Do Greenhouses Need Direct Sunlight?

Deciding where to put your greenhouse is a big decision that will affect its longevity and appearance. It’s also important to consider how you’ll move it once it’s installed.

Ideally, your greenhouse should be placed in a sunny location with no shade or wind. This will help keep the plants in the greenhouse happy and healthy, but it will also undermine their benefits if they are placed in the shade.

Aside from being very important to your plants, sunlight is also very important to your greenhouse. In this article, I will talk about how it can help nourish and protect your plants.

Do Greenhouses Need Direct Sunlight?

A greenhouse should get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, especially during the winter. To minimize the effects of light from trees and buildings, place your greenhouse in an area that’s not heavily shadowed by buildings. Partial shade can also be beneficial for plants that prefer to be in the shade.

A greenhouse should be in full sun during the summer months. This is important to maintain a healthy environment and avoid getting too much sun. There are various ways to minimize the amount of sunlight that you get.

Sunlight is Vital to Plant’s Health

There are no two ways about it: a plant cannot develop without sunlight. Your seeds would never sprout from the soil, let alone grow and yield, if not for the sun.

Photosynthesis is the process through which plants grow. You may recall hearing the phrase photosynthesis in junior high science class. You may have even conducted an experiment similar to mine, in which I grew one plant in direct sunshine and another in a cabinet for artificial shade.

Even if you didn’t participate in the experiment, you probably know as well as I do that the plant in the sun outperformed the one in the cabinet.

Take a quick glance at the photosynthesis process.

What is Photosynthesis?

In order for the plant to grow, its cell walls must be built with cellulose. The starch in its seeds serves as a food source. Here are quick facts about Photosynthesis:

  1. Sunlight is taken up by plants.
  2. Plants transform water and carbon dioxide using the energy from the sun.
  3. converting carbon dioxide into glucose or sugar
  4. Glucose is used by plants to generate cellulose and starch.

The more light that’s absorbed, the more energy that’s provided for photosynthesis. This means that more sugars are being produced and crops are growing more efficiently.

A greenhouse is designed to maximize the amount of sunlight that it receives. This allows the plant to harness the energy from the sun even higher.

When the sun hits the ground, it turns to heat. This helps keep the air inside the greenhouse warm during cooler months.

Is The Amount of Sunlight Important for Greenhouse?

The proper amount of sunlight is very important for a greenhouse project to succeed. Generally, it is believed that plants need around a certain amount of sunlight to grow properly.

The amount of sunlight that a greenhouse needs depends on the season and the type of plant that it’s designed to grow. In winter, it’s important to keep the greenhouse at a maximum of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

The answer to this question depends on the plants that are growing inside your greenhouse. They have their own needs and will need the amount of sunlight that they need to get.

A greenhouse is a building with a glass roof and a glass wall. It’s used to grow plants, such as tropical flowers and tomatoes. During the winter, the greenhouse’s walls keep it warm.

Ideally, a greenhouse should get at least 6 hours of sun a day. It’s important to avoid shadows from buildings and trees, since many plants prefer to be in full sun.

Different plants require varying amounts of sunlight. This makes it impossible to provide a blanket statement about the ideal amount of sunlight for your greenhouse.

Most plants require around six to eight hours of sunlight a day. However, before you start growing, it’s important to thoroughly research what type of plants you want to grow.

Ideally, your greenhouse should be placed in a location that provides direct sunlight. This means avoiding areas that can shade the light and keeping the plants protected from harmful UV rays.

If it gets too hot inside your greenhouse, you may want to consider using shades or blinds. These can help keep the air inside the facility cool.

How to Take Advantage of Available Sunlight

Before you start building a greenhouse, make sure that the area you’re looking at has the most level ground. Having hills and rocky terrain can make it harder to build a successful greenhouse.

Ideally, it should have a place where the ideal temperature can be maintained. This will include taking advantage of the sunlight that’s available.

If you live in a Northern climate, then placing your greenhouse on the southern portion of your property can help provide adequate light. On the other hand, if you’re in a hot climate, then putting it in a shadier location might be beneficial.

If you’re planning on building a greenhouse, make sure that it’s located on the north side of your property. This will allow for better drainage and prevent roots from getting underneath the foundation.

Positioning Your Greenhouse to Maximize Sunlight

Since sunlight is very important to the growth of plants, it is important that your greenhouse is positioned so it gets the maximum amount of exposure.

Ideally, your greenhouse should be placed south or southeast of any structure on your property. This will allow for full sun and will allow you to maintain a consistent temperature.

Depending on where you live, the orientation of your greenhouse should be adjusted to maximize its sun exposure.

Orient East to West
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Rhode Island
  • Ohio
  • Alaska
  • Nebraska
  • Michigan
  • Connecticut
  • IndianaMissouri
  • Minnesota
  • Kansas
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Vermont
  • South Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
  • Iowa
  • Colorado
  • Nevada
Orient North to South
  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Nevada
  • Virginia
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • California
  • Utah
  • Hawaii
  • Washington
  • Alabama
  • Louisiana
  • Washington, D.C.
  • New York 
  • Maryland
  • Pennsylvania
  • Arizona

Lay a layer of landscape cloth on top of an area that gets the most sunlight. This will help keep weeds at bay.

Here are a few other things to consider when deciding where to put your greenhouse.

  • Convenience: If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend more time in the greenhouse if you don’t have to walk across the yard.
  • Access to electricity:  Electricity is required for fans or a mechanical ventilation system during the summer months. If you have to provide artificial heat during the cold, you’ll need it.
  • Access to water:  You don’t want to be running back and forth with buckets of water when it’s time to water your plants, so make sure you have access to water. It’s also handy to have it nearby in the summer if you need to fill large buckets to cool off your greenhouse.
  • Avoid trees: These trees may eventually block the sun from reaching the greenhouse as they develop.

Also, keep in mind that plants do require some darkness for a period of time. Plants use the energy generated by photosynthesis to grow while it is dark. This is referred to as respiration.

Managing Sunlight in the Warmer Months

Depending on where you live, it may be time to start managing the amount of sunlight that your plants get.

The photosynthesis of plants will stop if their environment gets too hot to use all of its water.

You can control the quantity of full sun that enters your greenhouse in a variety of ways.

  • Ventilation
  • Shade cloth
  • Strategically placing your plants
  • Planting deciduous trees

Ventilation: Having a good ventilation system in your greenhouse can help keep your plants and animals cool during the warmer months. There are two kinds of systems used in greenhouses: a natural system and a mechanical one.

Shade cloth: Shade cloth is a great way to reduce the amount of sun that’s entering your greenhouse. It can be placed over the top of the greenhouse or on the interior roof.

Strategically placing your plants: When designing your greenhouse, consider where you want to put specific plants to get the most solar exposure.

Planting deciduous trees: A deciduous tree can provide shade to your greenhouse in the spring and summer. Once the leaves fall off, the tree allows the light to return.

To be clear, deciduous trees are those that lose their leaves every autumn. Here are a few illustrations.

  • Oaks
  • Maples
  • Beeches
  • Sycamores
  • Cypresses
  • Birches

These trees may begin little, but they will grow to be fairly large, providing a pleasant shade for your greenhouse during the summer months.


Through the use of glass panels, a greenhouse can harness the power of the sun to provide plants with the necessary light to photosynthesis. Without light, their plants can’t grow. This is why a greenhouse is important. It allows the plants to grow in a protected environment.

In order to maximize the light that can be provided to the plants, a greenhouse should be equipped with adequate supplemental lighting. This can be done through the use of multiple high-intensity lights.

If you are planning on having a greenhouse, make sure that it is placed in a sunny location. However, if it is placed in the shade, it will prevent the plants from getting the necessary light to photosynthesis. Sun is very important to keep the greenhouse warm.

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