Guide To Shade Tolerant Crops

When it comes to gardening, sunlight is a precious resource, but not all of us have the luxury of full sun exposure in our gardens. However, you can still grow a bountiful garden filled with delicious and nutritious crops. In this guide, we'll explore a variety of shade-tolerant crops that can thrive in partial shade. These plants may not yield as much in the absence of full sun, but they are perfectly suited for those less illuminated corners of your garden. With the right care, you can still enjoy a fruitful harvest.



Pictured: Wild Perennial Arugula (click for seeds)



  • Arugula: Arugula's peppery and nutty flavor is a great addition to salads, and it can tolerate some shade.
  • Cabbage: Cabbage is a hardy, leafy vegetable that can grow in partial shade, making it a versatile addition to your garden.
  • Good King Henry: This lesser-known green is not only shade-tolerant but also incredibly nutritious, adding variety to your garden and your plate.
  • Kale: Kale's robust nature and adaptability allow it to thrive in less sunny spots while providing you with a nutrient-rich crop.
  • Lettuce: Lettuce varieties like loose leaf and butterhead can grow well in the shade, providing crisp, refreshing leaves for your salads.


Red Veined Sorrel

Pictured: Red Veined Sorrel (click for seeds)

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are not only shade-tolerant but also pack a punch of flavor and nutrients.

  • Pak Choi: Pak choi, also known as bok choy, is a great choice for your shade garden, offering tender and flavorful leaves.
  • Sorrel: Sorrel's tangy, lemony leaves can brighten up your meals and grow well in partially shaded areas.
  • Spinach: Spinach is another shade-tolerant leafy green that's a staple in many gardens due to its versatility.
  • Swiss Chard: Swiss chard's colorful stems and earthy leaves can be a delightful addition to your garden, even in partial shade.
  • Vit Mache: Vit mache, also known as corn salad or lamb's lettuce, is a unique shade-tolerant green that adds diversity to your garden.


Azur Star Kohlrabi

Pictured: Azur Star Kohlrabi (click for seeds)

Other Vegetables

  • Beets: Beetroots are not just for sunny gardens; they can thrive in areas with less sunlight.
  • Bronze Fennel: Fennel can be a flavorful herb and ornamental plant that can tolerate some shade.
  • Bush Beans: Beans are a versatile choice for your garden, providing fresh beans even in partial shade.
  • Horseradish: Horseradish can be a hardy perennial in your garden and is shade-tolerant.
  • Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi's crunchy and sweet bulbs are perfect for shade gardens.
  • Lovage: This flavorful herb can add a unique taste to your dishes and is shade-tolerant.
  • Onions: Onions can adapt to partially shaded areas, giving you that pungent kick in your recipes.
  • Radish: Radishes are quick growers and can flourish in the shade.
  • Rhubarb: These tart stalks are perfect for pies and desserts, and it can handle some shade.
  • Turnip: Turnips are another root vegetable that can grow well in less sunny spots.
  • Wild Leeks: Leeks can be a forager's delight, and they are shade-tolerant, adding a wild touch to your garden.


Bouquet Dill

Pictured: Dill (click for seeds)

Herbs & Berries

  • Cilantro: This herb's fresh and zesty flavor can be at your fingertips, even in the shade.
  • Dill: Dill is an aromatic herb that can grow well in shaded areas.
  • Chives: Both garlic chives and regular chives can thrive in your shade garden and add a mild oniony flavor to dishes.
  • Mint: Mint can be a prolific herb in partial shade and a refreshing addition to your recipes.
  • Parsley: This herb with its vibrant green leaves is perfect for garnishes and can also do well in shadier spots.
  • Black Raspberries: These berries can produce sweet and juicy berries even with limited sunlight.
  • Currants: Currants can be a wonderful addition to your garden, providing berries in partial shade.
  • Gooseberry: Gooseberries can grow well in the shade, giving you tart and sweet berries.
  • Red Raspberries: Red raspberries can be another berry option for your shade garden, producing delicious fruits.
  • Serviceberry: Also known as juneberries, serviceberries are hardy and shade-tolerant fruit trees.
  • Strawberries: Your favorite strawberries, especially some varieties like Alpine strawberries, can flourish in partial shade, giving you sweet rewards.


Note: While these plants will grow in partial sun, they will produce more food in full sun. To thrive, they need at least 3-4 hours of direct sunlight. For more information, see the "Growing Tips" tab on our website.

With these shade-tolerant crops, you can transform even the shadiest corners of your garden into productive and delicious spaces. Don't let limited sunlight limit your gardening aspirations; embrace these shade-loving varieties and enjoy the bounty they can provide. Happy gardening!