If you garden, you’ve heard it over and over: This plant needs full sun, or partial shade, or part sun. But what exactly does that mean? Let’s take a look at the differences between the various requirements for sun and shade.
Full Sun: Six hours of sunlight each day, minimum.
Partial Sun: Three to six hours of daily sun, ideally in the morning and early afternoon.
Partial Shade: Basically the same as partial sun, except that plants need relief from intense late afternoon sun. That is, the plants need some shade.
Dark Shade: Very dense and dark, such as the areas under evergreens.
Medium Shade: Shade provided by deciduous trees. Also called dappled sun.
Light Shade: Shade provided by buildings or trees as the day progresses.
Make a shade/sun map of your property before you plant. Check the light every hour or two and mark on a diagram of your yard where the sun falls. Rather than expecting your plants to make do with whatever sun they get, choose plants that will do well with the available sunlight.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, and other fruiting vegetables need full sun, preferably with eight hours of sunlight. Root crops can handle six hours daily. Four hours is enough for greens. If you are growing in containers you can move your plants to maximize their exposure to the sun.
Consider growing shade-loving ornamentals if you don’t have at least four hours of sunlight in your garden.
Want more information about shade in the garden and how they affect your plants?
The following websites shed light on the question of how much sun plants need:
Learn to Grow answers the question What Do They Mean By Full Sun, Partial Shade, and so on?
This article is all about Shedding Light on Gardening Success.
Here you can find a great article about Light Requirements For The Home Garden.