  9. Coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.)
  10. Crocosmia (Crocosmia)
  11. Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)
  12. Garden Mums (Chrysanthemum)
  13. Gardenia (Gardenia)
  14. Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri)
  15. Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)
  16. Lantana (Lantana camara)
  17. Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
  18. Bougainvillea
  19. Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
  20. Roses (Rosa spp.)
  21. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
  22. Salvia (Salvia)
  23. Sea Holly (Eryngium spp.)
  24. Sedum (Sedum spp.)
  25. Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)
  26. Verbena (Verbena spp.)
  27. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Among the gems I’m most excited to welcome back are some prolific self-seeders that effortlessly multiply each year, allowing you to spread floral wealth throughout your landscape. Let’s dive into over 20 full-sun perennial flowers, including a handful of self-sowers, that will inject your garden with long-lasting color, texture, and pollinator appeal.

Beardtongue (Penstemon spp.)

beardtongue perennials flowers for full sun

Beardtongue, known for its tubular flowers, adds vertical interest to gardens. With various colors and sizes available, it suits many landscapes.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground
  • Watering Needs: Keep soil evenly moist, especially during hot periods.
  • Expected Blooming: Late spring to early summer
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Bee Balm (Monarda)

bee balm perennial flowers for full sun

Bee Balm attracts pollinators with its vibrant blooms and aromatic foliage. Its resistance to deer and rabbits makes it a garden favorite. Take a look at these stunning Bee Balm for your garden.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground
  • Watering Needs: Provide regular water, keeping the soil consistently moist.
  • Expected Blooming: Mid to late summer
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)

black eyed susan perennials flowers for full sun

Black-Eyed Susan’s golden daisy-like flowers bring cheerful color to gardens. It’s low maintenance and drought tolerant, thriving in various soil types. Black-Eyed Susans readily self-seed.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly, especially during dry spells.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

blazing start perennial flowers for full sun

Blazing Star’s tall spikes of purple flowers add vertical interest to gardens, attracting butterflies and bees. Once established, it’s easy to grow and drought-tolerant. Take a look at these stunning Blazing Star bulbs for your garden.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Late summer to early fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora)

blanket flower gaillardia full sun perennial flowers

Gaillardia, also known as Blanket Flower, brightens gardens with its bold, daisy-like blooms. It’s drought tolerant and attracts pollinators. Gaillardias commonly self-seed in the garden. Take a look at these stunning Arizona Sun Gaillardia for your garden.

Blanket Flowers’ bold, daisy-like blooms brighten gardens with their vibrant hues. They’re drought tolerant and attract pollinators, making them a garden staple. Blanket Flowers have a tendency to self-seed.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground
  • Watering Needs: Water deeply but infrequently once established.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-10

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

butterfly weed perennial flowers for full sun

Butterfly Weed’s vibrant orange flowers attract pollinators and support monarch butterflies. It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in well-drained soil. Take a look at these stunning Butterfly Weed plant for your garden.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Catmint (Nepeta spp.)

catmint perennials flowers for full sun

Catmint’s aromatic foliage and spikes of lavender-blue flowers add beauty to gardens. It’s low maintenance and deer-resistant.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly, allowing soil to dry slightly between watering.
  • Expected Blooming: Spring to summer
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8

Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

coneflower perennial flowers for full sun

Coneflower’s distinctive daisy-like blooms attract pollinators and provide winter interest with their seed heads. It’s drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, and it is known to self-seed easily.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Recommended reading: How to Care for Coneflowers

Coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.)

coreopsis perennials flowers for full sun

Coreopsis brightens gardens with its cheerful daisy-like flowers. It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in various soil types. Coreopsis often self-sows its seeds. Take a look at these stunning Coreopsis Creme Brulee for your garden.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9

Crocosmia (Crocosmia)

crocosmia perennial flowers for full sun

Crocosmia’s arching stems adorned with tubular flowers add drama to gardens. It’s easy to grow and attracts hummingbirds.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground
  • Watering Needs: Keep soil consistently moist during the growing season.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)

daylily perennials flowers for full sun

Daylilies are known for their vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers, which bloom prolifically throughout the summer. They are low-maintenance and come in various colors and sizes.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-10

Garden Mums (Chrysanthemum)

garden mums perennials flowers for full sun

Garden Mums offer a burst of color in the fall garden with their abundant blooms. They prefer cooler temperatures and well-drained soil.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Keep soil evenly moist, especially during dry spells.
  • Expected Blooming: Fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Recommended reading: The 23 Most Profitable Cut Flowers in the US with Prices

Gardenia (Gardenia)

gardenia perennial flowers for full sun

Gardenias are beloved for their heavily fragrant white flowers and glossy green foliage. They thrive in humid environments and acidic soil.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Keep soil consistently moist but not soggy
  • Expected Blooming: Late spring to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-11

Recommended reading: What Is the Best Fertilizer for Gardenias

Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri)

gaura perennial flowers for full sun

Gaura’s delicate, butterfly-like blooms add grace to gardens with their airy appearance. It’s drought tolerant and attracts pollinators.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

hollyhock perennials flowers for full sun

Hollyhocks are cottage garden classics known for their tall spires of colorful flowers. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Hollyhocks are prolific self-seeders.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground
  • Watering Needs: Keep soil evenly moist, especially during hot periods.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Lantana (Lantana camara)

lantana perennial flowers for full sun

Lantanas’ clusters of vibrant flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. They are heat tolerant and thrive in hot, sunny locations. Lantanas have a habit of self-seeding.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-11

Recommended reading: How to Propagate Lantana

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

lavender perennials flowers for full sun

Lavender’s fragrant foliage and spikes of purple flowers add beauty and aroma to gardens. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water deeply but infrequently once established.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Recommended reading: How to Propagate Lavender

Bougainvillea

bougainvillea perennial flowers for full sun

Bougainvillea’s vibrant bracts add a stunning display to any garden. This hardy plant thrives in full sun and well-drained soil.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or containers
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Throughout the year in warm climates.
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 9-11

Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

phlox perennials flowers for full sun

Phlox’s clusters of fragrant flowers bring color and fragrance to the garden in summer. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Keep soil evenly moist, especially during hot periods.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-8

Recommended reading: How to Start a Cut Flower Garden: Plan and Layout

Roses (Rosa spp.)

roses perennial flowers for full sun

Roses are beloved for their beauty and fragrance. Various types are suited for different landscapes. They generally prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Take a look at these stunning Petite Knock Out® Rose for your garden.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water deeply but infrequently once established.
  • Expected Blooming: Spring to fall, depending on the variety
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: Varies by variety

Recommended reading: How to Fertilize Roses

Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

russian sage perennials flowers for full sun

Russian Sage’s silvery foliage and airy spikes of blue flowers add texture and color to the garden. It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in full sun.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9

Recommended reading: How to Care for Russian Sage

Salvia (Salvia)

salvia perennial flowers for full sun

Salvia’s spikes of colorful flowers attract pollinators and add vertical interest to the garden. It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in full sun.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-11

Sea Holly (Eryngium spp.)

sea holly perennials flowers for full sun

Sea Holly’s spiky foliage and cone-shaped flowers add texture and interest to the garden. It’s drought tolerant and prefers full sun.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9

Sedum (Sedum spp.)

sedum perennial flowers for full sun

Sedum’s succulent foliage and clusters of flowers add texture and color to the garden. It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in full sun.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)

shasta daisy perennials flowers for full sun

Shasta Daisy’s white, daisy-like flowers brighten gardens and attract pollinators. It is low-maintenance and thrives in full sun. Take a look at these stunning Amazing Daisies® Banana Cream Shasta Daisy for your garden.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9

Verbena (Verbena spp.)

verbena perennial flowers for full sun

Verbena’s clusters of colorful flowers attract butterflies and add vibrancy to the garden. It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in full sun. Verbenas can self-sow and spread readily.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer to fall
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-11

Recommended reading: 30+ Shade Perennials: Plants and Flowers for a Stunning Garden

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

yarrow perennials flowers for full sun

Yarrow’s flat clusters of flowers attract pollinators and add a natural cottage garden charm. It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in full sun. Yarrows tend to self-seed, filling in gaps in the garden.

  • Preferred Location: In-ground or container
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly until established, then it’s drought tolerant.
  • Expected Blooming: Summer
  • Suggested USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Full-Sun Perennial Flowers Easy to Grow from Seed

Many of them are relatively easy to grow from seeds:

  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)
  • Coneflower
  • Coreopsis
  • Hollyhock
  • Lantana
  • Phlox
  • Verbena
  • Yarrow

These tend to have seeds that germinate relatively easily when planted according to the packet instructions. Some, like Coneflowers, Black-eyed Susans, and Blanket flowers, can also self-seed in the garden.

Plants like daylilies, lavender, roses, and salvias tend to be more challenging for beginners to grow from seed, so they are often started from bulbs, divisions, or cuttings instead.

Recommended reading: Easy Flowers to Grow in Pots from Seed

Full-Sun Perennial Flowers Perfect for Container Gardening

These are the flowers that are suitable for growing in containers:

  • Bee Balm
  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Catmint
  • Coreopsis
  • Daylily
  • Garden Mums
  • Lantana
  • Lavender
  • Phlox – Dwarf varieties
  • Roses – Miniature/Patio varieties
  • Salvia
  • Sedum
  • Verbena

Most of these can tolerate being planted in larger containers or pots as long as they have excellent drainage and are sized appropriately for the mature plant size. When possible, choose dwarf or compact varieties for containers. Taller plants like hollyhocks may get too large. Make sure to provide consistent watering and full sun exposure for container plantings.

Recommended reading: 10+ Shade Annuals: Plants and Flowers for a Stunning Garden

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best perennial flowers for full sun

About Julia Morgan

Julia Morgan is an agronomist and a master gardener. In her previous roles, Julia was an advisor promoting large-scale food growing in urbanized areas, introducing the concept of chemical-free produce. She is an expert in putting her hands in the soil, developing organic foods, and improving production processes for decades. Julia is a natural teacher and encourages every person in her way to grow their own food. She split her days between writing and reviewing for The Garden Style Website and offering assessments to cure edible land. Julia enjoys connecting with The Garden Style Community.

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