A lot of plants have some flexibility in sunlight requirements, such as columbines, which can be planted in partial to full sun. With this in mind, Desert Rose owner/operator Phil Madrid decided to carry out an experiment to see the difference in performance if a plant with a full sun requirement (Karl forester grass) is planted in full sun, part shade, and shade.
A plant’s sunlight requirement is related to how the plant can use the sun to create food for itself (remember photosynthesis from grade school?). All plants require at least some light, as indirect as it may be, in order to grow and thrive to the best of its abilities.
With this brief review of plant life in mind, let’s look at the result of Phil's 3-year-long experiment. The first Karl forester was planted in full shade and reached 16" tall. The second Karl forester was planted in part shade and grew to 25" tall. The extra sunlight, though not the full requirement, allowed the partial shade Karl forester to grow 9" taller! The final Karl forester, which got full sun as required by the plant, was able to thrive and grew to 38" tall, more than double the height of the one planted in the shade!