Flowering Evergreen Shrubs For Full Sun (With Pictures) – Identification Guide

Flowering Evergreen Shrubs For Full Sun

Flowering evergreen shrubs for full sun are the perfect addition to a sunny garden landscape. Sun-tolerant evergreen bushy plants add visual interest throughout the year. Basking in at least six hours of sunshine, these shrubs fill front and backyards with stunning fragrant flowers from spring until fall and keep their leaves throughout winter. 

Many flowering shrubs with evergreen foliage thrive in direct sunlight. Despite intense sunshine, shrubs like camellias, tropical hibiscus, cape jasmine, and rhododendrons bloom throughout the season. Added to this, the flowering shrubs don’t lose their foliage, creating beautiful greenery in a winter landscape. 

Picking the best flowering evergreen shrubs for planting in sunny spots is important, as some landscaping shrubs struggle with all-day-long direct sunshine. Shrubs listed as full sun or partial sun will blossom and thrive without sun damage to their foliage and flowers. 

This article lists the best flowering evergreen shrubs for full sun. In addition, descriptions and pictures of sun-loving landscaping shrubs will help you choose the best plants to add floral displays to your garden landscape. 

Even if you live in colder climates, many sun-tolerant flowering shrubs retain their leaves in freezing conditions.

What Are Flowering Evergreen Shrubs For Sun?

Flowering evergreen shrubs for full sun are woody, multi-stemmed plants that require at least six hours of direct sunlight. Typically, sun-tolerant evergreen flowering shrubs are divided into two categories—shrubs for full sun and shrubs for partial sun.

Flowering evergreen shrubs for full sun thrive on six to eight hours of daily sunshine. Typically, the decorative shrubs don’t tolerate shade; otherwise, they may produce fewer blooms or become leggy with sparse foliage. 

Ornamental evergreen shrubs for partial sun will get by on four to six hours of direct sunlight. Usually, the shrubby plants will tolerate a few hours of shade. However, “partial sun” shrubs are more heat and sun tolerant than shrubs for partial shade.

How to Choose Flowering Evergreen Shrubs For Full Sun

How can you pick suitable evergreen shrubs to plant for a floral landscape display in full sun? First, buy shrubs for your USDA growing zone. Next, think about the mature height and width of the full-sun shrub. Then, consider factors such as soil type, pruning needs, sun exposure, and moisture levels. 

For example, suppose you have a small, compact yard. In that case, dwarf flowering evergreen shrubs for sunny gardens are the best choice. They require little maintenance or pruning to keep their small size and shape.

However, if you want to grow a tall, evergreen privacy hedge that flowers, then planting larger evergreen shrubs is the best choice for privacy in a backyard.

Types of Flowering Evergreen Shrubs For Sun (With Pictures) – Identification Guide

There are many types of flowering evergreen shrubs for full sun. So how can you choose the best shrubs for your front or backyard? This guide will help you identify some of the most common and most beautiful bushes that will thrive in your garden landscape.

Camellia Sasanqua (Camellia sasanqua)

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua are beautiful flowering evergreen shrubs for sunny locations with various cultivars including dwarf shrubs

Camellia sasanqua is a group of spectacular flowering evergreen landscaping shrubs for full sun. Camellia shrubs are identified by their showy double flowers in shades of pink, white and red, glossy dark-green, lance-shaped leaves, and long blooming time. Sun-loving camellia shrubs grow 8 to 12 ft. (2.4 – 3.6 m) tall. 

Camellia sasanqua evergreen shrubs have beautiful flowers consisting of ruffled petals. The shrubs bloom in late winter and early spring, and the fragrant blooms last for up to four weeks. Suitable for planting in USDA zones 7 to 9.

If you want to grow evergreen flowering shrubs in a compact garden or container, choose a dwarf shrub variety. For example, the Camellia sasanqua ‘Bonanza dwarf’ is a small landscaping evergreen shrub with stunning red flowers. 

Another variety of flowering evergreen shrub for partial sun is the Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica). These evergreen bushes with pink, red, or white flowers grow in part sun to full shade. 

Chinese Fringe Flower (Loropetalum chinense)

Chinese Fringe Flower (Loropetalum chinense)

The compact Chinese fringe flower shrub has colorful foliage and deep pink flowers and tolerates full sun to partial shade

Chinese fringe flower is a small evergreen bushy plant with attractive creamy-white or vibrant pinkish-red spidery flowers. The identifying features of this flowering full sun evergreen shrub are its small olive-green leaves and blossoms consisting of spindly petals. Chinese fringe flower shrubs grow 1 to 6 ft. (0.3 – 1.8 m) tall, depending on the cultivar. 

This low-maintenance landscaping shrub thrives in USDA zones 7 to 9. Therefore, the small flowering shrub is suitable for sunny central and north Florida landscapes. However, you can also grow the shrubby plant in containers and overwinter it indoors in colder climates. 

Some varieties of sun-loving Chinese fringe flowers are ornamental purple shrubs with dark purple leaves and vibrantly colored deep pink flowers. The shrub is ideally planted along a foundation line, borders, driveway, or used as a small flowering hedge.

Evergreen Abelia (Abelia floribunda)

Evergreen Abelia (Abelia floribunda)

Abelia is an attractive flowering shrub for sunny gardens that prefers wind sheltered locations

Abelia is a semi-evergreen or evergreen ornamental flowering shrub that loves being drenched in full sun. Abelia shrubs are known for their trumpet-shaped pink flowers blooming in summer and fall. The pink tubular flowers stand out against the dark glossy foliage. 

Thriving in full sun or partial shade, abelia grows up to 12 ft. (3.6 m) tall. The drought-tolerant shrub stays evergreen in cold temperatures up to 14°F (-10°C). The best location to plant abelia shrubs is in full sun, protected from the wind and growing in well-drained soil. 

Doghobble (Leucothoe fontanesiana)

Dog Hobble (Leucothoe fontanesiana)

Dog hobble is an evergreen shrub with delicate white flower clusters for both full sun and shaded areas

Doghobble is a cold-hardy, evergreen shrub with large clusters of white flowers and glossy, leathery leaves. This white-blooming ornamental shrub thrives in full sun but will also tolerate full shade. The attractive features of doghobble are its dangling bunches of bell-shaped, fragrant white blossoms and showy red leaves in the fall.

Doghobble is suitable for growing in temperate climates in full sun as long as the soil is consistently moist. The flowering evergreen shrub performs best in USDA zones 4 to 6. Plenty of fall and winter sun ensures the shrub’s foliage and flowers remain vibrant. 

The decorative full sun flowering evergreen shrub grows 2 to 6 ft. (0.6 – 1.8 m) tall and up to 8 ft. (2.4 m) wide. The drooping flower clusters measure 2” to 3” (5 – 7.5 cm), and the evergreen lanceolate leaves measure 5” (12 cm) long.

Andromeda Japonica (Pieris japonica)

Japanese Andromeda

The pink-red young leaves of Japanese Andromeda flowering shrub turn green when they mature

Andromeda Japonica is a spreading, upright ornamental evergreen flowering shrub with glossy-green rosette-like leaves. The full sun evergreen shrub is identified by its showy white or pink cylindrical flower clusters on red stems. Japanese andromeda blooms last for two to three weeks, and it flowers in late winter and early spring.

Also called fetterbush or lily-of-the-valley bush, the slow-growing landscaping shrub performs best with six hours of sunlight or more. The cold-hardy bushy plant is suitable for landscapes in USDA zones 4 to 8. For best results, plant the large shrub in fertile, acidic soil with good drainage. 

Plant andromeda japonica as a foundation planting, sunny border plant, or specimen plant. 

Flowering Evergreen Viburnum Shrubs For Full Sun

Viburnum x burkwoodii Mohawk

Viburnum x burkwoodii Mohawk (in the picture) is an evergreen shrub in warmer climates that is suitable for full sun or part shade

Some species of viburnum shrubs are evergreen ornamental shrubs that produce spectacular flower clusters. Viburnum flowers are umbrella-shaped clusters of tiny star-shaped white or pink blossoms. The showy white flowers contrast with the shrub’s glossy green lanceolate leaves. After blooming in summer, the shrub produces clusters of decorative berries.

Evergreen flowering viburnum shrubs thrive in full sun. The cold hardy shrubs are suitable for planting in USDA zones 4 through 8. However, the most evergreen viburnum shrubs only keep their leaves throughout the year in zones 7 and 8. In colder zones, the shrub is a flowering deciduous landscaping plant.

Sun-loving viburnum shrubs grow between 3 to 10 ft. (1 – 3 m) tall. The ornamental white-flowering shrubs are ideal for planting as a privacy hedge, foundation planting, shrub border, or attractive specimen plant.

The varieties of semi-evergreen viburnum shrubs include burkwood viburnum (Viburnum x burkwoodii), Walter’s viburnum (Viburnum obovatum), and viburnum ‘Eskimo.’

Scarlet Firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea)

Scarlet Firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea)

Scarlet firethorn is an evergreen shrub with white flowers and red berries for full sun to part shade

Scarlet firethorn is a thorny evergreen flowering shrub for full sun with small white flowers growing in showy corymbs. The fast-growing shrub is identified by its white flowers on red stems, stiff thorny branches, small evergreen leaves, and clusters of vibrant red berries

Also called scarlet pyracantha, the robust shrub grows 8 to 18 ft. (2.4 – 5.4 m) tall and up to 20 ft. (6 m) wide. Its serrated lanceolate leaves measure 1.5” (4 cm) long, and the flower clusters are also 1.5” (4 cm) wide.

Due to its dense growth and sharp, spiny branches, scarlet firethorn is an ideal security hedge or a foundation plant for the front of house. You can also plant scarlet firethorn as an evergreen border plant or specimen plant for sunny landscapes. 

Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica)

Rhaphiolepis indica

Indian hawthorn is a type of evergreen flowering shrub with pink or white flowers that prefers full sun. This image shows Rhaphiolepis indica cv. ‘Ballerina’

Indian hawthorn is a pink-flowering evergreen shrub for full sun and plenty of heat. The shrub produces fragrant pale pink or pink-tinged white blossoms, dark-green leathery leaves, and ornamental black or purple berries. Indian hawthorn grows 3 to 12 ft. (1 – 3.6 m) tall and up to 6 ft. (18 m) wide.

Indian hawthorn performs best in warmer climates in USDA zones 7 to 10. The attractive pinkish-white four- or five-petalled flowers contrast with the dark green leaves. The drought- and salt-resistant bush works well in mass plantings, as a foundation plant, privacy screen, or specimen plant. 

Dwarf Chenille (Acalypha Reptans)

Dwarf Chenille (Acalypha Reptans)

Dwarf chenille is a low growing evergreen flowering ground cover for full to partial sun

Dwarf chenille is a low-growing flowering evergreen shrub producing masses of deep red flowers. The spreading shrub is characterized by cylindrical crimson flower spikes growing up to 3” (7.5 cm) long. These red flowers contrast with the heart-shaped serrated leaves forming an evergreen ground-hugging mat of red and green colors.

The sun-loving, heat-tolerant evergreen shrub thrives in full or partial sun. However, the shrub only grows in the ground throughout the year in USDA zones 9 to 11. Therefore, this ground cover plant for full sun is suitable for growing in Florida gardens.

Dwarf chenille grows 1 to 2 ft. (0.3 – 0.6 m) tall and wide. The easy-to-grow landscaping plant is ideal for hot, humid climates. You can also enjoy this fabulous red-flowering shrub indoors, growing in hanging baskets or containers. 

Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis)

Callistemon viminalis little john

Callistemon viminalis ‘Little John’ (in the picture) is a small evergreen red flowering shrub for full sun to light shade

Bottlebrush is an attractive red-flowering evergreen shrub with dense foliage and bright red flowers resembling a bottlebrush. Apart from the spiky-looking crimson flowers, the bottlebrush’s identifying features are its small, narrow leaves and compact, rounded growth. The drought-tolerant shrub grows 5 to 6 ft. (1.5 – 1.8 m) tall and up to 5 ft. (1.5 m) wide.

The compact nature of the bottlebrush shrub makes it ideal for growing in small gardens that get full sun. Unfortunately, the ornamental bush isn’t tolerant of cold and only grows in USDA zones 10 and 11. 

Plant bottlebrush in hot, humid climates as a foundation plant, border, a low hedge, or evergreen screen. The multi-stemmed shrub also performs well in containers to add a pop of color to a sun-drenched balcony, patio, or decking area. 

Full Sun Flowering Evergreen Hibiscus Shrubs (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Sun-loving tropical hibiscus evergreen shrubs have flowers in a wide variety of colors

Tropical hibiscus shrubs are evergreen shrubs with spectacular trumpet-shaped colorful flowers. Evergreen hibiscus shrub flowers measure up to 6” (15 cm) across and have long protruding stamens. The eye-catching flowers contrast with the oval-shaped glossy green leaves. Tropical hibiscus grows 8 to 10 ft. (2.4 – 3 m) tall.

In frost-free areas, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis blooms continuously throughout the year. The sun-loving shrub thrives in organically rich, moist soils with good drainage. You can plant evergreen hibiscus shrubs as a flowering hedge or specimen plant in USDA zones 10 to 12.

Do you want to landscape a front or backyard with hibiscus shrubs but live in a temperate climate? In that case, you can plant deciduous hardy hibiscus shrubs for spectacular floral displays all summer long.

Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Oleander Tree (Nerium oleander)

Oleanders are flowering evergreen shrubs for sun, however they are highly poisonous

Oleander is a flowering evergreen shrub that thrives in full sun. The outstanding identifying features of oleander shrubs are pink or red five-petalled funnel-shaped flowers, slender lance-shaped evergreen leaves, and a vase-shaped habit. The abundant clusters of flowers almost cover the shrub when in bloom during the summer. 

The largest oleander flowering shrub (Nerium oleander ‘Alsace’) grows 15 to 20 ft. (4.5 – 6 m) tall. However, for more compact garden landscapes, there are varieties of the evergreen shrub growing 3 to 6 ft. (1 – 1.8 m) tall. These oleander cultivars are ‘Petite Pink’ and ‘Salmon Petite.’ 

Most oleander shrubs thrive in USDA zones 9 to 12. However, the oleander cultivars ‘Hardy Pink’ and ‘Hardy Red’ perform well in growing zones 7 to 12.

It’s vital to be aware that all parts of oleander shrubs are highly poisonous. Therefore, it’s not a good idea to plant the shrubs in gardens where children or pets play. 

Cape Jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides)

Cape Jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides)

The white flowers of cape jasmine bush and its evergreen foliage add beauty to sunny or partly shaded gardens

Also called gardenia, cape jasmine is a white-flowering, evergreen shrub with pure white blossoms and dark green foliage. The outstanding characteristics of cape jasmine are its fragrant star- or rose-shaped white flowers, lustrous dark-green foliage, and tiny orange berries in the fall. Cape jasmine thrives in USDA zones 7 to 11.

With their waxy white flowers and leathery leaves, cape jasmine shrubs are perfect landscape plants for sun-soaked gardens. However, it’s best to grow cape jasmine in partial sun in hotter climates to protect it from intense sunlight at midday and early afternoon.

Cape jasmine bushy plants generally grow 3 to 4 ft. (1 – 1.2 m) tall. However, there are dwarf varieties of the flowering shrub growing 2 to 3 ft. (0.6 – 1 m) tall. Plant the shrubs to create evergreen hedges for a backyard, foundation planting, or specimen plant to attract pollinators. 

Sun-Loving Rhododendron Shrubs


Evergreen flowering rhododendrons are excellent choices for full sun or partial shade

Rhododendron shrubs are showy, evergreen vigorous spring-blooming shrubs with spectacular floral displays. Broadleaf evergreen rhododendrons are known for their large clusters of pink, red, white, and purple bell-shaped or funnel flowers. Additionally, glossy olive-green leathery leaves remain on the large shrubs throughout the year.

Depending on the cultivar, rhododendron shrubs grow 4 to 6 ft. (1.2 – 1.8 m) high. The sun-loving evergreen shrubs bloom in spring, covering the mounded shrub with spectacular flowers. 

Species of evergreen rhododendron are suitable for growing in most USDA zones. In addition, some cold-hardy varieties of rhododendron stay green even in zone 4. 

Rhododendrons are ideal evergreen shrubs for planting in borders, along driveways, flowering hedges, or a dense privacy screen.

Azaleas are a subspecies of rhododendron and thrive in full sun and partial sun. Compared to rhododendron, azalea shrubs for full sun have smaller leaves and flowers. However, they create just as spectacular floral displays as larger rhododendrons. 

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