Let's talk shade
When it is suggested that plants grow well in the shade we usually
mean that filtered light is good, morning sun is also good but
by mid day certainly by 1:00 - 2:00 P.M. during the summer the
sun is not shining directly on the plant. In some cases well established
plants which have been mulched and are watered as needed can do
okay in direct afternoon sun.
Let's talk full sun
Full sun generally means that by 10am during the summer the plants
are in full sun with no shade for the better part of the day.
Usually the more hours of direct sun you can give a plant the
more flowers it will have and the less likely it will stretch.
Be careful, to remember that the position of the Sun in relation
to the Earth is always changing. Flowers planted in the full sun
early in the spring may find themselves shaded by buildings or
trees as the angle of the sun changes in late summer and early
fall. When we talk about vegetable gardens we are talking about
maximum sun light. You can not give a vegetable garden
too much sun. The more hours of full sunlight you give a garden
the more produce it will give.
Let's talk about hanging baskets
and where to put them:
We are always asked what can go in the full sun. First let us
say that growing any plant in a hanging basket in the full summer
sun is a challenge. There are many plants that can be grown in
the full summer sun in the ground or in a large container. Both
of these situations provide for adequate water to get to the plant
during the course of the day. The ground as well as a large container
will not easily over heat and cook the root of the plants. Remember
when it is 95 degrees out in the full sun any plant in a hanging
basket will be 95 degrees including the roots and any water in
the basket. This is not a good situation for the plant to thrive.
The first or second time you forget to water the basket it will
be gone. Our experience has shown us that there are several plants
that have a chance in full sun if properly maintained. Petunias
for one can do well in full sun even in the hot days of August.
We like the wave petunias best. Calibrachoa (Million Bells) and
Verbena can also do well if properly taken care of but are more
difficult than petunias. I am sure there are other plants.
On the other side of the coin I am asked which hanging basket
will do well in the shade. Most flowers need some direct sun shine
to produce blooms so a basket hanging on a porch will most likely
not bloom and when it does what a mess to clean up as the flowers
drop. We recommend a green foliage plant for such places. We have
found one plant that will not bloom with bright light and in fact
if exposed to direct sun will probably burn the leaves. Non-Stop
Begonias produce large double flowers that almost glow. What a
great plant. It does well on the ground, in pots and hanging baskets.
Torenia will also do okay in a mostly shaded area.