What Is Part Sun? What Is Part Shade?


Alan: Another question we get a lot in May, because that’s the busiest time of the year for us and for gardeners, is that people will ask, Well, what can I plant in this much sunlight?

Well, what is full sun?

What is part sun?

What is shade?

Well, obviously, shade means it’s not not getting any direct sunlight. But when you look at a plant tag, and it says, this is for part sun, what does that mean? It’s generally accepted that part sun means around four hours a day or less. But it does get direct sunlight. Full sun is considered anything that gets six more hours of sun a day.

So you really need to know your own gardens, your own house.

And people come and say, Well, my house space is this way. And so they think that’s enough information to know how much sunlight something gets. Well, does your neighbor have a tree across the street that’s huge that blocks part of that sun? It doesn’t matter what direction your house faces if there’s something blocking the sun. And people will sometimes not realize that they’ll put a plant in that’s not for that area.

Now, I’ve heard quite a few people plant a lilac and say, my lilac never blooms. Then I’ll ask how much sun does it get? Well, it gets a little bit in the morning. That’s not enough. A lilac needs at least six hours. Preferably more. So if you plant a lilac, somewhere that it’s not getting enough sun, you’re not going to be happy with it. So you need to know how much sun things get.

And if you’re looking at it in the wintertime, it’s going to get less sunlight in an area because the sun rotates and it moves. So when you want to know what light you’re getting, look at it during the growing season.

And time it.

Because that makes a difference. Some people think it gets all afternoon sun. Maybe it doesn’t maybe you just assume that. So it’s good to know because if you plant shade things in sun, they’re going to burn up. If you plant some things in the shade, they’re not going to bloom.

Kevin: Another thing you said was the time of day is it. Is it six hours of morning sun or is it four hours of afternoon sun?

Alan: The intensity of the sun makes it makes a difference and how the plant is going to tolerate it.

Each week we're going to answer some of the more asked questions we get from our customers at Dill's Greenhouse, as well as on our Facebook page.

From plants to products. We'll be covering quite a number of gardening questions this year.

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