15 Hanging Plants for Full Sun

Avoid crowded tabletops with hanging plants. Want to know our top recommendations for full sun hanging plants?

Do you have a spot in your backyard or on your patio you’re looking to decorate with a hanging plant? Or maybe even a window indoors that has too much light for many houseplants? If so, this list of hanging plants will be helpful! All of the following plants thrive in full sun locations and work well indoors or outside.

Benefits of Hanging Plants that Require Full Sun

Areas of your yard or garden that are baked with more than eight hours of bright sunlight every day can often be a little too harsh for many plants. Thankfully, though, many hanging plants thrive in the sunlight. They also offer other benefits besides bringing color to the space.

  • Hanging baskets are easy to change from year to year, giving you variety and allowing you to try new plants.
  • Vining plants are great for creating shade or privacy screens on your deck or patio. 
  • Plants are easy to relocate into different spots when they need a break from the heat.
  • You can grow plants that aren’t suitable for your climate and bring them inside to overwinter.

Special Considerations For Hanging Plants Grown in Full Sun

  • Hanging baskets dry out quicker than in-ground plants, so they need water more frequently.
  • With a limited amount of soil to hold nutrients, you need to fertilize the plants more often.
  • The potting soil in containers gets warmer than raised beds or the ground, so you need to be mindful of using planters that can absorb heat and create a microclimate that damages the roots.
  • When the sunlight is the most intense during the late afternoon, it can scorch plants, even if they thrive in full sun.

Hanging Plants That Thrive in Full Sun

All of the following plants on this list grow well as annuals. To keep everything easy to understand, the USDA hardiness zone information listed is for growing the plant as a perennial to keep everything easy to understand. In cooler climates, you can bring plants indoors, nurse them through the winter, or discard them and replant them the following spring.

1. Lantana (Lantana camara)

USDA Zones: 7 to 11

A member of the verbena family, cheerful flower clusters on lantana plants bloom nonstop from spring to fall in Northern climates and nearly year-round in water climates. Flowers come in a rainbow of multiple hues or single colors, depending upon the species. Plants are considered invasive in areas, so growing them in containers keeps them from spreading and taking over.

A pink lantana flowering plant hanging

2. Petunias (Petunia × hybrida)

USDA Zones: 9 to 11

Petunias are a classic plant for adding color to hanging baskets, especially if wave petunias are used to cascade over the sides. Some may feel they are over-rated, but the truth is they are great if you want colorful plants for full sun. A bonus is they are available in almost every color and various flower sizes. 

3. String of Pearls (​​Senecio rowleyanus)

USDA Zones: 9 to 12

String of Pearls plants grow quickly and do well both indoors and outside in containers or hanging baskets. Tiny pea-shaped leaves grow on long trailing stems that spill over the sides of their container. Plants can put on 12-15” of growth every year and propagate easily via stem cuttings. They may produce small white flowers that smell like cinnamon when grown outdoors.

Green variegated strings hanging plant

4. Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.)

USDA Zones: 9 to 11

Typically grown as beautiful climbing vines, dwarf bougainvilleas are great options for hanging baskets as it contains them into a space. These popular evergreen vines usually come in purple or red blooms, but new cultivars are becoming available in white, yellow, orange, and apricot. The tough-as-nails bougainvillea puts on a spectacular color show.

hanging pots colorful bougainvillea

5. Portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora)

USDA Zones: N/A

Portulaca is a small succulent that is consistently grown as an annual plant. These fast-growing plants have long branched stems that grow upright or will drape over the sides of hanging baskets. Flowers in bright reds, pinks, yellows, or white don’t open when it’s rainy or cloudy and close from sunset to sunrise.

rose portulaca growing abundantly on a garden

6. Air Plant (Tillandsia spp.)

USDA Zones: 9 to 11

Many people don’t think air plants are good options for hanging baskets, but certain varieties work really well. Species with thicker, full leaves can tolerate full sun because they hold moisture better. A stylish air plant is easy to care for and makes a lovely display when grown in wire or macrame hangers.

hanging capitata silver rose white wall

7. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

USDA Zones: 9 to 11

Spider plants are most commonly grown indoors as houseplants, but they make beautiful hanging plants outside in warmer areas. They love the full sun and are easy to grow. Their minimalist foliage is either bright green or variegated with green and white stripes. It gets its common name from the spiderette “babies” that hang down from long stems. 

Hanging spider plant, red strings

8. Madagascar Jasmine (Stephanotis floribunda)

USDA Zones: 10 to 11

The Madagascar jasmine produces delicate white flowers in the spring, summer, and fall, adding an intoxicating fragrance to your indoor or outdoor space. This beautiful hanging plant is often called a waxflower or bridal wreath. As a woody evergreen vine, it can be trained to grow up a trellis or drape from a basket.

Aa blooming white madagascar jasmine

9. Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)

USDA Zones: 9 to 11

Burro’s tail is a succulent perennial, sometimes known as a “donkey tail” plant, with trailing stems growing up to two feet long. Their fleshy, thick leaves allow them to retain moisture for long stretches, so they are incredibly drought-tolerant. Foliage in shades of blue-green gives way to pink or red flowers in the summer.

A burros tail plant succulent hanging on a white pot

10. Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’)

USDA Zones: 7 to 11

With stunning foliage in bright purple and clusters of tiny pink flowers on trailing stems, purple heard plants look fantastic when added to baskets with plants in neutral color schemes. They love to be in hanging planters where they can get full sun and grow full and bushy when you pinch the plant’s stems back. 

Purple heart plant blooming under the sun

11. Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

USDA Zones: 

Sweet alyssum is commonly used as edging plants or “filler” plants in containers. Their dainty white, cream, pink, or purple blossoms have made them a long-time favorite with gardeners. Blooms have a light honey-scented fragrance and draw all kinds of pollinators to your yard. This older variety blooms abundantly in spring and fall, taking a break during the heat of summer.  

A beautiful bush of mauve white flowers in a garden

12. Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)

USDA Zones: 8 to 11

While the sweet potato vine doesn’t produce edible tubers like its cousin, it is often grown as an ornamental plant because of its vining habit and attractive leaves. Its foliage comes in a range of colors (blue, green, purple, and burgundy) and forms, making the plant a classic in containers and baskets. Plants love lots of sun and heat.

A black heart sweet potato vine abundantly growing in the ground

13. Sun Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides)

USDA Zones: 10 to 11

Another immensely popular container plant, the sun coleus, comes in a wide range of leaf shapes, colors, and sizes. Plants are easy to grow, and their stunning foliage always looks great. The gorgeous velvety leaves are usually multi-hued in combinations of burgundy, bright red, pink, yellows, green, brown, and bronze, with contrasting colors on the leaf margin and midrib.

A miana ornamental plant healthily growing in the garden

14. Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata)

USDA Zones: 10 to 11

Unlike the traditional black-eyed Susan that creates clumps of upright stems, the black-eyed Susan vine is a climbing or vining plant known to grow eight feet in length. It blooms nonstop through the growing season. Flowers almost look daisy-like at a distance—commonly in shades of white, yellow, red, or orange—and have the iconic brownish-purple center disk.

Flowers and bines of a yellow blackeyed susan

15. Mandevilla (Mandevilla spp.)

USDA Zones: 9 to 11

Also known as the rocktrumpet, mandevilla is a classic tropical vine with big, showy blooms in shades of pink, red, white, and apricot. These low-maintenance plants thrive in containers, adding a splash of vibrant, tropical color to any vertical garden space. It’s commonly grown as an annual but is a frost-tender perennial plant blooming from late spring until the fall frost.

A picture of pink flowering vines blooming under the sun
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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