Mothering Forums - Reply to Topic

Thread: Shade Tolerant Edibles? Reply to Thread
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-23-2012 08:37 AM

You already have lots of great suggestions :) I'll add violets to the list! My dad also grew gingers in very full shade, but that's in Houston where it's nice and hot. Aloe will tolerate shade too, but it won't flower.


If you think about what might grow at the edge of a forest, you can come up with shade tolerant plants. It depends on how deep of shade you're talking, though- like SweetSilver said up there. Most of my gardens have been shady gardens, and if you have the soil for it, you can do ok :) Containers work really well too, and you can move them with the seasons as your shade patterns shift.

07-18-2012 08:47 PM

I would go with greens in containers or raised beds.  I grow my greens in containers and they seem to do very well in areas with "bright shade".  If it's a deeper shade go with huckleberries like a PP suggested. 

07-18-2012 09:59 AM

Is the space mossy?  That would mean that the soil quality is poor.  You could compost it up and grow strawberries, mint, or maybe leafy greens.  If it's bare because of lack of sunlight, maybe you could look into fungi plants.  

07-14-2012 05:09 PM

How bright is the shade?  Deciduous tree or evergreen?  That makes a difference.  Annual vegetables might not be the best use for the space, though you could try leafy greens.  Instead, try edible perennials and shrubs.  Here evergreen huckleberries grow beautifully, amongst other things.  Wine berries are fairly shade tolerant.   Yes, hostas.  Ferns for fiddleheads.  Try Raintree nursery to see what is available for shade that is good for your zone.  There might be other edible nurseries that specialize in plants for the Midwest.


I would hesitate putting raised beds entirely around the tree, especially if water already collects there.  Depending on the tree, it could really hate the extra soil on top of its roots.  But a few would probably be just fine.

07-14-2012 11:56 AM

You may have luck with leafy greens and the like.  Anything that sets fruit will probably just make you frustrated.  Hostas are actually edible (you eat the new shoots in the spring) and will grow in shade.  Mushrooms are probably easier than you think.

07-14-2012 11:49 AM

I have a patch of yard that is almost entirely in tree shade all day. The ground can't even support grass. My first thought was to simply cover the bare area with mulch or rocks to prevent the mud bath that rain creates. But then I wondered if I could build a raised bed around the tree and plant shade tolerant edible plants in it. I would definitely prefer to do this so that I'm actually making use of the space instead of just covering it up, but after searching around on the internet I'm seeing that most plants require at least a few hours of sun a day. This area doesn't ever get direct sunlight. At best there may be an hour or two of dappled sunlight, but I'm not even positive of that. The tree's branches are fairly high off the ground- maybe 8 feet- so it's not like it's a dark shade.

Any ideas of edible plants that would survive there?   I'm in zone 5b.  Someone suggested mushrooms, but I'm not ready to delve into the world of fungi quite yet, so really just looking for plant suggestions.  TIA!!

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off