Full Sun Flowers: 12 Best Annual Bloomers For Summer Color!

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Flowers… we want colorful flowers in the shade and full sun flowers as well.  Some plants like lantana can handle the sun, others can’t.

When the summer heat cranks up and humidity thickens, it places extra stress on plants and even us as we reach for a glass of lemon aid! Mulch provides one way for plants to get some heat relief so you don’t face constant watering.

You’ll find plants for all occasions. We’ve put together a list of 12 annual full sun flowers and plants that handle humidity and heat with no problem. One note… some plants may not fit your growing zone!

Amaranth

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There are several varieties of amaranth; some grown for their leaves, some as food, while others as a grain. It is a common annual flower in most gardens around the world, but most gardeners grow them for their colorful foliage and attractive blooms.

The most common Amaranthus caudatus (known as Love-lies-bleeding) with long, mauve-pink flowers, and Amaranthus tricolor (known as Joseph’s Coat) with yellow and splashy red leaves.

They grow well from seed and can achieve a height of 8 feet. Amaranth plants can grow in almost any growing conditions. This perennial and does well in Zones 10-11 and a favorite plant for hummingbirds and butterflies.

Celosia

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The flowers of celosia and amaranth seem similar since they come from the same family. The name Celosia comes from the Greek word for “burned” because their flower heads look like burning flames. Their colors… incredibly stunning

Celosia plants come in many varieties, with new hybrids introduced every year. The blooms remain attractive for weeks and most varieties make amazing cut and dried flowers. These semi-tropical perennial plants often grown as annuals do well in zones 9-12. Most of the Celosia varieties attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Cleome

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The cleome plant (spider flower) finds itself ignored in the garden due to its nondescript and weedy appearance. However, once established, cleome develops on a dazzling summer flower that dies off in fall.

The spider-like flower heads of the Cleome plant when planted in groups, resemble a flowering shrub. The scented flowers does not stop the butterflies and hummingbirds from flocking to the cleome flowers all summer. The plant does well in zone 10.

Cosmos

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Cosmos bipinnatus or the cosmos flowers are very easy to grow. The flowers have rich shades of purple, red, pink, and orange and some even white. The plants are sturdy and grow well with other flowers. Different varieties can achieve a height of 1-4 feet.

Grown as annuals, these perennial heat lovers, do well in Zones 9-11. The bright red flower Cosmos attract hummingbirds which the they will “camp” on.

Nierembergia

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The Nierembergia plant belongs to the nightshade family, displaying charming, delicate, cup shaped flower, which earned them their popular name “Cupflower”. When looking to to add the plant to your garden ask for Nierembergia as many go by the name cupflowers.

They make great edging plants and are perfect for growing in containers. This hardy perennial thrives in Zones 7-10, and grown as an annual. They fascinate and attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Cypress Vine

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Ipomoea quamoclit the Cypress Vine, an ornamental climber producing tubular, ferny leaves and star-shaped, red flowers. They grow quickly to reach a height of 10-15 feet. When planting, give them a trellis or something similar to climb on. They’ll grab hold of the nearby plants if not supported.

A hardy perennial, the Cypress Vine thrives well in Zones 7-11 and can be grown over-winter. The plant is also called the Hummingbird Flower.

Lantana

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For those in hotter climates, lantana (Lantana camara) makes a wonderful shrub. In colder climates, grow the plant in a container shrub or as a small tree. Lantana flowers all summer with bi-colored or tai-colored varieties available in amazing sherbet shades.

However, keep in mind that this plant is poisonous and can cause skin irritation. Grown as a perennial or annual plant and thrives well in Zones 8-11 and loved loved by hummingbirds and butterflies.

Marigolds

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Marigolds require a little more care than other flowers and thrive in full sun and slightly dry soil. When planted in damp soil, watch out for attack by mildew.

Great as companion plants, they attract butterflies and repel pests such as bean beetle, asparagus beetles and nematodes. Perennial in the warmer climates and do well in Zones 9-11 and grown as annuals in other climates.

Chile Peppers

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They are grown as ornamental peppers and not technically grown for their flowers. Ornamental Chile peppers are edible and are extremely hot. They are also very small.

Just like normal peppers we grow in the vegetable garden, Chile peppers go through different colors as they mature and ripen. The tri-colored variety have multiple colors at any given time.

Chile peppers thrive well in Zones 9-12 and are grown as tropical perennials or annuals depending on the climate.

Tithonia

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Tithonia, commonly known as Mexican sunflower doesn’t follow the sun like other sunflowers but it’s definitely a sun lover. In hot, sunny climates, this plant can reach up to 5-8 feet of height. It requires some support if planted in windy areas.

It is a perennial plant and grow well in Zones 8-10. However, majority of the gardeners grow them as annuals. They are known to attract bees and hummingbirds.

Verbena

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Most of the species of verbena start blooming early in the summer and continue until frost. Most grow to a height of 3 feet. They need moist soil when getting established, but once established, they prefer drier conditions.

The will grow well in Zones 6-10.

Zinnias

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Zinnias flowers are native to Central America and Mexico. They love heat and bloom easily. Traditional varieties of Zinnias are prone to powdery mildew when grown in humid weather and damp soil. The powdery mildew will not stop them from flowering, but it makes their foliage unattractive. However, the hybrids variety is not attacked by powdery mildew.

They can be grown in Zones 2-11.

Summary

For your flower garden to look lovely and attractive, try inter-planting most of these annual flowers with perennial flowers. You can experiment each season until you find an ideal combination that suits you, your climate, and your garden.

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