25 Best Dwarf Plants for Full Sun

Emma Loker Headshot - DIY Garden
Written by: - Gardening Expert
Top 25 Dwarf Plants for Full Sun

Are you dreaming of a colourful, low-maintenance, and space-saving garden that thrives under the sun?

Look no further!

We have compiled a list of the top 25 dwarf plants for full sun that will brighten your garden and make it the envy of your neighbours.

Get ready to discover the perfect mix of evergreen shrubs, flowering plants, ground covers and ornamental grasses that love basking in the sun.

Key Takeaways

  • You can add vibrant colour and texture to your garden with dwarf flowering shrubs like the dwarf hydrangea and dwarf azalea.
  • Compact evergreen shrubs are the best way to add low maintenance greenery to sunny spots.
  • By adding ground cover plants, ornamental grasses and fruit bearing plants to your garden, you can enhance the beauty of your space.

Dwarf Flowering Shrubs for Full Sun

First, let’s delve into some lovely dwarf flowering shrubs that will add both colour and texture to your garden.

These small evergreen shrubs, also known as dwarf shrubs, are not only perfect for full sun, but they also require minimal maintenance and can fit in tight spaces. That’s a win-win if you ask me!

Let’s start by introducing you to six amazing dwarf flowering shrubs that will transform your garden into a vibrant oasis.

1. Dwarf Hydrangea

Dwarf Hydrangea enjoying full sun

Dwarf Hydrangea is a low-maintenance, compact shrub that produces panicle-shaped clusters of light green to white blooms, growing up to 5 feet in height.

It thrives in full sun to part shade and prefers moist soil, making it especially suitable for cold climates.

Perfect for foundation plantings, mixed shrub borders, or containers, dwarf hydrangea adds a touch of elegance and colour to your garden landscape.

2. Dwarf Azalea

Dwarf Azalea for full sun

Dwarf Azalea is a small evergreen shrub from the Rhododendron family.

It has eye-catching, colourful flowers that are deer resistant, and can be used as a groundcover or border plant, making it a versatile addition to any garden.

Growing best in full sun or partial shade, the dwarf azalea reaches a height of 2 to 6 feet, adding a lovely pop of colour to small gardens, borders, and foundation plantings.

This shrub is easy to care for and requires minimal maintenance. It prefers moist, well-drained soil. Try to prune it in late winter or early spring, as this is the best time to maintain its shape.

READ NEXT: Rhododendron Care Guide: How to Grow This Spring-Flowering Shrub

3. Dwarf Bottlebrush

Dwarf Bottlebrush for full sun

Dwarf Bottlebrush is a drought-tolerant shrub with bright red flowers and a compact growth habit, making it ideal for sunny spots.

This plant’s bushy, spreading habit makes it exciting and interesting to look at, and this is further enhanced by the unusual shape of its blooms!

Its eye-catching red flowers contrast beautifully with its narrow bluish-green leaves and the golden yellow accents, creating a stunning visual effect.

4. Dwarf Lavender

Dwarf Lavender is a fragrant, low-growing shrub with purple flowers and grey-green foliage, perfect for rock gardens and pathways.

Not only does it add a lovely aroma to your outdoor space, but its low-growing nature also makes it an excellent choice for small gardens and containers.

With its beautiful blooms and pleasant scent, dwarf lavender is sure to become a welcome addition in your space.

And we can’t deny that lavender is a British favourite now, can we?

READ NEXT: Lavender Care Guide

5. Dwarf Hebe

The Dwarf Hebe is a low-maintenance, evergreen shrub with small, glossy leaves and white or pink flowers.

Growing up to 50-80cm, it is great for borders and containers, providing year-round interest with its lovely foliage and flowers.

Luckily for us, there are many Dwarf Hebe varieties to suit each and every garden style and design. Here are some of the best to grow in the UK:

  1. Hebe ‘Emerald Green’: As seen in the picture above, this Hebe packs a gorgeous evergreen punch, with luscious green leaves in a compact form.
  2. Hebe ochracea ‘James Stirling’: The James Stirling Hebe has whippy stems and triangular leaves, adding textural interest to any garden.
  3. Hebe pinguifolia ‘Pagei’: A striking contrast again, the Pagei Hebe has silvery-grey oblong leaves that sit tightly together to create a compact form.

6. Dwarf Daphne

Dwarf Daphne is a slow-growing, fragrant dwarf shrub with white or pink flowers and dark green foliage.

Deer resistant and perfect for small gardens, it adds a touch of sophistication to your garden with its lovely scent and delicate flowers.

With its beautiful blooms and captivating fragrance, Dwarf Daphne is a delightful addition to any sun-loving garden.

While there aren’t many Dwarf Daphne varieties, one of the stand-out dwarf shrubs is Daphne Collina. With bushy pink blooms, this plant won’t go amiss, even if it is small!

Compact Evergreen Shrubs for Sunny Spots

Continuing our journey, let’s explore compact evergreen shrubs that thrive in sunny spots. These low-maintenance small shrubs provide year-round interest and are perfect for small gardens, borders, and foundation plantings.

In the following subsections, we will introduce you to seven fantastic compact evergreen shrubs that will add a touch of greenery to your sun-loving garden.

7. Dwarf Boxwood

Dwarf Boxwood is a popular small evergreen shrub that can be easily shaped and maintained, making it an excellent choice for full sun planting.

With its dense branches and small, broad, rounded leaves, Dwarf Boxwood will add elegance to every garden, whatever its style. 

Drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, Dwarf Boxwood is a great low-maintenance option for borders, edging, and mass planting.

8. Dwarf Arborvitae

Dwarf Arborvitae is a low growing evergreen shrub with a rounded shape and soft yellow-green foliage that thrives in heat and humidity.

Growing up to 4-6 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide, this low-maintenance evergreen shrub is makes a great border or accent plant. 

If sophistication and colour are what you’re after, try the ‘Hetz Midget,’ ‘Tiny Tim,’ and ‘Tater Tot’ varieties. These are sure to bring a fun little twist to your space!

9. Dwarf Juniper

Juniper is a tough and easy-to-grow small evergreen shrub, perfect for full sun or partial shade.

With its striking silver-blue needles that grow into low, graceful mounds, juniper works well as a foundation plant or groundcover.

Deer-resistant and drought-tolerant, juniper will make an excellent addition to your garden.

Here’s a little top tip – pair Dwarf Juniper with some of the ornamental grasses on this list to create a striking textural contrast. 

10. Bird’s Nest Spruce

Bird’s Nest Spruce is a ground-hugging, densely needled shrub that is popular for its tidy shape, slow growth, and resistance to deer and rabbits.

It grows to a height of just 3-5 feet and spreads 4-6 feet wide. It has gorgeous green leaves, and when the new growth comes along, you’ll be amazed by its vibrancy!

Bird’s nest spruce is a low-maintenance and attractive addition to sun-loving gardens.

11. Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Dwarf Alberta Spruce is a slow-growing, evergreen shrub with soft, green needles that smell earthy. What’s not to love?

This low maintenance plant grows up to around 4-6 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide. So, it’s not as small as some of the other plants on the list.

But if you love Alberta Spruce and can’t fit all 10 feet of the normal variety in your garden, the dwarf version is an excellent alternative!

This plant makes an awesome choice for borders or as an accent plant or privacy screen.

12. Gem Box Inkberry Holly

Gem Box Inkberry Holly is a medium-sized shrub with dark green leaves and vibrant white and red berries that attract birds and bees for pollination.

Growing up to 2-3 ft. tall and wide, this evergreen shrub adds a touch of year-round interest and colour to your sunny space. 

Gem Box Inkberry Holly is a beautiful and wildlife-friendly addition, attracting birds, bees, and butterflies. 

13. Sunshine Ligustrum

Sunshine Ligustrum is a small and fast-growing shrub.

It has bright golden-green foliage that stays year-round. Growing up to 3-4 feet tall and wide, this low maintenance shrub is resistant to many pests and diseases, and tolerant to drought and heat.

So, we can safely say that the Sunshine Ligustrum will handle most conditions! This makes it perfect if you’re a gardener who’s just starting out or if you don’t always get around to looking after your garden!

Low-Maintenance Ground Cover Plants for Full Sun

Now, let’s take a look at some low-maintenance ground cover plants that thrive in full sun.

These plants not only add beauty to your garden, but also help control erosion and suppress weeds.

Below are three wonderful ground cover plants. Trust me, these will transform your sun-loving garden into a stunning, low-maintenance paradise.

14. Creeping Thyme

Creeping Thyme is a low-growing, drought-tolerant herb with fragrant foliage and tiny pink or purple flowers.

Perfect for rock gardens and pathways, this versatile plant forms dense, colourful mats that suppress weeds and add beauty to space.

Creeping thyme is a delightful and aromatic addition to any garden landscape.

15. Sedum

Sedum is a large group of succulent ground cover plants with colourful foliage and star-shaped flowers.

With over 600 species of sedum to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice. However, here are some of the best for full sun:

  • Sedum Ternatum (as long as the roots remain moist)
  • Purple Emperor Sedum
  • Ogon Sedum
  • Sedum Ewersii
  • Sedum Murale
  • Sedum divergens
  • Rose Carpet Sedum

Check out the Rose Carpet Sedum in the image above. Isn’t it glorious? With its unique foliage and charming flowers, this Sedum adds bucket-loads of texture and beauty.

READ NEXT: Sedum Care Guide

16. Ice Plant

Ice Plant is a low-growing, drought-tolerant succulent with bright pink or purple flowers.

This plant has excellent erosion control qualities, and is perfect xeriscaping, due to the dense mats of foliage it forms.

Ice Plants are a beautiful and practical addition to any sun-loving garden. But make sure you place them in full sun, because they need lots of sunlight!

Dwarf Ornamental Grasses for Sun-Loving Gardens

Last but not least, let’s explore some dwarf ornamental grasses that will add texture, movement, and beauty to your sun-loving garden.

These grasses are perfect for adding elegance and softness to your garden landscape.

17. Blue Fescue

Blue Fescue is a low-growing, clumping grass with blue-green foliage and airy flower heads.

Drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, blue fescue is perfect for bringing texture as well as unique vibrancy. 

With its striking blue-green foliage, blue fescue adds a unique and eye-catching element to your garden landscape.

18. Little Bluestem

Little Bluestem is a fantastic, awe-inspiring grass with bronze-coloured foliage and feathery plumes.

Great for erosion control and providing wildlife habitat, Little Bluestem will add beauty and function to your sun-loving garden.

With its stunning bronze-coloured foliage and graceful plumes, who wouldn’t want to add Little Bluestem to their garden array?

19. Dwarf Fountain Grass

Dwarf Fountain Grass is a low-growing, clumping grass with arching foliage and fluffy seed heads. These two features ensure Dwarf Fountain Grass adds a touch of whimsy and beauty to your garden.

Its tall stems move seamlessly in the breeze, so be sure to place it in full view so you can see it from your window or a bench seat outside.

20. Feather Reed Grass

Feather Reed Grass is a tall, upright grass with narrow foliage and feathery plumes.

Great for creating privacy screens and windbreaks, Feather Reed Grass adds structure and elegance, so you won’t regret placing this plant in your garden!

With its narrow foliage and feathery plumes, feather reed grass creates a stunning visual display that will captivate any garden visitor.

21. Japanese Forest Grass

Japanese Forest Grass is a low-growing, clumping grass with variegated foliage and airy flower heads.

Its vibrant variegated foliage makes it stand out from the crowd, almost neon yellow in colour.

With this plant’s eye-catching colour combined with its soothing swishy sound in the breeze, you’re sure to be content with this choice!

22. Silver Grass

Silver Grass is a low-growing, clumping grass with silvery-green foliage and airy flower heads.

Perfect for adding texture and movement to your sun-loving garden, silver grass creates a mesmerizing and flowing landscape.

With its silvery-green foliage and airy flower heads, Silver Grass adds a touch of sophistication and charm to your garden.

READ NEXT: 34 Evergreen Grasses for Pots

Small Fruit-Bearing Plants for Sunny Spaces

Finally, let’s explore some small fruit-bearing plants that thrive in sunny spaces. These plants not only provide delicious and healthy fruits, but also add a touch of colour and interest to your garden.

In the following subsections, we will introduce you to three delightful fruit-bearing plants that will make your sun-loving garden even more bountiful and beautiful.

23. Dwarf Blueberry Bushes

Dwarf blueberry bushes are low-growing, evergreen shrubs with white or pink flowers and sweet, juicy berries.

Perfect for containers and small gardens, these versatile plants provide both beauty and delicious fruits. 

With their lovely flowers and tasty berries, dwarf blueberry bushes make a delightful and fruitful addition to your garden landscape.

24. Strawberry Plants

Strawberry plants are low-growing, evergreen perennials with white or pink flowers. And, of course, the berries are delicious!

If you’ve been thinking about starting to grow your own food, Strawberry plants are an excellent starting point – they’re easy to grow and often put out runners, so you’ll have tonnes of Strawberry plants before you know it! 

And if that weren’t enough, you have the option of 50 different planter options for Strawberries!

READ NEXT: 50 Best Strawberry Planter Ideas UK

25. Goji Berry Bushes

Goji berry bushes are low-growing, deciduous shrubs with white or pink flowers and sweet, tart berries.

Great for containers and small gardens, these versatile plants provide both beauty and delicious fruits for your sun-loving garden.

With their lovely flowers and tasty berries, goji berry bushes are a worthy contender for the best compact berry plant around!


The top 25 dwarf plants and grasses for full sun offer a diverse range of colours, textures, and functions that can transform your garden into a vibrant, low-maintenance, and space-saving oasis.

From evergreen shrubs to flowering plants, ground covers to ornamental grasses, and fruit-bearing plants, these selections provide year-round interest and beauty.

So, go ahead and make your garden the envy of the neighbourhood by incorporating these stunning dwarf plants and grasses into your landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most beautiful evergreen?

“What is the most beautiful evergreen?” you may ask, The Japanese cedar tree stands out as one of the most beautiful evergreens. With its lush foliage, graceful shape, and intense fragrance, this majestic tree is the perfect choice for anyone looking to add a touch of beauty to their garden or landscape.

What evergreen shrub has pointed leaves?

If you’re looking for an evergreen shrub with pointed leaves, Blue Holly is the way to go! Its signature look – sharp leaves and red berries – is a classic holiday favourite.

What are some dwarf flowering shrubs that would do well in full sun?

If you’re looking for a dwarf flowering shrub to put in a sunny spot in your garden, try some of the evergreen varieties like Dwarf Hydrangea, Azalea, Bottlebrush, Lavender, Hebe, or Daphne.

What are some low-maintenance ground cover plants for full sun?

If you’re looking for low-maintenance ground cover plants for full sun, Creeping Thyme, Sedum, and Ice Plant are all excellent choices!

They require very little maintenance, so you can easily enjoy their beauty without spending a lot of time tending to them.

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