Top 10 plants for full sun
Some like it hot. Whether on a south-facing balcony or in a bed without shade – these ten plants feel at home in the full direct sun.
The sun is an absolute must for plants. Unfortunately, there can be too much of the good thing in this case too. In direct sunlight, many plants get burned, wither and in worst cases even die. The following overview lists ten plants that flourish in the sun.
Fortunately, there are also numerous sun lovers in the plant kingdom who cannot get enough of light and warmth. Whether for the balcony, the terrace or the garden bed – here you will find ten plants that relish in the blazing sun.
The plant family named for Helen of Troy (Helenium) wants only one thing – and that is sunlight. If you decide to plant sneezeweed, you won’t be disappointed. With its innumerable yellow flowers it will bring you joy and simultaneously invite beneficial insects such as bees and other pollinators into your garden. Contrary to what one might think, the sneezeweed can manage without much warmth too. In fact, the plant is resilient to frost and endures temperatures down to -20 °C and is therefore perfectly suited for the gardens located in climates with harsh winters.
A tried and true classic among the balcony plants is the petunia (Petunia). With its beautiful flowers it adorns gardens from May to October and is therefore one of the long period bloomers. What is more, these plants are crowd pleasers because they are extremely varied in their colours. The petunia’s undemanding and easy to care for nature is also another reason why it’s a favourite with many gardeners. If you provide the plant with its preferred location – in full sun, of course, and possibly with a shelter from rain – it requires almost no care whatsoever.
Whether in the garden bed, in a pot or on the balcony – the Mexican creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens) looks great virtually anywhere. It tolerates the blazing sun very well. Zinnia really achieves its full splendour when it blooms with its numerous bright yellow flowers. Zinnia’s beauty is not its only advantage, though. It is also very robust and easy to care for, which makes it a perfect plant for gardening beginners.
Throughout history, citrus plants (Citrus) such as orange (Citrus x sinensis), lemon (Citrus x limon) or lime (Citrus x aurantiifolia) were mostly grown in the gardens of the wealthy and aristocratic. After all, their care can be time-consuming and costly. Today, however, the exotic fruits increasingly find their way into hobby gardens. As potted plants, citruses can transform your terrace or balcony into an exotic paradise in no time. These plants have, however, very specific location needs. Especially during the summer, lemon, orange and other citruses love the blazing sun and can bathe in the sunlight from dusk till dawn. In winter, on the other hand, it is recommended to place the plants inside the house to shelter them from the weather. Citrus plants usually do not tolerate the icy temperatures of temperate climate zones.
It is and remains without question the absolute queen of the balcony plants. Geranium (Pelargonium) has such an enormous selection of variations and types, it sometimes seems that the beautiful flower has limitless options. Among the geraniums there are both upright standing and overhanging varieties and almost all flower colours from pure white to vibrant pink. The geranium originally comes from South Africa and therefore with good care tolerates heat and dryness very well, so it is perfect for a place in the full sun.
5. Paprika and chilli
Not only flowers thrive splendidly in sunny locations – paprika and chilli (Capsicum) also like the full sun best. Because chilli and paprika belong to the same plant genus, they are very similar both in terms of preferred location and care. Ideally, both plants are planted by a south facing wall where they can take full advantage of the intense sunlight. However, those who fear the chilli’s spiciness and think that these plants are only for the brave are mistaken! With over 3000 chilli varieties, chillies range in taste from mild to fiery, so there is something for everybody.
When the majestic gladioli (Gladiolus) begin to bloom in July, they make everybody’s heads turn! The gladiolus can reach a height of one and a half metres. It is very impressive mainly because of its gorgeous flowers which it carries on both sides of its stem. Moreover, there are gladioli in all colours imaginable, so if there are many of these plants, they form a magnificent sea of colour. As a summer flower, the gladiolus loves the blazing sun and can easily cope with a fully sunlit spot in the garden. However, because of its warmth loving nature, the plant should spend the winter indoors as it is particularly sensitive to frost.
3. Wild sage
Are you looking for a flamboyant and one of a kind plant? Then the wild sage (Lantana camara) is just the thing for you. The wild sage has a unique ability: its flowers change colour over time from soft yellow when they first bloom to carmine red in autumn. It thrives particularly well when it is allowed to grow in a sunny location – preferably in the full sun.
The southern globethistle (Echinops ritro) is definitely no wallflower. With its extravagant ball-shaped flowers, which almost seem to float above the ground, it is an absolute stunner. But the unique beauty of the globethistle does not only fascinate people, the enchanting flower appeals to the bees and other beneficial insects too. Despite its ostentatious appearance, the globethistle does not require much care. If you offer it a place with plenty of sunshine, the plant is completely satisfied.
Bright sunshine and lavender fields as far as the eye can see – the common lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is for many the epitome of the summer in Provence. In temperate climate zones too, the lavender loves the sun and can therefore be planted in full sun garden beds without hesitation. Here it will delight the gardener with its beautiful violet flowers and its amazing scent, which not only has healing effects but also repels annoying mosquitoes. If your garden is not blessed with much sunshine but has instead got a lot of areas with shade, have a look at this article to find out about shade-loving plants.