If you’re thinking of growing a garden but don’t have a sunny spot, there are many shade-loving plants you can try.
All plants need light to grow ; however, some vegetables, herbs, and flowering plants can thrive in partially shaded areas.
Below are some of the best shade-tolerant plants to grow.
Shade Tolerant Vegetables
Below is a list of vegetables that grow in shade. Any of these veggies can survive in shaded areas.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green Onions (part shade)
- Rutabagas (Swede)
However, try to avoid fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant . These thrive best in gardens that receive eight or more hours of sunlight per day.
These are leafy greens that grow well in partial sun or partial shade.
The best thing you can do for these shade loving vegetables is to keep them in pots. That way, you can move and shift around to acquire whatever sunlight they can get.
- Pak Choy
- Kang Kong
- Mustard Greens
- Chinese Cabbage
- Swiss Chard
Shade Loving Herbs
Below is a list of herbs that like shade. Plant these shade tolerant herbs in low light areas in your yard.
- Stinging Nettle
- Garden Cress
- Lemon Balm
- Sweet Flag
- Sweet Woodruff
- Golden Oregano
- Wild Bergamot
Fruit Trees That Grow in Shade
Below are some fruits to consider growing in areas that receive little sunlight.
Pears will produce in partial shade but they still need a little sun.
Plums will also grow in shaded areas but they too need some sun.
Pawpaw trees do not require much sunlight to bear fruits.
Hardy kiwi may need plant support but they do well in partial shade.
Muscadine grapes will produce more fruit with more sun. However, they’ll still do well in a partially shaded area.
Below is a list of fruiting berry plants that you can grow in shaded areas.
- Lowbush Blueberries
- Alpine Strawberries
- Gooseberry Brambles
Best Flowers for Shade
There are many flowers that grow in shade. Below is a list of shade-tolerant flowers — both annual and perennial plants for your garden.
- Bee balm
- Jacob’s Ladder
- Lamb’s Ears
- Siberian Iris
- Black Cohosh
- Wishbone Flower
Advantages of Growing in Shade
One benefit is that you can move around your garden if it was planted in containers. Additionally, with less direct sun exposure, there may be fewer weeds to deal with. Moisture also stays longer.
However, there are different kinds of shade gardens to set up, depending on the plant. Below are lighting requirements a gardener must carefully consider before deciding what to grow.
These are the basic sunlight conditions that your garden can grow in:
1. Full Sun
This garden receives a lot of sunlight — 6 to 8 hours of direct sun per day. Plants that fall in this category grow best with 8 hours or more of sun every day.
Corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans, and fruiting crops grow best in full sun gardens.
2. Light Shade
This kind of garden is screened from direct sunlight though it is open to the sky. Obstacles such as trees or a wall can screen it from getting direct sunlight.
Therefore, you’ll want to focus on vegetables that don’t need full sun for the best effect. Examples include leafy greens, potatoes, herbs, beans, etc.
According to K-State Research and Extension, light shade gardens receive 3 to 5 hours of direct sunlight in the summer .
3. Part Shade / Part Sun
This type will receive 3 to 6 hours of sunlight per day, experiencing more sunlight in either the early or later parts of the day, but never both.
This is a trickier garden to maintain. However, you stand a very real possibility of growing some varieties of crops that tolerate partial light. Part shade vegetables include beets, carrots, arugula, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and celery.
Ultimately, your climate is going to be the final deciding factor for your choice in gardens and the kinds of crops you can grow in partial shade.
4. Full Shade
This type of garden receives less than 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. Most full-shade vegetables and herbs do well with a little sunlight during the morning hours and evenings, but not so much at midday.
For herbs and vegetables that grow in shade, always consider the amount of sunlight and how well-protected your plants are going to be.
Shade tolerant crops may also require less water. Moisture is more easily retained without the sun to drain it away constantly, especially if mulch is involved. You can even use larger plants to provide shade for smaller plants.
If you’re dedicated to the idea of a shady garden at home where direct sunlight is difficult to attain, these are some plants to consider.