15 Full Sun Perennials For Hardiness Zone 8

If you live in USDA hardiness zone 8, you likely get plenty of sunshine, and humidity depending on what part of the zone you are in. That means it's important to pick the right type of perennials that can withstand both humidity and plenty of sunshine. In this article, we take a look at our favorite full sun perennials for gardens in hardiness zone 8!

full sun perennials zone 8

If you live in USDA hardiness zone 8, it’s a good idea to fill your garden with perennials that simply love the sun (and can tolerate some humidity). Full sun perennials enjoy thorough amounts of direct sunlight – as much as six to eight hours per day.

That means anyone living in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and anywhere along the coast up to Washington, D.C., should prepare their landscaping with sunshine-loving plants. But not all plants are equally equipped to handle this climate, let alone come back each growing season like most perennials do.

So, we’ve hand-picked some of our favorite full sun perennial plants that will grow and thrive in hardiness zone 8. Each plant will have a different appearance along with varying watering needs, so it’s best to learn a little bit about each one before planting them in your yard. You’ll notice a little crossover here with certain sun friendly perennial plants in zone 7, since the climates are similar in certain areas. Ready to take a deeper look at our favorites? Let’s jump in!

Allium

Allium
Allium is a perennial plant, 4 feet tall, and has blue-lilac blooms, shaped like a firework volley.
Scientific Name: Allium
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Middle East
  • Plant Size: 1 to 4 feet tall, 3 to 10 inches wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 4 to 10

Surprisingly enough, the dainty and pretty Allium plant is a close cousin of the onion. In fact, it’s often referred to as an ornamental onion. But no worries; it doesn’t look like an onion.

This perennial flowering plant grows tall and sprouts round flower heads similar to the wispy heads of Dandelions. The heads contain dozens of star-shaped flowers in shades of purple, pink, yellow, green, and white.

While they may not look like onions, Allium may smell slightly oniony when its flowers are crushed. Keep this plant in well-draining soil for spring blooms every year.

Autumn Joy Stonecrop

Hylotelephium telephium
Autumn Joy Stonecrop grows well in both clay and sandy soil.
Scientific Name: Hylotelephium telephium
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Europe, Asia
  • Plant Size: 1.5 to 2 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 3 to 9

If you’re looking for a flower that will bloom throughout the summer and fall in vibrant shades of pink and red, look no further. The Autumn Joy Stonecrop, also known as gold chain and rock moss, is a hybrid of two plants: Sedum and Ice Plant.

The result of this blend gives you clusters of little star-shaped flowers that change colors as they bloom, dying off just before the winter.

With lots of sunshine and well-draining soil, your Autumn Joy Stonecrops will grow moderately fast each spring after the last frost.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

Gaillardia x Grandiflora
Blanket Flower grows on any soil, ideal for creating compositions for bouquets.
Scientific Name: Gaillardia x Grandiflora
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 24 to 36 inches tall, 12 to 24 inches wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 3 to 10

The Blanket Flower, commonly known as Gaillardia, is an herbaceous perennial plant that blooms throughout the summer and fall. Though the plant is slightly toxic to humans, its colorful flowers can’t be matched.

The Blanket Flower gets its name from the plant’s growth pattern, which spreads low as far as 24 inches. These fast-growing plants sprout stunning flowers in reds, oranges, and yellows for the perfect fall accent.

These perennial flowers love sunshine and can droop even in partial shade, so be sure to keep them in the light in poor soil. Water only once or twice per week.

Blazing Star (Liatris)

Liatris spicata
Blazing Star thrives well both in a well-lit area and in shade.
Scientific Name: Liatris spicata
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Eastern North America
  • Plant Size: 2 to 4 feet tall, 9 to 18 inches wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 3 to 9

The proper name for this plant is Liatris, but it’s more frequently called Blazing Star or gayfeather. The Blazing Star is best known for its unique, feather-like flowers.

It blooms mainly in bright purple shades, although some variants sprout white or pink. The light, soft flowers grow in upright spikes that can be as tall as four feet.

Liatris plants adore tons of sun and tolerate practically any soil type. However, they need good drainage and little watering once established.

English Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia
Sandy, dry soil is excellent for English Lavender cultivation, but it also grows quite well on well-drained loamy soil.
Scientific Name: Lavandula angustifolia
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Mediterranean
  • Plant Size: 2 to 3 feet tall, 2 to 4 feet wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 5 to 8

English Lavender is one of the most popular types of lavender. Perhaps you recognize it more by one of its other names: Common Lavender, True Lavender, or simply just Lavender.

It’s no secret that this plant got its name from its lovely shade of purple flower. The plant not only has gorgeous colors, tall stalks, and lush greenery, but they boast a delightful scent.

English Lavenders love sunlight and grow in large clumps as tall as three feet. The plants need good drainage, but they do well in poor, sandy soil. They’re also resistant to deer and rabbits and may attract some butterflies to your garden!

Feverfew

Tanacetum parthenium
Feverfew loves sunny places or slight shading, undemanding to the composition of the soil.
Scientific Name: Tanacetum parthenium
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Central and Southern Europe
  • Plant Size: 20 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 5 to 10

Anyone who’s a fan of Chrysanthemums will love the Feverfew flower. With other fun names like bachelor’s buttons and featherfoil, the Feverfew plant is a perennial herb covered in small, white flowers with large, golden centers.

The captivating daisy-like flowers make up for the plant’s bitter scent, and the plant does well both in pots and in gardens. However, it grows quickly and can become invasive if not properly controlled.

Garden Mum

Chrysanthemum spp
Garden Mum is a late autumn flower, delighting gardeners with its lush flowering until frost.
Scientific Name: Chrysanthemum spp.
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Asia, Europe
  • Plant Size: 4 to 36 inches tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 5 to 9

Garden Mum is just a simpler name for the Hardy Chrysanthemum. Related to the Feverfew herb from above, the Garden Mum is a classic fall flower from the daisy family.

This herbaceous perennial comes back each autumn to bless your garden with a rainbow of colors, including red, orange, yellow, purple, bronze, and white.

Garden Mums love neutral and acidic soil that stays moist but drains well. The plants do well with lots of sunshine and will reward you with a host of beautiful flowers.

Goldenrod

Solidago spp
Goldenrod is unpretentious and calmly tolerates heavy and moist soil, taking root on acidic and alkaline soil.
Scientific Name: Solidago spp.
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America, Asia, Europe
  • Plant Size: 1.5 to 5 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 3 to 9

Another herbaceous perennial, you can count on Goldenrods to bloom every year. The Goldenrod plant is ideal for lovers of yellow, as it grows long spikes of small, golden flowers.

While some count the Goldenrod plant as a weed, others see it as an attractive addition to their summer and fall gardens. The plant is nothing special throughout the year, but its yellow blooms make a brief statement as they grow in quickly.

Goldenrod is also one of the easiest plants to grow if you have tough or poor soil conditions in your gardening space.

Hens and Chicks

Sempervivum tectorum
Hens and Chicks is a drought-resistant plant but requires moderate regular watering as the soil dries out.
Scientific Name: Sempervivum tectorum
  • Plant Type: Succulent Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Europe, Africa
  • Plant Size: 6 to 12 inches tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 3 to 8

If you don’t buy this plant for the name alone, you’ll want to buy it for its stunning appearance. Hens and Chicks, also called House Leeks, are succulent perennials. The plant gets its name from the way it forms.

One central plant is the parent rosette or the hen. The plant will sprout smaller rosettes around it – these are the chicks. The plant grows in colonies – some of which will grow over two feet wide if allowed.

Most people keep Hens and Chicks in pots, but you can plant them in your garden, where they will grow pretty quickly. Some may even sprout tall flowers once in a while. This is a very drought resistant perennial, which makes it great if you live in an area of zone 8 that doesn’t get as much moisture.

Ice Plant

Delosperma spp
From May to the beginning of autumn, the Ice Plant is densely covered with flowers.
Scientific Name: Delosperma spp.
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Africa
  • Plant Size: 3 to 6 inches tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 6 to 10

The Ice Plant blooms flowers so perfectly stunning that they almost seem fake. With luminous colors such as pink, red, yellow, orange, purple, and even tri-color variations, you can add these herbaceous perennials anywhere.

Ice Plants love the sunshine and sandy soil. They bloom in the spring, summer, and fall, giving you almost a full year of vibrant color.

These plants grow quickly and spread far. Some singular plants can grow as wide as two feet. Be sure to prune the plants each spring to get the best blooms.

Lamb’s Ear

Stachys byzantina
Lamb’s Ear is a perennial plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family.
Scientific Name: Stachys byzantina
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Middle East
  • Plant Size: 12 to 18 inches tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial
  • Plant Zone: 4 to 9

If you’re looking for an unassuming neutral plant to complement the rest of your colorful garden, you can’t pick a better perennial than Lamb’s Ear. Unlike many of the plants on our list, Lamb’s Ear is not hailed for its flowers.

Instead, the plant is known for its thick, fuzzy leaves that have a soft texture and a silvery-green color that goes with anything – without being too overpowering or bright.

Lamb’s Ear will form low mats of leaves and fill in spaces nicely. The plant will occasionally bloom light purple perennial flowers, but most people simply love the greenery.

Salvia

Salvia Plant
Salvia is grown in an open, sunny, and dry place, as it is afraid of getting wet.
Scientific Name: Salvia spp.
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Mexico
  • Plant Size: 18 inches to 5 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 5 to 10

Salvia plants look very similar to English Lavender in that their flowers grow on straight, tall stalks in narrow cone shapes. Many of the common blooms even have a similar purple color, but the plant also blossoms in pink, blue, white, yellow, and red.

The Salvia plant has many attributes. Not only is it stunning, but it attracts butterflies. It’s also resistant to deer and rabbits, given its strong scent and pungent taste.

Salvia flowers also have a very long blooming season. You get to enjoy their beauty from the spring all the way to the fall.

Shasta Daisy

Leucanthemum x superbum
Shasta Daisy prefers plenty of sunshine, 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day.
Scientific Name: Leucanthemum x superbum
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 1 to 2 feet wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 5 to 9

It seems we can’t get enough of the daisy family on our list of sun-loving perennials, and the Shasta Daisy is no exception. This native wildflower is native to the US, making it great for US based gardeners that prefer to only plant native plants.

The classic white flowers may look demure, but the Shasta Daisy is quite the aggressive grower. This plant will spread if left to its own devices, so it’s best to keep it contained if possible.

But the beauty of these blooms is undeniable. Plus, the stunning white flowers are known to attract colorful butterflies. Shasta Daisies only need watering during seasons when the rainfall is less than one inch, making them very easy to grow.

Threadleaf Coreopsis

Coreopsis verticillata
For Threadleaf Coreopsis to flourish, they will need plenty of sun.
Scientific Name: Coreopsis verticillata
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin:
  • Plant Size: 2 to 3 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 3 to 9

The Threadleaf Coreopsis is a part of the daisy family, and it’s easy to see the resemblance. The small, all-yellow flowers look very similar to traditional daisies – minus the color.

This perennial plant can grow as tall as three feet and grows densely. It’s a versatile plant in that you can use it for many purposes: as a border, in a large field, or in pots.

The plants grow very quickly, especially when given lots of sunshine and good drainage, and the flowers bloom throughout the spring and summer.

Yarrow

Achillea millefolium
Yarrow is a hardy plant, therefore it’s not demanding either on environmental conditions or on care.
Scientific Name: Achillea millefolium
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 2 to 4 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 3 to 9

The Yarrow plant is known not only for its tiny clusters of bright-yellow flowers but also for its ability to attract pollinators like butterflies and bumblebees. This perennial spreads far and wide, making it the perfect ground cover or border plant.

Yarrow plants are super tough and hardy, and while most are yellow, some variants bloom in reds and pinks.

Planting a Yarrow plant in poor soil will keep it from spreading too far or growing too high. The plant enjoys compost now and then and should be pruned and divided regularly.

Final Thoughts

Hardiness zone 8 can be one of the most fun zones to garden in, if you plan properly. Finding the right perennials will help ensure that your gardening space looks incredible, season after season. Not all perennials can handle the sun and humidity of this growing zone, but any of our favorites on this list should help you create a beautiful seasonal garden!

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