Sun exposure: Does it really matter?

In the world of planting, the words “sun exposure” are used a lot. But really, how important is it for your tree or plant´s health?

The modern day trend of planting

In today´s world, it is safe to say that there has been a recent craze in the plant scene. Suddenly everyone wants house plants and desk plants. Or maybe a lush balcony or garden full of trees and bushes. And why shouldn’t we, there are so many benefits to them environmentally and aesthetically.

However, have you ever found yourself in the situation where you excitedly plant a tree or plant, but then a couple weeks later the leaves started to droop?

Well it could well be that you have overlooked one of the most basic rules of plant care: sun exposure.

What is the difference between full sun and partial sun/partial shade

Let´s start with the basics:

Full Sun: at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.

Partial Sun/Partial Shade: four to six hours of sunlight every day.

Full Shade: two hours or less of sunlight every day.

The shade tolerance of a tree isn’t how much shade a tree requires, it’s how well a tree can thrive with limited sun exposure. Often, the deeper the shade is, the more challenging it can be for a tree to develop properly because it can’t photosynthesize.

When choosing which tree to plant with your Bios Urn®, make sure you first find out what sun exposure (or shade tolerance) it needs and if you have a planting spot that can fulfill those needs.

Bios Urn Blog: the importance of sun exposure for your tree or plant

Image source: Jeff Turner on Flickr

So, how much does sun exposure really matter?

Many plants thrive under sunny skies from dawn to dusk, but others may need a bit of a break. So, does sun exposure really matter when it comes to tree care? Yes it does.

The same care indoor plants need transitions to outdoor plants as well, like trees. Of all the things we consider when it comes to tree planting and care, the right tree in the right place is at the top of the list. And it’s because there is SO much that can impact the health of a young tree. Things like planting a sun-loving species in a shaded area or a shade-loving tree in a sunny spot.

Sun exposure is no joke. When you’re in the tree selection phase and looking for the right planting spot for your Bios Urn®, keep in mind the amount of sun your designated planting spot will get. Trees depend on the sun to photosynthesize and having too much sun or too little sun can weaken—and even kill—young trees. Some young trees are so hardy that it’s easy to forget they require care and strategic planning.


Bios Urn Blog: the importance of sun exposure for your tree or plant

Image source: Thomas Quine on Flickr

Sun exposure also affects a tree’s foliage density and flowering and fruiting characteristics. If you’re creating a layered landscape with trees, make sure the canopy of large trees won’t block the sun from small trees, unless they are shade tolerant species. Some species of trees are hardy enough to flourish with dappled sunlight.

Sun exposure is just one factor that can impact a tree’s health. Before choosing the right tree for your desired planting spot, make sure the planting location meets all the conditions the tree needs to thrive including sun, soil type, and the space it needs to grow. And if you’re growing an indoor plant that requires sun, make sure it’s in front of a window and not under.

Check out our Tree Planting & Care section for more tree care tips.


What do you think of the importance of sun exposure? Have you had a negative experience with a tree or plant that needed for sunlight? We´d love to hear from you in the Comments section below!

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Source: Arborday

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  1. Carla says

    I have a tree that dries from sun exposure every year. I would like to help it. It’s a small Japanese maple with light colored leaves. I think i need to put mulch around it and water it a lot more. I would love some suggestions.

    • Bios Urn says

      Hello Carla. Thank you for reaching out. We are not experts in the many tree species around the world, but yes any tree will appreciate mulch and especially water. During a typically hot afternoon, up to half of the water can be lost to evaporation. The best time to water is in the morning or evening, so the roots have a chance to absorb most of the water. Maybe a daily water would be good, however you don´t want to overwater it either. You will find our tips about how to water a tree (and the benefits of mulch) in our article:
      We hope your tree has a much cooler summer!


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