How Much Sunlight Your Vegetables Need

The basic difference between plants and animals is plants make their own
food whereas animals depend on plants and other animals for food. Plants get essential nutrients to grow and survive from water, soil, and sun. Well, the soil is just a medium to grow. Plants do not actually feed on soil, in
fact, they take essential nutrients present in the soil. If you can feed the plants necessary nutrients in some other way, you don’t need soil. In fact there is a gardening technique where you do not need soil to grow plants. Hydroponics or soilless gardening is a technique to grow plants without soil by feeding plants the required nutrients through a liquid solution.

Plants get their energy through the process of photosynthesis by using sunlight, water, and Carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis is a process in which plants convert light energy into chemical energy and make glucose and oxygen. Apart from plants, photosynthesis also occurs in some microorganisms. Since the sun is the primary source of light, plants need sunlight. However, people have discovered that plants can also be grown without sunlight by providing artificial light from fluorescent bulbs. This technology is mostly used in indoor gardening and warehouse gardening.

Well, plants can be grown without soil and sunlight, however, that is another topic for discussion. In this article, we will be talking about how much sunlight plants actually need to grow healthy and give a good harvest. Different species of plants have different requirements for sunlight, some plants require at least 6-8 hours of sunlight every day, whereas some plants can grow well with little sunlight, about 3-4 hours per day.

Plants requiring little sunlight (2-4 hours/day)

Generally speaking, leafy green vegetables grow well even with little sunlight. You can plant green leafy vegetables in the areas where there is no direct sunlight, they grow perfectly well in the areas where they get diffused light. Vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley need just about 2-4 hours of sunlight.

Plants requiring moderate sunlight (4-6 hours/ day)

Most of the root vegetable can be grown with moderate sunlight. Moderate means 4-6 hours of daily sunlight. You can also grow root vegetables with diffused sunlight. Some of the vegetables that can be grown with medium sunlight are carrots, radish, and potato.

Plants requiring maximum sunlight (6-8 hours/day)

Plants that bear fruits require a high amount of sunlight. High amount means 6-8 hours of daily sunlight. If you are growing vegetables like pumpkin, squash, melons tomatoes, cucumber peppers, eggplants make sure you provide full sunlight for your plants. Full sunlight means at least  6-8 hours of daily sunlight.


Whether you are growing vegetables, fruits or cereal, you should be aware of the sunlight requirements for your plant. Some seeds come in a packet with sunlight requirements written on the label. However, if this information is missing, you can ask the seller, fellow gardener, or other experts.

The rule of the thumb is leafy vegetable needs low sunlight, root vegetable require moderate sunlight and fruit-bearing vegetables require a high amount of sunlight. Therefore, always make sure you plant leafy vegetables in the shaded area, root vegetables in a partially shaded area or the area where light is diffused, and fruit-bearing vegetables in a sunny area.

5 thoughts on “How Much Sunlight Your Vegetables Need

  1. Sunlight is so essential to plants i.e. equally proportional to all the animals in the world. The timing of exposure to sunlight is this important. Awesome article.

  2. I am not an avid gardener, however, I do have an indoor and outdoor garden. Based on my experience, I have also noticed that different plants have different amount of sunlight requirement. Thanks for bringing up this issue.

  3. I enjoy growing vegetables in my backyard. During my years of hobbyist gardening I have always noticed that different plants have different sunlight requirement and if you can identify the plants that need low sunlight moderate sunlight and high amount of sunlight growing vegetables will be easier.

  4. Actually, I live on an apartment. But, I always wanted to grow vegetables in flower pot on the top of my building. Thanks for such an informative piece of information.

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