6 Best Ornamental Flowering Container Plants for Full Sun

Updated on June 4, 2020
Vellur profile image

A graduate in botany, Nithya Venkat enjoys writing about plants that help sustain life on planet Earth.

You can add a splash of color to your front porch, balcony, or outdoor sitting area with these ornamental flowering container plants. Placing containers with vibrant colored flowers in the front walk will be a welcoming sight to visitors.

Mix and match flowers to decorate your garden, terrace, or stairways with a group of flowering container plants. You can use pots or reuse old containers around your home.

What does "full sun" mean?

Plants need a certain amount of daily sunlight exposure to flourish. When you buy plants, the ideal sunlight requirements are mostly printed on the tag, label, or seed package.

A planting location is considered to be "full sun" when it gets at least six full hours of direct sunlight on most days.

This article will share some of the best ornamental flowering container plants for full sun locations.

Busy Lizzies
Busy Lizzies | Source

1. Busy Lizzie

Busy Lizzie (Impatiens walleriana) it is commonly known as impatiens, patience plant, patient Lucy, and garden balsam. It belongs to the family Balsaminaceae.

Busy Lizzies are annuals that grow to about 12–15 inches in height. The flowers bloom in shades of white, pink, red, and orange, while some are bicolored depending on the hybrid variety. The leaves are heart-shaped in shades of green. The seedlings begin to flower when they are 3/4 inches in height.

Busy Lizzies need bright sunlight and must be kept in places exposed to the full sun. Water these plants moderately so that the top layers of the soil dry out between watering.

These plants can grow in average soil (not too dry, not too moist). You can control the dryness of soil with regular watering. A soil composition with equal parts of sand, silt, and clay provides the best moisture level for the plants.

Apply a standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks throughout the active growth phase. Use a soil-based potting mixture. When the container becomes full of roots, move the plants into one size larger container. Busy Lizzies can be grown from seeds; they will take 10–20 days to germinate.

Supertunia Petunia
Supertunia Petunia | Source

2. Supertunia Petunia

Supertunia petunia plants are annuals belonging to the family Solanaceae. The supertunia petunia plants grow to a height of about 6–24 inches. The flowers are funnel-shaped with frilly petals and bloom in colors of pink, yellow, purple, red, and white. The leaves these plants are hairy and somewhat sticky.

Supertunia petunias can be grown from seeds, but they are easier to grow from transplants. The seeds of these plants are tiny and need a lot of light to germinate.

They require a light, fertile soil with good drainage and weekly watering. Use a free-draining, soilless potting mix with slow-release fertilizer for containers. Remove faded/dead flowers to prolong blooming.

Lantana
Lantana | Source

3. Lantana

The Lantana plant has a sweet fragrance with bright colored flowers. They are low-maintenance plants belonging to the family Verbenaceae. They attract hordes of bees and butterflies to the garden. Dwarf types of lantana species are ideal for planting in containers. Dwarf lantanas reach a height of only 12–16 inches.

The flowers are five-lobed, tiny, and found in dense, hemispherical clusters made up of numerous small blossoms. Different color mixes of purple, red, orange, white, and yellow are found in the same cluster. They bloom nonstop from spring to fall and change colors as they age. The leaves are dark green, ovate, and toothed.

Plant the lantana in a container with a lightweight potting mix. Add a handful of sand, vermiculite, or perlite to enhance drainage. In shaded areas, the lantanas produce fewer blooms and are more susceptible to diseases.

Dwarf Canna Lily
Dwarf Canna Lily | Source

4. Dwarf Canna Lily

The dwarf canna lily belongs to the Cannanaceae family and grows to about 1–1.5 meters in height. These varieties have been bred to be compact and have more number of stems per rhizome.

The dwarf canna lily is an attractive plant that blooms all summer in vibrant colors of orange, pink, and red. The leaves are large, paddle-shaped, stripped, or variegated and have shades of green and bronze.

It flourishes in full sun, good potting soil with watering once or twice a day. Add a slow-release granular or water-soluble fertilizer for the best growth. These plants can be propagated from rhizomes, but they slow down in growth when pot-bound. When this happens, lift the root-ball, divide the canna bulbs (rhizomes), and replant them.

Dwarf Sunflower (Suntastic Yellow)
Dwarf Sunflower (Suntastic Yellow) | Source

5. Dwarf Sunflowers

Dwarf sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) belong to the Asteraceae family. These plants are hybrid varieties that grow to about 20 inches in height and bloom in colors of yellow, red, orange, and white. They are annuals that bloom from summer through early fall.

Dwarf sunflowers grow well in a soil that has good drainage; for best growth, use a faster-draining soil mix. They are drought-tolerant but need deep watering once a week. Add a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer once every month to help the plant to grow and bloom.

These plants are great as cut flowers for vases, because they don’t droop over like large sunflowers. Cut the flowers in the morning and immediately place the cuttings in a container of water. Trim the stems to the length that you need and put them in a vase. Change the water every few days and re-cut the stems to prolong the freshness of the flowers.

Wear gloves when you handle the flowers and leaves of the dwarf sunflower, because they have a prickly surface and may irritate your skin.

Celosia Arrabona
Celosia Arrabona | Source

6. Celosia Arrabona

Celosia species belongs to the Amaranthaceae family and is commonly known as cockscomb, feathered amaranth, or woolflower.

The Celosia arrabona variety are low-maintenance, drought-tolerant dwarf plants that flourish in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. These plants bloom in colors of orange, pink, purple, white, red, and yellow. The flowers are found in clusters in elegant, feathery spikes.

Watering the plant regularly, especially during hot, dry periods, will help it to grow well and produce blooms. Fertilize the plant with a water-soluble, slow-release fertilizer to provide nutrients throughout the growing season. These plants can be grown from seeds.

Which one is your favorite plant?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Nithya Venkat

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    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 weeks ago from Dubai

      It is difficult to choose one, I agree! Periwinkles are beautiful flowers.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      These are all such pretty flowering plants, and I couldn't choose just one. Periwinkles can also take the sun and flower nonstop. I have some of those in our garden.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 weeks ago from Dubai

      Rajan thank you, petunias are my favorite because they come in different colors and easy to grow.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you, Devika. The flowers will be beautiful in your garden.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you, Lora your garden must be beautiful! Lantana is easy to grow and maintain and celosia is a great choice.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you Brenda , flowers never fail to brighten the day.

    • Brenda Arledge profile image

      BRENDA ARLEDGE 

      5 weeks ago from Washington Court House

      You have talked about sone of my favorite plants.

      I'm kind if a flower person.

      No matter where I am I will always have flowers in my yard.

      I love to plant containers grouping together the most colorful displays as well as in flowerdbeds.

      I have never heard the term busy lizzies...i know the plant, but not that name.

      So delighted to read this share.

      Thank you.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      5 weeks ago

      What a beautiful garden you must have! I love all of these flowers with the lantana being my favorite. The reason I love lantana so much is it is so easy to grow and maintain. In fact, I have it planted all over my backyard and I have it on drip. They are perennial and they attract butterflies and hummingbirds, too. But I would like to add more flowers in my garden, so I will try your wonderful recommendations for containers. I never knew there was a dwarf variety of sunflowers. I will definitely have to try these and the celosia with all of the colors that they come in. Thank you for your great article with such detailed information that is easy to follow.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You have a lovely selection of ornamental plants. I like the colors and makes me want to do the same.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks for the information. I grow petunias and lantana.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      5 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Vellur, your comment is appreciated.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you for your visit Miebakagh

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you Dora, these flowers are lovely and brighten the decor of a place. Thank you for your visit.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you for your visit Umesh.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      5 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      I quite agreed.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      All the flowers in your selection are beautiful. The dual colored ones are interesting. Thanks very much for the instructions on how to grow them.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      5 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Beautiful article. Well presented.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      The growth of the plant depends on the amount of sunlight it receives. Thank you for your visit FlourishAnyway.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      I totally agree petunias are a great accent for any yard. Thank you for your visit, Bill.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Vegetables that are fresh off the garden taste way better than the store-bought ones. Thank you for your visit Ruchira.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Petunias are beautiful and bloom abundantly. Now that I think of it they are like us! Thank you for your visit manatita44.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      These flowers are attractive and are easy to grow. Thank you for your visit Linda.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The flowers in the photos are very attractive. Thank you for providing the growing instructions, Nithya. They would be lovely plants to have in a container.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      5 weeks ago from london

      I love petunias, which appear in many of my poetry, including tomorrow's, inshal'lah.

      So beautiful!! The arrobona and lizzies are outstanding!! Interesting that they are like us, so much in feeding off the sun. Praise be! Gratitude.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 

      5 weeks ago from United States

      Such a precious article, Nithya. With Spring in the Air, I just planted my vegetables. Shall look into it and maybe plant some flowers too.

      Shared across.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm a big fan of petunias. Love their color, and they are so easy to grow. I love that they provide color all summer long. Truly a great accent for any yard.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 weeks ago from USA

      Thank you for clarifying the number of hours of sunlight that full sun means. Some of these aren’t typically flowers that I’ve seen in greenhouses near me. Thank you!

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you, John. The dwarf varieties are great in containers. Lantana would be okay in pots.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      I am so happy that you are inspired to add to your collection of plants. Thank you for your visit Lorna.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you Genna, I love the sunflowers. They brighten the whole look of the place.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Miebakagh flowers are a delight, a welcoming sight anywhere. Thank you for your visit.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Your garden must be wonderful with the large sunflowers. Pots are great to decorate balconies and patios. Thank you for your visit Ann.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you, Eric. I am happy you like them.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      I totally agree flowers in the walkway are beautiful. We can get creative with the containers, it enhances the floral display. Thank you for your visit Ruby.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you, Liz. Flowers are a welcoming sight and brightens your day.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Nice article with lovely photos, Nithya. I have full size canna lilies in the garden, and didn’t realise there was a dwarf species of them or sunflowers. They’d both be great in pots. I like petunias and cockscombs too, but lantana is classed as a pest here in Australia as it is out of control in many areas where it is growing wild. It would be okay contained in a pot though I imagine.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      5 weeks ago

      I didn't realise there was a 'Dwarf Sunflower' and this would definitely be my favourite. All these plants are so vibrant and welcoming, and even though I have a couple on my doorstep, your article has inspired me to add to the collection. Thank you for this beautiful article and your detailed instructions on how to care for these wonderful plants.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      5 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I love potted plants and flowers...and your collection of splashes of colors is beautiful! I especially liked the sunflower and lavender container.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      5 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Nithya, thanks for sharing with beautiful pictures. Flowers are a delight to the sight. They help enhancd health. They should always decorate the envronment as nature intends. They are envirmmental friendly.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 weeks ago from SW England

      I love Busy Lizzies and used to have loads but now have none (different garden!). I also have sunflowers but the large ones, attached to canes.

      It's lovely to use pots when you haven't got a lot of room or even to decorate other areas apart from the main garden. I even have some cherry tomato plants in a planter.

      Great hub with some super suggestions, Nithya!

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Really good stuff. Loved the matching with the photos, like matching with the pots.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      There's nothing I like better than flowers on my walkway. I love the petunias, sunflower. I have lots of lilies getting ready to bloom. Beautiful containers adds so much to the display. Thanks for sharing.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 weeks ago from UK

      This is a bright and colourful article. These flowers are great suggestions, guaranteed to brighten up any garden or outdoor space. I appreciate the detailed instructions you give about their care.

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