En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 08, 2014

From: Midland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: How are full sun, part sun, etc, defined?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hello, I have a question about sun requirements. Does saying something needs "full sun" mean a particular number of hours? Does it mean 6 or more hours / day? 8 or more? Is there an agreed upon numeric value for full sun, part sun, and shade? Given that we can fairly accurately model sun conditions now on a site, just curious where the line is drawn. Thanks so much. Love your work.

ANSWER:

There are specific definitions for full sun, part sun, part shade and full shade, but with these definitions there is a healthy dose of art that's thrown in with the science of it.  We define full sun as an area that receives more than six hours of direct sunlight each day.  Part sun is defined as receiving four to six hours of sun each day, while part shade areas get two to four hours of sun daily and full shade areas are defined as receiving fewer than two hours of direct sunlight each day.  However, the mitigating circumstances can be a bit tricky.  For example, afternoon sun tends to be more intense than morning sun.  Sometimes, reflected sunlight can play a significant role in light quality and intensity.  Finally, geography also affects light intensity with desert areas and high-elevation regions having generally more intense sunlight than other places.

 

More General Botany Questions

What is more important for plant growth; sunlight, water, soil or what?
February 20, 2009 - What is more important for plant growth generally. Sunlight, water, good soil what ? please write back I need an answer I am 13 doing a science project.
view the full question and answer

How does Styrax youngiae differ from other Texas Styrax species?
August 18, 2013 - How does the Styrax youngae differ from other Texas styrax? Where can I find a description of all the Texas styrax trees?
view the full question and answer

Science Fair Question
December 12, 2011 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I'm working on a project for the science fair and I need to find a plant that can survive in all climates in order for my experiment to work. What plant should I use? I hope ...
view the full question and answer

Genetics reason for color variation in Indian paintbrush
April 03, 2005 - Are the color variations in Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) a matter of genetic mutation or minerals in the soil? I say it's genetic and the rest of the family says it's environmental.
view the full question and answer

Which one is huajillo and which one is guajillo?
November 19, 2013 - Recently I attended a field trip to the Leonard Garden at the Kleberg Institute in Kingsville. I took a picture of a tree that was referred to as Tenaza or huajillo. Later I took another photo of a ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center