How Much Sun Do Tomatoes Need?

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Are you wondering how much sun do your tomato plants need? Let us look at the answer to the question in this article.

I have used my experience in growing tomatoes in gardens, containers, and a small balcony to answer the light requirements of tomatoes.

Keep reading to know more!

How Much Sun Do Tomatoes Need?

Tomatoes are warm-season crops. Sunlight is an important criterion in determining the fruit yield of tomatoes. Without sunlight, tomatoes may not produce enough fruits.

Tomatoes require anywhere between six hours to eight hours of full sun for optimal fruit production. You may choose a site that can provide full sun to reap tasty tomatoes. They will not be productive if they receive less than optimum sunlight hours.

They use sunlight and nutrients in the soil to produce energy that may help to grow strong and produce fruits.

They also affect various developmental and physiological processes, including germination, flowering, and growth direction.

The tomato plants receive different amounts of sunlight throughout the day that determines fruit production.

They may not need the sun to ripen the fruits. Do you want to know if morning or afternoon light is better for tomatoes?

Exposure To Morning Light

It is preferable to give morning light to the tomato plants. It has minimal heat and helps in better absorption of UV light for photosynthesis. If you can not provide morning light, you may provide additional afternoon light.

Also, morning light helps in evaporating the dew from the leaves that may help in reducing the incidence of fungal infections.

Exposure To Afternoon Light

In my area, the sun’s rays are intense for tomato plants during the afternoon, between 12 to 2 P.M. It may stress the plants due to increased heat.

So, it is preferable to use a shade cloth to provide some relief for your plants. I use a row cover over my tomato cages.

Some gardeners plant sunflowers near to provide shade from the direct midday sun.

The sunlight after 2 P.M may be tolerable for tomatoes as it does not provide additional heat.

So, you may use a combination of the morning and afternoon light to produce plenty of fruit.

Exposure To Less Sunlight

In my experience, the plants grown in the shaded area produce fruit later in the season. Also, there may be fewer fruits. Same with fruits grown indoors or on a balcony. Full shade is also not good for tomato plants.

For tomatoes grown in greenhouses, you may provide supplemental lighting or artificial grow light to increase photosynthesis and carbohydrate export.

Exposure To Excess Sunlight

Suppose tomato plants are exposed to extreme heat and intense sunlight, it may cause blossom drop. They fail to produce flowers or drop flowers and fruits.

Exposure to excess sunlight may also cause sunscald. It causes pale yellow to white spot on the side of the fruit facing the sun.

In such cases, you may protect your tomato plants by providing some shade. Also, avoid over-pruning the plants.

It is preferable to plant tomatoes in a north-south orientation to prevent the casting of shadow on the tomato plants.

Click this video to check sunlight requirements for tomato plants:

The final answer is to provide as much morning sunlight as you can and a longer duration of sunlight to produce tasty tomatoes.

The combination of sunlight, some protection during the hottest part of the day, adequate moisture, and ample nutrients may give successful tomato production.


I hope this article has provided you with certain answers regarding the light requirements of tomatoes.

Please write back to us with any queries.

I will respond very soon. Do share the article with your friends and family to help them out too!