12 Full-Sun Annuals That Will Keep Your Garden Blooming All Summer Long

The Sun that shines in Southern states can brighten up the colors of flowers, and some annuals will bloom all through summer there. Tickseed, petunias and cosmos look great in the light, but not all short lived plants can stand such hot days as you get in California or Florida!

Choose well and you will have a tapestry of blooming beauties, but you need to be wise… But if you live in a sunbathed place, let me tell you that your garden is in luck with summer annual blossoms, because…

Most flowering annuals are Sun loving plants, and many have summer as their blooming season. Some even extend beyond this time, from spring to fall! Easy to grow and generous with their blossoms, annuals are an excellent choice for a quick but vibrant effect.

If you’re looking for long-lasting, low maintenance annuals that will bloom nonstop all summer long in full sun, we’ve found just the right plants for you!

Take a look at these sun-loving annual flowers that will continue to bloom throughout the summer with a burst of color. Just pick one or two of these brilliant summer-blooming annuals and plant them in your sunny containers, beds, and borders this week!

Just let me tell you annuals love a lot of sunshine and then I’ll tell you all about each one of them!

Annuals and Full Sun

Annuals and Full Sun

Annuals are plants that live one year or even less. Maybe this is the reason why they want to make the best of sunlight. In fact, few annuals like shady places. And summer seems to be the best season for them to bloom. 

If you see that “thinning spot” in your garden, perennials and biennials are far less suitable to “put a colorful patch” because they may take long. So, annuals are your best choice!

12 Full-Sun Annuals That Bloom All Summer

Full Sun Annuals That Bloom All Summer

Spruce up that full sun spots in your garden and decorate it with a months-long flower show by planting these easy-care annual varieties that will bloom nonstop all summer long.

And without further ado, here is a selection of the best full-sun annuals that won’t let you down and they will keep your garden bright and lively all through the summer months!

1: Tickseed (Coreopsis tinctoria)

Tickseed (Coreopsis tinctoria)

Tickseed reflects the bright colors of the summer Sun with its daisy shaped yellow petals with a dark reddish brown center. The flowers can be quite large as well, up to 2 inches across (5 cm) and they look up, straight into the clear sky of hot days.

It blooms profusely from the beginning of summer to the end and beyond, in fact, it will light up your garden in fall as well.

It is a low maintenance and strong annual with lots of energy for borders, beds and even mass planting, and butterflies love it!

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun but it tolerates light shade.
  • Blooming season: all through summer and into fall. 
  • Size: 2 to 4 feet tall (60 to 120 cm) and up to 2 feet in spread (60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam, chalk or sand based soil with variable pH, from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline. It is drought tolerant (not resistant).

2: Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)

Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)

Zinnia is one of the best and most popular Sun loving annuals that bloom from June to at least October! If you live in a warm country, these cold hardy beauties dan keep going even longer.

The choice of colors is huge, from white to purple via orange, red and pink. An original one is the cultivar ‘Benary’s Giant Lime’, with lome green petals! You can have single and double flowers as well as small and ones – up to 6 inches across, or 15 cm! 

Zinnias adapt to many types of gardens, formal and informal, and you can even grow them as cut flowers too.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: all summer and into fall.
  • Size: 2 to 4 feet tall (60 to 120 cm) depending on the variety and up to 3 feet in spread (90 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam, clay, chalk or sand based soil with pH from mildly alkaline to mildly acidic. It loves the soil moist but it tolerates drought as well.

3: Calibrachoa (Chalibracka spp.)

The Sun loving bells of calibrachoa form cushions of bright colors that literally last for months. This annual has a range of intense colors with a pastel texture to them. They are trailing perennials in Nature, but most gardeners prefer them as annuals, because the bloom is bette the first year. In fact it can flower from spring to fall!   It is ideal for containers and hanging baskets, but you can grow it in full soil too; just make sure you make the best of its draping habit.

The Sun loving bells of calibrachoa form cushions of bright colors that literally last for months. This annual has a range of intense colors with a pastel texture to them.

They are trailing perennials in Nature, but most gardeners prefer them as annuals, because the bloom is bette the first year. In fact it can flower from spring to fall! 

It is ideal for containers and hanging baskets, but you can grow it in full soil too; just make sure you make the best of its draping habit.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: from late spring to the first frost.
  • Size: up to 1 foot tall (30 cm) and 2 feet in spread (60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam, clay, chalk or sand with pH from slightly alkaline to slightly acidic.

4: French Marigold (Tagetes patula)

French Marigold (Tagetes patula)

French marigold is a classic annual flower that looks great in the sunlight – and it adores it. Its bright orange petals reflect the light of our star with their cheerful semi double heads.

The blooms look up, like little fires on top of beautiful, pinnate and lacy foliage which is also aromatic. They will come as soon as summer start and they will stay with you till the first frost.

French marigold is low maintenance full-sun annual flower which is perfect for edging and bedding, but also for containers and borders. An, and it keeps mosquitoes and pests at a distance… Grow it in a window box if you have blood thirsty visitors at night.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: from early summer to the first frost.
  • Size: up to 1 foot tall and in spread (30 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam, clay or sandy soil with pH from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline. It is heavy clay tolerant and drought tolerant too!

5: Smooth Beggartrick (Bidens laevis)

Smooth Beggartrick (Bidens laevis)

Smooth beggartrick looks like the Sun itself thanks to its separate, elongated bright canary yellow petals… They look like the rays of our star! But it also adds a slender, delicate and fragile look to this effect.

It is a short lived perennial grown as an annual, and it has a special quality… It grows well in bogs and ponds!

It is ideal for natural looking planting in wet gardens, in ponds, large water features and even that wet spot at the bottom of the garden that troubles you so much!

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 8 to 10, but as an annual you can grow it in much colder climates.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Blooming season: all summer and into fall.
  • Size: 1 to 6 feet tall (30 to 180 cm).
  • Soil requirements: wet clay, loam or sandy soil with pH from fairly acidic to neutral. It tolerates poorly drained soil and waterlogged, boggy soil.

6: Rose Vervain (Glandularia canadensis)

Rose Vervain (Glandularia canadensis)

Rose vervain will fill your sun bathed borders with deep lilac to purple violet blooms from late spring to the end of summer.

They are actually globular inflorescences of many small, cute and bright little flowers. These appear on stems over very finely textured foliage, and they have a very fragrant smell – you guessed: butterflies love them!

It is excellent for edging, borders, rock gardens, en masse planting or even containers.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 5 to 9. 
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Blooming season: from late spring to the end of summer.
  • Size: up to 2 feet in height and spread (60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained clay, loam or sand based soil with pH from mildly alkaline to mildly acidic. It is drought tolerant, heat tolerant, deer resistant and rocky soil tolerant.

7: Summer Snapdragon (Angelonia spp.)

Summer Snapdragon (Angelonia spp.)

Summer snapdragon pokes its colorful spikes into the light of the Sun all through the hot season. With its distinctive flowers “with an open mouth” in a palette that goes from white to purple and includes bicolor varieties. It is a tender perennial in Nature, grown as an annual by gardeners.

It is ideal for the “natural look” of your garden in borders and beds, especially if you are aiming for an English country garden or cottage garden feel…

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 10 to 11, but you can grow it in much colder areas as an annual.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: from late spring to fall!
  • Size: 1 to 3 feet tall (30 to 90 cm) and 1 to 2 feet in spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam, clay, chalk or sand based soil with pH from mildly alkaline to mildly acidic. It is drought tolerant.

8: Madagascar Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)

Madagascar Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)

Madagascar periwinkle has showy flowers in pink, white, red, orange, magenta or violet and it grows well in full Sun. It is not related to the “real” periwinkle (Vinca spp.) and most varieties are now cultivars that don’t resemble it any more.

The original African  plant has “star shaped” petals, but garden hybrids have a round shape. It is actually a tender perennial grown as an annual by gardeners.

It is a delicate looking plant you will want for edging or low flower beds. Alternatively, grow it in containers.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 10 to 11. But you can grow it in much coder regions as an annual.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Blooming season: late spring to frost.
  • Size: 6 to 18 inches tall and in spread (15 to 45 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam or sandy loam with pH from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.

9: Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)

Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)

Summer and Sun are what Indian Blanket is all about! It will give you the perfect “hot and sultry” look of the season with its showy daisy like fiery red flowers with bright yellow tips!

Just imagine a sea of heat, light and passion in your garden, just when the season is warm and light flooded! Then imagine the butterflies that hover above these beautiful reflections of the Sun itself! 

Ideal for beds and borders or even wild prairies, Indian blanket is also good for rock gardens and containers. A great low maintenance annual for a massive effect.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: from late spring to frost! 
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall (30 to 60 cm) and up to 1 foot un spread (30 cm). 
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam, chalk or sand based soil with pH from mildly alkaline to mildly acidic.

10: Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

The round bright yellow or bright orange flowers of pot marigold look lovely in the sunlight! It is not a real marigold, but it looks like it a bit.

You can grow it in single varieties or semi double varieties, with a limited by warm range of shades. The blooms are massive, fragrant and they last for almost a year!

Pot marigold looks great in a wide range of garden settings, from formal to informal gardens, in beds, borders, containers and even as a cut flower.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Blooming season: from late spring to frost.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and in spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam, chalk or sand based soil with pH from mildly alkaline to mildly acidic.

11: Cosmos (Cosmps bipinnatus)

Cosmos (Cosmps bipinnatus)

The showy but delicate flowers of cosmos look even better when the Sun is shining! Their magenta, purple, pink, lavender, rose or white delicate flowers look like paper artworks in the light! Growing on long and thin stems, they sail in the blue summer skies and fly with butterflies and pollinators.

Cosmos is an all time favorite annual that blooms for months on end, and it is ideal for borders, wild prairies and cottage gardens, but you can grow it in containers as well.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: from the beginning of summer into fall. 
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and in spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam, clay, chalk or sand based soil with pH from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.

12: Petunia (Petunia spp.)

Petunia (Petunia spp.)

Gardeners treat petunias as annuals for their massive blooms that last all summer an beyond and that really shine in the sunlight. It is actually a biennial but the first year is its best, so treated as an annual.

The range of colors of the super profuse blooms is massive, and there are bicolor varieties too. It is a summer protagonist in gardens and even urban spaces, famous for its sea of flowers and cascading blooms.

Petunias are great in hanging baskets, but also as edging or within beds and borders they can really make a big difference.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Blooming season: from spring to frost – non stop! 
  • Size: up to 1 foot tall (30 cm) and 3 in spread (90 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam, clay, chalk or sand based soil with pH from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.

Sun, Summer and Annual Flowers

Full Sun Annuals That Bloom All Summer

Sun, summer and annual flowers get along very well! From classic petunias and cosmos to marigolds and snapdragon, the choice of colors and personalities is good. Easy to grow and generous, these annual flowering plants are just waiting for you to pick one…or two?

Updated on by Amber Noyes

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.