A Sun Tip: Ok, give!

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 896, Replies: 21 » Jump to the end
A Sun Tip

By 1AnjL
June 13, 2012

How much sun is enough? Full sun: at least 6 hours of sun per day. Partial sun/shade: 3-6 hours of sun per day. Dappled sun: receives sun through branches. Full shade: less than 3 hours of sun per day.

[View the item] Give a thumbs up

Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jun 12, 2012 6:58 PM CST
What are those pretty red flowers? Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
CDsSister
Jun 12, 2012 7:24 PM CST
Yep ... that is one beautiful bloom Hurray! I agree
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
Image
Marilyn
Jun 12, 2012 9:26 PM CST
nodding I agree

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jun 13, 2012 9:07 AM CST
Hey folks! I'd caution against making huge generalizations like this "sun tip",

Eg. 6 hours of full sun in June? or in March? Very different. Full sun in California or in cities where there is so much air pollution? Very different than a place with clean air.

Also 6 hours of full sun in Florida at any time of year is a whole lot more solar energy than 6 hours of full sun in Wisconsin or Washington state. How about Alaska and Canada? Tomatoes grown in southern British Columbia are the sweetest on earth because they get 9 hours or more of sun per day at the height of summer. So, 9 hours might be defined as "full sun" up there. But the sun is more intense in Texas so maybe 4 or 5 hours is "full sun" in the lower latitudes?

Lots of things I plant down here that say "Full sun" on the label really need shade in the middle of the day in summer to grow nicely - or in some cases even survive.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Jun 13, 2012 9:31 AM CST
I agree I agree nodding nodding
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: AnjL/Annmarie Bailey
Twain Harte, CA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Miniature Gardening Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 2 Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Region: United States of America Region: Pacific Northwest Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Art Hostas Bulbs
Image
1AnjL
Jun 13, 2012 10:08 AM CST
True, you also need to factor in your zone information. If a plant needs full sun in zone 7a it should be okay in full sun for zone 7a. so dont plant it in full sun for zone 10 etc Smiling
All Things Hobby
Miniature Gardening

All the coffee in Columbia will never make me a morning person!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jun 13, 2012 1:45 PM CST
Zones are huge generalizations, too. They are guidelines at best, defined by the coldest "average" winter temperatures, nothing to do with sun duration or intensity. Or latitude, either. Altitude and proximity to water play a huge role in zone allocation. Here the zone lines follow the coastline because if you are near the water you stay much warmer on the cold nights.

I was protesting the idea that your tip said "Full Sun" = 6 hours of direct sun everywhere. Grumbling It just doesn't work that way. Sorry if I'm being argumentative here, but this kind of info misleads a lot of people into planting things where they shouldn't.

eg. a plant labeled "full sun" in Nebraska might want 6 hours, but in Alaska it would benefit from 14 hours of direct sun because the sun is at a pretty low angle (low intensity) even at its height in June. Same plant in New Mexico might only need 4 hours of sun to flower or fruit because the sun is so much more intense.

Another example, my orchids live in "dappled shade" under my big oak tree in the summer. IF I were to move them further and further north, they would need more and more light to bloom and grow even with equivalent temperatures and the same care because the light gets less and less intense.

You simply can't put a definition on these terms because they are different everywhere.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
CDsSister
Jun 13, 2012 2:34 PM CST
Does the grower label for different sales zones? Example Monrovia. In Oregon they have a more temperate climate, I think. So do they label based on Oregon conditions or on where the plant will be sold??? Shrug! Shrug!

Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jun 13, 2012 3:15 PM CST
Aren't the sun requirements generally given for the optimal growing zones?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
CDsSister
Jun 13, 2012 3:20 PM CST
OK now you've done it. I am so illiterate .. what is an optimal growing zone and how do I know if I'm in it? I'm all ears!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jun 13, 2012 4:01 PM CST
Oh, I just figure somewhere in the mid-range between the coldest place it will survive and the hottest place it will grow. Hee hee, I don't think that's an "official" gardening term. I myself assume a couple of zones warmer than the coldest place a plant will survive. Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
CDsSister
Jun 13, 2012 4:05 PM CST
I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jun 13, 2012 4:09 PM CST
Actually, in OUR database ( Big Grin ) we have a minimum and a maximum recommended zone. So there! Hilarious! Well, at least the option to include that information is there..... Whistling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Lincoln, NE
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Image
Moby
Jun 13, 2012 5:11 PM CST
Sooo.... those pretty red blooms would be hibiscus? Smiling
Where are we going, and why am I in this hand-basket?
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jun 13, 2012 6:16 PM CST
Nooooooooo! Say it isn't so! Can't grow those things here! Sad
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Lincoln, NE
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Image
Moby
Jun 13, 2012 9:00 PM CST
Try a hardy hibiscus ~ I grow lots of them here in 5b.
Thumb of 2012-06-14/Moby/db38c9
Where are we going, and why am I in this hand-basket?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jun 14, 2012 9:06 AM CST
Circling back to Annemarie's original tip, let's take Moby's hardy hib as an example.

If you went to Home Depot or WalMart and bought this plant, the label would maybe say "Full Sun" and Zone 4 - 9, no matter where you are. Most places in the northern 2/3 of the US and southern Canada you'd be fine following that info. But the further north you were, the more sunny a location you'd have to find. I think the labels would be more useful if they said "All Day Sun" for more northern states and Canada. Again, I'm saying you just can't define the term "Full Sun" as 6 hours. It depends where you are.

But they do grow and are sold in the rest of the US as well, and (although I wouldn't) if I did get one, I'd plant it in partial shade on the north side of my house so that it would get only morning sun in summer, and be fully shaded in winter to try to give it more of the dormant period it needs.

Anyway, growers that sell online tend to give more, and better information. eg. I shop White Flower Farm sometimes for gift plants for my daughter's garden in Salt Lake City. Their perennial plant descriptions give a range such as "Hardiness Zones 5 - 8 S / 5 - 9 W " the S meaning South, the W meaning West. Thus they aren't recommending that particular plant for Zone 9 in the South but it is ok for Zone 9 in the West because they are very different. They also say "Full sun to Part Shade" for most of their perennials and shrubs with a wider zone designation. So they're giving it a range, and the gardener must make a judgement call depending upon where they live, as to how much sun to give that plant.

Even places in the same latitude - same day lengths - have varying sun intensity because of altitude. eg. Salt Lake City (4500ft) and Denver (6000ft.) have more intense sun than New York City so the same tomato might ripen with only 4 hours of "Full Sun" in SLC and it might take 7 hours in NYC. Air quality plays a part, as well.

Just sayin' !! Don't generalize, and don't believe what the labels say anyway. Make a judgement based on your own climate in your garden.
Here's an 'Easy Does It' rose, very happy with only morning sun here.
Thumb of 2012-06-14/dyzzypyxxy/e63fa8
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
CDsSister
Jun 14, 2012 9:18 AM CST
Let's see if I have it.........It seems to come down to learning about your own growing conditions. A bit of trial and error or networking with other growers both professional and home gardener is required, EXPERIENCE, gained over time. Tags can be used as guidelines. Even full sun" may require sun shades if intense and prolonged.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jun 14, 2012 11:32 AM CST
That's what I'm talking about, Marilyn. If you're inexperienced, asking local gardeners and nursery people about where to plant something is a great way to go. That doesn't necessarily include the nice - but not necessarily knowledgeable - folks who work in the HD and Lowe's garden centers who more often than not can't tell you any more than what the tag does. Your local County Extension service might have Master Gardeners available to consult, too. A great, free resource.

Your location is a good example of why not to generalize terms like "Full Sun". You have clear air and you're at high altitude, right? So your sun is very strong at this time of year. On the other hand, your nights cool off quite a lot which can slow your plants down. Your hardiness zone might be 4, or 5, or 6 depending on if you're up the mountain or down in the valley and the way your garden faces. Your growing season is pretty short. So if I were you and bought a plant that said "Full Sun" on the label, I'd find it the warmest, sunniest spot I could even if it has 8 or 9 hours of sun per day. IF you're growing fruits or veggies, they need the most solar energy you can give them to produce and dependably mature a crop. South-facing side of a building will give a longer season than the north side because it won't get blasted by late snow or nipped by early frost. Even your flowering plants will do better, the more sun you can give them.

I lived in Utah for 20yr. before moving to FL and my kids still live there, very familiar with snow in late May and frost in early September. My daughter's garden in Salt Lake is zone 5 in the front - north side of the house - and zone 6 in the back yard that faces south and is protected from the NW wind. She has trees, and so do both her neighbors, so "Full Sun" in her garden is a max of about 4 hours, but her perennials bloom and grow beautifully. Just the ones in the front yard start a month or so later and finish earlier than the back yard. This goes back to generalizing about zones, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
CDsSister
Jun 14, 2012 11:42 AM CST
Elaine,
That all makes good sense. Right now I am just finishing up planting and hoping to get them through the summer. Most of my itty bitty planting space is deep shade. I have some small sunny spots to which I have moved a few plants. I am growing mostly Semps and sedum, but some cactus and other sun plants. (no vegies at this time) This year will be a real test for me to see what grows/does not grow... where. And then to try to either move them or give them up. I know I will face all new challenges with the winter season, but will deal with that as it comes.

I really appreciate all the advise from the experienced gardeners both in my zone and other places. This is a great site and the people here love to share.

Thanks so much. I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you.

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« A Sun Tip
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Lilium 'Pink Perfection'"