Heat-Loving Annuals for Full Sun - Blog

Heat-Loving Annuals for Full Sun

By Kaw Valley Greenhouses, Inc.

You’ll have no trouble growing these gorgeous full-sun annuals during the hottest summer months.
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Designing a garden arrangement full of colorful annuals is one of our favorite spring projects! While annuals only remain for one year, their blooms are prolific, and their growth is rapid. They provide us the opportunity to experiment with new styles and color schemes, so you don’t have to commit to anything long-term. If you’re having trouble finding flowers that will survive the hottest summer months without succumbing to heat stress, we highly recommend planting these full-sun annuals. The more sunshine and warmth they receive, the bigger and brighter they’ll be! 

Full-Sun Annuals You Have to Plant This Year!

Bring maximum color and style to your sunny landscape with these heat-tolerant summer superstars. 


These quintessential summer annuals truly flourish in full sun! Voluminous blooms explode with color and trail down in cascading vines, petunias never fail to impress us with their showy displays. Just remember to water them consistently so they keep reblooming—a deep watering early in the morning each day will keep your petunias happy during the hottest summer months.


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Ultra-versatile and perfect for planters, hanging baskets, or bedding plants, geraniums continue to be an all-time summer favorite. We especially love the red ones—they bring an air of classic romance to the scenery. They thrive in the heat and perform well in full sun or partial shade. We also carry a variety of geranium with a citronella scent that helps repel mosquitoes! Don’t forget to deadhead for continuous blooms.



Like little bursts of sunshine, these golden beauties can handle direct sun and intense heat like total champs. Easily one of our favorite annuals, African marigolds are particularly striking—their big, round flower heads are ruffled golden, yellow ,or orange pom poms! They look fantastic as border plants, and they can be kept tidy by removing the spent flowers as they fade. 

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These feathery, tufted annuals are so unique and full of personality! There’s something distinctly whimsical and fun about the colorful, torch-shaped flowers. Celosia comes in plenty of vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow, hot pink, and deep plum. Bright, direct sun is best, but they also perform well in partial shade. Cut them for bouquets and dry them to preserve them! 


Ornamental Peppers

For something a little different than your typical annual flowers, ornamental peppers bring a burst of color to the landscape with their vibrant fruits! The little peppers transition through different shades as they mature, resulting in multicolored plants that almost look like a bundle of Christmas lights. 

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The clusters of multicolored flowers on this fabulous annual are known for being total butterfly magnets! They almost look like little fireworks, with tiny bursts of pink, yellow, orange, and white. With a mounded, compact growth habit, lantana looks great in summer containers, baskets, borders, and garden beds. They’re reasonably drought-tolerant as well, so if you forget to water them for a couple of days, it won’t be the end of the world. 



These vibrant, variegated foliage plants don’t need flowers to make a big splash! A fantastic annual for mixed arrangements, coleus bring unstoppable color and lush, voluminous foliage to fill in the gaps between your taller, showy plants and your long, trailing vines. While they’re incredibly heat-tolerant, coleus performs well in full shade and many varieties love the sun as well. 

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Also known as “Summer Snapdragons,” these fragrant, sun-loving annuals come in the prettiest shades of pink, red, purple, blue, and white, with tall flower spikes that hummingbirds adore! Fabulous for cut flowers, so you can snip off a few flower spikes to add to a bouquet. While they are incredibly heat-tolerant, they can also perform well in partial shade.

To see more heat-tolerant flowers, visit one of our Kaw Valley locations to see our collection for 2022. There are always new and exciting varieties released every year, so you never know when you’ll stumble upon a new favorite!





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