For the process of photosynthesis, in which the energy from light is converted into a source of nutrition, plants need light. Depending on characteristics such as the size of their leaves and the quantity of chlorophyll that they contain, many types of plants have varying requirements for the amount of light that they get. The quantity of sunlight that a plant that grows in full sun requires for photosynthesis is contingent on three primary factors: the time of day that the plant is exposed to sunlight, the length of time that it is exposed to light, and the quality of the light.
Full Sun vs Direct Sun
When starting out as a gardener, it is essential to have an understanding of the distinction between full sun and direct sun. When comparing plants that need full sun to those that just need direct sun, keep in mind that plants that need full sun need at least six to eight hours of direct sunshine every day. To ensure healthy growth, the majority of plants need at least six hours of sunshine every day. According to Penn State Extension, the sun’s rays are not all created equal, and various plants have varying needs for the amount of light they need.
The sun’s rays that reach the earth directly are known as “direct sun,” and their intensity is much higher than that of the full sun. As a consequence of this, it has the potential to warm up the soil and dry out the plant leaves, both of which may cause the plant leaves to get damaged or even perish. On the other hand, direct sunshine is sunlight that has not been filtered by the atmosphere as indirect sunlight does. Even while it may not have the same level of brilliance as the direct sunlight, it can nevertheless be fairly brilliant.
The majority of plants thrive best in full sunlight since this environment encourages healthy growth without subjecting them to an excessive amount of light or heat. Plants that need a significant quantity of light should be cultivated in the direct sunlight, whereas plants that just need a modest amount of light may be grown in either partial sunlight or shade. This is a basic rule of thumb to follow. There are many other contributing elements. For instance, the amount of light that reaches plants is increased when light is reflected off a structure or some other surface. Reflected light may be harmful to some plants because, when combined with heat, it creates circumstances that are both drier and more harsh, both of which can cause the plants to wither and die.
Morning Sun Hours for Plants
The quality of light is determined by its wavelength, which corresponds to its colour. The complete spectrum of visible light is present in full sunshine. Plants make use of all the hues of the prism for a variety of diverse purposes. One example would be that blue light waves encourage the development of leaves.
Rain, gloomy skies, and the directness of light are all examples of things that may reduce the wavelength of a light, which in turn decreases its foot candles or quality. When compared to the hours of morning sunshine, the light quality of afternoon sunlight is the most powerful. In most circumstances, there is sufficient light for photosynthesis to occur in plants that need full sunshine and get the bulk of the solar they need in the afternoon.
There are a few things you can do to assist your plants in making the most of the light that is available to them, particularly if they only get sunlight during the early hours. First, make sure that they are not being smothered by any other plants or things that are in the area. Even sun-loving plants might be deprived of the light they need if there is an excessive amount of shadow. The second thing you should do is think about putting reflecting materials around the plants, such white stones or mulch. These materials will assist in reflecting light back up onto the plant’s leaves, which will make it simpler for the plant to perform the process of photosynthesis.
Other Plant Sunlight Factors
It is in the best interest of plants that need full sun to expose them to an increased amount of light. Check for any tree branches that dangle over the plants and evaluate whether or not removing them or pruning them back would result in the plants receiving more light. Mirrors that reflect some sunlight into the area around the plants throughout the early hours may provide the plants with sufficient additional light without causing them to overheat or get too dry. This is true even though full-sun plants thrive best when exposed to sunlight directly. The quantity of light that plants get may also be increased by using ground coverings that are bright-colored or reflecting.
The position in which plants are planted has an effect on the quantity of light that reaches those plants. As an example, the side of a structure that faces south gets more direct sunlight than the side of the same that faces north. Check the light levels in a few different spots around your yard before you start planting anything. There is an abundance of widely accessible little gadgets that can monitor the amount of sunlight that reaches a certain location. If your plants that need full sun are already established in the ground, you may want to consider moving them to a more sunny site if there is one available.
When in doubt, consult a plant sunshine chart, sometimes referred to as a sun map, to assist you in organising your garden before you begin planting. According to research conducted by Kansas State University, keeping a plant sunlight chart and recording the amount of sunlight that each of your plants receives on a daily basis allows you to identify patterns and make adjustments to ensure that your plants are receiving the appropriate amount of light for their particular species. You may be able to prevent issues like as leaf burning, poor blooming, and sluggish growth by doing this. If you utilise a plant sunshine chart to organise your gardening chores around the times of day when your plants will be exposed to the most sunlight, you can make the most of the time and resources you have available to you while still maintaining a healthy and flourishing garden.