7 (Delicious) Vegetables that Can Grow in Partial Shade

Vegetables that can grow in the shade

Different plants need different environments in order to grow. Some plants prefer to be under the heat of the sun for a long period of time, while there are others that can’t stand it.

Check out these vegetables that can grow in partial shade.

To Shade or Not to Shade

Different plants need different types of care while they are growing. Some plants prefer colder climates while others crave warmth. 

Some plants need to be watered often while others can thrive even if it’s watered only every few days. 


Some plants prefer acidic soil while others, not so much. 

Then there are those plants that need to be exposed to sunlight for six to eight hours while others couldn’t take too much heat. 

That’s why

Some plants prefer to be shaded. 

When you buy a certain type of plant to grow, it usually comes in the form of seeds. The label will always indicate how much sunlight the plant will require to grow healthy. 

What are the sun requirements?

There are plants that need full sun. This means that the plant should be exposed to sunlight between six and eight hours every day. 

Some labels would say that the plant needs partial sun. This means that plants should be exposed to sunlight between four and six hours a day. 

If the plant needs partial shade, on the other hand, it means that the afternoon heat of the sun will be too much for the plant. 

In other words

The plant should be shaded in the better part of the afternoon. 

But how do you achieve these requirements?

Full sun exposure is the easiest to accomplish. This basically means that you sow the seeds at an area far from any form of shade. 

Now, the tricky part

Finding a place that has both sun and shade is quite complex. The easiest would be to find a tree that could shade the plant. 

However, you also need to figure out which part of the planting area will be hit by sunlight in the morning. 

You may also use a hedge or flowering plants as shade. 

Lady forking soil

There goes the perfect shade

The sunlight will basically trickle down to the plants through the spaces between the leaves and flowers. 

That’s the true picture of partial shade. 

By the way

There is also such a thing as full shade. But this doesn’t mean that the plants should be fully sheltered from the sun. 

This just means that the plants will grow with minimal sunlight exposure. 

Here’s the important thing

Knowledge is the key to success, they say. 

This is true in gardening. Knowing the best way to grow a plant is half of the battle. Taking care of it based on that knowledge will mean beautiful and healthy plants. 

Vegetables That Can Grow In Partial Shade

Now that you have the knowledge, here are the vegetables that are best grown in partial shade. 

Just to clarify, partial shade means shielding the plants from afternoon sun but allowing them to bask in heat and energy provided by the sun in the morning. 

1. Arugula

Planting arugula is quite rewarding because it is one of the fastest-growing leafy vegetables out there. 

It’s also an amazing vegetable because it is versatile. You can use it as topping on a pizza or use it as an ingredient for a salad. 

Augula on board

Healthy, too

This vegetable is rich in calcium, folate, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K.

It’s also a great food for those on a diet because it is low in calories, carbohydrates, fats, and sugar and yet rich in fiber. 


The best time to plant arugula is either summer or early fall. By doing so, you can already harvest in the fall or in the winter. 

Arugula is quite easy to grow because it can tolerate different conditions. But for best results, it should be planted on slightly acidic and nutrient-rich soil. 


Arugula is best grown in partial shade, although it can also tolerate full sun. 

2. Beans

Beans prefer cooler temperatures. In fact, they kind of become inactive when the climate becomes warmer. 

But if you plant them in partial shade, you might stretch out its growing season. 

Here goes

You can plant bush beans directly to the ground about 1.5 inches deep. They should be at least three inches apart, too. 

Just because they prefer cooler temperature doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be exposed to the sun. Beans still need about four hours of sun exposure. 

Runner beans on table

The benefits

Green beans has calcium and vitamin K. It helps make a person’s bones become stronger and healthier. 

Beans are quite versatile, too. You can just heat up butter and cook the beans in it and it’s already delicious. You could also make a puree out of green beans as well as soup. 

3. Broccoli

This is one of the more divisive vegetables in terms of taste. A lot of children are actually quite scared of the broccoli no matter how nice it looks. 

But it’s a very healthy vegetable. It contains vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. It also has calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and selenium. 

So, how do we plant it?

At the start, you can actually plant broccoli in containers and grow them in full shade. You can then transplant it a couple of weeks or so before the last frost. 

When it has been transplanted, that’s the time it will need partial shade. While it prefers the cooler temperature, sunlight is important as the broccoli flowers. 

4. Carrots

Most root vegetables thrive in partial shade, and carrot is no different. Less sunlight will actually encourage the root growth in carrots. 

Sow seeds directly into the garden at half an inch deep. Plant them at least two inches apart.

You probably already know

Hand planting carrots in dirt

Carrots are very healthy!

They are linked to good eyesight and are rich in antioxidants and beta carotene. Further, carrots contain a good amount of fiber, potassium, and vitamin K1. 

They are crunchy and delicious, too. 


Carrots are versatile. You can make juice out of it or a cake. You can add it on salad or make carrot soup. 

There are so many ways to cook a carrot. 

5. Leek

This vegetable is part of the onion family. It is an important ingredient in soups because it adds depth to the flavor.

But leeks are also added to a variety of dishes like risotto and pasta. It is also used as meat stuffing.

Leeks on bread board

 Moving on

Shade is important to the leek because you want the white stalk to be protected from the sun. 

Generally, leeks also prefer colder climates. So, when you grow them in partial shade, leeks would have a longer growing period. 

6. Mint

This herb is best planted in a container and under partial shade. 

Container gardening is actually more convenient for plants that prefer partial shade. This way, you can just put the containers under the shade when it’s already afternoon. 

It’s hard work

But you always have to work for something good. And mint is truly good because it has so many benefits. 

For one, mint is rich in nutrients. Two, it can relieve indigestion. Three, it could alleviate colds. 

Mint leaf

The list goes on

Mint can also be made into tea or you can use it to make your water or yoghurt taste better. You can also add mint to your smoothie. 

7. Swiss chard

This is a gorgeous vegetable that is also delicious to eat. It’s a good ingredient when making vegetables, although not as popular as spinach and kale. 

Swiss chard is actually the perfect in-between of spinach and kale. It’s crunchier than the spinach but also more tender than kale. 

You know what else?

As simple as a good soil with proper drainage will already allow you to grow Swiss chard. It thrives in partial shade. 

Swiss chard

You can sow the seeds at least half an inch deep. You can put between eight and 10 seeds per foot in order to have a healthy and thriving Swiss chard garden in just a few months.

More importantly

Swiss chard is healthy. It contains vitamins A, C, E, and K. It’s also rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium, among others.  


There you have it! Seven incredible vegetables that you can grow in partial shade. The vegetables mentioned above are delicious and healthy. 

Some plants need a lengthy exposure under the sun. But the above-mentioned plants need only the morning sun to give them energy. 

Knowing how much sun exposure is needed to make plants thrive is necessary if you want a healthy vegetable garden.

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