15 Low Maintenance Shrubs For Full Sun

This article was reviewed by Steve Snedeker, professional landscaper.

Shrubs bring beauty to the garden and attract beneficial insects that help your garden's ecosystem. Most of them can survive in partial shade, but their full bloom shows under sunlight.

If you live in an area that often gets full sunlight, you may be curious about what shrubs can thrive in your climate. Luckily, we've done some research and have the answers for you.

Low-maintenance shrubs will benefit your garden with relatively less work. Here are attractive shrubs that should thrive under the sun:

  1. Oakleaf Hydrangea
  2. Forsythia
  3. Lilac Shrubs
  4. Fountain Butterfly Bush
  5. Heavenly Bamboo
  6. Hibiscus Shrub
  7. Rose of Sharon
  8. Bottlebrush Buckeye
  9.  Archer's Gold Lemon Thyme
  10. Chinese Fringe Tree
  11. Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce
  12. Summersweet
  13. Wynyabbie Gem Westringia
  14. Texas Ranger
  15. Flameleaf Sumac

Although these shrubs are low maintenance, they still need to be tended to ensure their growth periodically. Flowering shrubs will show their blooms if you take care of them effectively. If you want to learn more about creating the best environment for these shrubs, keep reading below.

A big summersweet shrub at the garden, 15 Low Maintenance Shrubs For Full Sun

15 Low Maintenance Shrubs For Full Sun

Whether you're only trying your hand at gardening or if you are a seasoned gardener who wants to beautify their garden with a shrub that doesn't require much attention, low-maintenance shrubs are for you.

They don't require much fussing once you plant them, and all you'll have to do is to make the environment around them as lush as possible.

Familiarizing yourself with the specific characteristics of low-maintenance shrubs will help you create the perfect environment for them, from the soil to the organic material to mix them with and where you'll place them.

Here are 15 low-maintenance shrubs that need full sun.

1. Oakleaf Hydrangea

White petals of a Oakleaf Hydrangea shrub blooming in the full sun

Oakleaf Hydrangeas are low-maintenance multi-stemmed shrubs that provide visual appeal with their white-purple blooms.

They prefer fertile but well-drained soil, tolerating medium moisture so you won't need to water them daily. The shrub is hardy and can tolerate unpredictable weather patterns.

Although they prefer full sunlight in the morning, it is best to place them somewhere they can get partial shade against the hot afternoon sun.

However, Oakleaf Hydrangeas planted farther north can tolerate higher amounts of sunlight.

2. Forsythia

A well maintained yellow Forsythia in the backyard garden

Forsythias are deciduous shrubs, which means they shed seasonally. They can grow up to 4 meters tall, and their blooms are bright yellow, which adds a burst of color to your garden.

Forsythias enjoy direct sunlight and can tolerate a variety of soil conditions.

They proliferate, so you can enjoy their blooms if favorable conditions are typical during early spring. The farther north, the quicker the blooms will appear.

Apart from being low-maintenance, Forsythia also has a lot of medicinal benefits that you would want in your backyard.

A study found that the dried fruit produced by Forsythia has antibacterial properties and can be used to treat the swelling of air passages in bronchiolitis, tonsillitis, and sore throat.

3. Lilac Shrubs

A small bush of purple blooms of Lilac bush flower

Lilacs require minimal care and can tolerate various soil types, although they thrive best in humus-rich soil.

Fertilizers are unnecessary as long as they get access to full sunlight so that the blooms appear earlier.

Generally, they need about 6 hours of direct sun and shouldn't be placed near other trees, which could make them compete for resources and stunt their growth.

You should plant Lilacs on Alkaline soil around the early spring or fall. After that, you'll need to occasionally remove dead branches around the shrub and water it once a week during very hot weather.

4. Fountain Butterfly Bush

Pink blooming petals of a Fountain Butterfly Bush

The fountain butterfly bush benefits your garden's ecosystem by attracting pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

They are generally low-maintenance and can tolerate long periods of drought but need access to full sunlight for at least 6 hours.

During the winter, ensure the soil doesn't lose moisture by covering it with 2 inches of mulch.

Make sure you give them enough space to grow since they can grow up to 5 meters high.

Since they are easy to grow, you should see their blooms appear during mid-summer to early fall under favorable conditions.

5. Heavenly Bamboo

Bright red leaves of a Heavenly Bamboo plant perfect for corner gardening ideas

Heavenly bamboos have vibrant foliage, providing year-round visual interest as the colors transition with the seasons.

They are typically Blue or Green in the spring; then they turn to purple and burgundy in the fall until they change into chartreuse or gold during winter.

They are typically low-maintenance and can tolerate drought, although they thrive best on moist but well-drained soil.

The full sunlight fast-tracks the appearance of blooms, so make sure you plant them where they can have access to sunlight if you want the blooms to give your garden visual appeal.

Note that the berries produced by heavenly bamboo can be poisonous to birds, dogs, cats, and horses, although they are not toxic to humans.

If you have pets or grazing animals, it is best to consider other low-maintenance plants to avoid accidents.

6. Hibiscus Shrub

Small blooming flowers of a Hibiscus Shrub

Hibiscus plants create a tropical-looking paradise in your garden with their vibrant blooms.

The flowers attract beneficial insects to pollinate the garden, and their petals can grow up to 6 inches in diameter.

They grow up to 5 meters tall, so you may want to trim them occasionally.

Since they typically thrive in tropical areas, they need full sunlight for 4-6 hours daily.

Aside from placing them in a favorable location, they require little attention, although you'll need to water them daily during intense summers.

7. Rose of Sharon

The gorgeous pink and purple blooming flowers of a rose of sharon flower

Rose of Sharon shrubs do not grow roses, but they have either flat or double blossoms that come in pink or purple.

They typically appear during the summer, making them tolerant of intense summer heat and periods of drought. Since they grow in the summer, they prefer full sunlight.

They generally require little attention. However, if your goal is to make flowers appear, you must maintain adequate soil moisture--about 1 inch of water every week.

8. Bottlebrush Buckeye

Bottlebrush Buckeye bush photographed in a garden

Bottlebrush Buckeyes are relatively easy to care for. They have spiky white blooms that thrive in full sunlight and well-drained soil.

They shed annually, and they thrive under unpredictable weather patterns.

 9. Archer's Gold Lemon Thyme

A grown and healthy Archer's Gold Lemon Thyme in a garden

If you want an evergreen shrub that can benefit the garden and the kitchen, go for Archer's Gold Lemon Thyme.

They thrive under direct sunlight, and you can use the lemon-scented foliage as a salad or an herb spice.

They can also add flavor to various fish and seafood cuisines, and you won't need to fuss over them a lot to be helpful.

10. Chinese Fringetree

Bright white blooming petals of a Chinese Fringetree

Although it has a "Tree" in its name, the Chinese fringe tree is a shrub.

Chinese fringe trees are generally low-maintenance since they can thrive in full sun to partial shade, but their blooms can only appear under full sunlight.

Their roots have medicinal benefits, which you can use to improve liver and gallbladder conditions.

11. Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce

A big round bush of Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce

This slow-growing conifer shrub can thrive in various soil types and are easy to grow, although growth increments can be small.

They thrive under full sunlight and only need to be watered as they grow and occasionally pruned to retain the shrub's business.

12. Summersweet

A well maintained summerweet bush at a garden

Summersweet bushes have bright green foliage that boasts white flowers, which emit a sweet honeysuckle scent.

They peak during late summer, so they prefer full sunlight. They provide year-round visual appeal by changing color when the leaves turn golden in the fall.

13. Wynyabbie Gem Westringia

A light purple colored Westringia shrub at a garden

This shrub thrives under full sunlight, but it can tolerate frost and drought periods. These are extremely hardy plants and have mauve flowers that bloom during the warm season.

They have soft green foliage that can add visual appeal to your garden, and they can create an informal border because of their shape and size.

14. Texas Ranger

A big Texas Ranger with pink flower petal at full bloom

If you want a shrub that requires little to no maintenance, texas ranger shrubs may be for you.

They thrive better if you truly leave them alone, withstanding even the most intense heat.

Their blooms are purple and pink, with green leaves ideal for being kept as hedges.

15. Flameleaf Sumac

A small bush of Flameleaf Sumac photographed up close

This shrub attracts beneficial and pollinating insects, sprucing up your garden's ecosystem. They thrive in well-drained soil, and they prefer full sunlight.

They have dark green foliage, which can turn into a rich red color during the fall.

Our Final Thoughts

A big summersweet shrub at the garden

Knowing which shrubs agree with your location's climate is essential to a successful gardening experience.

Although these shrubs may be low-maintenance, checking and appreciating them from time to time will be more beneficial for you and the plants.

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