How is Shade defined

waplummer(Z5 NY)January 1, 2013

Shade can be a subjective term varying from deep shade to partial sun with many gradations. The following definitions provide some help in defining the varying degrees of shade, but can only be used as a starting point for plants you may grow in your area. For example, areas of morning sun with afternoon shade can be more forgiving to plants that prefer partial shade than morning shade with afternoon sun. To expand the point further, morning shade with afternoon sun in the more northern areas is more forgiving than in the deep southern areas where the afternoon sun is very hot. Your own experience with particular plants will be the deciding factor.

Deep shade: Beneath evergreen trees and decks. This is usually also a dry shade and the most difficult site to grow other plants.

Full Shade: beneath mature deciduous trees such as oaks and maples. Can also be a dry shade especially under maples.

High shade is the shade beneath trees that have been limbed up. This is a very desirable type of shade.

Dappled or filtered shade: A continuous shifting pattern of shade, ideal for growing shade plants.

Light or part shade: receive full shade for 2-3 hours during mid-day. Full sun plants may still do well in such a situation since they get about 5-6 hours of sun during the day. Full sun is five or more hours of direct sun.

Half shade: Shade for 4-5 hours with periods of full sun and periods of full shade. It is more sun than most shade plants can tolerate.

Northern exposure sites are those on the north side of walls, fences or a row of solid trees. It is open to the sky, but gets no direct sun.

Spring sun and summer shade is what woodland plants like; the summer shade is provided by deciduous trees as they leaf out.

Morning sun provides light without the hot baking of the early afternoon sun. Both shade and sun-loving plants may do well depending on the total hours of sun.

Effect of latitude. Plants that need shade in the south can tolerate more sun in northern climes.

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