Shades of Shade

All plants have different light needs. Some plants are very sensitive to light, and like me with my Minnesota winter tan on a beach, can get burned to a crisp in just a couple of hours in direct sunlight. This is why it is important to understand and be able to determine how just how much light your plants require. Gardeners typically talk about or measure light in varying degrees of "shades. These include: Full Sun is just that - in the sun during the greater majority of the day. You typically find full sun conditions in a southern exposure. Several plants love full sun. They include a variety of annuals, some perennials, bushes, shrubs and trees. Dappled Shade is bright enough that most plants, including those that like full sun, will tolerate it. A great example of where dappled shade can be found is under trees where as the sun moves across the sky during the day, differing / varying degrees of light "dapple" between the leaves. Open Shade can be found in a easterly or northern exposure. Although the light is bright, it is rarely direct sunlight, and if it is, it is generally in the morning. It can also be found on a deck or a patio covered in fiberglass. Although many plants tolerate this type of shade, it is generally too reduced for plants that like full sun. Medium Shade is where plants can become more difficult to grow. Areas under a deck, or under a tree that itself is under a mature canopy of trees. Deep Shade limits plants to those that need very little light to survive. This plant group is usually slow growing, and will rarely bloom. They include ivy's and mosses. Deep shade may be found in your yard on a strip of land with a northern exposure that is also under a tree or has a building or fence blocking the majority of sunlight. This article may be re-printed with the following information included:
Written by Craig Cooper @ Copyright 2006
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