Can Tomatoes Grow In Indirect Sunlight?

Tomato plant / Credit Unsplash

If you were to search online about whether can tomatoes grow in indirect sunlight? you’ll find plenty of conflicting answers out there.

One site says you can grow them indoors, another says you can’t, and yet another says they will die if they don’t get enough direct sunlight! So which one is it?

 In this post, we’ll find out the answer once and for all by weighing the evidence from both sides and seeing what science has to say on the subject.

Keep reading to see what we discovered!

Can Tomatoes Grow In Indirect Sunlight?

Many people do not know that you can grow tomatoes indoors with low levels of direct or indirect sunlight.

This is something that has been done for many years and one reason is that it is easier than many people think.

 Lower levels of light may take a little more time but will result in healthier plants and more flavorful and productive fruits. Low-sunlight tomatoes are better if you plan to plant them out.

Types Of Tomatoes that Grow In Indirect Sunlight

Indirect light is not the best type, but if you’re interested in a low-sunlight tomato plant experiment, you can try using four hours of sun.

If you want to see what happens to a pure sunlight tomato plant experiment without any light, it may surprise you to know that they will still survive and produce fruit. 

Will cherry tomatoes be grown in shade? No one knows. Does light a tomato plant need indoors? Probably not as much as it would outdoors.

However, many factors come into play when deciding how long a tomato should be exposed to light each day so your experience may vary. 

For example, if a seedling pot has only been outside for three hours and then brought inside for nine more hours, the light levels will be drastically different from those experienced by an outdoor plant.

How To Care For Your Tomato Even In Low Light

Tomatoes are one of those plants that can’t survive in too little or too much light. They need a good amount of the right kind of light to grow, which is why they’re not ideal for indoor growing.

But if you have low sunlight, there’s hope! They just need to get at least 4 hours of sun each day and they’ll still thrive. 

If your house or apartment is lacking natural light, it may be time to move them outside in the sun during the summer months – but make sure to bring them back inside before night falls so they don’t get cold.

A lot of people forget about their poor tomato plant in the wintertime when it needs light the most! 

The best way to provide light for your tomato plant is by using an artificial light source like fluorescent lights.

Remember to adjust them as needed based on how long winter days are. With enough attention, any type of tomato plant will do well.

Watering Your Tomato Plant In Indirect Sunlight

Tomato plants need water to survive. Most people think that if they give their tomato plant the right amount of water, they can leave the plant alone for days at a time and it will still thrive.

This isn’t true. If your tomato plant is receiving less than four hours of sun, you should water it every day. 

If your tomato plant is receiving more than four hours of sun, you should water it every other day or two days at the most.

The best time of day to water your tomato plant in low sunlight: The best time of day to water your tomato plant in 4 hours of the sun: The best time of day to water your tomato plant with pure sunlight: The best time of day to pick a ripe red fruit from a cherry tree with light inside

Can Cherry Tomatoes Grow In Shade?

Can cherry tomatoes grow in shade? The answer to this question, surprisingly, is yes. Cherry tomatoes can grow without direct sunlight.

However, they need a significant amount of light to ripen and will not have as many nutrients as tomato plants that receive more sun each day.

Light is essential to a cherry tomato plant’s growth, but so are proper watering, fertilizing, and temperature control.

Will Tomatoes Grow In 4 Hours Of Sun?

Do you want to know the answer to the question will tomatoes grow in 4 hours of sun? Although a tomato plant can produce green leaves, it won’t give fruit.

This is because a tomato plant needs full spectrum light and plants grown with insufficient lighting don’t produce fruits. 

For a tomato plant to bear fruit, it needs 12-14 hours of full-spectrum light each day (sunshine). A typical indoor fluorescent lightbulb doesn’t produce enough energy for a healthy tomato plant.

The best way to simulate this natural full spectrum sunlight is with artificial lighting during the day from bright compact fluorescent or LED lights that emit either 5000K or 8000K light temperature which closely mimics natural outdoor sunshine.

Will Tomatoes Ripen Without The Sun?

Some folks know that certain things need to have direct sun, but will tomatoes ripen without the sun? They can – it just takes longer. If you think about it, this makes sense.

Plants need light so they can produce chlorophyll and with the right type of light (which usually is direct sun) they can generate sugars through photosynthesis. 

The reason it may seem like they’re rotting is that the fruit changes colors due to a natural chemical process called ethylene gas production.

This gas alters its environment by accelerating plant growth, which triggers hormones that cause fruit to ripen more quickly and become less stable.

For instance, prolonged exposure to this gas will make an apple turn brown and make vegetables wilted and slimy.

Tips For Harvesting Your Tomatoes When They’re Grown In Indirect Sunlight

Tomatoes are very hardy plants that can survive with limited sunlight and still produce a decent harvest.

If you’re growing them indoors with less than eight hours of light, keep your plants on the north-facing side of the house for more light or provide them with artificial light. 

To make sure they’re getting enough water, it’s important to make sure they’re not being overwatered.

On another hand, if you’re growing your plants outdoors and they only get four hours of sun a day, give them as much direct sun as possible during those few hours and try to water them sparingly during periods when they don’t have direct sun exposure.


There are many misconceptions about how much light is necessary to ensure a tomato plant will thrive. The truth is that they can grow with as little as 4 hours of pure, direct sunlight.

If you live in an area with low levels of sun, it’s possible to use artificial light to provide the necessary stimulation for your plants. 

While it’s true that cherry and grape tomatoes require more light than larger varieties, if you’re growing them indoors, then it can also make sense to choose these varieties.

However, all tomato plants need plenty of water, nutrients, and warmth to develop their fruit and survive the winter months.

Nadine is a passionate gardening writer sharing practical tips, innovative ideas, and valuable insights on plant and soil care, In her spare time, she tries to convince her plants to grow by singing them catchy tunes.

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