There’s certainly no shortage of sunshine here in Fort Lauderdale, so plants that thrive in direct sunlight are right at home here. However, not all plants can tolerate intense light all day long, so it’s essential to think strategically about what to plant in your garden and where. If your yard isn’t very shady or covered by a tree canopy, then you’ll want to choose outdoor plants that love soaking up the sun. Many indoor plants need lots of sun, so if you’re going to add them to your houseplant collection, you need to be sure you’ve got a bright, sun-drenched spot for them. Here’s a handy guide to the best Fort Lauderdale plants for full sun.
The Best Outdoor Plants for Direct Sunlight
If your property has little-to-no shade or tree cover, you won’t want to opt for shade-tolerant plants that get scorched from the sun. Instead, try some of these sun-loving varieties that can’t get enough of our hot Florida weather:
Chenille Plant: The fuzzy red cattails of this distinctive evergreen will grow up to 15 feet tall in a shade-free yard. They bloom in the spring and can tolerate a range of soil conditions, from dry and sandy to heavy clay soils.
Florida Flame Vine: This vibrant, flowering vine will rapidly climb up trellises and arbors, brightening up your landscape with orange tubular flowers that hummingbirds can’t resist. Be sure not to plant it too close to any trees, because its rapid growth can actually smother trees and hoard nutrients from the soil.
Bougainvillea: A quintessential Florida flower, bougainvillea vines can be trained into various forms, including bushes and trees. When in bloom, it comes alive with an explosion of color, with bracts that surround small flowers ranging from purple, red, and orange to white, pink and yellow. Depending on your chosen variety, this colossal plant can grow up to 30 feet tall and needs a minimum of 6 hours of full sun per day to continue blooming brightly.
Agave: A pointy leafed plant that has blessed us with both sweet, sugary nectar, and of course, tequila! They’re highly drought-tolerant and love sandy, well-draining soils, so they’re a good option for low-maintenance gardens that get lots of light. Just make sure to water agave regularly for the first couple of months after planting to ensure that its root system is well-established. Try to plant it in an area that doesn’t have too much foot traffic, so you don’t get poked by the leaves!
Milkweed: If you’re passionate about animal conservation, we highly recommend planting milkweed—it’s crucial for the survival of the beautiful monarch butterfly. These majestic pollinators feed on the nectar and lay their eggs in these lush, flowering plants, so not only will you get to enjoy the beauty of the flower itself, but you’ll also get to enjoy those lovely winged creatures fluttering around the yard.
Perennial Peanut: For a lush and green groundcover plant with little pops of colorful flowers, look no further than the perennial peanut.
Direct Sunlight Houseplants
The best place in your home for sun-loving plants is a south-facing window, so if you’ve got an open windowsill to fill with some new houseplants, there are plenty of viable options. To make sure they grow evenly, try rotating their pots 90 degrees every time you water them to make sure they get consistent light exposure on all sides. All that sun can dry up the soil in potted plants pretty fast, so check the moisture levels regularly by sticking your finger in up to the second knuckle. If it’s dry, it’s time for some more water. Here are our favorite sun-loving plants for indoor growing:
- African Milk Bush
- Fiddle Leaf Fig
To make your bright and sunny home and garden even brighter with some vibrant new plants, swing by Living Color Garden Center and browse through the spectacular selection we’ve got in our greenhouse. If you need any guidance on how and where to plant your new haul, grab one of our experts for assistance! We love making your garden goals come to life.