A Plant List Of Full Sun Perennials

Here’s a perennial plant list for full sun perennials

Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Mix’

The list below contains the most commonly available plants and while there are others for specialist growers, these will suffice for all but the most berserker of gardeners. Yeah, I know I’ve grown more than these but hey, I’ve been doing this for far too many years.

Do These Three Things Before You Start Collecting The Flowers Listed Below

  • The first is to improve the soil by adding organic matter. This does a number of really good things for the plants — from increasing fertility to increasing the water holiding capacity of the soil (both good things to do in the full sun).
  • The second is to water properly. Soak at least once a week but do not water shallowly regularly. One deep soaking a week is better than 5 little applications.
  • The third is to mulch with organic matter. I’ve written about the benefits of mulch and nowhere is this more evident in the full sun garden.

List of Full Sun Perennials

  • Acaena
  • Acanthus
  • Achillea
  • Aconitum
  • Acorus
  • Adenophora
  • Agapanthus
  • Agastache
  • Ajania
  • Alcea
  • Alchemilla
  • Allium
  • Alyssum
  • Amsonia
  • Anaphalis
  • Anchusa
  • Anemone
  • Angelica
  • Antennaria
  • Anthemis
  • Aquilegia
  • Arabis
  • Arctanthemum
  • Arctostaphylos
  • Arenaria
  • Armeria
  • Artemisia
  • Aruncus
  • Asclepias
  • Aster
  • Astilboides
  • Astrantia
  • Aubrieta
  • Aurinia
  • Azorella
  • Baptisia
  • Belamcanda
  • Bellis
  • Bergenia
  • Boltonia
  • Brugmansia
  • Brunnera
  • Buddleia
  • Calamintha
  • Caltha
  • Camassia
  • Campanula
  • Caryopteris
  • Castilleja
  • Catananche
  • Centaurea
  • Centranthus
  • Cerastium
  • Ceratostigma
  • Chelone
  • Chelonopsis
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cimicifuga
  • Clematis
  • Convolvulus
  • Coreopsis
  • Coronilla
  • Cosmos
  • Crambe
  • Crocosmia
  • Darmera
  • Delosperma
  • Delphinium
  • Dianthus
  • Diascia
  • Dictamnus
  • Digitalis
  • Dodecatheon
  • Doronicum
  • Draba
  • Dracocephalum
  • Echinacea
  • Echinops
  • Eremurus
  • Erigeron
  • Erodium
  • Eryngium
  • Erysimum
  • Eupatorium
  • Euphorbia
  • Fargesia
  • Filipendula
  • Fragaria
  • Gaillardia
  • Gaura
  • Gazania
  • Genista
  • Gentiana
  • Geranium
  • Geum
  • Goniolimon
  • Gunnera
  • Gypsophila
  • Hebe
  • Hedera
  • Helenium
  • Helianthemum
  • Helianthus
  • Helichrysum
  • Heliopsis
  • Helleborus
  • Hemerocallis
  • Hesperis
  • Heuchera
  • Heucherella
  • Hibiscus
  • Hieracium
  • Houttuynia
  • Humulus
  • Hypericum
  • Iberis
  • Incarvillea
  • Inula
  • Iris
  • Isotoma
  • Jasione
  • Jovibarba
  • Kalimeris
  • Knautia
  • Kniphofia
  • Lathyrus
  • Lavandula
  • Lavatera 
  • Leontopodium
  • Leucanthemum
  • Lewisia
  • Liatris
  • Ligularia
  • Lilium
  • Limonium
  • Linum
  • Liriope
  • Lithodora
  • Lobelia
  • Lotus
  • Lunaria
  • Lupinus
  • Luzula
  • Lychnis
  • Lysimachia
  • Macleaya
  • Malva
  • Malvastrum
  • Mazus
  • Meconopsis
  • Mertensia
  • Monarda
  • Myosotis
  • Nepeta
  • Nipponanthemum
  • Oenanthe
  • Oenothera
  • Origanum
  • Oxalis
  • Paeonia
  • Papaver
  • Patrinia
  • Penstemon
  • Perovskia
  • Persicaria
  • Petasites
  • Phalaris
  • Phlomis
  • Phlox
  • Phormium
  • Phragmites
  • Physalis
  • Physostegia
  • Plantago
  • Platycodon
  • Polemonium
  • Potentilla
  • Pulmonaria
  • Pulsatilla
  • Pycnanthemum
  • Ranunculus
  • Raoulia
  • Ratibida
  • Rheum
  • Rodgersia
  • Rubus
  • Rudbeckia
  • Rumex
  • Sagina
  • Salvia
  • Sanguisorba
  • Santolina
  • Saponaria
  • Scabiosa
  • Scutellaria
  • Sedum
  • Sempervivum
  • Sidalcea
  • Silene
  • Silphium
  • Sisyrinchium
  • Solidago
  • Solidaster
  • Stachys
  • Stokesia
  • Symphyandra
  • Symphytum
  • Tanacetum
  • Teucrium
  • Thalictrum
  • Thymus
  • Tradescantia
  • Trifolium
  • Trollius
  • Verbascum
  • Verbena
  • Vernonia
  • Veronica
  • Veronicastrum
  • Viola
  • Yucca
  • Zantedeschia
  • Zauschneria

A List of Fragrant Perennials for Your Summer Enjoyment

I happen to love growing fragrant perennial flowers because like the old ad says, “double your pleasure” – you get the flowers and the fresh fragrance of these plants in your garden.
Here are a few easily found plants you might consider growing.

  • Achillea – easily grown in full sun and rock hardy
  • Agastache – self sowing, lovely violet shades for sun
  • Arabis – low growing, sweet fragrance for sun or light shade
  • Artemisia – foliage is menthol for full hot sun
  • Asclepias – flowers are almost sickly sweet and overpowering in mass plantings
  • Buddleia – a fall bloomer and garden classic
  • Calamintha – lesser known garden perennial – minty
  • Caryopteris – shrubby plant, grow as herbaceous perennial in cold areas
  • Centaurea- blue corn flower, full sun and self-sowing
  • Centranthus – full sun-lover and easy to grow
  • Cimicifuga – a shade garden classic perennial, sweet fragrance
  • Clematis – sweet fragrance on bush clematis
  • Convallaria – classic lily of the valley for spreading shade
  • Corydalis – another tender shade lover
  • Cosmos – chocolate cosmos with distinctive fragrance – while most will self-sow, you should do this one from cuttings
  • Cyclamen – sweet if you can get your nose that low
  • Dianthus – carnation smells
  • Dictamnus – powerful fragrance for the sunny garden
  • Erysimum – sweet spring if short lived plant
  • Eupatorium – full sun lover and easy once established
  • Euphorbia – another tough to kill plant in full sun
  • Geranium – leaves are menthol fragrance
  • Hemerocallis – some flowers fragrant – “lemon lily” is of the classic
    fragrant perennials
  • Hesperis – dames rocket – a native has purple or white fragrant flowers
  • Hosta – the fall bloomers are wonderfully fragrant
  • Iris – goes without saying
  • Lavandula – another full sun classic
  • Lilium – one of the classic plants for a fragrant garden
  • Melissa – minty fragrance
  • Monarda – the leaves are distinctive
  • Nepeta – catnip with its minty tones
  • Origanum – oregano – both for fragrance and low-growing ornamental
  • Paeonia – classic corsage and cut flower
  • Perovskia – late summer blooming and foliage is dusky
  • Phlox – some varieties more fragrant than others
  • Polemonium – tender sweet fragrance – not heavy
  • Primula – a classic primrose sweet floral fragrance
  • Rosmarinus – rosemary – it’s all in the leaves
  • Salvia – it’s all in the leaves of this “sage” family
  • Silene – another faint but interesting floral perfume
  • Tanacetum – again see the leaves of this mum
  • Thymus – who doesnt’ think of fragrance when you think of thyme and
    fragrant perennials
  • Tiarella – a slight woodlandy sweet fragrance
  • Viola – a clear flower fragrance from the violets.

Print out this list of fragrant perennials and take it shopping with you to make sure you do indeed double your pleasure with your garden this summer.

My Ebook on Growing Lavender

Three Rules You Need To Understand For Great Tulip Care

Tulip care is a simple thing

Tulip care is (luckily for us) a fairly simple thing. This plant really isn’t bothered by any serious insect pests so we can pretty much forget about that. So what is it that you have to do to ensure you have great tulips from year to year?

Rule of Leaves

Grow the leaves, not the flowers. If you concentrate on making sure your gardening grows great leaves on your tulips, then those leaves will produce superior flowers year after year.

You do that by not cutting the leaves down, tying them up, or doing anything else to them until they turn yellow. Yellow leaves on your tulips are a sign that the bulbs have stored enough energy and are now ready to go dormant until next spring.

If you cut the leaves off before they go yellow, the bulbs will not get enough energy to produce a large flower. They may get enough energy to survive a winter and produce a smaller flower. And every time you cut the leaves off too early, you weaken the bulb so it either doesn’t produce flowers or it simply dies.

Allow the leaves to go yellow before cutting them back.

The Simple Tulip Care Rule For Watering Tulips


Watering bulb gardens in the summer is a major cause of tulip death. You think you’re doing a good job of tulip care because everything needs water. Right? Wrong!

Tulips are genetically designed to grow on high mountain slopes where there is adequate spring water but absolutely no water during the summer months. They go dormant to preserve water inside the bulb and get ready for the following spring. When you water them, they rot.

So folks who plant annuals over top of bulbs and then water to keep the annuals flowering can expect this damp soil to rot out their tulips.

This is why many gardeners have a short-lived tulip bulb show. Too much water.

Rule of Feeding

Tulips don’t require yearly fertilizing. There isn’t too much plant food available up in the mountains on steep slopes and bulbs have developed so they do not require a lot of plant food.A feeding of compost over top of the bulbs in the spring and/or fall is all the average bulb requires. Some folks like to feed their bulbs bone meal thinking the phosphorus is good for bulbs and roots.

Given that phosphorus is relatively insoluble and relatively immobile in the soil, putting bone meal on the soil surface means it not only doesn’t break down but what does break down stays on the surface. Tulip roots are a good 8 inches below the surface so the fertilizer doesn’t get there.

Applying bone meal to the surface of the garden makes the gardener feel better (and the garden center that sold the product) but doesn’t really help the bulb. It’s a good feeling though.

And no. Do not put fertilizer down the planting hole. This only burns the roots and is a typical beginner gardening mistake. Trust me on this one, a feeding on the soil of compost in the spring is all the tulip care you need to do.

So that’s the deal. It may not have been what your average garden center wants to sell you but treating your bulbs with casual respect (allow the leaves to grow) and benign neglect (don’t water) will give you big healthy flowers for as long as possible.

Click here to be notified when I post a new article

Additional Information Readers Ask

  • The average hybrid tulip may flower well for 4–5 years if not watered at all.
  • Finally, I’m sorry to say once a tulip stops blooming, it’s almost impossible in our garden settings to get it to rebloom again. (dig and toss it).

Check out the other garden solutions on my Amazon ebook list here.

The Secrets To Getting Petunias To Bloom Heavily

These are simple growing tips you can easily do

There are several tips I’ll pass along about getting petunias to bloom very heavily and expand to their full potential. I’m also going to review some of the plants I’ve grown on trial in my garden.

The Growing Details

  • Sun: Full sun or very light shade
  • Bloom time: most of the summer
  • Propagation: seed for older varieties and cuttings from newer ‘super-petunia’
  • Soils: almost anything other than heavy clay that holds too much moisture and rots them
  • Distance apart: for the Supertunia types — 30-inches to 48 inches.
  • Hardiness: not frost tolerant (they might take a degree of frost if they’ve been hardened off but don’t count on it.)
  • Varieties: literally hundreds to pick from based on your favorite colors.
Petunia ‘Supertunia Royal Magenta’ (photo by Proven Winners)

Petunia ‘Supertunia Royal Magenta’ by Proven Winners. Goodness, I hadn’t grown this one before but it acted as all those other silly plants. It grew like stink and bloomed its head off. Bright color! Understand the key to success with these super petunias (from any source) is to feed them regularly. They demand a ton of food to support all that growth and blooming. If you fail with this plant, it’s likely because you didn’t feed it enough. I’d grow it again in either containers or the full sun garden if I wanted this bright magenta color. Good plant.

Petunia ‘Double Dark Blue’ I must be holding my mouth wrong when it comes to these double flowering petunias. Others get great growth. Mine is just-OK. The singles in this class of plants outgrow the doubles in my garden but… Then again, I’m not a double flower fan so perhaps this is the problem. Your results may vary.

Petunia ‘Blue Wave’ see the above comments about growing these fast-growing plants and this dark violet-blue flower is equally good in my opinion. It’s really a matter of choosing your color as to your preference. “Waves” or “Supertunia” are both good plants but different marketing companies. I love all the ‘Wave’ colors and it’s tough to beat them in the open sunny garden.

Petunia ‘Priscilla’ Photo by Proven Winners

The Trick To Getting The New Petunias To Bloom Heavily

The new petunias need a lot of feeding if they’re going to really perform in your garden.

I’d consider feeding weekly, or every second week with a fish emulsion or other organic liquid fertilizer to enable them to perform to their optimum level.

Do You Like This Color Of Petunia

Supertunia ‘Picasso In Purple’ Photo by Proven Winners

If you do like this Supertunia ‘Picasso In Purple’ from Proven Winners, I’d say go and grow it. It grew really well in my trials and filled a pot completely all by itself.

Want updates when I post something new?

A Perennial Plant List for Hummingbird Gardens

Please understand that this is not an exhaustive list of plants for hummingbird gardens but just the most common plants.

What Do Hummingbirds Really Eat?

Hummingbirds get the majority of their food from insects such as aphids so putting up plants like honeysuckle that attract aphids will attract the birds for both the flower shape and the insect food the plant sustains.

We used to get hummingbirds into our greenhouses every spring.

They would arrive in the north and a flowering greenhouse was too good an opportunity for them. They would buzz in and out tremendously amusing us all.

You could always tell the rookies. They would get inside and not know how to go back out the doors or vents. They would try to fly up and out through the plastic, an effort that thankfully never worked.

After several minutes of buzzing and beating themselves up against the plastic, they would perch on a cross wire or hanging basket and survey the place. More than once, they’d land on a shoulder or a hand.

Sooner or later they would see a door or somebody going out the door and they’d figure it out. Zooom and away they’d go.

The experienced birds used the vents- in and out without at any time of day

If you have a humminbird feeder – do not add red dye to the sugar-water mix. The birds don’t need it to find the feeder and it does them no good.

Want updates when I post something new? Click here

In any case, use these plants as backbone plants for your hummingbird gardens:

Perennial Plant List:

  • Agastache
  • Alcea
  • Aquilegia
  • Buddleia
  • Dahlia
  • Delphinium
  • Digitalis
  • Heuchera
  • Kniphofia
  • Lilium
  • Lobelia
  • Lonicera
  • Lupinus
  • Mimulus
  • Monarda
  • Penstemon
  • Phlox
  • Phygelius
  • Salvia
  • Sidalcea
  • Leonotis
  • Leycesteria
  • Meehania
  • Spigelia
  • Weigela
  • Zauschneria

Check out Doug’s Gardening Ebooks On Amazon

Why Perennials May Not Grow Quickly When You First Plant Them

Ever wonder why you buy perennials in the spring and they just sit there for a month or two before they start growing? Most of the time, we blame it on “culture shock” or “transplanting” or any number of other cultural things.

Plant Growth Regulators

Many nurseries use a plant growth regulators (PGR) to slow growth down so the plants don’t leap out of the pots.

And trust me, this was a problem in our nursery as the plants would leap out and start growing at the hint of spring. We had all kinds of spacing activities to keep them all growing, yet bushy and looking good for retail sales. (We didn’t use PGR’s)

But the kicker in this is most common growth regulators last 8-12 weeks and in the spring, instead of growing like crazy, the plant grows bushy and shorter. Again, it makes a better selling plant.

But that chemical still persists and is acting when you take the plant home. It stays short and bushy and really doesn’t get growing “normally”. Or as normally as it would if you did it at home.

Have you seen my perennial ebooks?

You get a bushier plant. But one that’s slower to begin growing strongly.
That’s one effect of a Plant Growth Hormone Regulator (PGR)
And now you know why some of your new plants might not jump right into growing when you first plant them.

p.s. the effects of PGR typically disappear at 8-12 weeks so after that, growth should be normal. So figure 4-6 weeks in the nursery and 4-6 weeks at your garden. If it isn’t growing after 4-6 weeks in your garden, then you may have other issues.

Want updates when I post something new?