10 Full Sun Plants to Grow in Florida

Full sun plants thrive in bright sunny areas and are heat tolerant. Which ones should you grow in your Florida garden?

Different plants require different amounts of sunlight. If you know how much sunlight your plants need, you can design your garden so that all your plants always get the right amount of sunlight throughout the day.

Full sun plants do not require all-day sunlight but need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Avoid planting them near thick foliage, fences, or structures that could block sunlight for long periods. It’s also a good idea to position full sun plants where they can receive more sunlight in the afternoon because afternoon sun rays are stronger than morning sun rays.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 heat-tolerant, full-sun plants you’ll want to include in your Florida garden.

1. Lantana

Lantana plants are known for their circular clusters of tiny, brilliantly-colored blooms that range in colors from the brightest yellow to the deepest purple. Lantanas thrive in direct sunshine and are drought tolerant, although they produce more blooms when regularly watered.

colorful lantana flower blooming in the garden

2. Agave

Agave foliage is blue-green in colder climates and gray-green in warmer climates. Some agave plants are variegated and have gold or white patterns on their leaves. This plant produces long-lasting, bell-shaped flowers of white, yellow, or green. Agave plants are hardy—they thrive in full sun, poor soil, and drought conditions.

agave plant growing in the garden

3. Copperleaf

Gardeners worldwide are drawn to the copperleaf’s stunning copper-red foliage. Copperleaf plants also produce white, purple, pink, or green flowers. Although it grows well in partial sun, full sun brings out the brightest hues in its leaves. 

a healthy bush of copper leaf

4. Cosmos

This low-maintenance plant thrives in full sun and heat. In optimal conditions, cosmos produce pink, purple, white, lavender, red, orange, yellow, or multi-colored flowers.

cosmos flower blooming in the garden

5. Marigold

The marigold is a hardy annual plant native to Florida with daisy and carnation-like blooms that come in a variety of vibrant yellows and oranges. Marigolds actively bloom during summer months.

They are relatively easy to grow and are low maintenance. Marigolds are perfect for color massing, planting along landscaped edges and borders, and in planters. Marigolds can also be cut and bundled for bouquets.

blooming red and gold marigold flowers

6. Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena is a hardy perennial shrub that can grow up to 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Because it is an annual, it will lose its leaves during the fall season, but it will grow fresh leaves again in the spring. This plant’s leaves exude a pleasant scent when rubbed, making it an excellent choice for planting alongside outdoor living spaces or walkways.

lemon verbena in a huge ceramic pot

7. Liriope

Liriope, or lilyturf, plants are one of the most popular plants in South Florida because of their hardiness and drought tolerance. They’re frequently used as ground coverings to prevent erosion or as an edging plant to help with weed control.

Lilyturf grows year-round and typically blooms from Spring to Fall. They can grow as tall as 18 inches.

purple flower of a liriope plant

8. Pentas

Pentas are perennials that bloom throughout Florida’s hot and humid summers. Pentas, which are named for their five-point petals, produce red, pink, or white flowers during the summer and attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

They also make wonderful container plants and good garden bed plants.

blooming pink pentas flower

9. Bottlebrush

This evergreen plant produces vivid red flowers that look like bottle washers in the summer. Once established, bottlebrush trees are drought-tolerant and can survive mild sea breezes, which makes them ideal for coastal areas.

red bottlebrush shaped flower

10. Crown of Thorns

The Crown of Thorns plant also thrives in full sun. They have green foliage and produce small colorful flowers on their prickly stems, which bleed a white fluid when cut. They are also low maintenance and highly versatile as an indoor or outdoor plant.

red euphorbia flowering plant also known as crown of thorns
Phillis Butler
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