23 Best Full Sun Annual Flowers for Containers


by Jennifer Poindexter

Would you like to start a container garden around your home? Do you live in an area with plenty of warm temperatures and full sunlight?

You might want to consider planting heat-loving annuals around your home then. If you aren’t sure which plants fall into this category, no worries.

I’ve prepared a list of full sun annuals to grow in pots. This should give you a few ideas and provide inspiration for your latest floral and home décor creations.

Here are your options for full sun annuals to grow in your container garden:

1. Bush Daisy

Do you love daisies? They’re a traditional, bright flower that seems to add life wherever they grow. A bush daisy does the same. This flower produces yellow, traditional daisy blooms. 

However, this plant is more compact and fuller than regular daisies. It will grow to be a foot tall and almost two feet wide, making it a great selection for a container.

2. Marigolds

Marigolds are a great flower to keep around. Not only do their bright colors attract pollinators, but their scent keeps unwanted guests away.

If you’d like this beautiful and protective plant as part of your container garden be sure to provide full sun and well-draining soil. In return, these flowers should bloom from spring through summer and produce gorgeous yellow and orange flowers.

3. Celosia

Celosia is a unique option for your container garden. This plant starts with a base of bright green foliage. From there, cone-shaped wispy blooms form in the middle. Once you see these colorful blooms, you’ll understand why they’re frequently referred to as cockscomb.

If you need a splash of color, don’t overlook celosia. These flowers bloom in orange, pink, red, purple, and yellow. Be sure to provide them with well-draining soil as well as full sun.

4. Dwarf Sunflowers

Have you ever considered adding sunflowers to your container garden? Maybe it’s time. Regular sunflowers become too tall for containers.

However, dwarf varieties are a great option for both full sunlight and containers. Be sure to sow the seeds directly into the containers after all frost has passed. If these flowers are given full sunlight, warmth, and well-draining soil, they should bloom all summer.

5. Petunias

One of my favorite flowers is the petunia. The reason being is the flower comes in so many different colors. You can grow petunias that are pink, red, purple, white, and some that are striped in different colors, too. If you have a sunny location that desperately needs color, don’t overlook petunias. 

They come in bush and wavy varieties and should thrive in five or more hours of direct sunlight. The main things to remember are petunias need well-draining soil and should be watered consistently if grown in full sun.

6. Canna Lilies

If you’ve ever seen a canna lily planted in the ground, you may be thinking I’ve lost my mind on this option. Yes, when canna lilies are grown in the ground they can reach heights of eight feet.

However, when grown in containers, they typically remain much smaller. If you have a sunny location that could use a beautiful flower, canna lily could be for you. These flowers should be deadheaded and watered regularly to encourage more blooms.

7. Million Bells

Million bells are another option similar to petunias. They’re brightly colored and share the same trumpet shape.

However, million bells need a little more protection when grown in full sunlight. These flowers must be watered consistently and should be given slight shade during the hottest days to keep the plant blooming until fall.

8. South African Phlox

The South African phlox is probably my favorite flower on this list. These flowers are bushy and beautiful due to their different color varieties.

You can choose between varieties that have deep coloration while other varieties are more pastel. These flowers will grow to be around a foot tall and two feet wide, making them a great selection for a full sun container garden.

9. Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine

This is my mom’s favorite plant to grow each year. Therefore, I had to include it on this list. An ornamental sweet potato vine produces leaves similar to palm fronds.

You may utilize this plant in typical containers or hanging baskets as it’s a dense, mounding plant that grows to be about a foot tall and two feet wide. This plant is typically used to replace ferns as it thrives in both sun and shade. Plus, it can thrive with less water.

10. Lantana

Lantana is an easy to grow plant that’s great for a container garden. If you’re going to grow this plant, a container garden is one of the safest places.

The upside to growing lantana is it’s low-maintenance, attracts pollinators, and is both heat and drought tolerant. However, this plant is also invasive. Therefore, growing it in a container can allow you to enjoy the benefits without worrying so much about the plant spreading excessively.

11. Zinnia

Zinnias are a gorgeous, traditional flower that people have been incorporating into their gardens for generations. It’s no wonder since this plant produces large, colorful blooms.

If you’d like to incorporate it into your full sun container garden, be sure to sow the seeds directly into the planter. Don’t plant until after all frost is over. These flowers should thrive as long as they receive ample sunlight and well-draining soil.

12. Sedum

Sedum is a taller plant and should be grown in a larger container. Yet, this is an excellent choice for a container plant that’s placed in full sunlight.

These flowers grow in colorful clumps at the end of long stems. They’re low-maintenance and thrive in bright lighting. Sedum can be grown as a perennial but are annuals in planting zones five and lower.

13. Blanket Flower

Would you like to incorporate a traditional style flower into your container garden? The blanket flower could be for you. This plant produces daisy-like blooms and will bloom from early summer through the first frost.

However, be sure you provide a large enough container for this plant as it can reach heights between one and three feet. The blanket flower is drought tolerant, so it can handle dry conditions periodically. Depending upon your planting zone, you may grow blanket flowers as either an annual or perennial.

14. Summer Snapdragon

Snapdragons are fun flowers with their bright colors and vertical blooms. You may grow summer snapdragons in large containers as these flowers reach heights between three and four feet.

They bloom in white, blue, and pink. Plus, there’s no deadheading with these flowers. As you can tell summer snapdragons are low-maintenance, colorful, and can work as the centerpiece of your container or serve as a taller variety in a mixture of flowers.

15. Lavender

Lavender is frequently considered a perennial. However, you may grow it in a container as an annual as well. This is a great way to keep the plant under control.

When growing lavender, be sure to provide it with a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day. It should also be watered deeply but allowed to dry out completely between watering sessions.

16. Salvia

Salvia is another personal favorite of mine. These flowers are brightly colored and wonderful for drawing pollinators to your area. If you’re in need of bright flowers to liven up your landscape, salvia can help. 

They begin with lush, green foliage. From there, cheerful vertical blooms develop. These plants grow to be between two and four feet tall. Therefore, they’ll need large containers but should certainly steal the show in your container garden.

17. Morning Glory

Morning glories are a favorite option many people choose for their container gardens and window boxes. These flowers produce trumpet-shaped blooms in blue, pink, white, and purple.

To achieve these beautiful blooms ensure you’re providing the right growing conditions. Morning glories grow best in well-draining soil that’s evenly damp. They also require full sunlight as this is the only way the blooms will fully open.

18. Firecracker Plant

The firecracker plant requires a larger container as it can become as tall as two feet. However, if you supply the plant room to grow, it should provide ample beauty to your container garden.

This plant is hard to miss with its rich foliage and bright red blooms. Due to the rich colors, this is a great plant for attracting pollinators. Firecracker plants thrive in both heat and humidity. Plus, they can thrive in periods of drought and excess rain.

19. Portulaca

Portulaca is a low-growing plant which produces sweet, colorful blooms. This plant is wonderful for use in a rock garden or as ground cover. It thrives when receiving eight or more hours of sunlight. 

This flower makes a wonderful option for containers as it flows over the edges of the planter. Plus, containers tend to dry out faster than in ground garden plots which is great for this plant. You should only water portulaca when the soil is completely dry.

20. Coleus

Coleus can serve as a stand-alone plant in a container, or it can be used as a bushy element of a flower arrangement. Either way, it makes a wonderful plant for a full sun container garden.

When growing coleus, you can expect the foliage to range in color from gold to deep red. The plant will become fuller as it matures and reach heights between one and three feet. Coleus is a flexible plant and can handle sun or shade.

21. Texas Primrose

Texas primrose is a low-maintenance flower that provides ample beauty. It’s known for having rich green foliage with colorful, cup-shaped blooms. This plant is also known for being drought tolerant and enjoying the sun. 

When growing plants in containers, they frequently dry out faster than those planted in the ground. This plant can handle a little neglect if you forget to water it right on time. Therefore, if you need a colorful flower that’s forgiving, this could be your plant.

22. Verbena

Verbena is another flower which blooms in large groups and produces vast amounts of color. You have lots of options with verbena as there are multiple varieties which range in height.

The main thing with verbena is that this plant needs consistently damp soil that’s also loose and well-draining. In return, they’re wonderful for drawing pollinators to your yard.

23. Caladium

Our final option for an annual that enjoys full sunlight and grows well in containers is caladium. Don’t get this variety confused with coleus. Though these plants look similar, caladium has less range of color. 

However, it produces similar bushy foliage. Caladium is great at tolerating heat and can be the center stage of your container or as a filler plant. If you want caladium to thrive, be sure to provide it with well-draining soil and consistent moisture.

You now have over twenty different options for annual flowers that can handle heat and be grown in a container.

This may seem like a tall order, but you should now see you have options for these circumstances. Now, pick out the flowers you love and start planning how they can be used to beautify your home.

More About Full Sun Annuals

https://web.extension.illinois.edu/beyond/directory_annuals_dry_sun.cfm

https://ag.umass.edu/home-lawn-garden/fact-sheets/annuals-for-sun

The post 23 Best Full Sun Annual Flowers for Containers appeared first on Gardening Channel.

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