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Full Sun Plants & Flowers For Container Gardens

Container gardens and planters can bring vibrancy and color to any area of your yard or garden. A well-designed planter can include almost any combination of plants, often blending delicate and bold varieties of foliage and blooms. Planting in containers is an excellent way to showcase your style with plants, pairing different colors, heights, and textures artistically.

The key is to ensure that all of the plants in your container have similar light requirements for the area that you’ll be displaying them. Creating vibrant and beautiful potted displays for your full-sun garden requires that you know what plants grow best in direct sunlight.

Check out our robust list of full sun plants and flowers for container gardens so that you can create a sun-loving masterpiece.

Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on top of Lantana Flowers

Million Bells (Calibrachoa)

Nothing beats the abundant, small, bell-shaped blooms that fill out a calibrachoa plant. This sun-adoring garden gem produces a billowing skirt of colorful flowers that overflows over the sides of containers.

Try some of these breathtaking varieties:

  • ‘Million Bells Terra Cotta’
  • ‘Superbells Tangerine Punch’
  • ‘Can-Can Bumblebee’
  • ‘Candy Bouquet’

Lantana

A high-temperature performer from spring through fall, lantana produces endless vibrant clusters of blooms that fill out and spill out from container edges. These plants are deer resistant and attract beneficial pollinators like hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies to the garden.

Alyssum

Add an enchanting touch to your container plantings with mounds of delicate alyssum blooms. They have a sweet fragrance and pair well with other plantings without competing with them. They attract beneficial pollinators and soften up potted plant pairings.

  • ‘Carpet of Snow’
  • ‘Royal Carpet’
Gorgeous greenhouse in a garden of zinnias

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

If you are looking for full sun plants and flowers for container gardens, gaillardia can put on quite a firework display of color. Gaillardia is an upright, perpetual perennial bloomer that craves sunlight and heat. Featuring starburst flowers of cheerful yellows, bright reds, and vibrant oranges, these plants exude happiness and excitement in any planter.

Zinnias

Are you looking for bright and bold flowers for your planting container? Zinnias are easy to grow from seed and bloom in a myriad of colors. This happy flower thrives in full sun conditions and loves the heat. Choose from tall or compact plants depending on what look you are trying to achieve in your potted arrangements.

Some of our favorite perpetual bloomers for full sun container gardens include:

  • ‘Pinwheel Mix’
  • ‘Andes Jewel’
  • ‘Jazzy Mix’
  • ‘Old Mexico’

African Daisy (Osteospermum)

A showstopper from spring through the fall, this garden treasure produces prolific daisy-like blooms with colored centers.  Osteospermum plants are excellent additions to mixed planters, among perennials and other sun-loving annuals.

Pink Celosia garden at Sunset

Celosia

Add height and drama to your full sun container garden with the addition of celosia. Celosia plants bring textural variation, height, and intrigue on their own or when paired with other full sun-yearning plants. Their foliage is as much of a standout as well their fantastical blooms.

  • ‘Arabonna Red’
  • ‘Lizzard Leaf’
  • ‘Gypsy Queen’

3 Types of Celosia Flowers for Full Sun

There are many different types of celosia flowers and all are uniquely beautiful. Here are 3 different celosia plants that will make a great addition to your full sun container garden:

  • Celosia Argentea, commonly known as silver’s cockscomb or plumed cockscomb, is a herbaceous plant that features bright flowers and is commonly found in tropical areas. The beautiful blooms of a celosia Argentina last for 8 to 10 weeks from mid-spring to summer. The leaves and flowers are edible and can be used in a variety of dishes.
  • Celosia Spicata, also known as wheat celosia, is known for its distinctive flower spikes that resemble wheat sheaves. These flowers add texture to any garden are come in an array of colors such as red, purple, and pink. This variety can grow from 2 to 3 feet tall with flowers that are several inches long.
  • Celosia Cristata, commonly known as the crested cockscomb flower, has spectacular red, pink, orange, and yellow blooms that feel velvety to the touch. These showstopping plants will bloom for up to 8 weeks if cared for properly. They can reach 1 foot tall, are disease resistant, and quite hardy.

Portulaca

Portulaca is a quintessential planting for containers. This full sun plant boasts intricate blooms of pink, red and yellow.  Plants have a wide-spreading habit that cascades beautifully from containers and produces all summer long.

Ornamental Peppers

Ornamental pepper plants make fantastic additions to container gardens as full sun plants. You can pair them up with other stunning flowering plants that love full sun and enjoy hot weather on this list.

Succulents

Combine different varieties of succulent plants in containers, creating a wonderland of textures. Full sun conditions bring out the color potential in succulents and increase the likelihood of bloom production. Be sure that they are planted in well-draining, sandy soil and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Succulents come in a wide array of varieties such as:

ornamental grasses garden outside fence.

Petunias

Attract the attention of your friends as well as beneficial pollinators by planting and growing petunias in your full sun containers. These high producers of blooms come in a seemingly endless array of color combinations and variegations and bloom all summer long. Petunias make fabulous full sun plants & flowers for containers.

  • ‘Cascadia Rim Magenta’
  • ‘Shock Wave Coral Crush’
  • ‘Supercascade Blue or White’

Vinca

Plug some vinca vine in your planters for an elegant cascade of variegated trailing foliage. Vinca vine is a hardy plant that adds immense texture and height variation with its trailing habit and looks simply magical in planters, containers, and window boxes.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses are drought-tolerant plants that add height, great textural variety, and visual interest to mixed container plantings.

Try some of these fun varieties as centerpieces in your full sun plants & flowers for containers:

  • ‘Purple Fountain Grass’
  • ‘Cotton Candy’
  • ‘Japanese Forest Grass’
  • ‘New Zealand Flax’

Geraniums

Geranium plants put on quite a show in full sun containers. They produce showy foliage with elegant and vibrant blooms that come in a variety of colors. Plant stems branch out over the edges of containers and through other plant stems, mysteriously peeking out behind neighboring plants. Geraniums are vigorous plants that crave the heat and full sun conditions and will bloom for you throughout the growing season.

Angelonia

Angelonia is a gorgeous profuse bloomer that provides height with its upright habit and flowering spikes that burst with color. Angelonia soaks in the energy from the sun to offer towering spires of elegant flowers all summer long.

  • ‘Archangel Blue Bicolor’
  • ‘Archangel Cherry’

Share The Garden Love


close up of pink zinnias in garden.
Field of purple celosias

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