What Kind of Shade Do You Have?
Information on shade gardening in catalogs, gardening books and plant tags can leave a new gardener a bit overwhelmed, if not confused. Who knew there were so many different kinds of shade? Here's a quick guide to sort out the terminology.
Dappled or filtered shade
provides spotty light conditions as the sun shines through trees with small leaves and open canopies, like honeylocusts. Plants in these conditions get a mixture of bright light, direct light and shade during each day.
is less than 4 hours of shade per day. Many popular garden plants will grow in light shade.
Partial, medium or semi-shade
describes areas that get 4 to 6 hours of sun a day, like woodland borders and the eastern and western sides of buildings.
In full shade,
plants get no direct sunlight at all. This describes areas beneath maples or oaks, or the north side of a building.