5 plants that love full sun: add these to your planting scheme

These sun-loving plants will thrive in the sunniest spots in your garden. Which ones will you choose to plant in your space this year?

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lucky enough to have a garden that enjoys lots of sunshine during the summer months? You'll want to make sure you include plenty of plants that will thrive in full sun when the weather is at its hottest. 

Whether you're after sun-loving container plants or some perfect picks for your flowerbeds, we've got five brilliant options for you to try in your space this year. Not only will these plants love soaking up the rays, they'll also reward you with an amazing display of colour and some much-needed pollen for our insects. It's a winning combination. 

Keep scrolling to choose your favourite, then head over to our guide to garden borders for more inspiring ideas for your garden transformation. 


Achillea millefolium, ‘Colorado’

(Image credit: Chiltern Seeds)

Achillea or yarrow as it’s often called, is an oh-so-pretty plant that adores the sun. This Colorado variety ranges from deep pinks to pale pinks, apricots, yellows and clementine. 

It’s ideal for cutting too as it looks great in a vase, or you can hang them upside down to dry. 

Start them off indoors, and once the seedlings are a good size you can plant them out when the weather warms up. They are low maintenance and will start to bloom in May and will be consistent through to the first frosts around the beginning of October. 

2. Iris

Bearded Iris ‘Breeder’s Mix’

Bearded Iris 'Breeder's Mix' from Thompson & Morgan

(Image credit: Thompson & Morgan)

Fancy a bit of glamour in your garden this summer? Check out the bearded iris – it’s not the standard iris that we know and love, this one has stunning petals that mimic ruffles. 

Available in a variety of different colours, from lilac to sunshine yellow and rust and coral. They come as bulbs, so make sure you plant them in a sunny spot in well drained soil. 

If your soil is at the clay end of the scale, then adjust it with grit and well rotted manure prior to planting. Your irises will bloom throughout May and June in all of their incredible colours.


Verbascum seeds - Snowy Spires

(Image credit: Dobies)

If you love classic cottage garden ideas, then consider this striking perennial that loves full sun. It’s visually similar to delphinium with its tall stems and pretty petals and this variety is a true bee magnet, which is something we need more of in our gardens right now. 

You can sow these indoors in a propagator, then once the seedlings are large enough pop them in individual containers to grow on. After the last frost you can plant them, or you can sow during July and August and plant them out in October for the following year. 


Acroclinium, double giant flowered mixed

(Image credit: Chiltern Seeds)

This hardy little annual will light up your summer bedding during July and August and loves a well-drained soil in full sun. 

It's not picky about soil types or acidity, which gives it a versatility compared to most varieties. From February to March you can sow indoors or undercover, but from April to May you can direct sow, which is always handy. They will start to bloom from July and will last until the beginning of September. 

5. Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia, English Lavender

Lavender 'Munstead' from Thompson & Morgan

(Image credit: Thompson & Morgan)

Another one of our top bee friendly plants, lavender will withstand full sun where others would wilt and die. It’s hardy yet gives off the heady scent we all know and love so well. 

Quintessentially English, this neat and compact variety has dark purple-blue flowers that will look striking in a kitchen garden and it will flower for you throughout July and August. During September you can cut some stems for drying so you can enjoy them through the winter months. 

Find our how to plant a lavender hedge in our guide. 

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Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years. She recently trained to be a florist and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for weddings and events.