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The Sun Guide for Plant Care

It’s no secret that plants need sunlight in order to grow. If you remember middle school biology, you likely remember learning about the process of photosynthesis. This is the process in which trees and plants absorb sunlight and convert it into energy. With this in mind, you might at first assume that the more sunlight you give the better, right?! Well…No. Sometimes plants need varying degrees of sunlight, and too much sunlight can be a bad thing.  Click here for more information Wood Land Tree Services CO.

Modern day plant and tree packaging often includes small little symbols on them which indicate the amount of sunlight required for the plant to thrive. These are helpful little tools but are often a bit confusing for the uninitiated. Here is a small guide to what these little symbol and phrases mean, so that you can give your trees and plants the sunlight that they need. 

Full Sun

Plants that display the icon or words ‘full sun’, are plants that require the most sun out of any plants you can buy. This means that the tree or plant itself will need a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. This needs to be considered when trying to determine your outdoor placement of the tree or plant. Most full sun plants will thrive in very sunny and warm climates. 

Partial Sun/Partial Shade

You will often find plants and trees labeled either partial sun, or partial shade. These two are very similar in requirements with only very minimal differences. In general, these both mean that the plant will require between 3 – 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. However, it is important to note that plants labeled ‘partial sun’, will be able to tolerate more sunlight (particularly intense midday sun), and less shade. Whereas plants labeled ‘partial shade’ might be more sensitive to midday sun heats and require a bit more shade to help keep them cool. This distinction is important to remember. 

Full Shade 

Full shade plants will actually require very little direct sunlight, if any at all. All plants need some form of sunlight, but full shade can get by with less than 3 hours of sunlight per day. These are typically ferns, or other smaller plants that naturally grow on forest floors. These are typically the lowest maintenance plant options when fully grown and established. Full shade plants do need to be carefully placed out of direct sunlight and can actually die off rapidly if exposed to harsh midday sunlight too often or for too long. 


When first dipping your toes into the tree and plant care lifestyle, it can all seem a bit overwhelming with all of the jargon and terminology. Thankfully the labeling on trees and plants will go a long way towards helping you understand the needs and requirements of your plant. Just remember that not all plants need the same amount of sunlight, and some need very little at all. This is helpful to know when choosing the right tree or plants for your local climate and region. 

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