Shade, partial shade, dappled shade and light shade are terms we see on a tag, every time a plant is purchased. Ok, so what are these terms saying? They define how long a plant should be sheltered from direct sun. In our climate, this is a very important consideration.
While reading Fine Gardening magazine I found the best definitions:
- Light shade is defined as a few hours of shade during the day and the rest of the day is full sun.
- Dappled shade is found directly under deciduous trees that allow sunlight to peek through most of the day.
- Partial shade refers to areas that receive full sun early in the morning or late in the afternoon and is not blocked by fences or buildings.
- Full shade is an area that does not receive any direct sunlight all day.
An example of a plant that thrives in partial shade is the lovely hydrangea. The hydrangea has large leaves that wilt in the heat of the sun. They are happiest on the east facing side of a building. The sun dries their leaves in the morning and then the afternoon shade relieves the sun’s stress.
Another thought in relation to tags on plants that indicate sun/shade requirements is to
know the origin of the grower. Full sun or light shade in Florida is hotter than in northern states. So, light shade there may mean dappled shade here. Some flowering plants that thrive in shade are peacock ginger, hydrangea, beautyberry, plumbago, golden dew drop, itea, dogwood, and rose of Sharon.
A gloriosa lily is setting buds now. The gloriosa lily is a fast growing perennial vine. It is an upside down lily that is hot pink and yellow. The long light green leaves have tendrils on the end that hold on to branches as the vine climbs. They can be propagated by dividing the tubers. They thrive in light shade and tolerate some drought. Mark their place in the garden since they will die down in winter.
You can still plant peppers, watermelon, late crops of eggplant, okra, and southern peas. Those beds that have been cleaned of spent plants can have compost and organic material added to enhance your fall garden. If the area is to be left unplanted cover it with landscape cloth to prevent a large crop of weeds.
Our tomatoes may begin to suffer from the summer heat. That’s common in our area. Once the night time temperatures rise into the 70’s, the blossoms may drop off and production may slow down. Be sure to use your captured water, in rain barrels, to keep the moisture levels constant to prevent blossom drop caused by lack of water. But, be careful since excess water can cause fruit to split.