There are so many beautiful sun-loving plants that it’s hard to know which ones to pick! But hot sunshine can be challenging for plants, so it’s important to choose those that can cope with drought and be prepared to water when necessary. Here are six of the best plants for full sun.
Six of the best plants for full sun
With its silvery foliage and fragrant purple flowers, lavender is a must for any sunny garden. French lavender (Lavandula stoechas), also called butterfly lavender, is very striking, with plump purple flowerheads and a tuft of petals on top. It’s less hardy than English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), so it may not survive cold, wet winters. English lavender has more strongly scented flowers, which are ideal for drying. All lavenders are very popular with pollinators, especially bees. Lavender needs full sun and well-drained soil.
Previously called Sedums, these perennial succulents flower in late summer and early autumn when other plants are fading, producing domed flowerheads of numerous tiny pink or red flowers that are very popular with bees. Most have rounded green leaves, but there are also striking purple-leaved varieties like Hylotelephium ‘Purple Emperor’. Hylotelephiums need full sun and well-drained soil and are drought-tolerant.
Salvias love warmth and sunshine, and their flowers come in a rainbow of bright colours. Compact salvias like Salvia ‘Seascape’ are ideal for pots, while tall Salvia Amistad reaches 1.2m (4ft) and looks stunning towards the back of a border. Not all salvias are hardy enough to survive frost, so check before you choose one for your garden and move the tender varieties into a greenhouse over winter.
Dahlias thrive on sunshine, and there’s a stunning range available with flowers of all colours, shapes and sizes, from big dinnerplate flowers over 20cm (8in) across to small round pompom varieties. Dahlias need regular feeding and watering. Deadhead them regularly, and they will flower all through summer. They also make superb-cut flowers for the house.
Roses do best with at least six hours of sun per day, and there are so many varieties available it’s hard to know where to start. Many modern roses have been bred to combine the superb fragrance of old-fashioned roses with better resistance to diseases like black spots. Deadhead them regularly, water them in dry periods and feed them in spring for a superb display.
This Mediterranean herb is ideal for sunny spots. Low-growing creeping thymes will spread to form groundcover, covered in pink flowers in late spring, while bushy varieties look equally good in a border or a herb garden. Thyme needs well-drained soil in full sun. It may be best planted in a pot in cold areas to bring it into a greenhouse in winter.
Whether your garden is sunny or shady, you’ll find plants to suit all conditions in our centre. Visit us today!