How To Shade Outdoor Plants From The Sun

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It is essential to have shade in the garden to cover your beautiful plants from the sun. Radiation from the hot afternoon sun results in stress and sunburn on tender vegetables and flowers that don’t enjoy intense heat. 

Each tree demands a different level of sun hours for healthy growth. Therefore, shade helps you adjust the heat intensity for your trees, especially when you have several types of vegetables in the garden. 

Check out this post on to see why you should provide a cover for your trees. More importantly, we will show you how to shade outdoor plants from the sun.

why you should add shade to your outdoor plants

Reasons To Provide Shade For Plants

There are three reasons why you should add shade to your outdoor plants. Continue reading to see the benefits that a cover will offer to your beautiful garden.

Avoid Excessive Heat And Sunburn

A tree obtains energy through photosynthesis from the morning sun. However, overexposure to the sun causes excessive heat stress.

A cover offers shelter to the vegetables by relieving and moderating direct sunlight. Thus, you should provide your trees with proper temporary shade in the afternoon to ward off heat stress and sunburn.

Reduce The Amount Of Moisture Loss

The second reason you should have shady gardens is to reduce moisture loss for the trees. They generally lose water through their green leaves through a process called transpiration. The roots draw water from the soil, and the stems transmit it to the foliage for nourishment.

Bright sunlight encourages water to evaporate from the surface of leaves, causing vegetables to become dehydrated. Providing extra shade keeps this process in check, helping your plants sustain water for long-term growth.

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Maintain A Cool Temperature For Vegetables

Extreme heatwaves from the hot afternoon sun also lead to high temperatures. Vegetables will struggle and die when it becomes too hot.

A shady spot offers a temperature 10 degrees Fahrenheit lower than without one. As a result, giving your garden a cover is similar to installing an AC in your living room.

how to shade your plants from the sun

How To Shade Outdoor Plants From The Sun: The Ultimate Suggestions

You probably understand why we need to add a cover to the garden at this moment. The following section will give you the ultimate suggestions on how to shade your plants from the sun.

Garden Design

You can create partial shady spots through thoughtful gardening space. First, pay attention to which parts of your yard receive morning sunlight and afternoon shade. Then, place the vegetables in the areas defined to achieve natural coverage.

Moreover, add extra shade to the south and west-facing areas of your garden, where it is usually hot and exposed to the afternoon sun during the summer climate. With this method, you should be able to get sunlight effectively just by noticing the sun’s directions. 

Shading Cloth

Shading cloth relieves your plants from direct sunlight and reduces the damage of excessive heat at a reasonable cost. In addition, you can also use it for other applications besides your garden structure.

Cloth Material

It is typically available in two types of material: knitted (polyethylene) and woven (polypropylene). Both have their benefits and drawbacks, depending on the trees you have.

Knitted Shading Cloth

Knitted shading cloth offers UV resistance, lightweight fabric, easy installation, and a maximum of 10 years of lifespan. It also comes with resistance to wind, heat, and horticultural chemicals at a low price.

The cloth may stretch or shrink by 2-3%. For applications, it is suitable for greenhouses and hothouses.

Woven Shading Cloth

Woven shading cloth is also UV resistant, light, and easy to install. Its lifespan is even longer than a knitted one, up to 12 years. The material emphasizes stretch and durability.

This type of shade is more expensive and suitable for multiple uses: pet kennels, windscreens, and patio screens. 

Percentages Of Shading Cloth

The level of coverage is another factor you should note when choosing the best cloth for your trees. You can refer to the density percentage, ranging from 5% to 95%.

For example, a 30% shading cloth blocks 30% of sunlight and allows the remaining 70% to reach your trees. The following percentages and their respective vegetables can help you select the best cloth.

  • 30% – Heat-tolerant plants such as peppers and cucumbers.
  • 40-50% – Most flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
  • 60% – Partial-shading preferred herbs such as lettuce, parsley, and spinach.
  • 75% – Light-sensitive plants such as ferns and orchids.
  • 95% – Ground covers or privacy screens.

Reasons To Provide Shade For Plants


Growing a row of sunflowers on the south or west-facing side of your yard will help protect shorter trees from intense sunlight. Sunflowers are pretty tall, and they shoot up fast. The tallest ones may reach up to 4 meters in height.

They also become fertilizer to support your vegetables at the end of the season. Leave their roots in the soil to decompose by cutting only the stems above the dirt.

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Outdoor umbrellas not only decorate your gardening space but also create temporary coverage for the vegetables. You can easily adjust umbrellas according to the direction of sunlight to make the most effective use of them.

They provide 100% sunblock, so you had better tilt them in the morning to allow sunlight to reach your plants. Remember to put them away when strong winds occur to avoid possible accidents.

Vining Plants

Having vining plants in your garden is beneficial for shade-tolerant vegetables. Climbing vines produce natural shadows for the surrounding trees while enhancing the charm of your garden.

how to shade your plants from the sun


It is crucial to control the intensity of sunlight by providing cover for your trees. You can create shady areas in five common ways: garden design, shading cloth, sunflowers, umbrellas, and vining plants. 

We hope that this post has given you some helpful ideas to shade your plants from the sun. With the appropriate method, your vegetables should grow strongly without the risk of heat stress and moisture loss.

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