What Annual Flowers Grow Well in Full Sun


Sun-loving annuals are suitable for gardens, planters and hanging baskets. Many annual flower varieties thrive with full sun as long as the plant receives enough water to keep the plant soil moist. Typically, a flowering plant that grows very well in full sun needs at least 6 hours of sun a day to grow and flower.

Moist Soil Annuals

  • Annuals that thrive in full sun and moist soil include caladium, monkey flower and forget-me-not. Monkey flowers have trumpet-shaped flowers that are purplish-blue in color. Plants grow 1 to 3 feet tall with 1-inch-long flowers. Caladium is a foliage plant with heart-shaped leaves ranging in size from 6 inches to 2 feet long.

Reseeding Annuals

  • Sun-loving annuals that have a tendency to reseed include impatiens, morning glories, petunias and moss rose. Morning glories need full sun to open each morning as the sun rises. Morning glories have purple, white, blue or pink flowers that close about noon each day. Morning glory vines will grow to 6 feet tall if left to grow and wrap around a trellis or porch railing. Petunias are sun-loving plants with trumpet-shaped flowers in a variety of colors. Plants will grow 6 to 18 inches tall with a spread of 12 to 14 inches. These plants drop seeds after the growing season. Seeds will sit in the soil until spring, germinate and start new plants.

Fragrant Annuals

  • Sun-loving fragrant annuals include sweet peas, alyssum and moonflower. Moonflowers add color to the landscape when the flowers bloom at night and remain open until morning. The fragrant annuals need full sun during the day in order to bloom at night as the sun sets. Moonflowers can grow 15 feet tall. The snowy-white flowers of the sweet alyssum bloom throughout the growing season. Sweet alyssum grows 8 to 12 inches tall.

Dry Tolerant Annuals

  • Annuals for dry locations that do well with full sun include cosmos, African daisy, zinnia and spider flower. Cosmos continuously bloom throughout the summer and fall until the first frost. The hardy cosmos grow to 40 inches tall with a spread of 1 to 2 feet. Zinnia is an annual with pink, orange and white flowers that grows well in dry conditions when planted in full sun.

Heat Tolerant Annuals

  • Heat tolerant annuals that grow very well in sun include dahlias, starflower, sunflowers, fan flower and blue daze. Sunflowers are tolerant of heat and grow to heights of 6 feet in the garden. The large sunflowers produce seeds that are ready to harvest in early to late fall. Blue daze is an annual shrub plant that has blue trumpet-shaped flowers similar to morning glory flowers.

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