7 Full Sun Plants to Grow in Wisconsin

Sun-loving plants thrive in areas of full sun. Which plants should you consider growing in Wisconsin?

Excessive summer heat can be challenging for gardeners. The good news is that there’s a wide assortment of hardy plants that thrive in full sun, meaning 6 or more hours of direct sunlight daily. There are also lots of plants that can withstand extreme heat.

Here’s a list of sun-loving plants to consider integrating into your Wisconsin garden.

1. Creeping Phlox 

Creeping phlox plants have needle-like leaves and small, star-shaped flowers that bloom in red, lavender, pink, white, or bluish-purple in the spring.

These plants require little to no care or maintenance once they become established and routinely spread freely across rocky terrain or in uneven soil and can add splashes of color to any Wisconsin garden.

beautiful heart shaped petals of creeping phlox

2. Coneflowers 

Coneflowers are drought tolerant and low maintenance. Although their flowers can bloom in light shade, their blooming is more robust when planted in full sun. They also grow best in moist, healthy soil.

This plant produces beautiful flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and birds. It’s ideal for mass planting in gardens or as a background plant in perennial flowerbeds. They’re also ideal plants to include in water-conserving landscapes, rain gardens, or xeriscapes. 

beautiful coneflowers in the garden

3. Gayfeather 

Gayfeather plants grow a clump of grass-like leaves from which purple sunflower-like flowers bloom. The flowers’ stems can grow up to 8 inches tall and has a strong taproot.

For best results, cultivate this plant in full sun or partial shade in the summer. Ensure that it gets at least partial shade in the winter. 

purple gayfeather growing in clump of grass

4. Common Snowberry 

Common snowberry bushes flourish in drier areas despite growing near thickets and stream banks. In the spring, the shrub grows dense clusters of small, white, bell-shaped flowers. 

In the fall, clusters of white berries replace its flowers; these berries remain on the bush well into the winter.

Common snowberry thrives in full sun to medium shade. Although planting it in partial shade will not prevent the plant’s flowers from blossoming, full sunlight helps create more brilliant flowers.

growing white common snowberry in the garden

5. Buttonbush 

Buttonbush is a hardy native plant that thrives in a variety of soil conditions. It is often used to develop and rehabilitate wetlands, prevent erosion, and provide shelter for animals.

Plant buttonbush in full sun and give it plenty of water to achieve the most prolific blooms. 

white buttonbush plant in the backyard

6. False Indigo 

False indigo plants are low-maintenance perennials that grow gorgeous blue flowers in the spring. It can withstand drought and grows best in well-drained loamy, gravel, or sandy soil.

Although it can tolerate some shade, it grows best and has the biggest blooms when planted in direct sunlight. 

False indigo is an excellent addition to cottage and native plant gardens.

gorgeous purple flowers of false indigo plant

7. Northern Bush Honeysuckle 

Northern bush honeysuckle is a compact, mound-shaped plant with lush, dark green foliage. Its leaves transition in color from yellowish-orange, to crimson, to purple in the fall. 

Butterflies and other pollinating insects are attracted to its yellow flowers, which turn red as they mature. Songbirds are also drawn to the plant’s fruit pods, which grow from fall to winter.

This plant is perfect for massing, hedgerows, or shrub borders because it forms thickets over time.

perforated leaves with growing yellow flowers
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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