Dahlias come in a wide variety of colors, including yellow, red and white.

Full-sun Flowers & Plants for Zones 8-9

by Victoria Weinblatt

Full-sun flowers and plants for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 9 thrive in places that receive six or more hours of direct, but not necessarily continuous, sunlight per day. Although the minimum temperatures of these USDA zones vary from 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, many plants can grow in either climate. Areas of the U.S. featuring climate zones 8 through 9 include the West Coast along with many Southern states, including Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

1. Attract Hummingbirds in Hot, Dry Climates

You can attract hummingbirds and butterflies in hot and dry climates when you plant butterfly bush “Pink Delight” (Buddleia “Pink Delight”) and beard-tongue “Hot Pink Riding Hood.” “Pink Delight” puts out fragrant, deep-pink blossoms from midsummer into mid-fall in USDA zones 5 through 9. Cut this shrubby plant back to the ground before the first frost, for best results. “Hot Pink Riding Hood” bears its flashy, hot-pink flowers amid glossy, green leaves from late spring into early summer in USDA zones 4 through 9. Both plants make attractive cut flowers.

2. Flowers All Summer for Hot, Humid Regions

Coreopsis “Baby Sun” (Coreopsis) and solitary clematis (Clematis integrifolia), also known as bush clematis, are just the right choice for sunny spots in hot and humid regions. The golden-yellow, butterfly-attracting flowers on “Baby Sun” bloom all summer and into fall in USDA zones 4 through 9. For best results, remove faded blossoms. The nodding, bright-blue flowers on solitary clematis bloom all summer in USDA zones 2 through 9 and turn into whimsical seedheads for autumn interest. To make the most of this plant, cut it to the ground in early spring and tie it to stakes during the growing season.

3. Poor Soil and Rock Gardens

For a sunny place in your rock garden or in a place with poor soil, try the drought-tolerant evergreens Candytuft “Pink Ice” (Iberis “Pink Ice”) and Alpine alyssum (Alyssum serpyllifolium), also known as madwort. Expect loads of large, butterfly-attracting, pink flower clusters from midspring into fall when you plant “Pink Ice” in USDA zones 7 through 9. This long-blooming plant needs good drainage. Alpine alyssum displays scented, soft-yellow blossoms from about midspring to early summer in USDA zones 5 through 9.

4. Purple-Black Foliage and Fall Flowers

Certain plants with purple-black foliage and fall flowers thrive in full sun. Autumn stonecrop “Purple Emperor” (Sedum “Purple Emperor”) offers dusty-rose, butterfly-attracting blossoms from late summer to mid-fall, which cling to the plant after they die to offer winter interest in USDA zones 2 through 9. Bronze-leaved dahlia “Haze,” from the Mystic Collection, begets apricot-orange blossoms featuring dark brown eyes from midsummer to mid-fall in USDA zones 8 through 11. To avoid having to dig up the tubers before winter, plant dahlias in containers.

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