59 Annuals that Thrive in the Sun (A to Z List with Photos)


Terrific list of 59 annuals that like sun. Ordered A to Z. Searchable. Photos, videos and charts.

Welcome to our massive gallery featuring annuals that like or tolerate plenty of sun.

What are annuals?

Without getting into to much detail, they are flowers that last one season.  You buy more or re-seed each year.  Because annuals require effort each year, perennials are favored by people who like the idea of plant once and enjoy forever (or at least several years).

Perennials are the passive gardener’s preference.  I can see the merit of that, BUT, and there’s a big but, no garden should ignore annuals.

If you want to design a garden, check out these garden design software options.

 We continually update this database, so please bookmark it and check back weekly.

 To learn more about each item in the gallery, click the toggle button below images which will reveal more about that plant/flower that provides key information (and in many cases an instructional video). Ordered A to Z.

African Daisy (Arctotis)

African Daisy (Arctotis)
Common Name:
African Daisy
Scientific Name:
Arctotis
Type:
Annual
Water:
Tolerates drought
Soil PH:
5 to 5.5
Flower Color:
Orange, Pink, Red, White
Special Characteristics:
Container
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 11
Height At Maturity:
12" to 24"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Annual mallow (Lavatera trimestris)

Annual mallow (Lavatera trimestris)
Common Name:
Annual mallow
Scientific Name:
Lavatera trimestris
Type:
Annual
Water:
Medium moisture
Soil PH:
6.3 to 6.7
Flower Color:
White to pink
Special Characteristics:
Attractas Birds and butterflies, Cut Flower and Easy-to-grow
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 11
Height At Maturity:
2' to 4'
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Annual Phlox (Phlox Drummondii)

Annual Phlox (Phlox Drummondii)
Common Name:
Annual Phlox
Scientific Name:
Phlox Drummondii
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate moisture
Soil PH:
4.5 to 7
Flower Color:
Pink, rose-red
Special Characteristics:
Attracts birds and butterflies, deer resistant, fragrant
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 11
Height At Maturity:
6" to 12"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella)

Blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
Common Name:
Blanket flower
Scientific Name:
Gaillardia pulchella
Type:
Annual
Water:
Needs moderate moisture
Soil PH:
6.8 to 7.2
Flower Color:
Orange, Red
Special Characteristics:
Cut Flowers, Good for Containers, Easy-to-grow
Hardiness Zone(s):
3 to 9
Height At Maturity:
24" to 48"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Blue floss (Ageratum houstonianum)

Blue floss (Ageratum houstonianum)
Common Name:
Blue Floss
Scientific Name:
Ageratum houstonianum
Type:
Annual
Water:
Medium Moisture
Soil PH:
4.5 to 7.5
Flower Color:
Blue, Pink, White
Special Characteristics:
Deer resistant, Attracts Birds and Butterflies, easy-to-grow, Container
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 22
Height At Maturity:
24" to 48"
Sun:
Full sun, Partial Shade
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Blue Marguerite (Felicea amelloides)

Blue Marguerite (Felicea amelloides)
Common Name:
Blue Marguerite
Scientific Name:
Felicea amelloides
Type:
Annual
Soil PH:
Neutral
Flower Color:
Blue
Special Characteristics:
Fragrant, Good for cut flowers,
Hardiness Zone(s):
9 through 11
Height At Maturity:
180 mm
Sun:
Likes sun

Bush violet (Browallia speciosa)

Bush violet (Browallia speciosa)
Common Name:
Bush Violet
Scientific Name:
Browallia speciosa
Type:
Annual
Water:
Needs Moderate Moisture, Tolerates Wet Soil
Soil PH:
5.5 to 7
Flower Color:
Purple-blue with white center
Special Characteristics:
Container, Attracts hummingbirds
Hardiness Zone(s):
9 to 10
Height At Maturity:
12" to 24"
Sun:
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Butter daisy (Melampodium paludosum)

Butter daisy (Melampodium paludosum)
Common Name:
Butter daisy
Scientific Name:
Melampodium paludosum
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate moisture
Soil PH:
6.1 to 6.5
Flower Color:
Yellow
Special Characteristics:
Deer resistant
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 11
Height At Maturity:
1' to 2'
Sun:
Full sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
Common Name:
California Poppy
Scientific Name:
Eschscholzia californica
Type:
Annual
Water:
Drought tolerant
Soil PH:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Flower Color:
Gold: yellow/orange
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 through 11
Sun:
Plenty of sun

Cape daisy (Dimorphotheca)

Cape daisy (Dimorphotheca)
Common Name:
Cape Daisy / African daisy
Scientific Name:
Dimorphotheca
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate: Every 2 to 3 days after transplant followed by 2x/week followed by once a week.
Soil PH:
5.0 to 5.5 (slightly acidic)
Flower Color:
Orange, Pink, Red and White
Hardiness Zone(s):
1 through 15
Height At Maturity:
120 mm
Sun:
Plenty of Sun

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Common Name:
Cardinal Flower
Scientific Name:
Lobelia cardinalis
Type:
Annual
Water:
Tolerates wet soil
Soil PH:
5.5 to 7
Flower Color:
red white pink
Special Characteristics:
Attracts Birds and Butterflies
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 9
Height At Maturity:
24" to 48"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)

Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)
Common Name:
Cardinal Flower
Scientific Name:
pink and peach
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate Moisture
Soil PH:
5.8 to 6.2
Flower Color:
red, yellow, white, purple, pink and peach
Special Characteristics:
Deer Resistant
Hardiness Zone(s):
5 to 9
Height At Maturity:
12" to 24"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Cocksomb (Celosia)

Cocksomb (Celosia)
Common Name:
Cocksomb
Scientific Name:
Celosia
Type:
Annual
Water:
Tolerate drought
Soil PH:
6 to 6.5
Flower Color:
Amigo Red, Armor Yellow, Flamingo Feather, Fresh Look Yellow, Fresh Look Red
Special Characteristics:
Cut Flower
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 11
Height At Maturity:
24" to 48"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)

Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)
Common Name:
Corn Poppy
Scientific Name:
Papaver rhoeas
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate moisture
Soil PH:
5.0 to 5.8
Flower Color:
ed (sometimes purple or white)
Special Characteristics:
Container
Hardiness Zone(s):
3 to 10
Height At Maturity:
12" to 30"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Grouncover

Cosmos

Cosmos
Common Name:
Cosmos
Scientific Name:
Cosmos
Type:
Annual
Water:
No need to water unless prolonged drought.
Soil PH:
6.0 to 6.8
Flower Color:
Pink, Orange, Red, Yellow and White
Special Characteristics:
Fragrant / Fast-growing / Fall Color
Hardiness Zone(s):
8 through 10
Sun:
Plenty of Sun

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)
Common Name:
Crape Myrtle
Scientific Name:
Lagerstroemia
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate moisture
Soil PH:
5.0 TO 6.5
Flower Color:
Red, pink, white, purple
Hardiness Zone(s):
6 TO 9
Height At Maturity:
2' TO 10'
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Creeping Zinnia (Sanvitalia Procumbent)

Creeping Zinnia (Sanvitalia Procumbent)
Common Name:
Creeping Zinnia
Scientific Name:
Sanvitalia Procumbent
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate moisture to Dry
Soil PH:
5.5 to 7.5
Flower Color:
Orange, Pink,Purple,Red,White,Yellow
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 11
Height At Maturity:
6"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Dahlberg Daisy (Thymophylla tenuiloba)

Dahlberg Daisy (Thymophylla tenuiloba)
Common Name:
Dahlberg Daisy
Scientific Name:
Thymophylla tenuiloba
Type:
Annual
Water:
Tolerates drought
Soil PH:
6.6 to 7.8
Flower Color:
Yellow
Special Characteristics:
Fragrant
Hardiness Zone(s):
9 to 10
Height At Maturity:
6" to 12"
Sun:
Full sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Everlasting Flower (Helichrysum Bracteatum)

Everlasting Flower (Helichrysum Bracteatum)
Common Name:
Everlasting Flower
Scientific Name:
Helichrysum Bracteatum
Type:
Annual
Water:
tolerate wet soil
Soil PH:
6.6 to 7.5
Flower Color:
Yellow, purple, red, violet
Special Characteristics:
Deer resistant
Hardiness Zone(s):
3 to 10
Height At Maturity:
40"
Sun:
Full sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Fan flower (Scaevola Aemula)

Fan flower (Scaevola Aemula)
Common Name:
Fan flower
Scientific Name:
Scaevola Aemula
Type:
Annual
Water:
Medium moisture
Soil PH:
5.5 to 6.0
Flower Color:
Dark blue, Lavander. violet
Special Characteristics:
Container, Deer Resistant, Attracts Butterflies
Hardiness Zone(s):
10 to 11
Height At Maturity:
8" to 18"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Evergreen

Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)

Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)
Common Name:
Fennel
Scientific Name:
Foeniculum Vulgare
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate Moisture
Soil PH:
7.0 to 8.0
Flower Color:
Yellow
Special Characteristics:
Deep resistant, Fragrant, attract birds and butterflies
Hardiness Zone(s):
4 to 9
Height At Maturity:
4' to 6'
Sun:
Full sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Flame nettle (Solenostemon or Coleus)

Flame nettle (Solenostemon or Coleus)
Common Name:
Flame nettle
Scientific Name:
Solenostemon or Coleus
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate moisture
Soil PH:
5.25 to 6.75
Flower Color:
Multicolor
Special Characteristics:
Cut flowers, Easy to grow
Hardiness Zone(s):
4-10
Height At Maturity:
24" to 48"
Sun:
Full Sun, Partial Shade
Sub Type:
groundcover

Four O’clock (Mirabilis jalapa)

Four O’clock (Mirabilis jalapa)
Common Name:
Four O’clock
Scientific Name:
Mirabilis jalapa
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate, tolerates wet soil
Soil PH:
6.1 to 7.5
Flower Color:
Pink, rose, red, magenta, yellow, white
Special Characteristics:
Attracts bird and butterflies, deer-resistant
Hardiness Zone(s):
9 to 11
Height At Maturity:
2' to 3'
Sun:
Full sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Fuchsia

Fuchsia
Common Name:
Fuchsia
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate
Soil PH:
6.0 to 7.0
Flower Color:
Pink, Red, White and Purple
Special Characteristics:
Attracts butterflies and birds / Good for containers
Hardiness Zone(s):
8 through 11
Height At Maturity:
360 mm
Sun:
Moderate Sun
Sub Type:
Also good as houseplants.

Garden balsam (Impatiens balsamina)

Garden balsam (Impatiens balsamina)
Common Name:
Garden balsam
Scientific Name:
Impatiens balsamina
Type:
Annuals
Water:
Needs Moderate Moisture, Tolerates Drought
Soil PH:
6.1 to 6.5
Flower Color:
white, red, orange, yellow, violet, and pink
Special Characteristics:
Container, Attracts birds and butterflies
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 11
Height At Maturity:
6" to 30"
Sun:
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Garden stock (Matthiola incana)

Garden stock (Matthiola incana)
Common Name:
Garden stock
Scientific Name:
Matthiola incana
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate Moisture
Soil PH:
6.8 to 7.5
Flower Color:
Pink, lander, purple. white, yellow, red
Special Characteristics:
Deer Resistant, Fragrant
Hardiness Zone(s):
7 to 10
Height At Maturity:
24" to 48"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Geranium (Pelargonium)

Geranium (Pelargonium)
Common Name:
Geranium
Scientific Name:
Pelargonium
Type:
Annual
Water:
Needs moderate moisture
Soil PH:
5.5 to 6.8
Flower Color:
white, red, pink, purple or blue
Special Characteristics:
Deer Resistant, Fast-growing
Hardiness Zone(s):
8 to 10
Height At Maturity:
24" to 48"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
Common Name:
Gerbera daisy
Scientific Name:
Gerbera jamesonii
Type:
Annual
Water:
Needs moderate moisture
Soil PH:
6.1 to 7.5
Flower Color:
Orange Red Yellow
Special Characteristics:
Container, cutflower
Hardiness Zone(s):
8 to 9
Height At Maturity:
12" to 24"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Ground-cover, houseplant

Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena Globosa)

Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena Globosa)
Common Name:
Globe Amaranth
Scientific Name:
Gomphrena Globosa
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate moisture, Tolerate Drought
Soil PH:
5.8 to 6.2
Flower Color:
White to yellow with bright magenta bracts
Special Characteristics:
Attracts Butterflies, Container
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 11
Height At Maturity:
1' to 2'
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Godetia (Clarkia amoena)

Godetia (Clarkia amoena)
Common Name:
Godetia
Scientific Name:
Clarkia amoena
Type:
Annual
Flower Color:
Pink and White
Special Characteristics:
Easy to grow / Good for cut flowers / Attracts butterflies and birds / Fast growing
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 through 11
Height At Maturity:
24" to 48"
Sun:
Plenty of sun and partial shade.

Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)

Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
Common Name:
Indian blanket
Scientific Name:
Gaillardia pulchella
Type:
Annual
Water:
Dry to medium
Soil PH:
6.2 to 7.2
Flower Color:
Red, Yellow, Bicolor
Special Characteristics:
Attracts birds and butterflies, Tolerates drought, showy flowers, easy to grow
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 11
Height At Maturity:
12-18”
Sun:
Full sun

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
Common Name:
Jewelweed
Scientific Name:
Impatiens capensis
Type:
Annual
Water:
Needs Moderate Moisture
Soil PH:
5.6 to 6.5
Flower Color:
Orange, yellow, reddish-brown
Special Characteristics:
Attracts birds and butterflies, Self-sowing
Hardiness Zone(s):
2-11
Height At Maturity:
3 to 5 feet
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum)

Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum)
Common Name:
Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum)
Scientific Name:
Eustoma grandiflorum
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate moisture
Soil PH:
6.5 to 7
Special Characteristics:
Attracts birds and butterflies
Hardiness Zone(s):
8 through 11
Height At Maturity:
200 mm
Sun:
Plenty of Sun

Love in a mist (Nigella damascena)

Love in a mist (Nigella damascena)
Common Name:
Love in a mist
Scientific Name:
Nigella damascena
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate moisture
Soil PH:
6.3 to 6.7
Flower Color:
Blue with cultivars in white, pink, rose and purple
Special Characteristics:
container
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 11
Height At Maturity:
16" to 24"
Sun:
Full sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Love lies bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus)

Love lies bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus)
Common Name:
love lies bleeding
Scientific Name:
amaranthus caudatus
Type:
Annual
Water:
Needs moderate moisture
Soil PH:
5.5 to 7
Flower Color:
Red, Yellow Green, Dark Red
Special Characteristics:
Container
Hardiness Zone(s):
6 to 11
Height At Maturity:
4' to 8'
Sun:
Full Sun- Partial Shade
Sub Type:
Houseplant, Attracts birds

Marigold (Tagetes)

Marigold (Tagetes)
Water:
Needs moderate moisture
Soil PH:
5.5 to 7.5
Flower Color:
yellow, orange, red and maroon
Special Characteristics:
Cut Flower
Hardiness Zone(s):
9 yo 11
Height At Maturity:
24" to 48"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Cut flower

Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)

Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)
Common Name:
Mexican Sunflower
Scientific Name:
Tithonia rotundifolia
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moist to dry
Soil PH:
5.5 tp 7.5
Flower Color:
Orange-red with yellow center disk
Special Characteristics:
Attracts birds and butterflies, cut flower, deer resistant
Hardiness Zone(s):
3 to 11
Height At Maturity:
4' to 6'
Sun:
Sun full
Sub Type:
Groundcover

Million bells (Calibrachoa)

Million bells (Calibrachoa)
Common Name:
Million bells
Scientific Name:
Calibrachoa
Type:
Annual
Water:
Medium moisture
Soil PH:
5.5 to 5.8
Flower Color:
violet, blue, pink, red, magenta, yellow, bronze and white
Special Characteristics:
Easy to grow
Hardiness Zone(s):
9 to 11
Height At Maturity:
3' to 9"
Sun:
Full Sun
Sub Type:
Ground cover

Morning Glory (Convolvulus tricolor)

Morning Glory (Convolvulus tricolor)
Common Name:
Morning Glory
Scientific Name:
Convolvulus tricolor
Type:
Annual
Soil PH:
6.0 to 6.8
Flower Color:
Red, White, Blue, Pink and Purple
Hardiness Zone(s):
3 through 10
Sun:
Plenty of Sun

Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora)

Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora)
Common Name:
Moss Rose
Scientific Name:
Portulaca grandiflora
Type:
Annual
Water:
Moderate to dry
Soil PH:
5.6 to 7.5
Flower Color:
Pink Red Orange Pale Yellow White/Near White
Hardiness Zone(s):
2 to 11
Height At Maturity:
4" to 16"
Sun:
Full sun
Sub Type:
Groundcover
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Annuals at Our House

We have this amazing garden area next to our patio which is where we plant annuals every year. We’re not so ambitious to plant from seeds; instead my wife, 2 kids and I head to the nursery and load up on blooming annuals.

This makes for an instant explosion of color.  It’s a lot of fun because it’s like painting a large canvas as we envision our garden with the various flowers available.  Sometimes we pick some real winners but sometimes they’re duds.  It’s a bit of a crapshoot but I think it improves over time as you learn what works and doesn’t work in a particular garden over the years.

Annuals offer many benefits to any garden or yard.  Yes, you must plant a new batch each year and if you despise gardening, annuals aren’t for you.  But, if you like the idea of trying something new on for size each Spring/Summer, annuals are terrific.

Planting annuals requires some planning.  You can just dump whatever you like anywhere you like it.  Different annuals have different ideal growing conditions.

How much sun is “plenty” or “tolerates” sun?

A flower is rated to be fine with plenty of sun or tolerates sun if it does okay with 1/2 day or longer of sun.  At a minimum, that would be 5 to 6 hours and up.

Our Gallery

This annual photo gallery features many annuals that like and/or tolerate plenty of sun for those exposed areas in your yard.  You’ll notice for each flower listed, we provide quite a bit additional information such as water requirements, ideal soil pH, height at maturity, the main color options, hardiness zones and special features or characteristics.  When available, we include an instructional video as well.

Note that just because different flowers can tolerate plenty of sun does not mean their other characteristics are similar.  For example, some can handle drought while others still need plenty of water.

But the overarching theme with the gallery below is annuals that can handle a decent amount of sun.  Each flower included meets those two variables.

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