47 Best Flowers for Full Sun | Heat Tolerant Flowers for Containers

Raul Cornelius is a Senior Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA and a BCom, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities. Passionate about writing and photography, he enjoys early mornings with coffee and books, and nature bike rides during weekends.
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Here’s an all-inclusive list of the Best Flowers for Full Sun that you can grow in your garden for an erratic display of colors!

Looking for flowers that flourish in heat waves and can even tolerate the temperature range of 100 F (38 C)? Well, here they are—the Best Flowers for Full Sun, and some of these flowers are also very drought tolerant.

Best Flowers for Full Sun

1. Pentas

Best Flowers for Full Sun

Botanical Name: Pentas lanceolata

USDA Zones: 8-11

Beautiful Pentas attract pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and sunbirds due to the nectar. This is a tough, heat-tolerant plant that you can grow in containers.

2. Lantana

Best Flowers for Full Sun in garden

Botanical Name: Lantana camara

USDA Zones: 8-11

Lantana is a common tropical and arid climate flower that blooms year-round in bright colors like red, yellow, orange, white, or pink and thrives in neglect and heat.

Check out the best types of lantana 

3. Plumbago

Best Flowers for Full Sun in pot

Botanical Name: Plumbago auriculata

USDA Zones: 8-12

Plumbago is a beautiful vine-like African native shrub that thrives with minimal care in the subtropical or tropical heat. Its sky-blue flowers appear almost year-long in the right climate.

4. Moonflower

Best Flowers for Full Sun

Botanical Name: Ipomoea alba

USDA Zones: 8-12

The spectacular display of large and fragrant pure white flowers resembles morning glory and opens in the evening. It flowers year-round in subtropics, but if you live in a temperate region, grow it annually as it is one of the best annual flowers for full sun.

5. Hibiscus

Best Flowers for Full Sun in balcony

Botanical Name: Hibiscus

USDA Zones: 9-11

Hibiscus is low maintenance, can be grown in pots easily, and is available in myriads of colors and for both temperate and warm climates!

6. Moss Rose

Best Flowers for Full Sun in pot 1

Botanical Name: Portulaca grandiflora

USDA Zones: 2 to 11 (as an annual)

With amazing needle-like foliage and bright and colorful small flowers, Portulaca plants are worth a place in your container garden, hanging baskets, or window boxes, whether you live in the tropics or the temperate zone!

7. Blanket Flower

Best Flowers for Full Sun

Botanical Name: Gaillardia

USDA Zones: 7-11

Also known as the blanket flower, gaillardia is a heat-resistant and drought-tolerant plant in the sunflower family. The blooms look attractive and become excellent cut flowers.

8. King’s Mantle

Best Flowers for Full Sun in home yard

Botanical Name: Thunbergia erecta

USDA Zones: 9-11

Also called bush clock vine, it is a shrub that is native to Africa. This prolific year-round bloomer comes in shades of violet, purple, and yellow and is considered one of the best flowering bushes for full sun.

9. Mandevilla

Best Flowers for Full Sun in cube box

Botanical Name: Mandevilla sanderi

USDA Zones: 6-12

Grow Mandevilla as an annual in cooler climates. It is a fast-growing and heat-resistant tropical climber that blooms heavily. The flowers are pink, white, or red in color.

10. Bottlebrush

Best Flowers for Full Sun

Botanical Name: Callistemon

USDA Zones: 8-11

With its brush-like puffy flowers that appear throughout the year, the bottlebrush is, without a doubt, one of the best flowering shrubs for full sun. If grown in a cooler zone, bring the bottlebrush plant indoors before the first frost to overwinter it.

11. Marigold

afternoon sun plantsBotanical Name: Tagetes

USDA Zones: 2-11 (as an annual)

Marigolds love the sun and heat, so keep them in a spot that receives full sun, and they’ll bloom heavily. With the choices available, you can grow marigolds either as annual or perennial. It is one of the best perennial flowers for full sun.

Check out types of marigolds 

12. Angelonia

Best Flowers for Full Sun

Botanical Name: Angelonia angustifolia

USDA Zones: 9-11

Due to the shape of the flowers, it is often called a summer snapdragon and is one of the best flowering plants for full sun. This lovely heat-resistant plant is usually grown as an annual, and the flowers are available in blue, green, orange, pink, red, white, and yellow colors.

13. Canna Lily

Best Flowers for Full Sun in balcony

Botanical Name: Canna indica

USDA Zones: 7-11

Cannas require warmth, full sun, and moist soil to thrive. Depending on the variety, cannas can grow between 1 to 8 feet tall. It comes in shades of red, orange, and yellow.

14. Desert Rose

Best Flowers for Full Sun in sunlight

Botanical Name: Adenium obesum

USDA Zones: 9-12

You can also grow adenium for quick bonsai; it can be planted outside in frost-free zones. Once established, this magnificent plant covers itself with beautiful tubular flowers. In temperate zones, you can grow adenium as a houseplant.

15. Cock’s Comb

Best Flowers for Full Sun in pot

Botanical Name: Celosia argentea

USDA Zones: 7-11

Celosias are generally grown as annuals, but they are one of the best flowers for full sun. Growing celosia in containers is a great way to have this unusual flower in your patio or balcony garden.

16. Petunia

Best Flowers for Full Sun in box

Botanical Name: Petunia × atkinsiana

USDA Zones: 5-10

Petunias love sun and heat; they are one the most beautiful and popular annual flowers. However, this frost-tender plant is perennial in warmer climates.

17. Texas Bluebonnets

Top Flowers for Direct Sunlight

Botanical Name: Lupinus texensis

USDA Zones: 4-9

Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas, and they are one of the best flowers for full sun. You can grow them in your container garden too.

18. Princess Flower

Top Flowers for Direct Sunlight in pot

Botanical Name: Tibouchina urvilleana

USDA Zones: 9-11

‘Princess Flower’ can be grown as a perennial or an annual. It looks beautiful with silver and downy flower buds that open in deep purple blossoms atop contrasting velvety green foliage.

19. Salvia

Top Flowers for Direct Sunlight beautiful

Botanical Name: Salvia

USDA Zones: 9-11

The salvia genus has both annual and perennial species, but annuals are more suitable for container gardening. It comes in deep purple, blue, orange, and red blooms.

20. Ground Orchids

Top Flowers for Direct Sunlight in garden

Botanical Name: Spathoglottis plicata

USDA Zones: 10-12

Ground orchid offers colorful clusters of blooms ranging from deep pink to yellow on arching foliage – they can be grown as annuals.

Find some Unique Orchids here

21. Diamond Frost Euphorbia

beautiful Top Flowers for Direct Sunlight

Botanical Name: Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’

USDA Zones: 10-12

It grows best in the sun but also flowers in partial shade. This tender perennial is planted as an annual in most regions. It has a mounding habit and upright stems and produces white blooms all season long.

22. Bolivian Begonia

hanging Top Flowers for Direct Sunlight

Botanical Name: Begonia boliviensis

USDA Zones: 8-11

Bronze foliage species are best for the full sun. The unique serrated foliage and bright, fiery red flowers look great in containers and hanging baskets.

Here is our Elatior Begonia Care 

23. Million Bells

best Top Flowers for Direct Sunlight

Botanical Name: Calibrachoa

USDA Zones: 5-11

Million Bells can be grown as an annual in all zones. It grows best in full sun to part shade in moist, rich, well-draining soil. The plant flowers continuously in a rainbow of shades.

24. Bidens

Top Flowers for Direct Sunlight in pot

Botanical Name: Bidens

USDA Zones: 6-11

The stunning red and gold blooms of ‘Beedance Painted Red‘ grab attention in containers.  ‘Suntory Lobelia Trailing White‘ and ‘Surfinia Deep Red‘ are also great picks!

25. SunPatiens

The Best Flowers in Full Sun

Botanical Name: Sunpatiens

USDA Zones: 9-12

Sunpatiens grow very well in containers, even in full sun and partial shade as well. You can grow bright orange flowers of vigorous Clear Orange SunPatiens for natural sunshine in your outdoor spaces.

26. Sweet Alyssum

The Best Flowers in Full Sun in pot

Botanical Name: Lobularia maritima

USDA Zones: 4-10

‘Snow Princess’ is a heat and sun-tolerant variety and blooms non-stop all summer long. You can grow it as a sun-tolerant plant in containers.

27. Sunflower

The Best Flowers in Full Sun in balcony

Botanical Name: Helianthus annuus

USDA Zones: 2-11

Sunflowers thrive best in places with full sun and flowers during summer or early fall. Varieties like Lemon Queen and Solsation Flame are the best choice for containers.

28. Globe Amaranth

top Best Flowers in Full Sun

Botanical Name: Gomphrena globosa

USDA Zones: 2-11

Butterflies love the lollipop-like flowers of Gomphrena, which come in a range of shades from purple to pink to red.

29. Spider Flower

Perfect Flowers for a Full Sun

Botanical Name: Cleome spinosa

USDA Zones: 8-11

Senorita Rosalita Cleome is a thornless version and looks great in containers. This beautiful annual is easy to grow in a warm location and under full sun.

30. Rose

Perfect Flowers for a Full Sun in pot

Botanical Name: Rosa

USDA Zones: 3-11

Roses do well in containers and can be grown easily on patios, decks, balconies, and entranceways. The plant prefers 5-6 hours of full sun daily with good air circulation.

Have a look at the most important things to consider while growing roses 

31. Bougainvillea

beautiful Perfect Flowers for a Full Sun

Botanical Name: Bougainvillea

USDA Zones: 9-12

Bougainvillea flowers across the year, and you can grow them in pots easily. Place the container where it receives at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight and water when the soil is dry.

32. Yellow Bell Flower

Perfect Flowers for a Full Sunlight

Botanical Name: Tecoma

USDA Zones: 7-11

Tecoma grows best in warm, frost-free climates, under full sunlight. The tubular, pink, red-orange and yellow blooms look beautiful as a climbing vine or as a border plant in containers.

33. Bleeding Heart Vine

Perfect Flowers for a Full Sun

Botanical Name: Clerodendrum thomsoniae

USDA Zones: 9-12

The plant requires direct sun to flower well. It flowers during spring and summer and produces clusters of star-shaped flowers.

34. Oleander

best Perfect Flowers for a Full Sun

Botanical Name: Nerium Oleander

USDA Zones: 8b-12

This tough ornamental shrub produces large clusters of pink, red, yellow, or white, single or double bloom all year round.

35. Arabian Jasminetop Perfect Flowers for a Full Sun

Botanical Name: Jasminum sambac

USDA Zones: 9-11

Arabian Jasmine, also the state flower of the Philippines, is loved for its really fragrant white blossoms that fade to pink with age and contrasting glossy, deep green oval foliage. The flowers occur all summer long and bloom year-round in warm climates.

36. Vinca

Perfect Flowers for a Full Sun in table

Botanical Name: Catharanthus roseus

USDA Zones: 9-12

Also known as Madagascar Periwinkle, this is undoubtedly one of the most productive bloomers on this list. It tolerates heat and scorching summer sun and doesn’t mind if you miss watering it occasionally.

37. Gazania

The Best Flowers in Full Sunlight

Botanical Name: Gazania rigens

USDA Zones: 9-11

These cheerful Gazanias have big, bold petals that come in a range of bright colors with contrasting stripes and markings, making them one of the Best Flowers for Full Sun.

38. Black-Eyed Susan

The Best Flowers in Full Sunlight in garden

Botanical Name: Rudbeckia

USDA Zones: 3-7

The bright Black-Eyed Susans have a dark brown or black center that resembles an eye, and they grow tall on strong stems.

39. Zinnia

The Best Flowers in Full Sunlight

Botanical Name: Zinnia elegans

USDA Zones: 2-11

These lovely Zinnias have round, full blooms that come in an array of colors and can be as small as a button or as big as a dinner plate.

40. Mexican Sunflower

The Best Flowers in Full Sunlight in table

Botanical Name: Tithonia rotundifolia

USDA Zones: 2-11

Another of the Best Flowers for Full Sun, the Mexican Sunflower has vibrant orange flowers that bloom in late summer and have a distinct scent that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden.

41. Cosmos

The Best beautiful Flowers in Full Sunlight

Botanical Name: Cosmos bipinnatus

USDA Zones: 2-11

Cosmos flowers have feathery foliage and come in shades of pink, purple, and white, and they add a graceful touch to any garden. These are one of the best flowers for full sun window boxes.

42. Nasturtium

The Best Flowers in Full Sunlight

Botanical Name: Tropaeolum majus

USDA Zones: 8-11

Nasturtiums come in a range of warm colors and have rounded leaves and unique trumpet-shaped flowers that are edible.

Find out benefits of growing Nasturtiums in your garden 

43. Mullein

Best Flowers for Full Sun in garden

Botanical Name: Verbascum

USDA Zones: 9-11

Mulleins have soft, fuzzy leaves and grow tall spires of yellow flowers that are loved by bees and other pollinators.

44. Mexican Heather

Best Flowers for Full Sunlight

Botanical Name: Cuphea hyssopifolia

USDA Zones: 9-11

With delicate purple blooms and small, glossy leaves, the Mexican Heather is perfect for adding a pop of color to borders and container gardens.

45. Snapdragon

Best Flowers for Full Sun

Botanical Name: Antirrhinum majus

USDA Zones: 7-10

These tall, showy flowers come in a variety of colors and are known for their unique “dragon mouth” shape, making them a popular choice for gardens and arrangements.

46. Dusty Miller

Best Flowers for Full Sun in rock garden

Botanical Name: Jacobaea maritima

USDA Zones: Zones 7-11

The silvery-gray foliage of this plant provides a unique texture and contrast to other flowers, making it a popular choice for borders and arrangements. While it won’t flower like other plants on the list, we added it because it can tolerate temperatures up to 100 F (38 C).

47. Sneezeweed

Best Flowers for Full Sun in table

Botanical Name: Helenium autumnale

USDA Zones: 3-8

Sneezeweed is an easy-to-grow perennial wildflower that loves the full sun. It has attractive daisy-like flowers of yellow, orange, and red that bloom in late summer and fall.

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  1. Cannas! My favorite, and they thrive in the hot desert southwest, with very little work. Yet, I rarely see them for sale with other plants. In fact, here in Las Cruces, NM, I’ve seen a lot of “hostas” in the stores, which is unimaginable to me that they would survive here.

  2. GREAT INFO! I was searching for heat-tolerant plants that can survive the brutal Houston, Texas climate. Any other suggestions out there from you H-Town folk>

    • 1. Ice Plant. 2. Sedum — many flowering varieties (I especially like Sedum “Autumn Joy” and Monarch Butterflies go crazy over it). 3. Purslane (aka Portulaca oleracea). This is not the double-flowered variety with the needle like leaves on this list. It is the single-flowered variety with rounded leaves. I actually think it is prettier than the variety on this list, and it comes in a variety of vibrant colors. We have it in window boxes in full sun and horrible heat in southern Louisiana. Nothing else would do well in those window boxes, but we barely do anything at all to this purslane and it thrives. We water it about once a week. Here are photos of just some of the colors it comes in. http://www.costafarms.com/plants/purslane

  3. When I libed in Houston I had TONS of the light green leaded begonias. Of course i had them in full shade, but they really thrived in their pots. Red, pink and white. Unfortunately, someone came up the apartment stairs and stole them all!!!!

  4. Most of these plants are weeds here in Australia’s harsh climate. Can’t we have a website with Australian HEAT tolerant plants. Y is it always American plants that pop up?

  5. We live on a brackish bayou on GuCoast MS, and bottlebrush thrives here, even when we flood with the saltwater….we do prune back after blooms…the only thing that did kill off 1 was a very hard freak freeze. ^ months of coastal heat, floods and storms have not killed off this beautiful shrub.

  6. Thank you for the information you have shared with us.

    I love gardening very much and i hooe to learn a lot from you.

    However, my biggst challenge in Botswana, Africa, is the harsh climatic conditiins. Our summers are extremely hot. I wish i could plant a beautiful garden of flowering plants that can stand aot of heat.

    Unfortunately our suppliers here only supply flowers tbat need intensive care.

    Would you be in a position to supply the plants you have suggested to Africa?

  7. Zombies are great. Love the heat. I live a little north if Houston and you can even plant the seeds in the blazing month if July. If you keep th watered they grow well. I have some beautiful Magellan zinnia hybrid only supposed to grow 2 feet tall but mine are 3 to 4 feet tall. Zinnias will fall over eventually in whatever direction they get the most sun.

  8. Lavender is renowned for its healing properties; simply smelling this flower is said to calm one’s nerves. Lavender smells strong, but pleasant. I highly recommend adding this flower to your patio to learn about its benefits and pleasant scent. It needs full sun and well drained soil. Lavender thrives in zones 5-9, but from personal experience, it also thrives (as a perennial) in zone 4. Humidity is not a friend of lavender, but it can be grown in more humid climates. Keep in mind that it won’t grow as well in high humidity as it does in arid climates.

  9. Since I moved to Texas, and am not great at gardening, I’ve done a ton of research and trial and error over the years…great flowers for Houston; Lantana, Verbena, Angelonia, Torenia, Cannas, knock-out roses, begonia of any kind, caladiums, vinca, pentas- all of these continue to flower in high heat and make excellent, low maintenance garden containers and beds. (Ferns, too! Especially Kimberly Fern, asparagus fern).


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