Can you define...

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Reading through online plant catalogues here. ( I know, I'm going where no woman should dare tread... lol )

Some plants are listed as part sun and others are recommended for part shade.

I want to know what the difference would be so I can figure out what I have here.


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

From what I've read the terms can be used interchangeably and usually is interpreted as 3 to 6 hours of sun/shade. My own view for part shade would be protection from the harshest sun of the day.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks Pirl ~ I read your post before work this a.m. and appreciated you taking the time to answer.

I have seen plants listed as suitable for one or the other and occasionally the use of both terms applied to the same plant, most recently on the Almost Eden site. I'm thinking I need to contact them and ask for their definition.

I would also suspect that northern summer sun would be brighter or more intense than southern. That would also affect the part sun/part shade description.

If I get an answer, I will post it. Thanks again ~ Kristi

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Kristi - contacting the company is a good idea.

Many years of growing daylilies taught me that "full sun" for the dark ones just doesn't work for me. It bleaches out the color. Giving plants protection from the hottest part of the day works as well for them as it does for me.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Amen to that. I will let you know what they say... thanks!

Hobart, IN

I believe the combination of sun and heat in the South would require a little more shade (cooling) for plants than up here in the North. Some shade is recommended in the afternoons even for some of the full sun plants.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I totally agree.

This year I ordered some caladiums to use in full sun with the thought that though Freida Hemple is meant for shade in Florida it would be fine in sun here on Long Island. All went well until the heat of summer. From now on I'll plant as the site suggests and not try to evade the rules.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I received two responses back quickly from Almost Eden. They told me

Part sun is basically defined as 4-6 hours of sun per day, Part shade is 2-4
hours of sun per day. I hope this helps to answer your questions and if we
can be of any further assistance please feel free to contact us.

I guess one should contact a source anytime there is a question.

Now to figure out how much sun these areas receive and then, go shopping.
Thanks for y'alls assistance!

Hobart, IN

Thanks for sharing their response. Duh - I always thought "part sun" and "part shade" were interchangeable.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I agree ~ kind of a toss up but I guess my question was answered. Sort of .

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Cindy's reply is probably what many of us felt.

Dappled shade is where I want to garden and where I think many plants could be happy. Now that the hurricane, Irene, took three major trees my hydrangeas will face full hot sun - no relief, all day long.

My best advice (not that you asked) would be to protect both shade and sun lovers for the hottest part of the day.

"Part sun is 4 - 6 hours" per Almost Eden but full sun is 6 hours or more. So I really don't agree with them since that six hour mark is part sun and full sun - massively confusing to new gardeners or for plants we've never grown before.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I agree ~ it is a moot point.

Summer afternoon/evening sun protection I can well understand.

I couldn't convince DH when he built the greenhouse though. Now he can't figure why all the plants have to move out in summertime even when the shade cloth is up.

Now that you have lost your shade, are you considering manmade shade as they do in the south and west?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Is the greenhouse impossibly hot? Stupid question here you have fans in there and do they help? Not enough, obviously.

I'm not but I could consider the manmade shade to hide a view next door!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Impossibly is a polite way to put it. I saw temps of over 125 recorded in there this past summer. Yes to the fans but it was an incredibly hot summer. Then in the winter I wish for morning sun to warm the GH quickly in the morning. Afraid the positioning is just wrong. Not an argument I won.

It was so hot that it melted solar panels that I had in there for the lights. I did use it to my advantage though. I put two retractable clotheslines in there and could dry up to three loads in a good day. Didn't have to worry about bird poo or rain ~ not that we had to worry about rain anyway. Hated to give it up for that reason when I moved the plants back in. lol

Some of the pergolas (either treated or painted white) are very attractive and would provide shade till your new plantings can develop.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

A local guy raised his tomatoes and other vegetables in a huge hoop house and lost everything the day he forgot to open the doors and put on the fans so I can see your point. You were right!

You did make lemonade out of the lemon but still don't have the greenhouse positioned where it should be.

Pergolas are nice but I can't have as many as I'd need or it would look more like a circus than a garden. Thanks for the good thought.

Hobart, IN

What a great idea about line-drying clothes in your greenhouse! We have too many birds here to even think about drying clothes outdoors. I know my little hobby GH can easily reach over 100 with shade cloth, open roof vents and a side vent with two small fans blowing and it's partially shaded in the summer. I usually don't grow in it over the summer but the heat did kill off some florist cyclamen I had in there.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

The clotheslines worked wonderfully. I didn't worry about fading clothes with the shadecloth up.

Hated to give it up but yesterday I put one of the clotheslines on the back porch.
Still hope to be frugal which allows me to justify spending more on plants and gardening. lol

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I applaud your clear thinking!

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Pirl, sorry to hear about the 3 trees down courtesy of Irene.
I lost some shade trees a few years ago due to summer storms.
I still have about 20 June hostas surrounding the former trees,
which are now in full sun.
Frankly, they have never looked better - until about July 1, when they start getting burnt to a crisp.
But 5 years and counting - I haven't gotten around to moving them!
There always seem to be more pressing chores...

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Scott.

Ah, yes, those "more pressing chores" haunt me as well. If the deer do not find the hosta then the sun fries them.

The "shady" area behind the major shade tree in this garden is gone but I'm hoping a magnolia (to the left) and Crape Myrtle (on the right) will grow towards each other to give me some shade - and give the deer a pretty spot to feast.

Thumbnail by pirl
Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Wow, Pirl, how sad to lose that big tree. I just read through this thread because the title intrigued me. I've wondered the same thing. So, in my Organic Gardening magazine, there is a page with "tech toys". One of them looked great--the PlantSmart from Black and Decker. It has sensors that measure sunlight, temperature, soil nutrients and moisture. You put it in the garden, leave it there a couple of days then plug the device into your computer. Well, this sounded awesome! So I went to Amazon, found it and read the comments. Not good :( It just gives general terms, not specific numbers and you have to subscribe to get the nutrient info. Oh well... It sounded neat anyway! Maybe I'll search to see if anyone has mentioned it on DG.
I have a pergola that gets no direct sun, part is dappled, and my begonias, hosta, Japanese maple and other shade lovers are happy there :) I just potted some Christmas cactus and I'll see how they do there. Happy gardening and happy Thanksgiving too :) Janet

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Janet - thank you for your research. My daughter gave me that tool, called Easy Bloom. I never thought to just put it in the soil and let the tool guide me as to what I could plant...that I'd want to have. I've used it many times for placing plants indoors and it is a help. As of the last time I used it they didn't have the variety of plants I'd like to see, nor the variety I already have. I didn't bother with subscribing to get nutrient information I can get through Google.

It was very kind of you to search for help for me and I thank you.

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