All plants require sunlight to grow, they just have different requirements. What are the sunlight requirements for plants? Each seed packet or plant label will state how much sun the plant will need to thrive.
While a tomato plant will thrive in a full sun location, a hosta would not survive. Understanding the meanings of a plant’s light requirements will enable you to select the perfect growing location for the plant to thrive.
This is a location that is in direct sunlight all day and provides no shade for plants. Tomatoes, corn, peppers, roses, bee balm, and asters are a few of the plants that need to be planted in a full sun location for optimum growth and production.
Light shade is found under tall growing plants or beside a structure. It’s a location that is in the sun most of the day but also provides a little shade at some point during the day.
Squash, beets, carrots, garlic, peas, begonias, bellflower, and impatiens are some of the vegetable and flower plants that enjoy a reprieve from the summer sun in light shade.
This is a location that is in the sun half of the day and the shade the other half of the day. Some plants, like azaleas, hydrangeas, thrive in the morning sun.
Four O’clocks, Mexican petunias, coleus, and daylilies thrive in locations where they will be shaded in the morning and in direct sun during the afternoon.
Radishes, carrots, and beets will thrive in part shade where the location receives as little as 3-hours of direct sunlight each day. The sun exposure for these roots crops can be either in the morning or the afternoon.
This plant requirement can be a little misleading. Plants that are labeled as ‘full shade’ plants still need 3-4 hours of sunlight each day, it just does not have to be direct sunlight.
Bright, indirect sunlight shining down between tree or shrub leaves (also known as dappled sunlight) is sufficient for plants like kale, broccoli, root vegetables, hosta, foxglove, violas, and astilbe.
This is a location that receives little to no direct sunlight. Plants that thrive in dense shade include primrose, coral bells, foamflower, lungwort, and Japanese forest grass. Arugula, mustard greens, chard, and spinach are cool-season vegetables that will grow in dense shade but be less productive than plants that receive a little bright sunlight each day.