Yellow helianthemum

Plants for a south-facing border

Check out some of our favourite plants to grow in sunny, south-facing beds and borders.

There are many plants that'll enjoy growing in a sunny, south-facing border. These spots can really bake in the summer months, so you need to choose plants that can take the heat.

For many plants, a bright spot like this is essential to prevent them from becoming leggy. It'll also encourage more flowers for a longer period of time. 

To break up your borders and add some texture, try dotting in grasses like stipa, deschampsia and miscanthus. Take a look at these grass and flower combinations for more ideas. 

Got an indoor sun-trap? Discover some of best houseplants for sunny spots

To complete your border, check out some of our favourite climbers for a south-facing wall.

Check out some of our favourite plants for a south-facing border, below. 



If not grown in full sun, tall-growing sedums like Sedum spectabile and Sedum telephium can flop over. Plant them in a south-facing garden to prevent them from becoming leggy.


Chamomile is a pretty, aromatic plant. Both annual chamomile (Anthemis arvensis) and perennial chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) are easy to grow, and thrive in full sun. 

Mediterranean herbs

Mediterranean herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary not only come in handy in the kitchen, but they'll also provide pretty, nectar-rich flowers for pollinators. For ground cover, try rosemary 'Prostratus'.


Ornamental alliums can be used to great effect dotted amongst borders. They're easy to grow and will attract a range of pollinating insects. The seedheads can also be left in place to provide winter interest. Discover more plants with attractive seedheads


Catmint (Nepeta) is a favourite with pollinating insects. Grow in a light, well-drained soil and cut back after the first blooms have finished to encourage a second flush. Here's how to use it in a nectar-rich container display.

Euphorbia characias

Many euphorbias can be grown in full sun. For the front of the border, try the low-growing Euphorbia myrsinites. For something more statuesque, Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii or Euphorbia x pasteurii.

Cotton lavender

Cotton lavender, Santolina chamaecyparissus, is a Mediterranean native, so is perfectly suited to the sunny conditions of a south-facing border. The aromatic foliage grows to form a neat mound, and in summer, yellow pom-pom shaped flowers appear.


Pittosporums like Pittosporum tenuifolium and Pittosporum tobira are valued for their evergreen foliage and powerfully scented blooms. Provide them with shelter from cold, drying winds.


Bold, architectural plants like agaves make great focal points in sunny borders. Some of the hardier species are Agave montana and Agave parryi. To ensure their hardiness, it's critical that they're kept as dry as possible over winter. Grow in a very free-draining soil, and consider lifting or covering in winter.


Helianthemums, or rock roses, are low-growing, evergreen shrubs. Lots of flower colours are available, and they look lovely allowed to tumble over a wall and soften border planting schemes. 
Bold, architectural plants like agaves make great focal points in sunny borders.


Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) in south-facing border
Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) in south-facing border

More architectural plants to grow in full sun

  • Yucca filamentosa
  • Beschorneria yuccoides
  • Verbascum thapsus

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Plants for the middle of a border

Shrubs that look good in July

Five perennials to plant in February

Related offers

SAVE 20%

Farmer Gracy 20 per cent off Crocosmia

Save 20% on crocosmia

Enjoy vibrant colour in the garden summer after summer with savings on crocosmia. You'll save 20 per cent on crocosmia corms when you order now. Corms will be delivered in March 2018 ready for spring planting.

Use code: BBCGWCRO20

Order now


Farmer Gracy 15% off begonia tubers

Save 15% on begonia

Save 15 per cent on entire range of begonia tubers. These colourful flowering plants are suitable for both indoor and outdoor planting. Buy now and your tubers will arrive in March 2018 ready for spring planting.

Use code: BBCGWBEG15

Order now

SAVE 10%

Save 10 per cent at Bloom & Wild

Save 10% at Bloom & Wild

Save 10 per cent on the entire range of flowers and gifts by post from Bloom & Wild. Designed to fit through letterboxes, these delightful parcels are perfect to send as Christmas gifts and include floral bouquets, gift sets and pre-decorated Christmas trees.

Use code: GARW10

Order now