20 Best Landscaping Plants & Flowers That Can Handle Direct Sunlight

If you hear that it’s going to be a sweltering summer, then you need to prepare your garden for the sizzling temps to come by choosing plants that are resilient to heat and drought.

These perennials will give you long-season color, add bright color to beds and containers, and attract pollinators. 

Most of these plants thrive in the heat; however, they still need to be watered occasionally during dry spells.

This is because low maintenance doesn’t actually mean no maintenance. 

Perennials ensure they thrive in winters to make it through the season and come back strong next year. 

However, we do list some annuals for those that want that extra kick of color in their front yard.

Below are some of the best plants and flowers for direct sunlight you can plant in your garden and landscaping at home.

Related post: Basics on How To Start A Flower Garden For Beginners

1. Pentas


Pentas are also known as Egyptian starflowers. They can handle the heat because they are native to Africa, Madagascar, and Arabia.

These Egyptian star flowers thrive in full sun and are available in various colors such as white, pink, red, and lavender.

2. Penstemon


This plant is also known as beardtongue and contains tubular-shaped flowers, and they come in red, pink, and purple tones.

The pretty foliage also comes in a burgundy tint. These purple perennials attract hummingbirds and bees as well. Some types may self-sow, so you’ll have more in the coming years.

3. Ageratum


This plant, also known as the floss flower, contains fringed petals and flowers all season long.

It does so without you having to deadhead or remove spent blooms.

It’s something that pollinators absolutely love, and it will bloom all the way to frost with almost no care from you.

4. Begonia


Begonias are available in a variety of different colors and sizes as well.

While some tolerate full sun, others prefer shade mostly.

So it would be best if you read the description on the plant tag to ensure that you are getting the type you are looking for.

These annual plants will take the heat up, but they need to be kept strong and healthy.

So ensure that they are watered enough, especially in the hotter part of the summer. They also work great in pots and garden containers.

Related post: The Most Common Types of Begonias To Grow in Your Garden

5. Vinca


This drought-tolerant annual crop, when grown in the wild in sandy or limestone soils as well as dry grasslands, tends to thrive.

It’s also great for similar conditions in your own back garden or back yard. The plant, also called Periwinkle, comes in many different colors, from salmon, white, and purple to pink, red, and every other color in between.

These plants are resilient, hardy, and perfect for the hot summer months.

6. Stonecrop


Stonecrop is a succulent that prefers dry and hot conditions. Therefore it is a popular choice for rock gardens.

It is also a wonderful alternative to grass and other types of groundcovers if you’re looking for a solution for troublesome areas in your backyard or garden.

Some types have small flowers, but the real show is the intricate shapes and varieties of these succulents.

This is why they are a very sought-after choice for home garden beds, and they tend to grow well both indoors and outdoors.

7. Liatris


These purple stalks are absolutely fierce when it comes to hardiness. However, they need full sunlight to grow best.

These perennials are great for planting in cottage garden borders or as accents around flower beds. Butterflies also tend to love them.

8. Blanket Flower

Blanket FlowerPin

These blanket flowers are gorgeous, to say the least. They are also called Gaillardia and come in shades of coral, pink, orange, and yellow.

They are perfect for adding to sunny borders or allow them to stand out in pots and containers either outdoors or inside your home.

9. Lantana


Lantana is a plant that is native to tropical environments. They also prefer full sun and moist as well as well-drained soil.

These perennial plants are tough and very forgiving; therefore, they would tolerate the blazing temperatures as well as drought. As a bonus, pollinators absolutely love them.

10. Zinnia


If you want to add splashes of color to your garden this summer, then Zinnia is the plant for you.

You definitely can’t go wrong with these beauties since they thrive in the sunniest of locations.

They are also straightforward to maintain and will attract birds, bees, and butterflies as well.

11. Coneflowers


Coneflowers are resistant to heat and drought and are also a staple of summer gardens.

These flowers love the sun and produce cheerful, daisy-like flowers.

The most common color is purple, but others are tinged with orange, white, and yellow flowers.

12. Hardy Hibiscus

Hardy HibiscusPin

The Hardy Hibiscus has something in common with its delicate tropical cousins, and that is the love of the sun.

However, this is one of the only things that it has in common with them.

It’s one of the showiest flowering plants for the sun and has blooms the size of dinner plates in pink, red, yellow, and white.

13. Coreopsis


This easy-to-grow plant thrives in sunny locations and actually tends to thrive in them. It blooms all summer long in a wide range of colors and sizes.

Some other varieties like Moonbeam and Zagreb produce lots of blooms in a pink or yellow-like color in the sun.

The other variety, called Early Sunrise, has a large orange bloom.

Related post: 10 Stunning Yellow Shrubs To Add To Your Landscaping

14. Butterfly Weed

Butterfly WeedPin

This Butterfly Weed is by no means a weed or garden nuisance.

In fact, it’s one of the hardest flowers that love the sun.

It contains clusters of bright, yellow-orange flowers and attracts a monarch of bees and butterflies.

15. Red Hot Poker

Red Hot PokerPin

Red Hot Poker is one of the most exotic-looking flowers that enjoy the sun. Spikes of yellow, red, white, or orange flowers go from grassy, gray-green foliage.

Not only is it striking in groupings but as single and dramatic specimens of sun-loving plants. It’s also a hummingbird magnet.

16. Chrysanthemum


These plants bloom in the fall and are available in various colors, such as orange, red, purple, yellow, and white.

These flowers are short-lived perennials that die after a few seasons.

So what this means is that you will need to replant them every season. 

17. Hosta


These sun-loving flowers also tend to enjoy the shade. They contain large, tropical-looking leaves.

Related post: Perennials That Grow in the Shade

However, they also contain spikes of pale purple, pink, and white flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies tend to love. 

18. Daylily


Daylilies are available in a series of colors and flower types.

While some of these perennial plants only bloom once, others bloom all summer long. They look great in mixed beds. 

19. Pincushion flower

Pincushion FlowerPin

These petite and dainty flowers bloom all summer long and well into the fall.

This makes these plants one of the longest perennial bloomers in a flower bed. 

20. Asiatic Lily

Asiatic LilyPin

These plants contain bright blooms that grow from bulbs.

They give these plants flowers in yellow, white, orange, purple, red, and rose. 


Perennials are a must for garden lovers for three main reasons.

Firstly, they are low-maintenance plants that are hardy, resilient to heat, and drought-resistant.

Consequently, they need very little help from you to survive and thrive.

Another benefit is that you plant them once but can come back season after season to enjoy their beauty.

So no replanting is required. Lastly, they also provide resilience and hardiness to your garden.

So it can be used as a backbone against which you can plant short-lived annuals.

Not on this list are the perennial favorites, roses. Check out our post on how and when to plant roses in your yard.

Lastly, if you want to add some curb appeal to your front yard, consider planting ferns, flowering vines, or low-maintenance evergreen shrubs.

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