21 Crops That Like Warmth And Full Solar For Summer season Gardens

You don’t have to live in a desert to have a tricky, hot spot in the garden. Areas where the sun blazes down most of the day and summers are piping hot can make choosing the right plant difficult. The best plants for full sun and heat are often native varieties that have adapted to the region’s average weather patterns. But exotics and others may still fit the bill for a tough sunny, hot area.

Challenges for Full Sun Plants in Hot Zones

Plants need sun. After all, it is the key element in photosynthesis wherein plants convert the sun’s rays to carbohydrates. They need those carbohydrates to fuel growth, flower, and produce fruit. However, the punishing heat in some full-sun locations can be too much for certain plants.

Only desert plants and those native to such intense light and heat can withstand a hot, overly bright location. Plants that have trouble with such situations become dried out and their leaves burn. Selecting plants that like full sun and heat situations ensures the success of your flora. Here is a selection of full sun, heat-tolerant plants that will thrive in your scorching climate zone.

Fabulous Full Sun, Heat-Tolerant Plants

There are both annual and perennial plants that enjoy full sun and heat. Make sure the plants you select for your planting area have the same water needs for ease of care.


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  1. Snapdragon: Always a classic in the garden and it self-sows so you will have a stand of these cute flowers every year.
  2. Lantana: Almost cartoonish flowers in bright hues and drought tolerant.
  3. Portulaca: Brightly colored flowers and delicate foliage.
  4. Zinnia: Native to Mexico and easy to grow from seed, the flowers are bright and varied.
  5. Dwarf Morning Glory: The plant produces a compact little bush covered in starry blue flowers.


flowering allium white giant in bloom

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  1. Catmint: Some herbs are perfect for hot sunny locations. Catmint produces lavender blooms.
  2. Licorice Mint: The leaves are indeed licorice scented and the bush produces coral flower spikes.
  3. Allium: These bulbs come in a host of sizes from fist-sized flowers to little teardrop shaped blooms.
  4. Spirea: There are many cultivars available with varied foliage, flower color, and size.
  5. Pink Coral Rockrose: Masses of pastel pink flowers on a medium-sized bush.


White clusters of St. Catherine's Lace flowers

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  1. Pigeon Point Coyote Bush: A perennial as well as an evergreen, this groundcover grows quickly.
  2. Orange Sedge: An ornamental grass that produces slender coppery leaves.
  3. St. Catherine’s Lace: Oval, silvery leaves on a medium-sized bush with creamy lace-like flowers in spring.
  4. Grevillea: Dense, needle-like foliage and a compact growth habit.


mandevilla rock trumpet flowers in bloom

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  1. Mandevilla: Not frost-hardy but a fast-growing vine with brilliantly colored flowers.
  2. Bougainvillea: The hot pink bracts are often mistaken as flowers.

Native Plants for Full Sun and Heat

Yellow yarrow flowers

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Few plants are as tolerant of hot, sunny conditions as those that are born to it. Native plants simply have an advantage compared to imported plants. They have already been adapted to the local conditions and require far less water and attention than non-native species.

  1. Yarrow: A perennial native with fern-like leaves and clustered flower heads in hues of gold, coral, red, white, and more.
  2. Monarda: Bee balm, a pollinator attractant with lovely flowers and pretty, pointed leaves.
  3. Northern Blue Flag: A classic iris with strappy leaves and lavender flowers with yellow beards.
  4. Joe Pye Weed: This perennial towers over other plants and sports huge purple clusters of blooms.
  5. Butterfly Milkweed: Tolerant of hot, dry locations, this plant is also an important host plant for butterflies.

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