16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (2023)

Most plants do best in a sunny location, and this is especially true of vegetables. Most edible vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight a day to produce optimally. However, this is not a universal rule.

As a general rule, vegetables grown for their fruit or roots, such as tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, squash, potatoes, or carrots, require full sun, which is defined as a spot in the garden that receives least six hours of direct sun a day. Vegetables grown for the leaves, stems, or shoots often work very well.no full sun. Many vegetables can grow well in three to six hours of sunlight a day, or in constant sunlight throughout the day.

Remember, however, that no vegetable can thrive in deep, dense shade. While ornamental gardeners have the option of growing plants in full shade, this is not the case for horticulturists.

Here are 16 edible plants that will thrive when they receive three to six hours of direct sunlight a day, or constant light throughout the day.

  • 01of 16

    Rocket (Eruca vesicaria)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (1)

    Arugula is one of the fastest growing green leafy vegetables. It is one of those vegetables that people either love or hate as it can have a musky smell and taste. Some find its spicy bite very refreshing. Arugula tolerates some shade, but also thrives in full sun. It is easily grown from seeds planted directly in the garden.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun, tolerates partial shade
    • floor requirements: Rich, well-drained soil
  • 02of 16

    Frijol (Phaseolus vulgaris)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (2)

    Like peas, beans are a small treat for the hard-working gardener; they require very little effort. There are many varieties of wild beans and pods that can get a bit of shade every day and take up very little space.

    There are many types of beans to choose from and they are easy to grow from seed. You can even save and save some beans for next year's seeds.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun, tolerates partial shade
    • floor requirements: Rich soil, moderately moist
  • 03of 16

    Turnips (Beta vulgaris)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (3)

    Turnips break the rules for growing tubers in partial shade and can do surprisingly well. Although shade can affect the size of your beets, the plants still produce delicious green vegetables.

    If you're short on space, beets also thrive in a deep container. For a continuous harvest, plant a few seeds each week. Just make sure you water them so the roots don't get woody.

    (Video) 12 Vegetables That Grow in Shade

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun, tolerates partial shade
    • floor requirements: Clay only
  • 04of 16

    Brócoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (4)

    Broccoli is one of those vegetables that you can plant near the shady edges of any garden. It looks fantastic growing in a row, and with all the variegated varieties available, it adds a fun touch to a border.

    As a member of the cabbage family, it's also a relatively easy plant to grow: just water it and wait for harvest. If you are in a warmer climate, you may even be able to get two crops in the extended season by replacing old plants with new seedlings.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade (shade preferred in hot climates)
    • floor requirements: Rich and moist soil

    Continue with 5 of 16 below.

  • 05of 16

    Coles de Bruselas (Brassica oleracea varieties)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (5)

    Brussels sprouts, another member of the cabbage family, can take a long time to grow. But they're fun to watch, that first shoot is exciting. The other advantage of this vegetable is that it can grow well in the cold season and even improves its flavor after a light frost.

    This is also a plant that can maximize that shady spot in the garden. Since it takes a long time to mature, you can grow another short-term crop between the rows. The string beans and peas are perfect.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun, tolerates partial shade
    • floor requirements: Rich, moist, well-drained soil
  • 06of 16

    Coliflor (Brassica oleracea varieties)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (6)

    If you plant broccoli, you are almost forced to plant cauliflower as well. Placing this handsome plant next to its larger, nutty cousin can add a designer touch to an otherwise difficult shady garden area.

    Cauliflower can take a while to cool down, so it makes a nice last-minute addition to the garden. Takes a bit of work, especially if you know or wantpurple cauliflowerwith a sweeter taste because it needs to be blanched. Once the plant begins to produce fruit, wrap the large leaves around and over the center of the plant and secure with string. You should check your plants regularly to make sure all parts of the growing cauliflower are out of direct sunlight.

    (Video) 16 Vegetables To Grow In Partial Shade 🛋️

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun, tolerates partial shade
    • floor requirements: Rich, moist, well-drained soil
  • 07of 16

    Blattkohl (Brassica oleracea L. subsp. acephala)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (7)

    Kale, another relative of cabbage, is one of the leafy greens that falls under the class of culinary greens. It's leafy and great in a salad, but perhaps best prepared as a green stir-fry dish.

    Kale needs around four to five hours of sun for good growth for its full scent. It is also a good plant for cooler climates.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun, tolerates partial shade
    • floor requirements: Rich, well-drained soil
  • 08of 16

    Kresse (Lepidium sativum)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (8)

    Watercress, also known asgarden cressoscream,it is the rare vegetable that grows well in almost full shade. It matures very quickly and likes moist soil. It is known for its peppery and sometimes spicy flavor that works well in soups and stews.young leavesThey are excellent in salads and on sandwiches.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    • floor requirements: Loose, well-drained soil

    Continue with 9 of 16 below.

  • 09of 16

    Kale (Brassica oleracea varieties)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (9)

    Like other cooked vegetables, this cousin of cabbage likes to grow in a container and generally prefers cool soil, making it a good choice for shady locations. It tolerates very low temperatures, including light frosts.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    • floor requirements: Rich, moist, well-drained soil
  • 10of 16

    (Video) 21 Edible Plants to GROW IN THE SHADE 🌿 Let's grow more food at Home 🌿 Growing Food in Shade

    Endive (Cichorium endivia)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (10)

    endivedoes well with only a few hours of daily sun. Especially in the height of summer, the shade prevents the plant from sprouting (seeding). Even better, endive thrives in pots just as well as arugula, lettuce, and watercress, so you can fill your deck with a container garden for lettuce lovers.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 3 a 8
    • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    • floor requirements: Medium moisture, well-drained soil
  • 11of 16

    Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (11)

    A staple for any lettuce lover or BLT, lettuce is a cool-season green that doesn't like direct sun too much. Some gardeners even protect the lettuce with a shade cloth to prevent burning.

    You have a few options when it comes to growing these excellent leafy lettuces to enjoy all season long. you can for examplesuccessor plantor simply use the containers as a "cut and go" garden, harvesting (and using) the older leaves as needed.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun and partial shade; I prefer some shade
    • floor requirements: Rich, moderately moist, well-drained soil
  • 12of 16

    Senfgrün (Brassica juncea, Brassica rapa subsp. perviridis)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (12)

    Mustard green joins buckstalked in the cooking greens category. This green tolerates partial shade but also likes full sun. Mustard greens are not good in high temperatures. Some mustard plants can be invasive if they escape from the garden.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun, tolerates partial shade
    • floor requirements: Rich, moist, well-drained soil

    Continue with 13 of 16 below.

  • 13of 16

    Peas

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (13)

    Snap peas are perfect for containers and do well in a partially shady spot. EITHERKey to growing peasit's timing. If you put the seeds in the ground at the right time and harvest them before it gets too hot, you should have a good harvest. Peas like cool weather.

    This is also a space-saving crop. Many varieties like to climb a trellis or some type of support, and when they're done, you can plant a fast-growing late-season crop like broccoli or try a second crop of peas.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun, tolerates partial shade
    • floor requirements: Rich soil that retains moisture
    (Video) 12 Veggies that Grow in SHADE, Utilizing Microclimates
  • 14of 16

    Radieschen (Raphanus sativus)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (14)

    Radishes are another amazing root vegetable that could use a bit of shade. They also produce tasty vegetables that most people forget about.

    When it comes to radishes, you're spoiled for choice when it comes to varieties. It's fun to spread lots of different radishes around the garden. Some mature quickly, others like fall, and the sizes vary, as does the color. Have fun with all the possibilities.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun, tolerates partial shade
    • floor requirements: Sandy or clay soil
  • 15of 16

    Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (15)

    Spinach does well with only a few hours of sun and prefers the cooler spring and fall temperatures. Spinach, especially baby spinach, makes a great salad green, but it also comes in handy in your favorite no-salad recipes. Spinach likes cool weather and will usually sprout (produce seeds) when the weather warms up. Plant new spinach to get more crops.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    • floor requirements: Rich, well-drained soil
  • sixteenof 16

    Mangold (Beta vulgaris)

    16 vegetables that you can grow in the shade (16)

    Few vegetables can match the colorful beauty of Swiss chard, so adding it to this partially shady spot is a great idea. In addition to its stunning color, Swiss chard is extremely easy to grow and requires very little maintenance. You can sow the seeds directly and thin as needed. Also, if you cut off the older leaves, the new ones will grow back.

    • USDA-Anbauzonen: 2 to 11 (annually)
    • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    • floor requirements: Rich, well-drained soil

All of the vegetables listed here are considered cool-season vegetables. Whether you plant them in a shady part of the garden or where they receive direct sunlight throughout the day, they can all grow successfully if planted at the right time. If you don't have a shady spot to plant, a shade cloth will protect your cabbages, peas, greens and salads from the summer sun. You can even try mid-season sowing if you take steps to cool the soil beforehand, as many of these seeds need cooler soil to germinate. Alternatively, try putting the seeds in the refrigerator for several days before planting to help with germination.

FAQs

What vegetables doesn't need sunlight? ›

Try growing some shade tolerant vegetables like beetroot, calabrese, kale, kohl rabi, Little Gem lettuce. Also radish, spinach and herbs - chives, mint and parsley are all shade tolerant.

What vegetables grow in 4 5 hours of sun? ›

Root crops such as radishes, carrots, potatoes, and beets can grow in as little as 3-4 hours of direct sun with light or dappled shade for the rest of the day. Leafy greens such as lettuce, arugula, kale, bok choy, and chard are happy with just a few hours of sunshine each day.

Can zucchini grow in shade? ›

Zucchini needs full sun (at least 6 to 8 hours) and consistently moist soil that is high in organic matter. Some zucchini varieties are vining types that require a trellis or a lot of room to sprawl. There are also bush types suitable for container gardening and small space gardening.

What fruit or vegetable likes the shade? ›

Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli: these veggies grow very well in the winter months as they prefer a cooler climate so having them in part shade is a good thing to do during summer. Beans and peas: these two love the cooler conditions of a shady corner but require slightly more sun at around 4-5 hours a day.

What food can you grow without light? ›

Grow in the Dark: Crops That Don't Need Light
  • Rhubarb. When produced commercially rhubarb is grown outside for two years before digging up the root stock of the plant (the 'crown') bringing it inside and forcing it. ...
  • Beansprouts. In my opinion the easiest crop to grow in the dark is Chinese beansprouts. ...
  • Chicory. ...
  • Others.
Feb 26, 2010

What vegetables only need 6 hours of sun? ›

Vegetables that tolerate partial sun (4-6 hours of direct sunlight) include broccoli, peas, celery, beans, onions, cauliflower, cabbage, leeks, asparagus, and scallions.

Which vegetables take the least time to grow? ›

8 vegetables that take the least amount of time to grow
  • 01/8Vegetables which you can grown in no time. ...
  • 02/8​Radishes. ...
  • 03/8​Carrots. ...
  • 04/8Spinach. ...
  • 05/8​Salad Leaves. ...
  • 06/8​Beans. ...
  • 07/8​Green Onions. ...
  • 08/8​Bok Choy.
Feb 21, 2021

What food takes the shortest time to grow? ›

Radish. Radishes are probably the fastest growing vegetable in your garden, being ready to pick in as little as 30 days from planting the seeds. Their peppery flavor is a hit on the vegetable tray or added to a fresh lettuce salad.

Can you grow any vegetables in full shade? ›

Among vegetables, leafy greens are the most tolerant of shade, including kale, lettuce, spinach, arugula and chard. Related to both beets and spinach, Swiss chard tastes a little like both and is fairly easy to grow.

Can onions grow in shade? ›

Onions need full sun and at least 13 to 16 hours of light daily during bulb formation. In order to get a harvest during the summer, the onions must be planted as soon as your soil is tillable in the spring.

Can green beans grow in the shade? ›

Peas and green beans like cooler temperatures. They need some sun (about four to five hours per day) to produce flowers and pods, but they tend to fade out as the temperature warms. Planting them in a cool shady spot will lengthen your growing season. Bush beans are a better choice for shade than pole beans.

What color makes plants grow slower? ›

Yellow and white light have the lowest effect on plant growth. Red light impacts plant growth in several ways, including during the blooming and flowering phase. Certain specific red wavelengths will increase the production of a hormone in a plant's vegetation that prevents the breakdown of chlorophyll.

What is full shade for plants? ›

Full shade refers to areas in your garden that receive fewer than four hours of sun each day. Most plants that call for full shade will grow faster and flower better if they receive at least 2 hours of direct sun.

Does anything edible grow in shade? ›

Arugula, bok choy, chard, chicory, cress, fenugreek, kale, lettuce, mâche, mustard, spinach, sorrel… nearly every leafy green you can think of will grow well in part shade – especially as the weather warms up. Red lettuce, kale, chicory, spinach, and more growing in a shady garden bed at Tyrant Farms.

What berries will grow in shade? ›

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and the like tolerate part sun, though with diminished yields. Currants and gooseberries, on the other hand, thrive in fairly shady conditions and feel scalded when planted in full sun.

Can tomatoes grow in shade? ›

Although it's not easy to grow a garden in the shade, tomato plants are fairly adaptable. Many varieties of tomatoes for shade gardens will produce quality fruit, but gardeners often experience smaller yields. Cultivating more plants can help overcome this obstacle.

Will sweet peas grow in shade? ›

Sweet peas are sun-loving plants and will thrive in a position that receives plenty of sunshine. They may grow in light or dappled shade, but won't flower as prolifically.

What food is hardest to grow? ›

  • 7: Eggplant. ...
  • 6: Head Lettuce. ...
  • 5: Carrots. ...
  • 4: Muskmelon. ...
  • 3: Onion. ...
  • 2: Sweet Potato. ...
  • 1: Artichoke. Artichokes can be a challenge for beginner gardeners because of their climate requirements and a certain pest. ...
  • Lots More Information. Related Articles.

What is the slowest thing to grow? ›

The creosote bush is one of the slowest growing plants documented, an essential survival strategy in an arid desert. It's only active for very brief periods, growing during a rare rainfall.

What can I grow with 5 hours of sun? ›

If your garden gets five to six hours of sun, think about root crops like carrots, radishes, beets, onions and potatoes, in addition to the leafy crops. With seven to eight hours you can grow fruiting crops like tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and beans.

What veggies grow in 100 degree weather? ›

Here is a compilation of hot-weather all-stars.
  • Sweet Potatoes. Sweet Potatoes grow well in summer and produce abundantly in as little as 90 days. ...
  • Southern Peas. Southern Peas, also known as cowpeas are wonderfully versatile. ...
  • Yard Long Beans. ...
  • Hot Peppers. ...
  • Green Beans. ...
  • Okra. ...
  • Zucchini Squash. ...
  • Sunflowers.

Can blueberries grow in shade? ›

Blueberries: Most blueberry bushes require full sun, but lowbush blueberries will tolerate partial shade. This is also a cold-tolerant variety and can be grown in Zones 3-6.

What vegetable takes 2 years to grow? ›

1. Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) Probably the most popular of the perennial food plants, asparagus can take two or three years to become well established but then can continue producing spears for at least 15 years or so.

What is the fastest growing fruit and vegetable? ›

Radishes. One of the fastest growing vegetables, radishes are perfect to add to any garden. The short growing period makes it ideal to plant as a constant filler crop in even the smallest of gardens.

Which plant will grow in 3 days? ›

02/8​Radishes

They can be grown in pots as well and sprout within just 3-4 days.

What is the quickest fruit to grow? ›

The quickest fruits to grow are strawberries, blackberries and autumn-fruiting raspberries. These plants should all produce a crop of berries in the first year after planting.

What food makes you grow very fast? ›

In addition to milk, dairy foods should also be consumed for having an effect on height. Dairy foods such as cheese, paneer, yoghurt, whipping cream and ice cream are rich in vitamins A, B, D and E. They also contain protein and calcium. Vitamin D and calcium are essential for growth.

What salad grows in shade? ›

Salad leaves

Salad leaves, such as pak choi, mizuna, mustard, bok choy, tatsoi and cilantro are among the easiest vegetables to grow in shade. As with lettuce, other leafy greens are prone to bolting, and therefore careful use of shade can make them easier to grow.

Can broccoli grow in shade? ›

Tower Tip: Broccoli grows best in full sun. But partial shade can help prevent bolting in warmer months. Ready to plant? Place four to six broccoli seeds in each rockwool cube, and expect them to germinate within about a week.

Can strawberries grow in shade? ›

Strawberries require at least eight hours of sun but what if you have a shadier landscape? Can strawberries grow in shade? Strawberry lovers with shaded yards rejoice because, yes, you can grow strawberries in shade, provided you select shady strawberry varieties.

Can I grow garlic in shade? ›

Garlic needs full sun.

Don't try to plant garlic in shade; it needs 6 or more hours per day of direct sunlight. Because this crop takes a long time to mature and you won't harvest until next summer, plant it somewhere that it won't be disturbed, such as the edge of the garden.

Can you grow potatoes in shade? ›

Potatoes are good with Partial Shade because they need at least 6 hours of sunlight. Growing potatoes with too much shade can make them sickly, but if you live in a warmer climate, you might find some shade from the afternoon sun a good thing for keeping your potatoes healthy.

Can cauliflower grow in the shade? ›

Cauliflower. ...which will tolerate partial shade, though it prefers full sun. It also prefers cooler temperatures.

Can squash tolerate shade? ›

Because sun-loving veggies like tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, squash, watermelon, cucumber, and zucchini (check out the delicious recipes here) need a lot of energy from the sun to get through flowering, fruiting, and ripening of their fruits, these crops should go in any full-sun locations you have.

Which is better bush beans or pole beans? ›

Bush beans generally require less maintenance due to their size, but pole beans typically yield more beans for longer and are mostly disease-resistant. Bush beans produce in about 50 to 55 days; pole beans will take 55 to 65 days.

What fruits don't need a lot of sun? ›

Find out more about fruit crops for shade, below.
  • Cherries.
  • Gooseberries.
  • Rhubarb.
  • Blackberries.
  • Blackcurrants.
  • Raspberries.
  • Pears.
  • Redcurrants and whitecurrants.
Jul 3, 2019

Can lettuce grow in the shade? ›

Lettuce is a fast and easy vegetable that grows well in shade. It can be seeded as soon as the garden is ready in early spring. In shade, stick to loose-leaf varieties, such as Green Salad Bowl and Black Seeded Simpson, that are ready to pick just four to five weeks from seeding.

What beans are shade tolerant? ›

Bush beans are a better choice for shade than pole beans. Pole varieties start producing beans later in the season and they need sunshine to grow the vines that will eventually hold the beans. Bush beans are quick growers and, like peas, appreciate a little cooling off in the afternoon.

Can you grow garlic in part shade? ›

Garlic needs full sun.

Don't try to plant garlic in shade; it needs 6 or more hours per day of direct sunlight. Because this crop takes a long time to mature and you won't harvest until next summer, plant it somewhere that it won't be disturbed, such as the edge of the garden.

Is 4 hours of sun enough for tomatoes? ›

Perfect Tomato Growing Conditions

Tomatoes love the sunshine. A position in full sun (that means an average of at least eight hours a day) gives the best results in most areas, though if you're in a hot climate you can get away with dappled shade.

What fruit do well in shade? ›

Currants, gooseberries and sour (or acid) cherries are the best fruits to grow in shade. Rather than allowing them to form bush shapes, train them against a wall as single-stemmed cordons or as fans.

What fruit refreshes the most summer? ›

1. Watermelon. These fluid-filled fruits are packed with Vitamins A, B6 and C and potassium. These nutrients prevent your eyesight from deteriorating and boost your immunity so your body can easily ward off summer illnesses such as the common cough and cold or allergies.

Will cauliflower grow in shade? ›

Another two really healthy veggies which will grow in partial shade are cauliflower and broccoli. Cauliflowers need a bit of room, rich soil and a deep spot so make sure you've dug in lots of well-rotted manure or compost in advance.

What is the best lettuce for shade? ›

Lettuce is extremely shade tolerant, but for best results, stick to looseleaf types like 'Red Salad Bowl' and 'Simpson's Elite'. Avoid heading lettuces, which will take more time to mature and yield smaller heads.

Does spinach like sun or shade? ›

Spinach likes full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Prepare the planting bed by amending the soil with rich compost or aged manure.

What lettuce does well in shade? ›

Arugula, lettuce, chard, kale and most other leafy greens are top candidates for partial shade at any time of day, and a longer list often thrives in sites that get full morning sun followed by afternoon shade.

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