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

If you’re searching for the best flowers for full sun then see our list of heat tolerant flowers.

All these flowers can bear the tropical heat and thrive in full sun. You can also grow them in containers. Check out!

Heat Tolerant Flowers

1. Pentas

heat tolerant flowers

Beautiful pentas flowers attract pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and sunbirds due to the nectar. Pentas is a tough heat tolerant plant that you can grow in containers. This tropical flower can be grown in USDA Zones 9-11 as perennial, below these zones grow it as an annual.

2. Lantana

afternoon sun plants

Lantana is a common tropical flower that blooms year-round in bright colors like red, yellow, orange, white or pink. It thrives in neglect and heat, it is kind of an afternoon sun plant, the more sun the better. Growing lantana is only possible as an annual plant in mild climates. Learn more about lantana here.

3. Plumbago

Plumbago auriculata

Plumbago is a beautiful vine-like African native shrub that thrives in minimal care in subtropical or tropical heat. Its sky blue flowers appear almost year long in right climate. For growing plumbago outside you have to live in USDA Zone 9-11, in cooler zones you’ll need to protect it in winters.

4. Moonflower

If you’re searching for the best flowers for full sun then see our list of heat tolerant flowers.

The spectacular display of large and fragrant pure white flowers that resembles morning glory and open in the evening. You can grow this vine in a large container. It flowers year-round in subtropics but if you live in a temperate region, grow it as annual. Moonflower plant can reach the height of 6-15 feet in a single season and blooms from summer to fall.

5. Hibiscus


Hibiscus is one the most popular flowering shrubs due to some reasons: It is low maintenance, can be grown in pots easily, available in myriads of colors and for both temperate and tropical climates. Tropical hibiscus can easily handle the temperature above 100 F or more.

Also Read: 44 Best Shrubs for Containers

6. Portulaca (Moss Rose)


Amazing needle-like foliage and bright and colorful small flowers, the portulacas worth a place in your container garden, in hanging baskets or window boxes whether you live in tropics or in temperates. They are one of the toughest plants that never mind the rising tropical heat and drought. Portulacas are annuals everywhere except tropical zones.

7. Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)

gaillardia orangeslemons

Also known as blanket flower, gaillardia is a heat resistant and drought tolerant plant belongs to the sunflower family. The blooms look so attractive and become excellent cut flowers. Grow blanket flower in full sun and provide afternoon shade in summer in peak tropical summer to save it.

Also ReadHow to Grow Safflower

8. Calliandra (Powder Puff)


Basically, a small tree that is famous for its puffy flowers that attract wildlife, you can also grow calliandra in a large pot, especially in the colder zones, below 9 to overwinter it indoors as this magnificent plant can’t survive harsh winters.

9. Verbena


There are more than 250 species of verbenas that can be grown in a variety of climates between USDA Zones 4-11. Almost all varieties require sun to thrive and bloom prolifically. Grow verbenas in well-drained soil and provide moderate but regular watering when the soil is dry.

10. Thunbergia Erecta (King’s Mantle)


Also called bush clock vine, thunbergia erecta is a shrub that is native to Africa. If grown in a subtropical or tropical climate (USDA Zone 9-11) this plant never fails from flowering. A year round prolific bloomer thunbergia erecta comes in shades of violet, purple and yellow.

11. Mandevilla

afternoon sun plants

Grow Mandevilla as annual in cooler climates, it is a fast growing heat resistant tropical climber that blooms heavily, flowers are pink, white or red in color and give a tropical look to any garden.

12. Bottlebrush

best flowers for full sun

With its brush like puffy flowers that appear throughout the year, bottlebrush is without a doubt one of the best large flowering shrubs. Bottlebrush can be trained in large containers, although it requires space. If grown in a cooler zone, bring the bottle brush plant indoors before the first frost to overwinter it.

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If you're searching for the best flowers for full sun then see our list of heat tolerant flowers.


  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.


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