27 Full Sun Perennials For Sun-Drenched Gardens

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Have a garden in direct sunlight and want to know what full-sun perennials to plant? We have you covered with our comprehensive list below.

Which perennials will grow in a full-sun garden?

There are so many perennial plants you can grow in full sun in your gardens. We’ve listed the easiest and most versatile sun-loving perennials. From asters to yarrow, these 27 perennials will brighten your yards and gardens for years to come.

Full sun perennials in a garden bed with a single butterfly.  Purple coneflowers and Black-eyed Susans in a sunny flower garden.

Table of contents

Perennial Sun loving plants for your summer garden

Sun plants grow well in a sunny habitat where they receive at least 8 hours of direct sunlight daily.

Here is our list of the top 27 perennials to plant in full sun: 

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Asters (asters spp)

Asters, true asters (as opposed to the annual china asters), are brightly colored flowers that belong to the daisy family. 

These sun-loving plants produce daisy-like flowers consisting of a row of petal-like ray flowers surrounding a center of yellow disc florets. The foliage has narrow, dark green leaves that grow alternately on the stems.

Asters can grow up to 5 feet tall and may require staking. Plant them in the back of fall garden beds, mixed borders, or container gardens in well-draining soil. 

  • Bloom Time: Late August through late Fall
  • Sunlight: Asters prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 4
Bright aster flowers, isolated on white.

Baby’s Breath (gypsophila spp) 

Baby’s Breath is known for its wispy cloudlike clusters of delicate pink or white flowers that add softness to the garden. Perennial baby’s breath leaves are narrow, up to 3 inches long, with blue-gray-green foliage.

These sun perennials bloom best if planted in light, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil. After the first flush of blooms, cut the branches back before the flowers go to seed to create a second flush. 

These flowering perennials do well in rock gardens used for ground covers and as edging plants. In addition, the flower branches make lovely cut flowers for bouquets.

  • Bloom Time: 6 weeks between late spring and early summer.
  • Sunlight: Baby’s Breath blooms best in full sun.
  • Hardy to USDA zone 4

Learn More: Don’t miss our article on the best plants for a cut flower garden.

Tiny pink, red and white flowers of baby's breath growing in a full sun garden.

Balloon Flowers (platycondon grandiflorus) 

Balloon flowers are lovely early summer bloomers with puffy balloon-like pink, white or blue buds. When open, the blooms are bell-shaped. Leaves are up to 3 inches long and narrowly oval with toothed edges that are blue-green or gray-green and have a solid leathery texture. 

Balloon flowers make excellent cut flowers with strong stems and long-lasting blooms.

Plant balloon flowers in well-draining soil rich in organic hummus, in perennial beds or borders.

  • Bloom Time: Late June to August or early Fall
  • Sunlight: Plant in full sun for best performance, but balloon flowers will tolerate light shade.
  • Hardy to USDA zone 3
Deep purple balloon flowers growing in a flower garden.

Bell Flowers (campanula spp) 

Bellflowers are grown for their grazing delicate bell-shaped flowers, usually purple, blue, or white but they also come in pink and violet.

Plant in well-draining soil in full sun for best performance. Use low-growing bellflowers as edging plants; taller species make great additions to perennial garden beds and borders.

  • Bloom Time: Late spring to late autumn
  • Sunlight: Direct sun
  • Hardy to USDA zone 2-9
Lovely bright purple bell flowers growing in a rocky garden.

Black-Eyed Susan (rudbeckia) 

Rudbeckia produces masses of bright yellow daisy-like flowers with dark contrasting centers. Plants are hardy and easy to grow and provide perfect-cut flowers throughout the gardening season. 

Black-eyed Susans are drought-tolerant and deer resistant, making them an excellent addition to any garden space. 

Plant black-eyed Susans in well-draining soil in a sunny locale. 

These full-sun perennials are best for the middle of a perennial border, bed, or in a wildflower garden. 

  • Bloom Time: Summer through Fall 
  • Sunlight: Plant in brightly lit sunny locations 
  • Hardy to USDA zone 4

Learn More: See our complete guide on how to grow Black Eyed Susans from seed to flower.

Bright yellow Black-eyed Susans in a full sun garden bed with purple flowers.

Blanket Flower (gaillardia) 

These incredible sun-loving perennials bloom in shades of gold, red, and brown all summer long. To keep the flowers blooming profusely, remove faded flowers. Flowers are excellent for cutting. 

Plant gaillardia in a sunny location in well-draining soil. 

Gaillardia is lovely planted in a mixed flower bed and perennial borders and can be used as edging. 

  • Bloom Time: Summer to early Fall 
  • Sunlight: Full Sunlight 
  • Hardy to USDA zone 4
Brilliantly bright mound of blanket flowers in bright orange/red with yellow margins.

Blazing Star (Liatris)

This native North American arid plant is known for its feathery blossoms, similar to a bottle brush. Purple or white spiky flowers in the summer attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. 

Plant in sunny spots with well-draining soil. The blazing stars tolerate drought and poor soil, so be sure to plant them next to other drought-tolerant plants. 

Blazing star flowers look lovely in rock gardens and beds, and work very well for xeriscaping or adding to containers. They also make excellent cut flowers.

  • Bloom Time: Summer to fall, depending on the variety
  • Sunlight: Plant in areas with bright sunlight 
  • Hardy to USDA zone: 3 

Learn More: When planting drought-tolerant plants in beds or borders, you should always plant with other water-wise plants that enjoy the same growing environment. See our list of water-wise plants to grow alongside Blazing Stars.

A mound of blazing star flowers with hairy lavender colored spires growing in a full sun garden .

Chrysanthemums (chrysanthemums spp.) 

Chrysanthemums are grown and loved for their brilliant, showy flowers. There are countless varieties for gardeners to choose from, with blossoms that vary significantly in color and size. Garden mums can come in both single and double daisy-like flowers. 

Plant chrysanthemums in bright sunny locations in slightly acidic soil with good drainage. 

With the different sizes and heights, you can find a Mum suitable for almost any sunny growing location – beds, containers, cut flower gardens, perennial borders, and wildflower gardens will all work wonderfully for chrysanthemums. Smaller types make great edging plants. 

  • Bloom Time: Late summer to early Fall 
  • Sunlight: Sunny locations are best, although some mums can tolerate light shade. 
  • Hardy to USDA zone 3-5, depending on the variety. 

Related: We LOVE growing chrysanthemums in containers; they are one of our favorite pot flowers. Check our guide on some of the best flowers for pots and containers!

Mounds and mounds of colored mums growing a flower bed in full sun.

Coneflower (echinacea purpurea) 

This North American prairie native is an essential food source for pollinating insects. Recent genetic advancements have enabled various flower colors and plant sizes beyond the common purple flowers. The blooms now come in shades of pink and white. Coneflowers are also deer and squirrel-resistant and drought-tolerant. 

Plant coneflowers in bright sunny locations with well-draining soil. 

Coneflowers are perfect for a cut flower or wildflower garden, tea garden or perennial borders and garden beds.

  • Bloom Time: Early Summer until the first frost.
  • Sunlight: Bright sunny location for best flowering. 
  • Hardy to USDA zone 3

Learn More: Deer can be the bane of any garden. The damage they can do in a single night can wipe out a good-sized perennial bed. if deer are a problem for your garden, check out our post on the best deer-resistant plants.

Pretty fully bloomed purple coneflower growing alongside yellow perennial flowers.

Daylilies (hemerocalis spp.) 

Daylilies are beautiful low, maintence full-sun perennials that bear showy funnel-shaped flowers that only open for a day. Fortunately, daylilies flower in abundance and healthy, well-established plants are never without open flowers during the blooming season. 

Plant Daylilies in full sun. Daylilies are not particular about the soil they are grown in if it drains well. 

These lovely full-sun perennials grow very well in beds or borders and can be planted in masses along roadsides, on garden slopes, and in container gardens. They also make excellent cut flowers. 

  • Bloom Time: June is the peak blooming time for Daylilies, but different varieties can be mid-summer bloomers and a few bloom in early Fall. 
  • Sunlight: Full sun 
  • Hardy to USDA zone: 2. Evergreen cultivars are hardy to zone 7. 
Yellow and coral Lily flowers with dark green leaf background in garden at sunny summer day.

Delphiniums (Delphinium spp.) 

Delphinium’s tall, stately flower spikes add texture and height to garden beds and borders. They are especially prized for their true blue flowers, which are rare with perennials. The plants bloom in bright blue, sky blue, white, pink, and variations of purple. 

Plant delphiniums in full sun in deep rich, moist soil with lots of organic matter. It is vital to plant delphinium in well-draining soil, or it will not grow well. 

These sun-loving perennials look stunning planted in the back of mixed flower beds or borders. They also look right at home in a cottage garden setting. 

  • Bloom Time: Early summer and sometimes again in early Fall. 
  • Sunlight: Full sun 
  • Hardy to USDA zone: 3. Delphiniums do not grow well in regions south of zone 7. 
Blue delphinium flowers growing in a flower bed.  Flowers are light blue, sky blue, and deep blue.

Flax, Perennial (Linum sp.) 

The blue and bright yellow varieties of perennial flax produce delicate saucer-shaped flowers on wiry stems. 

Plant in bright sunlight in well-draining fertilized soil. 

Plant flax at the front of a perennial garden or use it in rock gardens. 

  • Bloom Time: Early summer
  • Sunlight: Full sun 
  • Hardy to USDA zone: 4
A closeup of perennial flax (Linum perenne) blooming on a sunny day.

Hyssop (Agastache spp.)

Long-lasting tubular flowers of varied shapes and colors attract hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden. This native North American perennial is also highly drought tolerant.

Plant Agastache in well-drained, rich soil in full sun near other drought-tolerant plants. Grow Agastache in a sunny part of the garden. 

The flowers work well in mixed borders, gravel gardens, and container displays.

  • Bloom Time: Summer to fall
  • Sunlight: Agastache does best in full sun
  • Hardy to USDA zone 3

Related: See our guide on how to attract hummingbirds to your garden.

Anise hyssop, Agastache foeniculum, flower and foliage isolated against white.

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) 

Is there a prettier flowering perennial than Hollyhocks? The tall, stately spikes of large single or double flowers are stunning.  They are one of my favorite perennial plants.

 Although hollyhocks are biennales, they self-seed readily enough to be considered perennials, so I added them to this list. Flowers bloom in pink, maroon, red, white, yellow, and purplish red. 

Plant hollyhocks in moist, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic (pH 6-6.5). 

Hollyhocks look marvelous as a stand-alone display planted in mass near fences and at home in the back of perennial borders. 

  • Bloom Time: June to late August or Early September
  • Sunlight: Does best in sunny locations
  • Hardy to USDA zone 3
Bright pink and red hollyhocks growing against tall bright green stems in a brightly lit summer garden bed.

Lambs Ear (Stachys sp.)

Lambs ear, also called betony, is a full-sun perennial with beautiful foliage. The soft gray wooly leaves are deer resistant due to their hairy texture. Flowers bloom in shades of pink but tend to be insignificant. 

Plant lamb’s ear in direct sunlight in well-drained soil in garden edging, rock gardens, and as ground cover. 

  • Bloom Time: Summer 
  • Sunlight: Best in bright sunny locations 
  • Hardy to USDA zone 4
Lambs ear in bloom with spires of purple flowers against soft gray green leaves.

Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) 

Lavender creates a dense cluster of aromatic gray-green foliage with spikes of purple blooms. These drought-tolerant and deer-resistant plants bloom early to mid-summer with gorgeous white or fragrant purple flowers. 

Plant lavender in sunny locations with well-draining soil. 

Plant lavender with other drought-tolerant plants in garden beds and borders. Or use lavender as an edging plant, or place it in a rock garden—plant lavender in masses for a showy display or a hedge. 

  • Bloom Time: Mid to late summer bloomers
  • Sunlight: Best in bright sun 
  • Hardy to USDA zone 6

Learn More About Lavender:

A sunny field of lavender in full bloom.

Lupine (lupinus sp. )

Lupines grow wild in my area, filling roadside ditches with dazzling displays of pink/purple blooming flowers in mid-summer. Plants grow 3-4 feet tall with spectacularly large spikes of flowers that bloom in cream, yellow, pink, purple, red, and blue. 

Plant in full sun with good drainage in sunny locations. 

Lupines are best planted in masses at the back of a perennial border but may require support if the location is windy. In addition, These sun-flowing perennials also look lovely planted in a wildflower garden. 

  • Bloom Time: Spring to Early Summer 
  • Sunlight: Best in bright sunny locations 
  • Hardy to USDA zone 4

Learn More: Check out our full guide to growing lupins!

Wild lupines or bluebonnet flowers on white background.

Phlox, Perennial (Phlox spp) 

The perennial phlox species are long-flowering plants that produce clusters of showy trumpet-shaped flowers in various colors. The flowers bloom in white, purple, pink, blue, and lavender. 

Phlox do best when planted in bright sunny locations but will tolerate a bit of light shade. Grow phlox in well-drained, rich soil high in organic matter. 

With so many types of phlox, you plant them almost anywhere in the garden. 

  • Bloom Time: Mid to late Summer 
  • Sunlight: Best in bright sunny locations 
  • Hardy to USDA zone 4
Beautiful mounds of bright pink perennial phlox growing in a sunny perennial garden.

Pinks (Dianthus spp.)

Dianthus is a gardeners’ favorite, with its sweet clove scent and long-lived blooms that make lovely cut flowers. Flowers come in many shades, from pink, maroon, white, and red, and combinations of those colors.

Plant these perennial plants in full sun for the best blooms. Dianthus likes warm and sunny locations with well-draining soil. The flowers look best planted in bedding, containers, rock gardens, and edging. 

  • Bloom Time: Spring to late summer, with some booming until early autumn. 
  • Sunlight: Full Sun 
  •  USDA zone 2 to 9, depending on the variety. 
Beautiful carnation flowers in pot isolated on a white background.

Poppies (papaver orientale) 

An old-fashioned garden favorite. Poppies are easy-to-grow plants that provide brilliant blooms in return for very little care and upkeep. These plants put on a yearly display of big beautiful flowers in late spring. 

Cultivars come in various vivid colors, from white, orange, pink, and red. 

Plant poppies in well-drained soil in a bright sunny location for the best blooms. Poppies are perfect for perennial borders or garden beds. 

  • Bloom Time: Late spring to early summer. 
  • Sunlight: Best in bright sunny locations 
  • Hardy to USDA zone 3
Vibrant blooming poppy field in June.

Red Hot Poker Plant (Kniphofia) 

 This sun-loving perennial is also known as Torchlily or poker plant. Dramatic flower spikes in red, orange, and yellow hues make bold statements in flower beds and borders. 

These herbaceous perennials from Africa are drought resistant and popular among hummingbirds and butterflies. 

Plant Red Hot Poker in full direct sunlight in sandy, well-drained soil. 

Kniphofia looks best planted at the back of borders and beds. 

  • Bloom Time: Late summer reblooming until the first frost. 
  • Sunlight: Plant in full direct sunlight
  • Hardy to USDA zone 6 (some varieties are only hardy to USDA zone 9) 
Spires of orange red hot pokers in a full sun perennial garden .

Russian Sage (perovskia atriplicifolia) 

Russian sage has an upright, bushy look, stunning blue/ purple flowers, and silvery gray fragrant foliage. Also, the flowers bloom so profusely it is hard even to see the silvery foliage. This full-sun perennial plant is drought and deer resistant. Not to be confused with sage, Russian sage is not a true sage (salvia sp) nor Russian! 

Plant Russian sage in dry conditions with full sun and good soil. Russian sage makes a beautiful addition to craggy, rocky gardens, perennial herb gardens, or added to a perennial border with other drought-tolerant plants. 

  • Bloom Time: Late spring until autumn. 
  • Sunlight: Direct sun is best if you want lots of blooms. 
  • Hardy to USDA zone 5

Learn More: Did you know that Russian Sage can be used to make a beautiful natural blue fabric dye? Check out our list of flowers that can be used to make natural dyes!

Russian sage growing with spires of abundant purple tiny flowers.

SAGE (Salvia officinalis) 

Salvias love the sun a lot; the more daylight, the better for these sun-loving perennials. Sage blooms with showy spikes of blue/ purple flowers that create a beautiful display. These herbaceous perennials will grow in almost any well-drained soil. 

Plant sage in direct sunlight in rocky gardens, herb gardens, and a perennial border with other drought-tolerant plants. 

  • Bloom Time: Summer to fall
  • Sunlight: Direct sunlight 
  • Hardy to USDA zone : 3

Learn More: See our guide on how to grow sage from seed to flower – and learn about the different varieties of sage, including their taste and usage.

Purple salvia nemorosa plant on white background.

Stonecrop (Sedum)

Stonecrop is one of the only perennial flowers to bloom in spring, providing a vital nectar resource for bees and butterflies when food sources are scarce. 

Plant sedum in well-drained soil in direct sunlight for abundant blooms. Sedum is at home in a perennial border; mixed garden beds are used as edging or planted in containers. 

  •  Bloom Time: Spring
  • Sunlight: direct sun
  • Hardy to USDA zone : 3 

Learn More: See our guide on planting the best flowers to attract bees to your gardens.

Incredibly bright pink/violet sedum flowers growing on the edge of a full sun perennial garden bed.

Tickseed (coreopsis spp.) 

Tickseed’s bright yellow single or double daisy-like flowers bloom on compact mounds. The vibrant colored flowers attract butterflies and are also suitable for birds to feed in autumn or winter. 

Plant coreopsis in full sun with well-drained soil in sunny wildflower gardens and meadows. Dwarf cultivars are perfect for use in rocky gardens and make excellent cut flowers. 

  • Bloom Time: Spring to fall (varies by variety) 
  • Sunlight: Performs best in full sun. 
  • Hardy to USDA zone 3
A mound of tickseed flowers in full brilliant yellow bloom.

Yarrow (achillea sp.)

Yarrows are vigorous growers with large, tightly packed flat-topped flower clusters. Although the flower heads are tiny, they are abundant. Yarrow’s attractive foliage is delicately divided and green or gray-green. 

Plant yarrows in sunny locations with well-draining soil. 

Plant varieties of yarrows bred for spaces like perennial borders and garden beds. Yarrows make fine additions to a wildflower garden. 

But be warned, yarrow self-seed readily and vigorously – to stop their spread be sure to remove spent flowers and seed heads before they scatter. 

  • Bloom Time: June to late August or early September 
  • Sunlight: Performs best in full sun. 
  • Hardy to USDA zone: 2

Mounds of yarrow flowers in light pink and red growing against dark green fern like foliage.

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