Plants That Get the Morning Sun Only

Plants that get the morning sun only are those that need direct sunlight exposure but cannot tolerate the intense heat of the midday sun. These plants soak up the sun early and then prefer shaded conditions. Extreme sun and subsequent heat often results in sunscald, fading and overall diminished health.

Hydrangeas thrive in morning sun and afternoon shade.


Rhododendrons perform well in areas that offer morning sun only and shade during the afternoon though they can also thrive in partial shade. These flowering shrubs prefer moist, well-drained soil with an acid pH of 4.0 to 5.5. The addition of a 2-inch layer of organic mulch to the area surrounding your rhododendron plant helps retain necessary moisture. Oak leaves used as mulch have a mild acidifying quality that may benefit the pH of your soil. From low-growing to taller varieties, rhododendrons grow to a height of approximately 5 feet to over 20 feet. Blossoms bloom in a vast array of colors including whites, creams and shades of nearly every hue of the spectrum but black and green.


Bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla), also referred to as French hydrangeas, perform best in morning sun and afternoon shade. Thriving in well-drained soil high in organic content, these deciduous shrubs display flowers in pink or blue, depending upon the pH level of the soil. Pink flowers develop in soil with a pH of 6 or greater. Blue flowers form in soil with a pH between 5.0 and 5.5. Reaching a height of 4 to 12 feet depending upon the variety, hydrangeas are classified into two cultivar groups. Hortensias produce sterile flowers whereas lacecaps have fertile flowers.

Franklin Tree

Franklin trees (Franklinia alatamaha) are well-suited to conditions with exposure to morning sun only and then afternoon shade. These trees also thrive in dappled or partial shade. A shorter deciduous tree, growing to a height of 30 feet with a spread of 10 to 15 feet, the Franklin tree produces white, showy, fragrant flowers, providing added interest to your garden space from July through the end of summer. Foliage is vibrant green and changes to an equally brilliant red-orange during autumn. Franklin trees thrive in moist, well-drained acid soil rich in nutrients. With a pyramidal shape that becomes round as the Franklin tree matures, this plant is appropriate for use as a specimen plant or for the patio, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension.