11 Shrubs

That Can Handle the Heat of Full Sun

Named for its ability to attract butterflies with its nectar, these bushes grow from 5 to 15 feet high and feature fragrant clusters of tiny blooms in a wide variety of colors.

(Buddleja spp)

California Lilac

As with the more common lilacs, this variety usually produces its sweet-scented clusters of blue or white blooms in spring.

(Ceanothus spp)


With 1 ½- to 2-inch blooms resembling oversized strawberry blossoms in white, pink, yellow, and orange shades, shrubby cinquefoil cultivars vary from 2 feet to more than 4 feet high.

(Potentilla fruticosa)

Flowering Quince

Among the first bushes to blaze into bloom in spring, sun-loving flowering quinces often are called fire bushes for their most common single orange or red 1½- to 2½ -inch flowers and ruddy-tinged new foliage.

(Chaenomeles spp)

Shrubs that gardeners either love or love to hate, lantanas have a fruity but somewhat peculiar scent, which purportedly contains notes of gasoline and tomcat. However, that odor only becomes obvious when the plant is bruised or broken.

(Lantana spp)


“Killer” shrubs that can bloom from late spring to autumn in USDA zones 8 through 11, oleanders grow from 3 to 20 feet high with 2- to 3-inch funnel-shaped flowers in white, yellow, pink, or red.

(Nerium spp)

Tropical hibiscus

With showy blooms 4 to 8 inches across in a wide variety of colors and in single, semi-double, and double forms, tropical hibiscus shrubs really shine in the sun.

(Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)


Varying from 3 to 10 feet high, these shrubs are deciduous and will shed their foliage—colorful or not—in autumn.

(Weigela spp)

These beloved shrubs usually need full sun in the North to “come up roses.” In the Southwest, however, where the sunlight can be especially intense, a little afternoon shade might prove beneficial.

(Rosa spp)