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What ‘Full Sun’ Really Means

Most plants come with some kind of information, like a tag, a sticker, or a hanging card. And all of them will tell you what that plant prefers for sun. This, unfortunately, can be misleading. Plant information tags are not made with the desert in mind, and our full sun is a lot different from full sun in most other climates. If a tag reads ‘Full Sun’ that means that the plant will need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Because we can easily get much more than that, over-exposure can quickly lead to burning and can even kill your plants outright. The best rule for growing plants in ‘Full Sun’ here is to give them their 6 hours of light in the morning, and then shade for the afternoon. We’ve all felt how brutal our afternoon sun can be, and it’s the same for your plants. If you don’t have natural afternoon protection, the good news is it’s easy to make your own! The best work around is to use a 30% Shade Cloth over your full sun plants all day. It lets just the right amount of light through to keep them happy without overexposure.
There are, of course, exceptions to the ‘Full Sun’ rule. Anything that is a native desert plant, bred to be sun tolerant for Arizona, or is a Cactus, needs no extra consideration. Stick these plants right out in all day sun and they’ll do just fine!