10 Sun-Loving Plants That Thrive in Summer

We've gathered a bountiful bouquet of flowering plants that can survive a full day in the sun and still serve up a slew of show-stopping blooms.

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  1. Sun Lovers


    From efficient root systems that find water deep in the soil to leaves designed to retain moisture, plants have developed many strategies for thriving in bright light. Even in the dog days of summer, these 10 varieties will stand up to full sun, channeling it into brilliant-colored blooms that light up the garden.


  2. Phlox


    An American native, tall phlox produces five-foot-high plants with blooms that range from pure white to red. Avoid phlox’s nemesis, mildew, by picking an heirloom variety such as ‘Mile High Pink.’


  3. Cosmos


    Named after the Greek word for "ordered universe," Cosmos is an easy-to-grow annual that comes in many shades; some varieties, such as 'Daydream,' have more than one color in a single plant. The species' native colors range from yellow to orange, but the plant is now available in an array of hues, including reds, pinks, and candy-striped.


  4. Lavender


    Known for its scent and rich color, lavender is a reliable full-sun herb that is actually part of the mint family. Lavender will grow easily as long as proper drainage is provided. ‘Dark Eyes’ brings a deeper shade to the typically bright purple flowers; a darker hue generally means a stronger scent.


  5. Echinacea

    Echinacea growingformarket.com

    A member of the daisy family, this flowering herb is known both for its upward-facing blossoms and its reputed ability to stimulate the immune system. Either way, you’ll respect the way these flowers stand up to the sun throughout the summer.


  6. Celosia spicata

    Celosia spicata goodnessgrows.com

    An annual with unusual wheat-like flowers that look great in dried arrangements, celosia also adds color and shape to your garden border. Try the ‘Flamingo’ series for their bright purple and pink hues.


  7. Salvia


    A hardy option that draws in hummingbirds and other pollinators, salvia will stand up to heat, drought, and even deer. Try ‘Furman’s Red,’ a long-blooming variety with fiery flowers.


  8. Daylily

    Daylily whiteflowerfarm.com

    There are over 50,000 varieties of this bloom-a-day species, and you can incorporate a dozen in your garden without tiring of the endless color combinations. Subject them up to nearly any condition and daylilies will still thrive and multiply, producing flowers for weeks on end. For a rich purple hue, plant ‘Jungle Beauty.’


  9. Sedum


    Drought-tolerant and adaptable to many conditions, sedum is a workhorse in the garden, perfect in containers, as a ground cover, or in borders. Just when the rest of your garden has finished flowering, sedum takes center stage, then finishes the season with some vibrant fall foliage. Try Proven Winners’ ‘Pure Joy’ for its pastel flowers.


  10. Agastache

    Agastache terranovanurseries.com

    The perfect plant for someone who wants flowers all summer, the perennial herb agastache tolerates drought and looks great when planted in groups or in containers. ‘Blue Boa’ boasts an electrifying violet hue atop bright green foliage.


  11. Cleome hassleriana

    Sun loving plant

    Also known as spider plant for its spindly petaled flower, cleome is a quick-growing annual that produces sweet-scented pink, purple, or white blossoms that attract birds and butterflies.


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