The Q&A Archives: All Sun Plants

Question: I have an all sun lot. There is hardly any shade and each year the annuals that I buy (all sun) tend to die by late July. I plant annuals around my perennials to spruce them up and they never seem to last long. I also plant annuals in window boxes for the deck and each year they die by late July. I water most every night too.

Do you have any suggestions for me as far as hardier annuals and perennials?

Lastly, I have a vegetable garden, and the tomato plant leaves start to get brown speckles and turn yellow and die by the late summer before the tomato blooms. This does not seem to happen with Cherry tomatos but does with regular sizes ones of different varieties. Any suggestions?


Amy Kasprzak

Answer: For hot, sunny gardens, here are some good choices:

Ornamental Onions or Alliums are one of the easiest full sun perennials to grow and even though they are technically a bulb, they deserve a place in the early summer perennial border.

Monkshood or Aconitum is a wonderful plant for full sun or light shade and I particularly like the old-fashioned bicolor form. The fall blooming varieties bring fantastic blue shades to the fall garden.

One of the easiest of hardy perennials is the Coneflower or Echinacea. A sun loving beauty! Peonies are one of the superb classic perennial flowers and I'll tell you how to quickly and easily stake them so you can't see the stakes.

Hollyhocks are one of the stateliest and easiest of self-sowing perennials. Here's how to grow and enjoy those blooms.

And one of the longest blooming plants in the perennial border is the Coreopsis or Butter Daisy

One of my all time favorite border perennials is the Beebalm or Monarda. .

Lavatera is a tall, shrubby perennial that produces scads of pink flowers and is a good plant for the back of the border. It will take a bit of shade too so that makes it even more versatile.

You might also try Achillea or yarrow is a superb plant for sunny hot spots; Aconitum or Monkshood; Agastache; Alchemilla or Lady's Mantle; Anemone; Aquilegia or Columbine; Asters or Michaelmas Daisies; Belamcanda or Leopard Lily or even Blackberry Lily is a short-lived but lovely iris- lookalike; Buddleia or Butterfly Bush is one of the most fragrant of garden plants. And it really does attract butterflies! Campanula or Bellflower; Caryopteris; Centaurea, Bachelor Buttons, or Mountain Bluet; Chrysanthemums; Coreopsis or Butter Daisy" is a garden stalwart and long-blooming plant.

Hope these suggestions are helpful!

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