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18 Shrubs That Thrive In Full Sun

When it comes to landscaping, no matter if you have a green thumb or not, adding shrubs to your garden can be a great way to spruce up your space. But with so many different types of shrubs available, choosing the right one for your garden can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. To save you time and effort, we have compiled a list of 18 shrubs that thrive in full sun – they are sure to give your garden the boost it needs!

With an array of colors, shapes and sizes available, these shrubs will add some serious oomph to your outdoor space. From evergreens and flowering shrubs to woody plants, there is something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a pop of color or an extra privacy barrier, these full-sun loving shrubs are the perfect option.

For those who are not confident in their gardening skills don’t fret – all of the shrubs on this list require only minimal maintenance and care. These hardy plants can take whatever Mother Nature throws at them – from heat waves to frosty winter days – making them ‘the gift that keeps on giving’ as far as low-maintenance beauty goes!

Choosing The Right Full Sun Shrub

“A stitch in time saves nine!” When it comes to gardening, planting the right shrub for your landscape is key. If you’re looking for a shrub that thrives in full sun, there are plenty of options out there. Before you go shopping for that perfect shrub, it’s important to know what type of conditions your garden offers.

Full-sun shrubs can handle up to 6 or 8 hours of direct sunlight per day, so make sure to check the amount of sunshine your yard gets before making a purchase. Planting a shrub in an area with too much shade can cause it to suffer from lack of flowering and other diseases. Additionally, some plants will require more water than others depending on their specific needs, so research the particular species you’re considering before purchasing it.

The soil type is also another factor to consider when selecting a full-sun shrub. Soil that is too heavy or dense won’t allow the roots access to enough oxygen and nutrients. On the other hand, soil that is too sandy won’t be able to hold enough moisture for the plant’s needs. Look for a soil that has good drainage and air circulation but still retains some moisture for optimal growth results.

With these factors in mind, one popular full-sun shrub worth considering is the butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). Not only does this plant provide vibrant colors during bloom season with its purple flowers, but it also attracts pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds!

Butterfly Bush

Like a beautiful butterfly, the butterfly bush flutters through gardens and around homes, bringing a unique beauty to its surroundings. It’s an incredibly popular shrub for full sun areas due to its easy maintenance requirements and vibrant colors. Let’s take a look at why it’s great for sunny spots.

First up, it grows quickly so you won’t be waiting forever for it to reach maturity. It can also reach heights of up to 12 feet tall, making for quite the statement piece in your yard. This fast growth also means that you’ll have plenty of flowers throughout the year if you prune regularly and don’t let it get too crowded.

In addition, this shrub is quite drought-tolerant and can survive with little water during dry periods without any problems. This makes it ideal for busy homeowners who don’t have time to water their plants every day or week. You should still be sure to give it a good soaking once in a while though!

Butterfly bush is also known for attracting all sorts of pollinators like butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds which can help bring more life and beauty into your garden space. All in all, this hardy shrub is an easy way to add some color and interest without having to dedicate much time or effort towards taking care of it. Ready to see what else you could use in your full sun area?


Alright, now we’re on to the third full sun shrub – fothergilla. This shrub’s a real beauty, providing blooms of white and yellow in the springtime. Plus, its leaves change color during the fall months, so you’ll get some gorgeous reds and oranges come autumn. Fothergilla is tough too – it’s pest-resistant and can survive in areas that have poor soil drainage.

Now, this one needs a bit more attention than some of the other full sun shrubs on our list. You’ll want to make sure it gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day; otherwise it won’t do as well as it could. And if you’ve got clay soil, you’ll need to add some organic matter to give this plant a better chance at thriving.

Fothergilla will grow up to six feet tall, but keep in mind that pruning can help control its size and shape. So if you don’t want a huge shrub taking over your landscape, just give it a trim every once in awhile! That way you can still enjoy the vibrant blooms and fall colors without worrying about space constraints. Time for us to move onto our next shrub – dwarf burning bush!

Dwarf Burning Bush

With a proper location and care, the dwarf burning bush (Euonymus alatus) can thrive in full sun for years. Interestingly, it can actually live 80 to 100 years! Here are some things to consider when planting this popular shrub:

• Climate: Dwarf burning bush prefers cooler climates and should be planted in USDA zones 4-7. • Water: These shrubs need plenty of moisture during their first year as they establish their roots. • Pruning: To keep your dwarf burning bush healthy and compact, it should be pruned every spring before new growth appears.

Now that you know the necessary climate and water requirements, let’s talk about care tips. To give your dwarf burning bush the best chance at success, make sure to fertilize it each spring with a slow-release fertilizer. Additionally, mulch around the base of the plant in late winter or early spring to keep weeds away and help retain soil moisture.

In terms of pests and diseases, the dwarf burning bush is relatively resistant but does occasionally suffer from leaf spots and powdery mildew when grown in wet or humid conditions. If this occurs, try pruning off affected areas and applying fungicide according to package instructions. With these tips in mind, you should have no trouble growing a thriving dwarf burning bush in your yard! Moving on…


Alright, let’s take a look at boxwood. Boxwood shrubs may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of full sun plants, but they really can do great in sunny spots. They might need some special care to get them started, but once they’re settled in, these little evergreens are tough and can handle the heat just fine. Plus, they’ll give you year-round foliage so your garden stays looking good all season long.

When planting boxwoods in full sun, make sure you give them extra water during dry spells. A layer of mulch around each shrub will also help keep the soil cool and moist in hot weather. Pruning is important too; it keeps the growth compact and promotes more blooms and berries if your variety produces them. And if the leaves start to turn yellow or brown due to sun scorch, just cut back on watering until they recover.

So there ya go – boxwood can be a great option for full sun gardens! Just give ’em a bit of extra TLC as needed, and enjoy their easy-care beauty all year round! Let’s move on now to another full sun favorite: forsythia.


Ah, the forsythia – its radiant yellow blooms in early spring can bring a ray of sunshine even to the dreariest of days. It’s an eye-catching shrub that loves full sun and thrives in it. So if you’re looking for a splash of color in your yard, this is the perfect choice!

Forsythia’s a hardy plant that can handle most conditions; it’ll grow anywhere from three to ten feet tall and wide. Plus, it’s low maintenance – just prune it every few years to keep it shaped as you’d like. You can also try planting multiple varieties together to create an amazing visual effect.

Finally, forsythia prefers well-drained soil but can tolerate clay or sandy soils too. Water regularly during the summer months and provide some fertilizer annually to ensure maximum flowering potential. With these simple tips, your forsythia should be blooming nonstop all season long! Ready for more? Let’s move on to Japanese spirea…

Japanese Spirea

Japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica) is a great option for a full sun shrub. It’s easy to care for and can thrive in many soil types. Plus, it looks beautiful with its clusters of white flowers in the spring and vibrant foliage in the fall.

When planting this shrub, you’ll need to choose an area that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. Plant it in well-draining soil that is slightly acidic, and make sure you water it regularly during its first year of growth. Prune it if necessary to keep its shape and size manageable; otherwise, Japanese spirea requires minimal maintenance after planting.

This attractive shrub also provides plenty of benefits for your garden. Its thick clusters of flowers attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds in the springtime, while its red berries feed birds when they appear later in the season. The plant’s dense foliage makes an excellent privacy barrier or windscreen too!

Japanese spirea’s low-maintenance nature and beauty make it a great choice for a sun-filled spot in your yard or garden. With its hardy nature and versatile uses, this popular shrub is sure to bring life to any outdoor space…allowing you to enjoy its beauty for years to come. Onwards now to viburnum – another full sun shrub deserving of attention!


Viburnum is a great addition to any garden that receives full sun. It’s a multi-seasonal shrub, with clusters of fragrant white flowers in spring, berries that ripen to black in summer, and bright red or yellow leaves in fall. The viburnum plant has a variety of shapes and sizes for different uses in the landscape.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance evergreen shrub, consider viburnum. This hardy shrub is tolerant of most soils and doesn’t require pruning. It can also be used as an attractive hedge or foundation planting. Plus, it’s deer resistant!

But if you do decide to prune it, keep in mind that viburnum should be pruned after flowering ends—otherwise you risk cutting off next year’s blooms. Tip: Viburnum makes a great backdrop for other plants—plant them behind shorter flowering perennials or annuals to create layers of texture and color in your garden beds!

Dwarf Yaupon Holly

Dwarf Yaupon Holly is an excellent choice for a full sun shrub. Not only does it thrive in direct sunlight, but its bright evergreen foliage adds texture and color to garden spaces. Plus, this tough native plant can tolerate drought and poor soils with ease.

When planting Dwarf Yaupon Hollies, make sure to give them plenty of space since they can grow up to 8 feet tall and wide. It’s best to position them at least 4-5 feet from other plants or structures so they have room to spread out and flourish without being crowded. Additionally, prune these shrubs every year or two by removing leggy branches for a more full look.

Dwarf Yaupon Hollies are easy-care plants that are extremely low maintenance – just water regularly until established and fertilize if needed. With their evergreen leaves and ability to withstand heat, wind, and humidity, these bushes will bring beauty to any garden all year long!

Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper

The tenth full-sun shrub is the Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper. This evergreen shrub can reach up to 3 feet high and wide, making it an ideal choice for smaller yards and gardens. It’s well-suited to hot climates, with its bright green foliage and yearlong interest. Plus, once established, it doesn’t need much water—just enough to keep it looking healthy.

To help it thrive, be sure to plant your juniper in a sunny or partially shady spot where there’s good air circulation. Also make sure the soil drains well. If you’re in a colder climate, you’ll want to provide some winter protection for your juniper by mulching around its base and pruning back any damaged branches.

For those looking for a low-maintenance evergreen shrub that can handle full sun, the Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper provides yearlong interest with minimal effort on your part. With the right care and attention, this shrub will bring beauty to your outdoor space for years to come. Transitioning from here into the next section about Japanese Barberry: For those who want an easy-care shrub with bright coloration, Japanese Barberry is worth considering as an option.

Japanese Barberry

Japanese barberry is an ideal shrub for any sun-filled garden. It can grow up to three feet in height and width, but can be kept much smaller with regular pruning. An interesting statistic to note is that the stems of a japanese barberry bush contain small thorns, making it an effective deterrent against pesky animals like deer or rabbits.

This hardy shrub is a great addition to any yard because of its ability to thrive in full sun while also being drought tolerant. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance option that adds vibrant color, then this is the perfect choice. Its leaves turn yellow, red and orange in the fall, adding even more visual interest to your garden.

For those who want a reliable and unique shrub for their full sun environment, japanese barberry should be at the top of your list. With its bright foliage and easy maintenance requirements, it’s sure to add beauty and value to your outdoor space for years to come. Moving onto another great option for full sun gardens – dwarf privet…

Dwarf Privet

Dwarf privet is a hardy shrub that adds a touch of elegance to any landscape. It’s an easy-to-care for option for gardeners who want to bring the beauty of the outdoors into their own backyard. Symbolically, it’s a representation of hospitality and welcome, and its evergreen foliage provides year-round color and texture. Here are four reasons why you should consider adding dwarf privet to your outdoor space:

  1. Dwarf privet thrives in full sun conditions, making it an ideal choice for sunny outdoor areas.

  2. Its dense foliage provides excellent privacy screening and wind protection.

  3. This low maintenance shrub is virtually pest free, so you won’t have to worry about any pesky critters eating away at it.

  4. It produces small white flowers in the summer months that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.

If you’re looking for a beautiful, low maintenance shrub that will add charm and character to your landscape, dwarf privet is a great choice. It’s easy to care for and doesn’t require much pruning or trimming, making it perfect for busy homeowners who don’t have the time or energy to dedicate themselves to a more labor-intensive gardening project. Plus, with its evergreen foliage, you can rest assured knowing your garden will stay colorful all year round! With these benefits in mind, it’s no surprise why dwarf privet makes such an ideal addition to many gardens today. Ready to explore more full sun shrubs? Let’s take a look at rose of sharon next!

Rose Of Sharon

Like a bright beacon of beauty, the rose of sharon is a full-sun shrub that’s sure to turn heads. It’s an easy-to-maintain plant with just a few requirements: regular pruning and occasional fertilizing. Plus, it produces gorgeous single or double white, pink, purple, or blue flowers throughout the summer months. When it comes to creating a stunning landscape in your yard, this is one shrub you don’t want to miss out on.

When planting roses of sharon, make sure you choose well-draining soil and provide plenty of sunlight; otherwise, the branch growth could be sparse and weak. And because it can grow up to 10 feet tall and wide over time, give this shrub plenty of space for its roots to spread out. Once established in your garden beds or borders, the rose of sharon will make a beautiful addition with minimal maintenance required.

For those looking for an eye-catching shrub that’ll thrive in full sun conditions all summer long, the rose of sharon is an excellent option. Its showy flowers can bring a pop of color while standing up against heat and drought—making it an ideal pick for any sunny spot in your landscape!

Bottlebrush Buckeye

Pleasingly perfect for perennial planting, the bottlebrush buckeye is a brilliant and beautiful bush. Growing up to 12 feet tall, this full sun shrub boasts an abundance of showy white flowers in late summer that will attract butterflies and bees to your garden. Furthermore, its golden-yellow foliage turns to orange or red during autumn months.

This hardy shrub requires minimal maintenance, making it ideal for busy homeowners who lack the time for intensive gardening. It can tolerate some drought conditions and it’s also resistant to deer and rabbits.

TIP: To ensure it thrives throughout the year, be sure to prune it regularly and water frequently during dry spells. The bottlebrush buckeye is a great option if you want a hardy full sun shrub that requires little effort but still offers plenty of beauty!

Dwarf Mugo Pine

Did you know that Dwarf Mugo Pine can live up to an impressive 400 years? It’s truly incredible! This full sun shrub is a great choice for the garden.

This evergreen has a soft, dense texture and its needles are dark green with a blue-green hue. It’s low-maintenance and requires little pruning, making it ideal for those looking for an easy-care plant. Plus, it adds year-round beauty to any landscape!

Dwarf Mugo Pine grows in zones 3 to 8 and does best in well-drained soil. The height of this full sun shrub ranges from 2 feet to 8 feet tall and 4 feet to 10 feet wide; plus, it can be used as a hedge or windbreak. If you’re looking for something that will thrive in full sun, then Dwarf Mugo Pine is definitely worth considering!

It’s hardy and sure to bring some color and texture to your garden, so why not give it a try?


The right full sun shrubs can make any yard look beautiful. With the right plantings in place, you can create a paradise for yourself and your family to enjoy. Symbolically, these plants represent the beauty of nature, growth, and life’s cycles.

Butterfly bush, fothergilla, dwarf burning bush, boxwood, dwarf privet, rose of Sharon, bottlebrush buckeye and dwarf mugo pine are all great choices for full sun shrubs that will help bring life to any garden. Planting them together creates an evergreen landscape that is sure to bring joy to you and your family all year long.

These hardy plants will stand up to the toughest conditions while still providing a vibrant backdrop for outdoor gatherings and activities. With proper care they’ll be able to thrive in full sun areas with minimal effort on your part. So go ahead and add some of these beautiful shrubs to your outdoor space today!

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