8 Outside Container Plants Perfect for Full Sun and Heat

The summer season is fast approaching, allowing us to take advantage of all it has to offer. Warm weather and sunshine, days spent entirely outside, campfires, swimming, and, of course, flowers in our yards. There are almost endless options for summer flowers and container plants for full sun to choose from when designing your exterior landscape.

There are plenty of ways to get the exterior of your home spruced up for summertime. Potted flowers and hanging baskets on the deck or porch allow you to accent your home with pops of color. With so many different kinds of flowers, it’s important you choose the right type for your home’s sun exposure and your region’s seasonal temperature averages and fluctuations.

If you want more ideas on how to spruce up the exterior of your home, our expert designers can help. At brick&batten, we offer front and back exterior design services, creating customized design plans for our clients. Fill out our quick and easy questionnaire to get started.

Summertime brings with it heat and plenty of sunshine, especially in certain parts of the world, so we’ve created this list of eight container plants that are perfect for full sun and heat.


diamond frost euphorbia in a small white pot on top of a side table outside

#1 // Diamond Frost Euphorbia

If you like white accents for your deck or porch, diamond frost euphorbia is the perfect container plant for you. This award-winning flower blooms all summer long, producing subtle, wispy white flowers that fill any container out. Planting these in black pots or galvanized tins adds a simple, classic look to any deck or porch.

  • Exposure: Part sun to full sun
  • Plant type: Annual
  • Hardiness zones: 10, 11

bright red geranium flowers in a terra cotta pot

#2 // Geranium

You can never go wrong with geraniums! A versatile flower, geraniums come in a wide variety of colors, making them perfect for all sorts of placements around the exterior of your home. From more neutral tones to vibrant pinks and reds, there is a geranium out there to suit virtually all styles and preferences. Geranium flowers can be pinched at the base of the stem when they are spent so they continue blooming all season. These flowers look incredible in pots, window boxes, and even hanging baskets, making them a great choice for summer.

  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant type: Annual
  • Hardiness zones: 10, 11

white, light purple, and dark purple angelonia summer snapdragon in various neutral pots

#3 // Angelonia – Summer Snapdragon

Love a design aesthetic that marries with whimsy and elegance? Try using summer snapdragon in your outdoor containers. These ethereal flowers come in shades of purple, pink, and white. Plus, if you remove the spent flower heads all season, summer snapdragon will continue flowering until fall.

  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant type: Annual
  • Hardiness zones: 8–11

multi colored calibrachoa basket hanging off the exterior of a brightly colored home

#4 // Calibrachoa – Million Bells

Hanging baskets are a great way to use flowers to enhance your home’s curb appeal. There are endless possibilities with hanging plants, but it’s important to pay close attention to the sun exposure instructions for the flowers in order to get the longest bloom time. Calibrachoa, frequently known as “million bells,” is a popular choice for hanging baskets with full sun exposure. These dainty flowers come in all colors of the rainbow in solids, stripes, and bicolor blooms. In addition to hanging baskets, calibrachoa is great for other containers, including some more unique options like wheel barrows and colanders. These playful blooms encourage you to explore your creative side as you decorate the outside of your home.

  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant type: Annual
  • Hardiness zones: 9–11

terra cotta pot overflowing with bright blooms of orange and red lantana flowers on a brick patio

#5 // Lantana

Known for their unique, brightly colored flower clusters, lantana plants are evergreens that have been known to grow in a manner similar to vines, though they are classified as shrubs. You can grow these in either pots or hanging baskets. If you grow them in baskets, they spill over the sides, creating a cascading burst of color to serve as the perfect enhancer for your deck, porch, or yard. As an added bonus, these citrus-scented flowers attract butterflies.

  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Hardiness zones: 8–11

fuchsia-colored, star-shaped blooms with green foliage in a pot

#6 // Pentas

If you are someone who prefers low maintenance flowers, pentas are an excellent choice! Both drought- and disease-resistant, these colorful flowers can withstand full sun and heat. Pentas might get long and woody, but you can cut them back and they will rejuvenate themselves. These come in many different shades of pink, purple, red, and white and work well in all types of containers.

  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant type: Annual and perennial depending on zone
  • Hardiness zones: 10, 11

pointy, blue-green leaves of agave centered in a simple black pot

#7 // Agave

Succulents are both on-trend and timeless. Agave is a long-leaved plant that is both drought- and heat-tolerant. You can grow agave in almost every climate — it’s not just for the desert. Because these plants are simple in color but unique in shape, they add just the right amount of edge to the exterior design of your home. They really stand out when planted in black pots, weaved containers, patterned pots, and galvanized tins. Agave comes in many varieties, all with striking foliage. These allow you to get a little more wild in your design choices!

  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Hardiness zones: 5–11

tall, sprawling purple fountain grass with fluffy tops in front of a light-colored home

#8 // Purple Fountain Grass

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side — sometimes it’s purple! You can plant purple fountain grass in large containers and it will grow up to five feet tall, making it the perfect statement plant for the outside of your home. One look we love is positioning two large pots of this plant on either side of a front door for an elegant entryway. Also, the height of purple fountain grass works well when paired with other container plants that have less height, for a layered look. This grass thrives all season long and can be cut down when the weather cools. Purple fountain grass brings contrast to a neutral container and can work beautifully with brightly colored pots.

  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Hardiness zones: 9, 10

Get Planting!

If you want to add to the allure of your exterior design this summer, these container plants for full sun and heat can help you get the look you are after. These plants thrive in heat and sunshine and all grow well in different types of containers. You can completely customize your outdoor plants with different types and colors of flowers and unique, simple, or colorful containers — whatever fits your design style!

Deciding which outdoor container plants to incorporate on your deck, porch, or yard is just a stepping stone to reaching your exterior home design goals. Our team of expert designers can help make all of your visions come to life with brick&batten’s exterior design services. Let us help you get started today!