Sunny beds benefit from a touch of gold to complement blooms and balance darker foliage. These sun-loving trees, shrubs, and perennials provide lasting color with foliage ranging from soft yellow to vibrant gold. We also include variegated selections, whose golden hues are balanced by shades of green. These 10 golden plants that love the full sun are sure to brighten up your beds and borders.
1. Touch of Gold Holly
Touch of Gold® Holly is fast becoming a favorite among gardeners looking for vibrant color in the foundation. This dwarf selection matures to just 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide for a fuss-free, evergreen structure. Plants maintain a compact, mounded habit without pruning. This heat and drought-tolerant cutie makes a colorful accent and looks stunning planted in mass.
2. ‘Sunshine’ Ligustrum
The soft, semi-evergreen foliage of ‘Sunshine’ Ligustrum will make your garden glow. A sterile, non-invasive selection, ‘Sunshine’ provides all the benefits of a ligustrum—deer and pest resistance, easy maintenance, and versatility—without the problem of reseeding. Mass in borders or plant as an accent. Smaller than other ligustrums, ‘Sunshine’ makes a compact hedge maturing 4 to 6 feet tall.
3. Forever Goldy Arborvitae
Carry those golden hues skyward with Forever Goldy™ Arborvitae. This upright, pyramidal evergreen maintains a small footprint in the landscape, providing height in even the smallest of gardens. Great for borders and hedges, or planted as an accent in entry beds, Forever Goldy™ offers a water-wise solution for tight spots. Plants mature to 10 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide.
4. Night Light Chamaecyparis
The lush, layered foliage of Night Light™ Chamaecyparis adds texture to sunny plantings. The golden foliage maintains its color without burning even in full sun. Winter brings a tint of bronze to the foliage, while inner leaves darken to green hues. The densely packed branches form a perfect, rounded mound maturing to 4 to 5 feet tall and wide.
5. Paul’s Gold Chamaecyparis
The cascading foliage of Paul’s Gold® Chamaecyparis gives it a very different appearance than Night Light™. While both plants mature to a similar size, Paul’s Gold® is peaked toward the center and less rounded, giving it a somewhat pyramidal form perfect for planting as an accent. Plants are heat tolerant and have low water requirements.
6. Lime Sizzler Firebush
Lime Sizzler™ Firebush brings tropical flair and endless color to the garden. Lemon-yellow foliage splashed with lime green provides a colorful backdrop to fiery red-orange flowers that bloom spring through fall, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. A fast-growing tender perennial, Lime Sizzler™ is hardy in zones 9 to 11, but quickly fills out containers or garden plantings in cooler zones when grown as an annual. Plants are heat and drought-tolerant and resist deer browsing.
7. Miss Lemon Abelia
This gorgeous abelia is a must-have in any low-maintenance garden. Miss Lemon™ Abelia boasts brightly variegated foliage with green centers and a sunny yellow edge that matures to a creamy ivory color with maturity. An abundance of fragrant, light pink blooms attracts butterflies and bees to the garden. This easy breezy beauty requires little pruning, is deer resistant and pest free, and drought tolerant once established.
8. Golden Oakland Holly
The stately Golden Oakland® Holly is unique among hollies, with variegated foliage in creamy yellow and green hues and a dense, upright habit. Plant one in your entry garden for a lovely year-round specimen. These large hollies, reaching 15 feet tall and wide, also provide excellent screening.
9. Platinum Beauty Lomandra
Platinum Beauty® Lomandra is a grass-like perennial that adds loads of texture to the garden. Long, arching, variegated blades are actually striped green and white, not yellow, but the combination gives the plant an overall golden appearance. These tough, low-water plants combine well with yellow, purple, and blue-tinged foliage and flowers. They tolerate both wet and dry locations, making them quite versatile in the garden.
10. ‘Color Guard’ Yucca
Add architectural style and vibrant color all year round with ‘Color Guard’ Yucca. The sword-like foliage radiates from a central rosette and stands strongly upright, looking fresh even beneath a dusting of snow. The green and yellow striped foliage takes on even more color in winter when rosy tones accent the leaves. Plants are tough as nails—tolerating heat, drought, poor soils, deer, and rabbits!