How much shade do shade plants need?

caflowerluverAugust 1, 2005

I am redoing a planting area out front that gets at most in the middle of summer 3.5 hours of sun from 9:30 - noon. In the winter it doesn't even get that much.

It is shaded by the neighboor's large redwoods and because of the angle of sun it takes that long to get over the tops. Then it is shaded by the house.

Is that too much sun for shade loving plants? Are there some shade loving plants that can take that much? What perennial plants would grow there but also grow low, less then 3 ft, and not very wide because it is by a walkway?

Thanks for your suggestions.

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Istanbuljoy(Z 5 CO)

Dear ApostCA,
Morning sun is better than afternoon and 3.5 should be okay. The other thing that I would think about is how direct the sun is since you are zone 9. Our sun here can be very direct (due to altitude). So, far though the shade plants are doing okay with what they have. Hostas are good ones for your situation because they will grow in whatever light, unless they get too much burning sun. One lady said that for the first year she grew them in sun so they would get big and then moved them later.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 3:55PM
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Thanks for the advice. I don't know how direct the sun is. It feels pretty hot this time of year when you stand in it. We also gets lots of morning fog so sometimes it gets no sun at all.
Funny how time changes things. We have been here over 19 years and when we first moved here that area got sun almost all day. That was before the trees got so big! Gardening is an ever evolving thing.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 7:23PM
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I would only add that it all depends on the plant and the amount of water they get. Hosta sounds perfect for you. Some may not flower if there is too much shade. Some take more sun well if watered liberally.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 7:32AM
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