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A Brief Overview of Sun, Shade, and Hanging Baskets
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.

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