To complete the look of your landscape and give it an appealing structure, you should establish lines and boundaries using beautiful border plants. If you’ve got a yard that gets a great deal of sunshine, you’ll need to pick plants that thrive in these settings.
You will typically want to plant smaller border plants along the front of beds and use larger border plants near the backs of beds or property boundaries. This article will offer some full-sun border plants for a vibrant and sunny environment.
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Full Sun Border Plants
Full sun border plants make it easy to create a natural, lively-looking landscape by using them to outline garden beds, paths, and walkways. Full sun border plants are usually easy to care for and require little maintenance. These types of plants are also able to withstand the heat of summer, which makes them excellent candidates for use in sunny areas.
Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Russian sage is a lovely shrub with long, pale green foliage and square, silver-gray stems that give your borders a fluffy haze of color during summer. The bunches of small tubular, pale purple-blue blooms look nice and are reminiscent of lavender.
Plant Russian sage in bright sunlight with well-drained soil, and space the plants approximately 1.5 feet apart. You can utilize Russian sage in the center or backdrop of a sunlit border, as well as in a variety of sunny areas throughout the landscape. This is a Laviateae (mint) family member and is hardy in zones 4-9.
The coreopsis is a sun-loving, drought-tolerant flowering plant that looks fantastic in sunlit borders. It grows in straight bunches and has gorgeous blooms in the summer. Coreopsis flowers come in a wide range of colors, including orange, pink, red, yellow, and white. They need a good amount of sunlight in addition to loamy, well-draining soil. They may reach 1.5 to 4 feet in height, so keep that in mind when designing your landscape borders. And while they do need proper drainage, they must also be hydrated on a routine basis, particularly in the spring, which is its growing season.
Shrubby Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)
This blooming, shrubby, sun-loving plant is dense and thick, with multitudes of little yellow blooms. The plant has a charming look that stands out against most other plants, and they grow to around two feet in height and are simple to trim and clip to your desired size and shape.
They thrive in full sun and require moisture in the soil, but they are tough plants that can withstand some challenging circumstances. They look lovely when closely planted to make borders.
False Rock Cress (Aubrieta)
Aubrieta, a colorful ground cover, is an excellent choice for pathway bordering. After the abundant blooms have gone, the cool green leaves maintain a lovely covering that fills barren spots on a sunny garden border. Aubrieta flourishes in well-draining soil in intensely sunlit areas. It is a resilient plant that needs minimal maintenance. Aubrieta is resilient to deer and is seldom disturbed by predatory insects. And it’s drought-tolerant once fully developed.
Autumn Joy Stonecrop (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy‘)
Sedum’ Autumn Joy’ is a fantastic sunny border choice since it is both attractive and hardy, surviving in a wide range of USDA Zones (3-10). It is a plant with rounded, fleshy, cool green foliage that blooms from late summer to fall with clusters of small, starry, pink flowers. After blooming, the flowers start changing color to a dark pink and eventually a reddish hue before fading in the chilly fall weather.
Autumn Joy stonecrop grows slowly. Ideally, you plant it in your sunlit borders in the springtime, after the danger of extreme freezing weather has gone, but before the high summer heat arrives.
You’ll love Artemisia in your fully sunlit borders if you’re looking for a bit of contrast. With their fern-like, aromatic, silvery gray leaves and lots of tiny yellowish-green or yellow flowers, this plant is excellent for garden beds and borders, and it’s a perfect companion for your bolder plants and deep green leaves. Artemisia also grows well in pots and containers.
Artemisia does well in fully sunny locations with poor soil quality and has practically no pest or disease concerns; however, it needs good drainage. Plant artemisia in an area that receives a minimum of six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily.
Miniature Roses (Rosa chinensis minima)
Miniature roses are simply regular roses that have been carefully selected to mature to a compact footprint. They come in several hues. Despite their tiny size, these plants are remarkably tough, and when the roots have gained a foothold, they will develop swiftly. They look great as a border and may offer a burst of vibrancy to the boundaries of your yard. Care for them like a big rose bush, which means full sun, lots of water, and well-fertilized soil.
Bee Balm (Monarda)
Bee balm is a full sun-loving border plant that’s noteworthy because of its stunning reddish blooms that emerge in the summer, plus its aromatic leaves. Bee balm works well in sunny borders lacking a pop of color. The bee balm flower is very showy and comes in vibrant shades of pink, red, white, and purple—and pollinators all love bee balm.
Bee balm species thrive in rich, damp soil in clear daylight. Shade is not an issue for bee balm, especially in hot, extremely sunny weather. Plant it in any fenced area that might use a color accent.
Catmint (Nepeta mussinii)
Catmint is a simple plant to grow. These plants are appropriate for bulk planting or in borders and may be planted near crops to discourage insects. Catmint may be cultivated in either full sun or dappled shade on good, well-draining soil. They are also hot and drought resilient, which makes them perfect for arid gardens.
Wall germander (Teucrium chamadrys)
Wall Germander is a Mediterranean-native low-growing evergreen subshrub and plant of the mint family. It’s a fantastic border choice since its tubular, deep pink blooms emerge in whorls from the axils of the leaves from late spring through summer—this display is appealing to pollinators and human eyes alike! Not only that, but it’s also well-liked for its glossy, fragrant foliage with scalloped borders, which give it an interesting look, along with the plant’s distinctive upright form (and bloom color!) reminiscent of lavender.
In autumn, an aster boundary is a treat to the eyes due to its lovely look—daisy-like blossoms come in gorgeous colors that adorn the landscape borders! Aster is a stunning and flexible landscaping plant that works well in borders with adequate sunlight and well-draining soil.
This planting is not susceptible to drought at all, and it’s perfect if you don’t like rabbits or deer to eat your plants.
Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)
The butterfly bush is a beautiful, quickly-growing plant with clusters of tiny blooms. The blooms come in a variety of shades and perform nicely as a border plant, particularly in strong sunlight. They demand a lot of sunlight as well as good, well-drained soil. They must also be irrigated often and need a lot of room to grow, so they are very fussy plants.
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Butterflyweed is an enduring herbaceous plant of the milkweed family (Apocynaceae) that is pervasive in most of North America, excluding the northwest. This dense perennial has a lot of deep green leaves, but the real star of the show when you put butterfly weed in your borders is its star-shaped, bright orange flowers! The blooms generate a lot of nectar and are particularly appealing to hummingbirds and butterflies! If you deadhead them, a month after, there may be a fresh wave of blooms.
North American tickseeds (Coreopsis spp.)
Coreopsis is a low-maintenance, daisy-like perennial that thrives in intense sunlight and various soil conditions. Coreopsis plants are incredibly versatile, simple to cultivate, and sun-loving border plants.
The tickseeds are local flowers with colors that vary from the well-known bright yellow to a slew of intriguing mixes of hues. These robust perennial plants can withstand hot, dry conditions and produce long-lasting, vibrant flowers. Additionally, if you place them in your landscape, they’ll be deer-proof and pollinator-friendly, which means your sunny borders are safe from getting destroyed.
Verbena (Verbena officinalis)
Verbena or vervain is a plant with clusters of bright little purple blooms on its thin stems. Try growing verbena if you want persistent blossoms on your full sun border that can withstand the scorching summer days—the perfect low-maintenance flower.
Also, verbena feels as at home in containers as it would in sunlit borders. And suppose you plant verbena where the sun shines the brightest and the soil is extremely dry. In that case, it will profusely flower in the summer. Select perennial verbena for a spectacular summer exhibit if you live somewhere with damp soil.
Blanket flower (Gaillardia spp.)
Blanket flowers are an eye-catching and vibrant asset to any garden or landscape, providing long-lasting blossoms if deadheaded, an important element of blanket flower maintenance.
To preserve this quickly-growing plant’s good health, you must plant blanket flowers in bright sunlight.
Shrubs and Grasses for Full Sun Borders
Full sun plants are often used in the landscape to provide privacy, screen areas from the view of passersby, and attract birds and butterflies.
Fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
Fountain grass is a hardy plant that forms lovely tufts, making it so popular for gardening borders. The term comes from the fact that the leaves spew outwards on all sides and typically grow 1 to 3 feet.
Like other decorative grasses, Fountain grass is extremely versatile and thrives in a wide range of environments. It grows best in well-draining soil, although it will thrive in almost any kind. These are vegetation that flourishes in extreme heat and loves full sunlight exposure.
Dwarf Pampas grass (Cortaderia pumila)
Among the most astonishing ornamental grasses for full sun borders is the Dwarf Pampas Grass. It flowers in midsummer with large, silky-soft, creamy white plumes.
Dwarf Pampas grass is a great design element for informal borders, and with their outstanding growth habit, you can even use them as privacy barriers. It survives in zones six to ten, even in low-water conditions.
Maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’)
Tall ornamental grasses, such as maiden grass, deserve to be in your sunny borders simply because of their refined, arched form and finely textured, cool green leaf blades. This is an excellent plant for bringing life to the sunlit edges of your landscape, in addition to mass grouping them as a vertically interesting barrier. Regardless of how big or small your landscape is, you can incorporate at least a few of these wonderful grasses in there.
Full Sun Edging Plants: Tubers, Corms, and Bulbs
Tubers, bulbs, and corms that thrive in full sun include the following:
The unique, easily distinguishable flower shape and simplicity of the tulip will be an excellent addition to your sunny edging. However, border tulips usually only blossom nicely during their initial year, so you need to remove them afterward.
Purple, white, or yellow flowers on stalks would be an awesome sight to behold when you’re passing by your borders. Big alliums add vertical emphasis to the sunny margins in your landscape, while smaller alliums work well at the outermost edges of the planting space.
It seems like border Lilies must have been created specifically to bring a splash of color and a traditional lily aesthetic to border plantings, pathway borders, and containers. These distinctive perennials create a lovely flash of beauty wherever they’re placed, with rich, showy blooms on relatively short stems.
With their beautiful flowers in various sizes, colors, and forms, Dahlias freshen up sunlit borders throughout the summer and into late fall. They are suitable for many landscape designs, and you can even place tiny varieties in pots.
Irises are widely used in both classic and contemporary landscape aesthetics. They offer significant elegance to the brightly sunlit border with their beautiful blooms that come in an extensive color spectrum. Keep in mind: they will only bloom properly if given adequate light. And bearded irises thrive in a separate area away from other vegetation, which can compete with their sunlight supply.
Gladiolus is an iconic perennial distinguished by its long flower spikes and huge, brilliant blossoms! Certainly, planting gladioli is an excellent way to add a burst of color to your summer landscape. Please remember that gladiolus bulbs require a sunny spot in the border and well-drained, rich soil.
Full Sun Border Herbs
A full sun border is perfect for herbs, including thyme and oregano. They’ll thrive in full sun but still grow happily even if it’s not quite as hot out during their growing season.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary looks fantastic on garden borders, especially in Mediterranean landscaping designs (it’s a Mediterranean native). It’s ideal if you want to place a potted plant somewhere brightly sunlit. And if you would like to confine a vegetable or herb garden within a space, you can make a short, trimmed rosemary border.
This small plant graces your sunny borders with scented leaves and exquisite blooms. They are beautiful, aromatic decorative plants that are the perfect finishing touch for any landscape. Several varieties are even hardy enough to survive light foot activity along yard walkways! You can never go wrong with thyme in landscaping your borders.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
This remarkable Yarrow has multitudes of long-lasting groups of striking and dazzling white, yellow, pink, purple, or orange blooms with golden cores that fade with time. It’s a low-maintenance plant that thrives in bright sunlight, but you must plant it on soil that drains properly.
Yarrows can endure drought well, so hydrate them only when there is no rainfall for an extended length of time. It’s advisable to cut wasted blooms to encourage recurrent blossoming.
Lavender is a well-loved herb species with a lovely purple hue and a pleasant perfume. It is simple to maintain and thrives in direct sunlight, particularly in arid and hot circumstances. Because this plant is so adaptable, it may be used to establish sunny borders all over your landscape. While it needs minimal care, you must water it consistently when it is first introduced to your sunny borders. Use well-draining soil and evenly spread the plants as they develop to avoid overcrowding.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Learning to cultivate chamomile will ensure that your sunny landscape borders are filled with daisy-like blossoms from late spring through early fall. These dainty white blooms with brilliant yellow interiors have been a garden favorite since they bring essential pollinators into the landscape.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Oregano is a strongly flavored plant with a sharp taste and a minty scent. It is a delightful, sun-loving plant that’s simple to cultivate—you can even plant multiples in the borders if you want a dense cluster! Full sun and well-drained soil are essential for the plant, and constant trimming will stimulate vigorous growth.
Sea Holly (Eryngium)
Eryngiums are eye-catching plants that come in pretty shades of purple and blue.
They’re also called sea hollies because they thrive in beach settings and have spiky foliage, with their most distinctive feature being the sharp-looking, thistle-like flowers. Put them in well-drained loamy or sandy soil in bright sunlight; the more sunlight this plant gets, the more vibrant the blue color will be.
When you see a coneflower’s large flower, you’ll see a circle of long, thin, light purple or pink petals extending from the dark brown inner circle. Coneflowers are wonderful sunny border additions since they are native plants and can give plenty of floral beauty to your yard borders through the summertime. Remember, you won’t be unhappy with the bloom of these plants if they have adequate drainage and ample sunlight.
Sunny Borders with Annuals
Sun-loving annuals are the perfect choice for sunny borders. And with so many colorful options available, you can create an eye-catching garden with minimal effort.
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
The gorgeous yellow blossoms on the stem would brighten anyone’s day. Sunflower plants are simple to grow since they are very hardy and grow quickly. As the name suggests, these flowers are sunshine lovers who thrive in borders with a minimum of six hours of bright sun daily. Because sunflowers have deep roots, they need light, well-drained, slightly basic soil.
Moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora)
Moss rose is an excellent choice for covering warm and sunny terrain. It looks terrific in a variety of situations because of its trailing tendency and uninterrupted flowering output. Moss rose is good at storing water since it’s a semi-succulent annual that retains moisture in its stems and leaves. And since they’re annuals, they do not return year after year; however, moss rose is a very simple plant to cultivate.
Geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum)
Geraniums have long been a staple in landscaping because of their classic pink, red, orange, purple, and white flowers. These beautifully blooming, wonderfully scented, richly colored plants thrive in sunshine-laden borders.
Floss Flower (Ageratum)
People like putting Ageratum or Floss Flowers on their borders for the plants’ comical pompom-looking blooms, which are mainly blue but also available in pink, white, red, or violet. Ageratum flowers bloom nicely in bright sunlight; excessive shade might lead to fewer flowers and undesirable plants.
Due to their beautiful blossoms and extended blooming duration, petunias are among the most beloved flowering border plants for sunny areas. These bright annuals can truly spruce up a front yard and are frequently used for edging purposes.
Marigold (Tagetes spp.)
Don’t neglect the humble marigold while looking for ideal landscape flair. With their dazzling yellow and orange blooms, Marigolds can create strong, visually fascinating borders. And to ensure the marigold blooms well, pick a good plot or set your pot where it will get a minimum of four hours of uninterrupted sunshine every day (more than that is ideal).
Because zinnias are so simple to cultivate from seed, it’s a beautiful and cost-effective method to cover an empty-looking border with vibrant plant life. Zinnias will be unhealthy in dark areas, so select a site with adequate airflow and direct sunshine.
In sum, if you’re thinking about growing beautiful plants in your fully sunlit garden borders, consider one (or more!) of our suggestions above. We hope we’ve helped your decision-making process by creating this list of the best sun-loving plants for the border.