How Much Sun Do Tomato Plants Need? Complete Guide

How Much Sun Do Tomato Plants Need

How much sun Do Tomato Plants Need? – Detail Guideline: To be specific with the answer for how much sun tomato plants need, the more heat, the better. On the other hand, the direct sun does not need so much to harvest abundantly. Instead, it depends on the right amount of heat and light. Since the perfect spot with constant brightness and moderate sunlight is hard to find, there are a few things to consider overall if tomato plants are to get the most out of themselves.

How much sun Do Tomato Plants Need?


How much sun Do Tomato Plants Need?

During Germination

Tomato plants are usually grown in advance. To get strong seedlings, a sufficient amount of light is essential. It is advisable to deposit the seed tray on a windowsill, preferably facing south. For germination, the seed needs a temperature of at least 20 degrees. If the sunlight in March does not provide this, the heater will help. As soon as the first green appears, 16 degrees are enough. Also, sufficient light is not always guaranteed here a daylight lamp provides relief.

Young Tomatoes

Plenty of light and moderate heat is still important for the small plant to thrive. Otherwise, the plant will quickly become dented. That means that the growth goes up too fast and the plant later threatens to topple over. If this does not happen, there is still a risk of a weak plant with a harvest loss. The young plant cannot yet cope with too many hours of sunlight. The root system cannot yet absorb much water, and the plant would die. Two to three hours of direct sun are sufficient.

Tomatoes in Full Sun


Tomatoes in Full Sun

If you have confused regarding, whether can you grow tomatoes in full sun, you should know that the tomato originates from South America. It loves warmth. If you put your tomato plants outdoors and choose a location where the sun’s rays reach all day, you can consider yourself lucky.

However, some points must be taken into account:

  • Do not plant in the direct vicinity of other nightshade plants
  • Do not plant too densely
  • Make sure the soil is light and rich in humus
  • Sun protection

Read more about Factors to Keep In Mind While Choosing Soil For Tomatoes.

Water Properly

Before answering how much sun tomato plants need, it is more important to know how much water they need. To keep the plant healthy, it is necessary to avoid infection with fungi or viruses of other solanaceous plants. Potatoes and peppers are among them. Rain does not harm the crop. To ensure rapid drying of the leaves, the tomatoes mustn’t be too dense. If they are wet for too long, there is a risk of fungal attack from this side.

The right soil is necessary to guarantee the drainage of water. Waterlogging promotes root diseases. Young plants are in danger of dying during a hot spell, as the roots are not yet fully developed. Leaves of the older plant are at risk of sunburn, recognizable by light green foliage. Later, the fruits may also be affected. A parasol, for example, does a good job of preventing excessive heat exposure.

Tips: It is essential to constantly water the plants early morning or evening.

The Garden in Partial Shade

Can you grow tomatoes in the shade? Technically you can. Probably most gardens cannot offer all-day sun. The tomato plant is not bothered by this, as long as the points described above concerning neighbors and soil are given.

Furthermore, important is:

  • Observe planting distance.
  • Do not forget to prune.
  • Reduce the amount of water.
  • Regularly check for infestation.

Keeping An Eye on The Outside Temperature

To ensure the proper temperature for tomato plants, you should watch the outside temperature. A little more attention should be paid to the planting distance, and pruning becomes more urgent the more shade falls on the plant. The drying of the leaves takes longer in the shade. The number of hours of sunlight is not so significant. More important is the temperature. The need for water is reduced according to the number of hours of sunshine.

If the plants get too much water, in the worst case, the roots rot. Evaporation can lead to fungal attacks. Since the tomato does not tolerate cold well, the planting in the bed should be postponed for a few days if there is a fear that the nights or days will remain cold.

Tomatoes in The Greenhouse


Tomatoes in The Greenhouse

The same criteria apply to growing tomatoes in the greenhouse when growing them outdoors. Special attention must be paid only to two things:

  1. Temperature
  2. Ventilation

Under film or glass, the temperature inside the greenhouse rises quickly, especially in the peak summer months of July and August. What was beneficial in the spring can now be detrimental. Heat causes water demand to increase, leading to increased evaporation. A high evaporation rate causes damp leaves and increases the risk of fungal attack. Accordingly, care must be taken to ensure adequate ventilation. In dry weather, two hours at least is necessary.

Tips: Glass greenhouses should be provided with a sunshade where the tomatoes are located during hot weather to prevent sunburn damage.


The tomato also thrives in a pot, on the balcony excellent. A real advantage of plants in a pot, is that they are quickly moved in case of need. It would be best if you made sure the right amount of:

  • Sunshine hours
  • Heat
  • Water

Those with their balcony facing south and finding a sun-protected location – awning or eaves – will have little work with the plant. The higher the terraces are, the shadier the plant because solar radiation increases. The only thing that should be paid special attention to is watering.

In a tub or pot, the plant has a slightly higher water requirement than in the open since the root can only access a limited area of moist soil. Too much water, however, promotes disease. In addition, it may be necessary to adjust fertilization. Here, the amateur gardener develops a feeling with time.

It is easy for balconies with a different orientation to place your tomatoes in more shade or “chase” the sun – depending on the weather. If the tomato plant has three hours of sun a day, it is satisfied.

Learn more about How long to keep Grow lights on plants?

Final Thoughts: How much sun Do Tomato Plants Need?

If you have the question in mind of how much sun tomato plants need, that depends on the plant species, to be honest. For example, bush tomatoes prove much harder than their taller siblings. Especially cultivated wild tomatoes defy rain and sunshine. The perfectly prepared soil is also less important to them. Pruning and pulling up is not necessary. The only thing that these tomato plants need is space.

How much direct sunlight do tomato plants need?

Tomatoes need sunlight more than most plants. Approximately 6-8 hours of direct sunlight should be ready for tomatoes to grow appropriately.

How much sunlight is too much for tomatoes?

While tomatoes do need a lot of sunlight, a maximum of 8 hours a day should be enough. Relatively close is alright, but the soil can dry up too quickly if it gets too much sunlight. Learn How to get thick stems on plants?

Will tomatoes grow in partial shade?

With proper growth, requirements met, yes. Tomatoes need sunlight and other essential preparations for growth. The change will be slower but they can adapt to partial shading.

Elysha Murphy

I'm Elysha Murphy, the creator of Easier Gardening. I am very passionate about gardening, and love sharing everything I learn about them.

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