Full Sun Plants & Flowers for Container Gardens

Planters and container gardens can add color and vibrancy to any garden or yard. Planters can be designed to include any variety of plants and often blend delicate and strong varieties of flowers and foliage. It is important to ensure that your container plants are placed somewhere that meets their light requirements. Knowing which plants thrive in direct sunlight is important before creating beautiful and vibrant potted displays for your full-sun garden. You can find a wide range of sun-loving plants in this extensive list.

Million Bells (Calibrachoa)

The abundance of small bell-shaped flowers that fill a calibrachoa plant is unbeatable. This sun-loving garden gem produces a billowing skirt full of colorful flowers that spill over containers.

Some of the Most Beautiful Varieties:

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


Lantana is a high-temperature performer that blooms from spring to fall. It produces vibrant clusters of flowers that spill out from the container edges. These plants are resistant to deer and attract beneficial pollinators, like hummingbirds and bees, to the garden.


Mounds of these delicate flowers can add a magical touch to any container garden. Alyssum blooms are sweet-smelling and can be paired with other plants without being overwhelming. They attract beneficial pollinators and can soften potted plant pairings.

Popular Alyssum  Varieties

  • ‘Carpet of Snow’
  • ‘Royal Carpet’

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

The blanket flower is a perennial, upright bloomer that loves heat and sunlight. These plants are full of happiness and excitement, with starburst blooms that include bright yellows, vibrant reds, and bold oranges.


Are you searching for bold and bright flowers to plant in your container? Look no further than zinnias! They are easy to grow from seeds and can be blended in many colors. This cheerful flower loves heat and thrives in full sunlight. You can choose from compact or tall plants, depending on the look you want for your potted arrangements.

Fan Favorite Zinnia Varieties:

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

African Daisy (Osteospermum)

This garden gem is a show-stopper from spring to fall, producing daisy-like flowers with colored centers.


Celosia can add height, texture, and drama to your full-sun container garden. Their stunning blooms are as striking as their foliage.

Popular Celosia Varieties:

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

Three Types of Celosia Flowers to Get Full Sun

There are many types of celosia flowers. These three primary types of celosia flowers can make great additions to full-sun container gardens.

  • The ‘Celosia Argentea’ is a herbaceous, brightly colored, tropical plant. It is also known as silver’s cockscomb (or plumed cockscomb). Celosia Argentina’s beautiful flowers last for eight to ten weeks between mid-spring and summer. Its flowers and leaves can also be used in many culinary dishes.
  • The ‘Celosia Spicata’ is known for its distinctive flower spikes that resemble wheat sheaves. These flowers add texture and color to your garden and come in various colors, including red, purple, pink, and white. These flowers can grow to 2 to 3 feet high.
  • The ‘Celosia Cristata,’ also known as the crested-cockscomb flower, has stunning, soft red, pink, and orange blooms. If properly cared for, these plants can bloom for as long as eight weeks are very hardy, and reach a height of one foot.



Portulaca is a quintessential plant for container gardens. This full-sun plant has intricate yellow, pink, and red flowers. It has a broad-spreading habit and produces all summer.

Ornamental Peppers

Ornamental pepper plants are another great addition to container gardens. These plants can be paired with other beautiful flowering, full-sun-loving plants.


Mix and match different types of succulents in your container garden to create a wonderful variety of textures. Full sun conditions increase succulents’ bloom production and bring out their colors. Ensure they are placed in sandy, well-draining soil that dries between waterings.

Popular Succulent Varieties:

  • Creeping Sedums
  • Agave
  • Aloe Vera
  • Chicks and Hens
  • Jade


Attract the attention of your friends and beneficial pollinators with petunias. These prolific bloomers come in a variety of colors and variegations. They bloom all summer and are great full-sun plants and flowers to plant in container gardens.

Popular Petunia Varieties:

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


You can insert vinca vines into your planters for a beautiful cascade of variegated trails. Vinca vine, a hardy perennial, adds incredible texture and height variation with its trailing habit. It looks absolutely magical in pots, containers, or window boxes.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses are drought-tolerant plants that add height, texture, and visual interest in mixed container plantings. These fun plants can be used as centerpieces for full sun plants and flowers for containers.

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


Geranium plants can put on quite the show when placed in full sun. The plants produce beautiful, vibrant foliage and come in various colors. The plant stems grow out from the containers and then through the stems of neighboring plants. These vigorous plants thrive in full sun and heat and bloom throughout the growing season.


Angelonia is a beautiful profuse bloomer that explodes with color. Angelonia produces towering spires full of elegant flowers throughout the summer.

Popular Angelonia Varieties:

  • ‘Archangel Blue Bicolor’
  • ‘Archangel Cherry’

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