Afternoon sun is a tough time for plants. We all know that plants do well in morning sun, but what about the afternoon sun? The intensity of the light can be hard on their leaves and flowers, causing them to wither or die quickly.
Many plants can grow in the afternoon sun. However, it is important to know which ones will do well and which ones won't.
Some areas can be difficult to plant, such as areas on your house's north and west sides. These areas will be in deep shade during the morning and then abruptly change to the full blazing sun in the afternoon.
Therefore choose plants that will tolerate sun AND part sun because these plants will be in the deep shade of the house during the morning.
Because some of these plants may not get as much sun as they desire during the morning, pamper them in other ways. Before you plant, adjust the soil and make sure it is suitable for your plants' needs.
It is important to know your climate (i.e., how hot it gets during the summer months) and when your last frost date for spring typically takes place to plan accordingly.
Research before you start planting so that you can have a beautiful garden all summer long without worrying about it dying or wilting due to neglect because of too much sun exposure.
It is important to know what types of flowers and plants are native in your area, especially if you reside in a climate zone with a wide range of temperatures.
To help your plants thrive in this challenging environment, here are several plants that do well in afternoon sun.
Perennials and Shrubs
There are over 200 species of agave throughout the world, with many having variegated patterns that make them very ornamental. They have large, fleshy leaves and grow well as a border plant or accent point for any garden. Agaves prefer full afternoon sun.
A great garden plant that tolerates both heat and drought, leucadendrons are a beautiful choice for your yard or garden. There is an array of colors to choose from, with yellow, pink, red, and orange being the most common ones you'll find in shops.
Foxgloves are a popular perennial flower that thrives in the afternoon sun. They prefer cool, moist soil conditions with lots of added organic materials like compost to help them grow and bloom better. These flowers can reach up to three feet tall and have gorgeous purple or white bells at the top in the right environment.
The Lantana is a low-maintenance plant that adds vibrant color to your garden. It can grow in partial shade but thrives in full sun and well-draining soil. In addition, the lantanas are easy to care for, which makes them great plants for beginners or those with time restraints.
Lantana camara 'Sunshine'
In addition to the lantanas mentioned above, Lantana sunshine is another variety that can thrive in the afternoon sun. It has bright yellow blooms and a mild fragrance, making it a nice option for an outdoor garden or container on your porch.
Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'
This geranium has a nice blue flower which does well in the full afternoon sun. It requires medium water, is drought tolerant when established and looks beautiful planted around other flowers or your vegetable garden.
Strelitzia reginae and Strelitzia juncea
These plants are also known as the bird of paradise or crane flower, a large plant that may grow up to 12 feet tall. It does well in sunny areas and blooms when it's around two years old.
These lilac purple flowers are easy to grow and require little water. They do well in full morning and afternoon sun or even partial shade.
These beautiful flowers are a favorite for many gardeners because they come in so many different colors. They will grow well if you give them full sun but can also do fine with partial shade as long as it is bright enough to keep the plants blooming throughout the summer months.
Pelargoniums are evergreen and love warm temperate climates. Pelargoniums are easy to grow and can withstand partial sun or shade but do best in full sun. There are several different varieties to select from, including pink flowers and red leaves with veins that look like they have been painted.
The Shasta daisy has a classic white flower that blooms from summer to early fall. This daisy does well in full sun or partial shade and works great as an accent point for your garden bed, container planting on your porch, or even as part of the front yard landscaping.
Many succulents do very well in the afternoon sun and can create a nice border or small garden. They need little water, are extremely drought resistant and come in many different sizes, shapes, colors and textures.
This succulent plant has medicinal properties that have been known for centuries by Ayurvedic physicians. It does well with full sun exposure and requires low-water conditions. However, if you reside in an extremely humid environment, the aloe vera may not suit your garden or yard because it is susceptible to fungus and mold.
These extremely vibrant flowers (bracts) attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden—plant Bougainvillea in full sun or light shade. Bougainvilleas are also drought-tolerant, making them easy to care for and a great choice if you live in an area known for its droughts.
Many roses do well in the afternoon sun, including hybrids, miniatures, climbers, and ground cover varieties. They will flower well if they are planted in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Roses need well-draining soil and medium water requirements to produce a nice bloom for up to four months of the year.
Related: When to Transplant Rose Cuttings
These plants are extremely easy to grow, making them great options for beginners or those with limited time to care for their garden. They do best if they have six to eight hours of sunlight exposure each day. Wax begonias grow well in most soil types and require low-water conditions once established.
Growing Hibiscus does not require much effort and can thrive in most conditions with very little care, making it a popular flower for many gardeners. They come in an array of colors, including reds, pinks, oranges and yellows. They love full sun but can also thrive with light shade as long as the area is bright enough for them to grow tall.
This bright flower is beautiful when planted alone or mixed with other flowers and has a long blooming period that comes in different colors, including red, orange, yellow and pink. They thrive in full sun or light shade which makes them easy to care for and is an excellent choice if you live in an area known for its droughts.
This annual flower is easy to care for and water. You can plant Zinnia in the spring when it's warm out, and they will continue blooming all summer long. They do well in the afternoon sun or full morning sun with little watering.
These are other popular annual that does extremely well in hot afternoon sun. Very easy to grow, and they require little maintenance. To get the most out of these beauties, plant them in full afternoon sun with well-draining soil.
Salvia farinacea 'Victoria'
This salvia, also known as blue sage, does well in afternoon sun or morning shade with little water. It's great for gardens and containers, as it will not spread quickly.
These bright flowers do well in full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. They attract bees and butterflies to the garden, making them a nice option for your pollinator-friendly backyard or container garden on your porch. Sunflower seeds are edible and taste good as a snack raw or roasted with added salt if you like.
Marigold 'Lemon Gem'
This marigold variety has bright lemon-yellow blooms that do well in afternoon sun or morning sun with little water. They are easy to grow and make a nice border plant around other flowers.
This perennial flower is a great choice if you live in an area where the summers are hot, but winter temperatures drop below freezing because it can withstand cold days and heatwaves without wilting, making them easy to care for. Alyssum is ideal planted between pavers.
Dianthus, the sweet William, does well in the hot afternoon sun or morning sun with little water.
Related: Sun Loving AnnualsIf a plant looks like it is struggling, move it to another area. I sometimes move plants around a few times until they find the position they are most happy in.
Although many plants do well in the afternoon sun, it's important to note that not all of them can tolerate drought. So be sure to give your plant enough water and check for signs if they are suffering from any stress, including discoloration or drooping leaves.
This list is not exhaustive, and many different types of flowers do well in the afternoon sun. For example, perennials such as star jasmine, delphiniums or chrysanthemums will do well in full sun, and there are many other flowers to consider.
In addition, several annuals such as Poppies, Pansies and Violas will do well in full sun.
The afternoon sun is a challenge for gardeners, but you can get your plants to grow with trial and error.
Watering, mulching and moving are all strategies that will help keep your garden thriving in the summer heat.