7 Full Sun Plants to Grow in New Jersey

Full sun plants can flourish in direct sunlight. Which plants should you consider growing in New Jersey?

Every gardener has a spot that receives the full force of the afternoon sun. Finding plants, whether for containers or garden beds, that can grow in this area can be difficult. 

Choosing plants that can grow in full sun spares you from dealing with drooping plants or flowerless gardens in the summer. Several plant species can tolerate full sun and thrive in it.

Let’s look at a few full-sun plants that flourish in the New Jersey heat.

1. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Purple coneflower blooms resemble shuttlecocks with drooping, pinkish-purple rays and prominent cone-shaped centers. This shrub can withstand various weather conditions, including drought and poor soil.

The daisy-like, vibrant flowers constantly bloom throughout the summer and are great as dried or fresh-cut bouquets. They also have several medicinal benefits and are frequently used in herbal remedies.

The purple coneflower supplies nectar for butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds; the seeds are a food source for birds.

full bloom purple coneflowers

2. Liatris (Liatris spicata)

Liatris is an aster with disk flowers that resemble blazing stars. Liatris flowers begin to bloom at the same time as swamp milkweed in early July. Another common name for Liatris is gayfeather, which refers to its feathery flower heads.

The dense blazing star’s delicate grass-like foliage creates a neutral green backdrop, enabling the flowers to take center stage. While this plant flourishes in moist, fertile soil, it will also grow in poor, dry soil.

purple butterfly liatris pollinates

3. Gaillardia (Gailardia spp.)

Gaillardia produces daisy-like red and yellow flowers that decorate natural habitats and manmade gardens. Because the flowers resemble brightly colored blankets, Gaillardia was called blanket flower.

It has over a dozen annual and perennial species. The flowers come in yellow, orange, and red colors. Despite being a short-lived perennial, it is still used in flower beds and mixed pots.

vibrant red and yellow coreopsis flowers

4. Sedum (Sedum spp.)

Sedum is a succulent plant that comes in various sizes and flower varieties. Because of its thick, waxy leaves, which store moisture, this flowering plant can tolerate drought.

Sedum is a low-maintenance, fast-growing perennial. It produces dense clusters of rosy-pink, star-shaped flowers from late summer through frost. It also provides nectar to local butterflies and bees.

Taller Sedum cultivars can be used in garden beds and borders, while shorter varieties could be utilized as a groundcover.

pink fathen sedum flowers

5. Portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora)

Portulaca is a low-growing, spreading annual with a long blooming season. It blooms from June to the first frost. The flowers come in many colors, including red, orange, yellow, and white.

Because it can tolerate heat, humidity, and poor, dry soil, portulaca is an excellent plant for gardens and yards near the beach. Place them where they can be viewed at noon since the flowers open during the day.

This low-growing plant is ideal for bed borders or filling corners. For stunning results, mix portulaca with taller, sun-loving flowers in containers.

pink and yellow portulaca flowers

6. Baptisia australis

Blue wild indigo is a herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit. Its medium texture blends in but can complement finer or coarser plants.

From mid-spring to early summer, spikes of blue pea-like flowers emerge above the leaves. The plant works well in groups, and the blossoms make excellent cut flowers.

This low-maintenance plant should be cleaned up in early spring before it develops fresh growths. Its round compound foliage remains olive green throughout the season.

purple baptisia australis flowers in the garden

7. Montauk Daisy (Nipponanthemum nipponicum)

Before getting a genus name of their own, Montauk daisies were previously categorized as Chrysanthemum, commonly called mums, and Leucanthemum, which includes oxeyed and Shasta daisies.

The white-petaled flower with a yellow or green center is popular as a garden plant and cut flower. The leaves are succulent, lush, and thick.

Montauk daisies are drought and salt tolerant. They bring pollinators to the garden while being resistant to deer and rabbits.

Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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