The Best Annual Flowering Plants for Full Sun

living color full sun flowers purple torenia hot sunlight

Finding flowers that can tolerate full sun in Fort Lauderdale can be tricky—a lot of plants just can’t take the heat! However, a lot of our favorite annuals are cut out for life in SoFlo. Most annuals have a short, vigorous growing season, and they need all the fuel they can get to keep blooming. This allows them to thrive in full sun, soaking up the rays instead of getting roasted by them. 

Heat Tolerant Annual Flowers to Plant in March

Having trouble finding flowers that can handle direct sun all day long? These gorgeous annuals are perfect for planting in March. Kick-off the season with these full sun plants for a spring and summer bursting with spectacular garden color. 

living color full sun flowers march sunpatiens


These hybrid impatiens were developed in an effort to create heat-tolerant impatiens we can enjoy here in the South. Impatiens are fabulous, low-maintenance annuals that require zero deadheading, are super pest-resistant, and can thrive in full sun or shade! Sunpatiens come in all sorts of vibrant pinks, reds and purples, continuously blooming from spring until fall. Their mounded, lush growth makes them great for filling gaps in containers and garden beds among taller flowers.  


We love the intricate detail and distinctive color patterns of torenia flowers—sometimes they almost look hand painted! The blossoms look quite similar to snapdragons, often with contrasting colored throats and a hint of lemon yellow in the center. Our personal favorites are the deep blue varieties, as that color is so infrequently seen in the world of gardening. However, if you want to attract plenty of hummingbirds into your yard, plant some red torenias in hanging baskets! That bright ruby color will draw them in like magnets.

living color full sun flowers march magenta pentas sunlight


Penta means five, and that’s how many tiny petals are on each itty-bitty star-shaped flower. But despite their tiny size, they have great power in numbers! The blossoms form in round clusters all over the plant, often with as many as 30 individual flowers in each cluster. They usually come in pink, red, or white, but we’ve seen some really lovely purple pentas lately—and some multicolored varieties, too! Despite their delicate appearance, they’re incredibly heat-tolerant and candle handle full sun in Florida like total pros. 


A powerhouse plant that keeps blooming from spring until fall, this cousin of the sunflower certainly doesn’t mind the SoFlo sun! Most melampodium are a cheerful yellow shade with darker golden centers, but there are a few varieties with creamy white petals and butter yellow centers. It naturally thrives in rockier soils, so make sure that your garden soil drains well, and don’t be afraid to let the soil dry out a bit between watering. Plant it in full sun—if it’s in the shade, it might get leggy and its stems will flop over.

living color full sun flowers march pink cosmos


There’s a whimsical, dreamy quality about cosmos, with their tall, wispy stems and adorable, daisy-shaped flowers. If you like the idea of a wildflower meadow garden that looks like a scene from a fairytale storybook, you’ll love cosmos! They’re pretty drought-tolerant too, so if you forget to water them for a few days, it’s not the end of the world. Direct seed them in March, and before you know it, you’ll have a garden full of spellbinding color. 


This low-growing groundcover is great for full sun rock gardens, and it’s surprisingly easy to grow from seed! While it’s considered an annual, you may notice that it keeps popping back up in the garden each year. This is because it scatters lots of seeds at the end of its growing season, so it’s pretty good at keeping the life cycle continuing! Their electrifying blossoms aren’t the only part of this annual plant that turns heads— its foliage has a distinctive, mossy texture that brings so much definition and texture to the landscape. 

living color full sun flowers march bright marigolds


On top of being beautiful, these sunny golden flowers have some pretty impressive powers! Marigolds are amazing pest repellers, helping to keep away bad nematodes, whiteflies, ants, mosquitos, and even hungry rabbits. Their seeds germinate very quickly, so they’re super easy to start from seed and can be planted directly in the soil. Use them as a border around your vegetable garden to help deter critters from munching on your veggies! 

For more full sun flowers in Fort Lauderdale, visit us at Living Color to see our full collection for 2021. March is an ideal time to kick off your spring garden, and we can’t wait to help you get started!

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