What Percentage Shade Cloth is Best for Your Garden?

Categories: Shade Cloth
Posted: June 06, 2024

Choosing the right shade cloth for your garden can significantly impact the health and productivity of your plants. Shade cloths come in different percentages, indicating the amount of sunlight they block. Here's a guide to help you select the best percentage shade cloth for your garden needs.

what percentage shade cloth for garden

Understanding Shade Cloth Percentages

Shade cloth percentages range from 30% to 90%, and each percentage serves a different purpose. The percentage represents the amount of sunlight blocked by the cloth. For example, a 50% shade cloth blocks 50% of the sunlight, allowing the other 50% to reach your plants.

Common Shade Cloth Percentages and Their Uses

  1. 30% Shade Cloth: Ideal for plants that require a lot of sunlight but still need some protection from the harshest rays. This includes vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.

  2. 40-50% Shade Cloth: This range is versatile and suits a variety of garden plants. It is often used for fruit trees, lettuce, and other leafy greens. It provides a balance between protecting plants from intense sunlight while still allowing sufficient light for photosynthesis.

  3. 60% Shade Cloth: This level is suitable for more sensitive plants that thrive in partial shade. Plants like ferns, begonias, and impatiens benefit from this level of shading. It helps to prevent leaf burn and stress from excessive heat.

  4. 70-80% Shade Cloth: Best for delicate plants and flowers that need protection from strong sunlight. Orchids, some types of ferns, and shade-loving plants will thrive under this level of shade cloth.

  5. 90% Shade Cloth: This is typically used for areas that need almost complete protection from the sun, such as greenhouses, nurseries, or for creating shaded outdoor areas for people. It's less commonly used for typical garden plants but can be useful in specific scenarios.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Shade Cloth

  1. Plant Type: Different plants have varying light requirements. Research the specific needs of your plants before choosing the shade cloth percentage.

  2. Climate: In hotter climates, higher percentage shade cloths might be necessary to protect plants from intense sunlight. In cooler climates, lower percentage shade cloths can provide adequate protection without depriving plants of necessary light.

  3. Garden Location: The location of your garden and the amount of natural shade it receives will also influence the choice of shade cloth. Gardens with more natural shade may require lower percentage shade cloths.

  4. Purpose: Determine whether you are using the shade cloth to protect plants, create a comfortable outdoor space, or for another purpose. This will guide you in selecting the appropriate shade level.


Selecting the right percentage shade cloth is crucial for the well-being of your garden. By understanding the light requirements of your plants and considering your local climate and garden setup, you can choose the optimal shade cloth to enhance your garden's growth and productivity. Whether you're growing sun-loving vegetables or delicate shade plants, there's a shade cloth percentage that will meet your needs perfectly.