21 Vegetables that can grow in partial shade

Knowing where to grow your vegetables is nearly as important as knowing what types to grow within the first place. Your temperature zone defines what you’ll easily grow, but your ultimate placement of these chosen vegetables will decide how well they’ll grow for you. Here may be a list of full sun, shade, and partial sun plants that grow well in most of North America.

(Click through on the link for every vegetable to find out more about it.)


“Full sun” means a minimum of six hours (usually a minimum of 8) of sunlight per day. For a minimum of six hours, the sun should be directly shining onto the plants nearly a day of the season. Obviously inclement weather and overcast days aren’t counted. No artificial shade (trees, buildings, etc) are blocking sunlight from full-sun veggies.


One of the simplest to grow, cukes have very broad leaves, a standard trait in many full-sun plants.


These grow better in some climates than in others but are a well-liked early spring and late fall harvest.


Most sorts of peppers prefer the maximum amount of sun as they will get.


Like cucumbers, squash plants have very broad leaves and beg for sunlight. Growing them on a trellis or stand can maximize sun exposure.


Like peppers, assuming much water is out there, tomatoes will always take the maximum amount sun as they will get.


Partial Sun is vegetables that need a minimum of four hours of sunlight per day, but often thrive with but six hours of direct sunlight. These are usually listed as “partial sun” or “partial shade” veggies in garden stores. The partial sun usually means the plant could still have best with more sun, and partial shade often means the plant would do better with four to 6 hours as a maximum.


When during a bush variety, these had best with more sun (closer to six hours) than in vine varieties, which may do more with less if they’re on a trellis.


Keep beets partially shaded and they’ll thrive, even in relatively dry conditions.


Full sun on broccoli will cause rapid flowering (which ruins the taste) while partial sun encourages tighter heads and slower flowering.


Although cabbage is broad-leafed, an excessive amount of sun will dry it out and encourage smaller heads and larger open leaves.


Too much sun and therefore the carrot plant grows more foliage than root, so limiting sunlight means larger carrots.


Like broccoli, limiting sunlight to under 6 hours daily means tighter heads of cauliflower.


A popular spice, limiting sunlight will help keep the plants smaller and larger-leafed, which suggests more harvest and better taste.


Often confused with green onions due to the similar appearance, leeks thrive in cooler, more moist environments compared to regular root onions.


Root onions, like most root-based edibles, need less sun so as to encourage below-ground growth.


Like beans, peas will grow more plants than edible seeds if an excessive amount of sun is given.


Again, with root plants like radishes, it’s all about encouraging root growth.


Similar to beets and onions in growth pattern, the rutabaga needs restricted sunlight so as to encourage deeper (larger) roots.


Similar to carrots, turnips tend to grow downwards when less sun is out there to them


Vegetables that had best in less sunlight (2 to 4 hours) are often called “light shade” or “shaded” plants. Some “partial shade” plants also are light shade, like cauliflower and lots of spices.


Being leafy, arugula would be expected to a sun-lover, but sunlight often droops and shrivels the leaves, so this is often an honest “under” plant to place underneath other, larger ones.

Brussels sprouts

This is also a cold-tolerant plant and like most cold-happy plants, Brussels sprouts had best with limited sunlight.


Endive is probably going the foremost shade-loving of all the leafy lettuce-type plants.


Like its cousins in cabbages, kale loves the weather and less light.

Leaf lettuce

Most lettuce plants prefer less sun.

Mustard greens

A popular plant within the U.S., this one is usually grown in flower gardens and near porches where sunlight is restricted.


Like lettuce, spinach needs cooler temperatures and fewer sun.

Swiss chard

Another delicate leafy plant, swiss chard doesn’t enjoy tons of sunlight.

Even the foremost open of garden areas provide shade. Be creative with plant placement and you’ll find that you simply can create your own shaded areas to maximize conditions for every plant’s preference. Tall stalks of corn, for instance, can provide partial shade for smaller radishes and peas, while heavy-leafed squash plants might provide near-permanent shade for smaller carrots or turnips.

21 Vegetables that can grow in partial shade

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