15 Full Sun Perennials For Hardiness Zone 10

Do you live in USDA Hardiness zone 10, and need a few perennial plants that can handle full sun conditions? Whether you live in a more arid or humid part of this zone, there are many different perennial plants that can handle sunny conditions. In this article, we take a look at our favorite hardy plants that can withstand the sun in hotter climates.

full sun perennials zone 10

If you live in USDA hardiness zone 10, it’s quite likely that you have plenty of places in your garden that get full sun. Hardiness zone 10 consists of the southern tip of Florida, Texas, and California. Needless to say, in these areas, it can get both hot, and moist, depending on where you are located within the zone.

These areas have some of the hottest temperatures in the United States! These hot conditions require perennials that can withstand higher temperatures. Depending on if you are in a more humid area of the hardiness zone, you may need to consider plants that are more accustomed to tropical climates. If you are in a more arid area, you’ll need to consider perennial plants that are more drought tolerant.

So, which plants do you pick, and how do you go about picking them? We’ve put together a list of our favorite perennial plants that can take full sun, in USDA hardiness zone 10. You’ll notice there’s a little crossover here as some zone 10 perennials can do well in zone 9 or zone 8 as well. Let’s dive in a little deeper and look at some of our favorites!

Abutilon

Abutilon theophrasti
Abutilon is an annual herbaceous plant, with yellow-orange flowers that attract hummingbirds.
Scientific Name: Abutilon theophrasti
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin:  Tropics and Warm Temperature Zones
  • Plant Size: 48”
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Abutilon is a wooly, bristly, bushy plant. Most have yellow-orange leaves, but some Abutilons can have pink or red flowers. You want to cultivate the Abutilon plant in organic soil and add a dash of sand to mimic the original coastal biosphere they originate from.

Herbalists love the Abutilon plant for its edible features. You can eat the flowers either cooked or raw. So they are a good food source as well! Hummingbirds are also attracted to the tasty flowers. Even though these are for Zone 10, they typically go dormant in the weather no matter where they are.

Different species of abutilon have different types of leaves. Some have full leaves, while others have lobed leaves. They have palmated veins and a wavy edge. You want to water your abutilon every time the soil feels dry to the touch. Prune the plant one-third at the end of March.

Great Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea spectabilis
In warm countries, Great Bougainvillea pleases with continuous flowering and does not have a dormant period.
Scientific Name: Bougainvillea spectabilis
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina
  • Plant Size: 15-40 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Add Great Bougainvillea to your tropical garden. It grows as either a pink flowered shrub or a woody vine. Small white flowers are scattered along the thorny vine, among heart-shaped leaves. Brightly colored modified leaves called bracts give the Great Bougainvillea its distinctive look. The bracts range in color.

Great Bougainvillea has inconspicuous fruit that is dry and elongated. Don’t eat the fruit! Bougainvillea is a toxic plant, but the blooms are edible. Do not eat the fruit or leaves. The flower blooms are great with baby spinach or arugula for a tasty salad.

Bulbine

Bulbine frutescens
Bulbine is a plant that is very much appreciated by gardeners for its aesthetic qualities and especially for its long flowering period, from May to November.
Scientific Name: Bulbine frutescens
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini
  • Plant Size: 2 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Bulbine will be some of the most unique perennial plants in your tropical garden. They have many small, six-petaled flowers arranged in a star pattern. These star-shaped flowers grow in big bunches for a bulb look.

They have yellow or orange blooms in the fall and spring, some even blooming year-round. They are typically dormant in the summer. If you do not want your Bulbine to spread, be sure and pluck off the pods that appear after the blooms fade. Otherwise, they will drop seeds and take over your garden.

Bulbine is easily propagated by stem cuttings. They build strong roots that grow towards the ground and slender green to gray leaves.

Cephalanthus

Cephalanthus occidentalis
Cephalanthus has a good ability to adapt to places with different lighting conditions. It will be comfortable both in sunny and semi-shaded areas in the garden.
Scientific Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Eastern North America
  • Plant Size: 4 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

White globular blooms against a rich dark leaf give Cephalanthus a beautiful aesthetic. These hardy plants thrive in many zones, not just Zone 10. They can withstand colder weather, surviving up to Zone 4.

The blooms turn to fruit in the summer and can last to the winter. This beautiful full sun perennial shrub has uniquely shaped white flowers with green leaves. The fruit is edible. It can be eaten as fresh fruit or processed into jellies and baked goods. It has also been used in beverages and wines.

Columbine

Aquilegia
Columbine is undemanding to soils but grows better on loose, light, moist humus soils.
Scientific Name: Aquilegia
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Northern Hemisphere
  • Plant Size: 1-3 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Columbine is also known as Granny’s Bonnet. This name comes from the spurred petals on their blooms. They have woody stocks and roots that form thick rhizomes. The stamen of their blooms are often a different color than the petals, giving Columbines a unique look from other flowers.

They bloom in the spring. Their blooms can be many colors, commonly a shade of pink, blue, and violet. They come in both a double and single variety.

These hardy perennials propagate well by seed. It can tolerate average soil but thrives in well-drained soil. They are the state flower of colorado, and one of the many native wildflowers around the United States.

Cosmos

Cosmos bipinnatus
Cosmos is one of the largest and most graceful, simple and airy, fast growing, and easy to spread in the garden self-sowing plant.
Scientific Name: Cosmos bipinnatus
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Mexico
  • Plant Size: 1-6 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Colorful petals surround the yellow center of the Cosmos blooms. They are great for any soil type, withstanding even poor soils. Their flowers are around 2 inches wide and grow in a cup shape.

There are many different species of cosmos and their blooms come in many colors. This colorful array attracts the good bugs that take care of pests. These natural insecticides are a great addition to your poor-soil garden.

Edgeworthia

Edgeworthia chrysantha
Edgeworthia prefers humus, fresh and drained, slightly acidic or neutral soil.
Scientific Name: Edgeworthia chrysantha
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: East Asia
  • Plant Size: 10 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Sun

You will be able to know there is an Edgeworthia shrub from far away by its pungent, sweet aroma. Their unique buds have a frosted-tip look, making this shrub unmistakable. Their yellow flowers with a white outline grow in clusters, giving them a unique look in your garden.

Edgeworthia is also known as the paper bush. They got this name because the fibers of the bark were used for making “mitsumata paper,” a handmade Japanese paper. This is a very durable ancient paper.

The flowering period typically begins in February and ends in April. Their dark green leaves give them beauty, even when they are not blooming.

Gaillardia

Gaillardia aristata
Gaillardia has red-purple marginal tridentate flowers and large semi-double or double inflorescences.
Scientific Name: Gaillardia aristata
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 8-36 in.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

The Gaillardia is a great full sun perennial flower. Its color array has a beautiful dark purple center and yellow and red rays surrounding it. They bloom at the end of August into September. Add them to a bouquet with your autumn pumpkins!

Their naked stems hold flowers and leaves in the lance shape. They spread easily if you do not deadhead the plant after the fruit has formed. They can also tolerate hotter temperatures quite well, and can tolerate poor soil.

Ginger Lily

Hedychium coronarium
Ginger Lily has luxurious large flowers, collected in dense spike-shaped inflorescences.
Scientific Name: Hedychium coronarium
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: India, Southeast Asia, Madagascar
  • Plant Size: 4-6 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

The Ginger Lily is great for both its large dark green leaves and beautiful white or orange blooms. This humidity-loving plant will remind you of a butterfly and has a strong aromatic presence.

In Cuba, a farmer’s house is not in place if there is not a Ginger Lily present. They are Cuba’s national flower. They are treated differently in Brazil, where they are known as invasive species.

Lantana

Lantana camara
Lantana blooms from spring and all summer, and black berries form on faded inflorescences.
Scientific Name: Lantana camara
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Central and South America
  • Plant Size: 3-6 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Flowers with five lobes grow in a globular shape off the stems of the Lantana plant. Red, white, orange, yellow, and purple are all colors you will see within the blooms of the Lantana. The original Lantana is an upright species, but there are dwarf and trailing options available. Pick the best type of Lantana for your tropical garden!

Even with their beauty, Lantana has been known as an invasive species. They beat out native species and reduce the biodiversity of an ecosystem. They are trouble in agricultural areas because of their invasiveness and toxicity to cattle.

If you decide to plant Lantana, be careful to plant it in a pot so that you can reduce the possibility of it invading the rest of your garden. One of the reasons this perennial is so popular, is that it blooms continuously all season long in the right climate.

Ligustrum

Ligustrum japonicum
Ligustrum attracts pollinating insects with its aroma, thereby improving the reproduction of garden plants.
Scientific Name: Ligustrum japonicum
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: East Asia
  • Plant Size: 30 in.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Ligustrum thrives in warm weather and well-drained soil. They can tolerate a wide variety of conditions, making them great for home landscaping. They have beautiful tiny white flowers that pop out of dark green leaves.

Even though they are popular for landscaping, be careful when you plant Ligustrum. They have an invasive nature. Their seeds are spread by birds and critters that eat their fruit. They are fast-growing and can be difficult to control.

These smooth-barked shrubs do not require pruning. The best way to prevent them from invading your garden is to plant them in a large pot that can be moved away from your other plants.

Loropetalum

Loropetalum chinense
Loropetalum should be watered regularly during hot weather and for the first 2 years after planting.
Scientific Name: Loropetalum chinense
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: East Asia
  • Plant Size: 18 in.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Loropetalum is an evergreen shrub that has anything from pink blooms and dark green or burgundy leaves to pale-yellow blooms and bright green leaves. If your soil is acidic, the Loropetalum can survive, as well as the occasional cold front.

Their slender-shaped petals are typically in four to six cluster arrangements. Ancient uses of Loropetalum included treatment of dysentery, tuberculosis, and enteritis. The leaves can be smashed and applied to wounds for healing.

Magnolia

Magnolia figo
Magnolia is a dense, slow-growing, compact shrub with small, pale yellow flowers that have a strong scent reminiscent of ripe bananas.
Scientific Name: Magnolia figo
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: East and Southeast Asia, North and South America
  • Plant Size: 10 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Magnolia shrubs are also known as the Banana Shrub because of their aroma of bananas. These fragrant blooms have six yellow or dull purple petals with a dark outline. The green leaves are a pale color but tend to become darker if planted in a partially shaded area.

Magnolias are probably most popular as trees, but shrub varieties like the figo can be grow in hotter climates as long as they have appropriate sun, and access to water.

Mexican Heather

Cuphea hyssopifolia
Mexican Heather is an evergreen shrub native to Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Scientific Name: Cuphea hyssopifolia
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras
  • Plant Size: 24 in.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Mexican Heather resembles lavender with its long tubular stems, small leaves, and purple blooms. Their blooms can be white or pink as well. They bloom for weeks at a time, begging in the middle of summer.

With many medicinal uses, Mexican Heather is a gem in the herbalist world. It can be used to treat stomach pain, diarrhea, and spasms. Gallbladder and liver disease can also be helped with Mexican Heather. When combined with other herbs, it is useful in the treatment of menstrual pain, nervous exhaustion, diabetes, and menopause.

Osmanthus

Osmanthus has orange tubuloar flowers, emitting a delicate aroma reminiscent of Jasmine.
Scientific Name: Osmanthus fragrans
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 10 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

The fragrant blooms of the Osmanthus bush are a beautiful orange shade. Also known as the Tea Olive, Osmanthus leaves are used to create osmanthus tea. Many Chinese desserts use the flower the Osmanthus to create a floral flavor.

The leaves of the Osmanthus bush are opposite and evergreen with a toothed margin. The flowers bloom in the spring, summer, and fall. The flowers produce a small purple drupe that contains one seed.

The sweet flowers have also been used to flavor locally brewed beer in Liuzhou, a city in China. This is a practical plant to have in your tropical garden because of its many uses.

Final Thoughts

So, now that you’ve seen some of our favorite full sun perennials for USDA hardiness zone 10, all that’s left is to get out and start planting them! There are plenty of perennials available at your fingertips, regardless if you live in a more humid or arid part of this hot growing zone. Happy gardening!

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