15 Best Annual Flowers for Full Sun
We add color to our outdoor living space every summer by decorating with annual flowers for full sun. Because the sun can be so harsh we select plants which thrive with little to no shade.
First things first. Protect your skin! Before I begin my flower gardening for the season I always gather my necessities for working in the harsh sun.
- A straw hat to protect the skin on my face,
- Gloves so I won’t get dirt under my fingernails or touch bugs
- Block Island Sunscreen with SPF 30.
More Outdoor Living Ideas:
- Our Deck Makeover Project
- DIY Americana Clay Pot Wreath
- How To Start Seeds in Milk Jugs
- How To Get Your Gas Grill Ready for The Season
Block Island Natural Face Moisturizer is made from all natural ingredients with SPF 30 just like their sunscreen. It truly protects against dry skin and all I need is a pea size for my face and another pea size for my chin and neck. It feels really smooth and silky, not greasy. I have some pampering to look forward to when I finish with my flower gardening.
Now that we have talked about taking care of your skin in the sun, let’s talk about those beautiful summer flowers!
15 Plus Best Annual Flowers for Full Sun
Here in the deep south our summers can be brutal with temps in the 90’s or low 100’s which is compounded by humidity. We carefully select flowers, shrubs and plants which thrive in our environment and particularly flowers which continue to bloom in full sun.
Here are more than 15 of the prettiest flowers for full sun which you can plant either in the ground or in containers.
1. Coleus are especially easy to grow and come in a variety of colors some of which are very striking and bold.
2. Verbena is planted in the center of this pot with Coleus around the outside. Verbena can be both an annual and a perennial depending on the variation and your planting zone.
This Verbena is actually a perennial which I planted from seed not expecting it to return the next year so that was a nice surprise for me. It is in a large container on the deck in full sun.
3. Mexican Heather and Purple Feather Grass put on quite a show when planted together in large containers. Purple Feather Grass can be grown as a perennial in some zones.
4. One of my all time favorite annuals are Marigolds. The colors are so bold and they keep on flowering right on into late fall.
I enjoy planting Marigold from seed every year. See my tutorial Marigolds From Seed To Bloom here.
How To Deadhead Marigolds video
5. Angelonia also known as Summer Snapdragon thrive in heat and humidity and will continue to flower right into the fall. The plant above is Serena® Angelonia.
6. Golden Tickseed also known as Coreopsis, produce an abundance of bright yellow flowers with a gorgeous maroon center. If you’re trying to attract butterflies, Golden Tickseed should definitely be in your flower garden.
7. Portulaca also known as Moss Rose have showy flowers which close at night and on cloudy days then open in full sun. The plant above is all orange flowers but Portulaca comes in a variety of colors including mixed.
Pink Portulaca are a good flower for hanging baskets in sunny locations. These Pink Portulaca are in our DIY Tea Cup Sconce Planter.
8. Celosia, on the left and 9 Red Salvia are both beautiful showy flowers great for borders or containers. These are supposed to be annual flowers but I have had Celosia reappear the next year which was a pleasant surprise.
10. Zinnia are pretty little flowers which do well in containers or in beds. They provide another choice with multi colored flowers and because they are tall work well for layered beds. Plant these in the back.
11. Begonia are a favorite in the deep south. They are great for beds or containers. Begonia create a striking look for curb appeal when used as a border plant in flower beds.
12. Petunia have long been a personal favorite. Wave Petunia are beautiful in hanging baskets. I found an old Canning Pot at an Estate sale and used it as the blue with Red and White Petunia to create Patriotic Porch Decor.
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Geranium are a must for our front porch every year, preferably red. You can see the same vintage Canning Pot was used the next summer to create a Fairy Garden underneath the big leaves of the Red Geranium on the front porch of our new home.
Geranium are not a full sun plant. They prefer sun the first part of the day then they would like some shade to pop over so we are not counting them in the 15 but they are a must have!
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13 Sunflowers scream Summer more than any other flower especially when planted in a field as above. They attract pollinators like the birds and bees as well as butterflies.
14 Ageratum can handle full or partial sun. The colors are quite bold and vibrant. With proper care these blue flowers will bloom from Spring all the way into the first frost.
15. Cosmos grow tall with gorgeous velvet petals. They also attract pollinators and stand up well to heat and sun.
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Where to Find Annual Flowers
Your local Garden Center
Home Improvement Stores
Please do not forget to apply sunscreen before working outside in the harsh sun.
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Most of our flower gardens are in shade or full shade but every year I try to put pots of flowers around our patio and the flowers end up dying or nearly dying because they do get full sun all day long. I can’t wait to find some of these varieties to try this year. Pinned.
Hello Shirley, really, You have such a beautiful garden and decorated container so nicely. I love your way that you have maintained your garden. I like this post. Thanks and keep posting.
Hello fellow gardener. I use some of the same flowers in my summer garden/containers. I think flowers give a home life. Hope to see you on Sunday’s Best soon.
I always love marigolds and zinnias in the garden. I have new type of low bushy zinnia that thrives with the full sun and heat and they have gorgeous colored flowers right till frost! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!
Hello Shirley, I love gardening. Your garden is very beautiful and you have lovely flower. You have collected great ideas for annual flower for full sun. I like your gardening pictures. Thanks!
Your garden is beautiful and you have lovely flowers. I can’t wait to show your article to my mom as she loves gardening.
Great post! I use annuals in containers to decorate my deck and backyard area, too. You’ve collected great ideas for using annuals, here. Pinning.
So many beautiful flowers – so much colour! You’ve given me some inspiration for the sunspots I’m my own garden.
Thanks for this list. I do have a portion in my garden where I don’t plant anything because that receives the most sunlight. I was scared that anything I plant in there would just wilt and die. I think I will fill that space with lots of marigolds and Celosia and Red Salvia too.
I would love to add more pretty flowers in my garden. Just the sight of those colorful little beauties is enough to take the stress away. Gardening is such a wonderful hobby!
So many beautiful flowering plants to choose from! I would love to have Zenia and Marigold for my garden.
As soon as the weather clears up here in Upstate NY, we plan to do some planting! We have a few spots that are full sun and have been wondering how to fill them. These are some great tips so I will look for these plants! Thanks!
We need to give our garden a makeover and this is such a helpful list, specially since we live in Florida and there isn’t much shade in our back yard.
I love marigolds. They add such a fun pop of color to a garden. Zinnia is really pretty too.
That flower is just so gorgeous! I am thinking of adding more flowers in our backyard.
I have been out in the sun so much this spring that I’m already getting tan lines. I definitely need to start using more sunscreen other than on my face!
I have so much shade in my yard it can be tough to grow things! The bonus is it’s nice and cool – and sunscreen is a must!
It has suddenly gone really warm here so I need to get some sunblock asap at the moment I’ve been hiding away as I burn so easily.
The flowers look amazing, I have few in my backyard and do see butterflies. I have experienced some gardening as well, the variety of flowers look heavenly.
I’m a fruit and vegetable gardener, so I’m always amazed at folks that can keep flowers living! Our home faces east and west too, so we get ALL THE SUN ALL THE TIME! If I do venture into flowers, I know to look back at this post for tips!
Its always best to have a trusted sunblock. The flowers here are really vibrant and colorful. It can really make beautiful gardens.
These are all such lovely plants! I enjoy all the various colors.
You reminded me I need to put on sunblock when I go outside. Sometimes I forget, which is not good.
Our yard basically gets no sun, sadly. We have a bunch of ginormous pine trees in our yard that blocks most of it. I do wish I had more flowers in my yard, though 🙂