Can tomatoes get too much sun?

Tomatoes are just about the perfect plant to grow at home. They are attractive, produce well and are great in just about any form. What they do need, though, is enough light.

Tomato plants can be grown just about everywhere, as long as they receive at least 6 to 8 hours of light every day. This must be direct sunlight. The temperature is not as important as the quality of the light. With this amount of the correct type of light, the tomato plants will grow and bear fruit. However, if the plants get too much sun, the fruit can be damaged and the foliage can begin to wilt.

Not all tomato plants need quite the same amount of light. In fact, not all of them need direct sunlight.

Can tomatoes get too much sun?

Can tomatoes get too much sun?

Tomatoes need between 8 and 10 hours of sun a day. If they get too much sun and the temperature is very high, the fruit may become scorched. The heat from the direct sun can cause the water in the soil to evaporate and the plants themselves can wilt and may die.

Tomatoes need direct sunlight to grow.

Generally, this should be about 8 hours of sun a day.

In a climate or location where there are long daylight hours, the plants may get a lot more sun than this.

In these areas, with longer sunlight hours, the temperatures may climb higher.

The heat can evaporate the water in the soil the tomatoes are planted in.

You will notice the effect when the leaves begin to wilt and eventually turn yellow.

Any fruit on the plants may dry out and fall.

Take care that your tomato plants don’t get too much sun.

To grow strong and to produce fruit that ripens, the tomatoes need enough of the correct type of light.

Do tomatoes need full sun?

Do tomatoes need full sun?

To grow, mature and bear fruit, most varieties of tomatoes need to be in full sun for at least 8 hours a day. There are some varieties that can tolerate indirect light, or even shade. These are the exception, though.

Tomato plants are relatively easy to grow, as long as they receive enough of the correct type of light.

Tomatoes grow best in full sun

They grow best in full sun.

In fact, they need a long, hot, sunny season to grow properly.

But see why 40 degrees at night is too cold for tomatoes.

The direct sun will keep the plants healthy and they should produce a good crop of fruit of a good size.

There are a lot of varieties of tomato and some of them can tolerate less direct light.

Less light means that the fruit produced is smaller than the average tomato.

The varieties of tomato that do not need direct sunlight are those that naturally produce smaller fruit, like the cherry tomatoes.

In addition, the plants are prolific producers.

How much light do tomatoes need?

How much light do tomatoes need?

The best conditions for growing tomatoes include 6 – 8 hours of light per day. Preferably, this should be direct sunlight. Less light means the plants won’t grow well and produce less, smaller fruit. Too much light can burn the fruit and cause the plants to wilt.

To grow well and reach full maturity, tomatoes need 6 to 8 hours of sun every day.

As far as possible, this needs to be direct sunlight.

Some varieties of tomato require 55 days of hot weather, with at least an average of 6 hours of sun a day.

Cherry tomatoes can achieve maturity and bear fruit in as little as 25 days

Other varieties, such as cherry tomatoes, can achieve maturity and bear fruit in as little as 25 days.

The plants that grow smaller tomatoes can do with less light than the larger varieties.

They are also heavy producers and you are guaranteed a good crop, even with less light.

See our simple tricks to grow more tomatoes.

Is 4 hours of sun enough for tomatoes?

Is 4 hours of sun enough for tomatoes?

Most tomato plants need between 6 – 8 hours of sun a day to grow to maturity and produce a good crop of fruit. This means that 4 hours of light is generally not enough. There are some varieties of tomato that can grow with less than the optimum amount of light.

Tomatoes need a lot of sunlight during their lives.

They grow best in at least 6 to 8 hours of full sunlight a day.

With this amount of light, they will grow to maturity and produce a good crop of fruit.

This means that, for most varieties of tomato plant, 4 hours of sunlight is not enough.

However, there are some varieties of tomato that can grow quite well with less average sunlight.

The tomato plants that produce a lot of smaller fruit can grow in the shade

The tomato plants that produce a lot of smaller fruit can grow in the shade, or even in indirect sunlight.

For these plants, 4 hours of light a day can be sufficient.

There are also varieties of cherry tomatoes that will produce ripe fruit within about 25 days.

These need less overall light in their lifetime, but they still need a good few hours every day.

Can you grow tomatoes in shade?

Can you grow tomatoes in shade?

Although tomatoes generally need direct sunlight to thrive, there are varieties that can grow in the shade. These are usually those that mature quickly and produce a good yield. Varieties that yield more tomatoes in part-shade are: Micro Tom, Patio, and Pixie Hybrid II.

Generally, tomato plants need direct sunlight to grow and produce fruit.

However, there are some varieties that can tolerate indirect light, or even shade.

For example, tomato varieties like Micro Tom, Patio, and Pixie Hybrid II were shown to have higher yields with 30% shade.

The fruits they produce are smaller and mature more quickly than other, larger varieties of tomato.

These varieties also have a higher yield.

See how many tomatoes one plant can produce.

Cherry tomatoes both have a high yield and a shorter growing season.

This means they need less sun and can grow in the shade.

Grape tomatoes are also plants that produce a higher yield of smaller fruit.

They grow well in the shade.

How much sun do tomatoes need to ripen?

How much sun do tomatoes need to ripen?

To grow and bear fruit, tomato plants need between 6 and 8 hours of direct sun a day. Once the plants bear fruit, they need to continue receiving this amount of light for it to ripen. However, the light source doesn’t necessarily have to be sunlight–artificial light can be used.

One of the most important factors tomato plants need to grow is sunlight.

The optimum amount of light a tomato plant receives is about 8 hours a day.

This should be direct sunlight.

The amount of sun a tomato plant gets during its growing season will not necessarily hasten the ripening of the fruit.

It is steady exposure to the correct amount of light for the appropriate length of time that will cause the tomatoes to ripen.

Too much sun can be detrimental to the tomato plants and the fruit can be scalded.

This means that tomato plants need to get the required 6 – 8 hours of sun to grow and for the fruit to ripen.

However, there are different varieties of tomato that ripen in varying lengths of time.

The overall amount of sun a tomato needs to ripen depends somewhat on the variety of plant.

Can tomatoes get too much sun?

Conclusion

Tomatoes grow quite easily, but do need the correct amount of direct sunlight. 

Most varieties require 6 to 8 hours of light a day, although there are some varieties that can grow in the shade or with less light. 

If tomatoes get more than 8 hours of sun a day and the temperature is hot, the fruit can be scalded and the plants may wilt.

About the author

Greg Volente

Greg Volente holds a Naturalist Certificate from the Morton Arboretum, worked for The Nature Conservancy leading environmental education programs and doing natural areas restoration, and worked in the soil science research & testing lab at Michigan State University. Besides gardening, he's an avid wildflower enthusiast, and loves botanizing, hiking, and backpacking.