Full Sun vs. Part Sun Perennials

Grand Junction, CO

Hi Everyone,

I am new to Dave's Garden. I am trying to plan for next year. I live in zone 6a but the summers can get to 110 degrees. I am confused as to whether the plant will make it if it says "full sun to part sun." I have no shade. I would like to plant enough plants so that I don't have any weeds in the flower beds. I was planning on doing russian sage, artemisia silver mound, daylilies(dwarf and taller varieties), delphinium, ice plants, portulaca, primrose, iceland poppies, and mums for starters. I would like to find a plant that is similar to hostas but that will tolerate full sun since hostas are a shady plant.

Any help on the "full sun" question and any suggestions for other plants/flowers would be greatly appreciated.


central, NJ(Zone 6b)

When it's full sun to part sun, means it those plants can handle some shade during the day
You want to avoid any that say "part shade", means they need to have some shade(basically morning sun and afternoon shade)

Lady's Mantle has the big leaves that can do full sun
There are some Heuchera that can take full sun

You can go tropical with an annual like elephant ear

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

You should also remember that with the amount of heat and sun you have, your plants will require more frequent watering.

You might also notice certain types of plants wilting during the hottest part of the day, but recovering as the sun moves away. You'll want to keep an eye on those plants so that they don't die, but you don't overwater. Eventually you'll learn the habits of the plants you have.

Though I'm personally not big on very many succulents (there are a few I like), adding some might be worth considering. There are some that bloom heavily, like Sedums (late Summer/Autumn bloomers) and they're a favorite of Butterflies.

With your heat/sun, you have a lot of choices that many people don't. Pay attention to the info when you buy or ask questions at nurseries. Most plant info will specify if a variety needs more water or even some shade in hotter climates.

Good luck!!

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

I think you have a pretty good list.
I would not go overboard for Primroses or Iceland Poppies in that heat, though.
Around here they are more often treated as cool season annuals, or planted in part shade. They do not handle 90*+ and full sun very well. Get them started as early as possible, and do not be surprised if they do not make it through the summer. I have seen Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla) in full sun nearer the coast, but not inland.
As a really rough guide, the larger leaves are more often shade or tropical plants. Keep on looking, but I do not think you will find anything as lush as Hosta for full, hot sun.

I do not know how these would do in your winters, but other plants for hot sun that you are describing include:
Lavender (some are more cold tolerant than others)
Gaura (several varieties)
As a group, Salvias are worth looking into. Perhaps S. greggii, S, jamesonii, S, argentea (large leaves), and look into natives.
Echinacea- some have larger leaves.
Achillea (Yarrow). Some are great ground covers, other grow vertical.
Penstemon, especially the ones that are native to your area.
Nepeta, the Catmints. Several species and varieties.
Gailardia, the Blanket Flowers
Lupines and their relatives. Many natives to different areas, you can probably find one that would work.

Larger leaves, but may not make it through the winter:
Canna (Dormant in winter, dig and store in garage or other non-freezing location)
Ornamental Rhubarb, or even the edible one. Rheum is the botanical name.

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