Will "Full Sun" Plants Thrive In East Facing Front Yard - Knowledgebase Question

Culver City, CA
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Question by cspringe
January 7, 2002

I'm planting an east-facing front yard of a new 2-story house in Los Angeles. The yard gets brief morning sun in winter, then the house shades the yard in the afternoon. Its USDA zone 9, Sunset Zone 23.

I know that in summer it will get more hours of full sun, but I don't know if it will get enough hours of full sun to plant lavender and other plants requiring 'full sun'. Argh!

Appreciate your help

Answer from NGA
January 7, 2002
The general advice for "full-sun" plants is that they require a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day in order to thrive. Roses, for example, require "full-sun". Without the minimum 6-8 hours of direct sunshine the plants will grow, but they will fail to bloom to their full potential. They'll also be more prone to insect and disease problems because they will be stressed from not receiving adequate sunshine. Each sun loving plant has slightly different requirements so these are just general guidelines. Lavender will grow in less than 6-8 hours of direct sunshine but they may not bloom. Or, instead of remaining compact and bushy, lavender may become sparse and rangey if given less than the ideal amount of full sunshine. It's also important to note that morning sunshine is generally less intense than afternoon sunshine. You'll have much more success with plants requiring partial shade or semi-shade in the growing area you describe. Those that do well with only morning sun include Anemone, Columbine, Astilbe, Campanula, Helleborus, Asiatic Lily, Primrose, Senecio, Tradescantia, Star Jasmine, Fuchsia, Azalea and Camellia. Hope this information helps you choose just the right plants for your front yard.

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