Bring on the sunshine and beautiful blooms! While some plants need a fair balance of sun and shade, some need more sun than not to stay happy and healthy. We all need vitamin D!
But is your garden full-sun, or part-sun? Determining that is not hard, but takes knowing how to measure hours of sunlight in your garden.
How to Determine Sun Exposure in Your Garden
You might be surprised to realize that your “full sun garden” is really a partial shade garden, or vice versa.
To measure sun hours, start in the early morning after the sun rises. Take note of the sun exposure at that time – is it full, part, filtered/dappled sun, or full shade. Then every hour, check the garden area again and write down the garden sun exposure. Keep measuring garden sunlight in each area every hour until sunset. Then you’ll have a good understanding of your garden’s exposure.
Full-sun plants don’t necessarily need all-day sunlight, but they do need at least six hours. Afternoon sun tends to be stronger than morning sun, so if you know you can only offer a plant six hours of sun exposure, plant it in a spot that gets most of its sunlight in the afternoon. Full-sun perennials and drought-tolerant plants like succulents and salvia love full sun, as do most plants you’d grow in a vegetable garden. Reserve sunny spots for these species. Full-sun plants are plentiful and easy to shop for. Look at plant tags and have fun!
Our Favorite Full-Sun Perennials
- Dahlias thrive with a brief moment of afternoon shade, but love the sun! From peach to red, lavender, white, yellow, orange, pink, and bi-color blooms, there is a dahlia for everyone.
- Bee Balm. Attract pollinators and add beautiful color to your full-sun garden? A win/win.
- The dark green foliage and bright, fragrant blooms thrive in the sun of the late spring season.
- Yes, mums. Did you know that if you plant mums in the spring, they will come back year after year? Most people make the mistake of planting in the fall, when sales are hot!
- Hardy Geranium. This special variety, not to be confused with the type you usually find in window boxes, is perfect for full-sun spots in your garden.
- Daylily. These big, beautiful blooms thrive in the sun and can be divided after a few years to gain more plants.
- These perennials come in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and forms and thrive in sandy, sunny areas.
Questions about which sun-loving plants will thrive on your property? We’re here to help. Email us at [email protected], or visit our stores.
And please follow us on social media and share photos of your sunshine-loving plants! Because we love plants as much as you do!