Plants For Sunny Spots: Choosing Heat Loving Plants For Full Sun

Pink Flowers
full sun heat
(Image credit: josephmok)

If you live in a hot climate, it’s important to choose plants that love the heat. Otherwise, the plants will suffer and decline. Fortunately, there are plenty of plants to choose from, whether the climate is hot and dry or hot and humid. It is advantageous to choose waterwise plants for those furthest from the house, as they usually get the least amount of irrigation. Let’s learn more about choosing heat-loving plants for full sun.

Plants for Sunny Spots

If you have lots of open spaces, choose plants that need full sun. Be sure to read the plant label on the tag. Some full sun plants also will designate “drought tolerant when established.” That means to water regularly the first season, so the plant has time to get established. Most full sun plants will perform well in a part sun situation as well.

The following plants are sun lovers and can stand up to high heat: 

Trees and Shrubs

Perennials and Grasses

  • Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii): Autumn sage is an evergreen to semi-evergreen perennial that blooms from spring to fall in pink, orange, purple, red, or white
  • Cape Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)
  • Cigar Plant (Cuphea 'David Verity')
  • Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformis dwarf form) Non-stop coral, tubular flowers on cascading stems, zones 9 to 11
  • Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
  • Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)
  • Pentas (Pentas lanceolata)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

If you live in a zone north of these “hot” zones, you can still enjoy these plants as annuals.

Susan Albert

After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in English, Susan pursued a career in communications. In addition, she wrote garden articles for magazines and authored a newspaper gardening column for many years. She contributed South-Central regional gardening columns for four years to While living in Oklahoma, she served as a master gardener for 17 years.