32 Vegetables You Can Grow in Partial Shade

A lot of gardeners face difficulties when it comes to shaded areas in their gardens. However, having partially shaded sections in your garden doesn’t mean that you cannot grow an abundance of plants. In fact, many vegetables and herbs can grow and thrive in partial shade. Some plants can even grow in areas that receive constant dappled shade.

Partial Shade vs Full Shade

Man holding garlic.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Partial shade is an area that receives only 4-6 hours of sunlight daily, often not even during peak hours. As a general rule of thumb, vegetables grown for their leafy greens can do extremely well with shade as opposed to plants grown for their roots or fruits — like tomatoes.

But you may be surprised to learn that some tomato varieties will even do just fine in partial shade.

One of the biggest issues you will face is that some vegetables might take longer to reach maturity or produce less. But less is still better than nothing! And if you have a spot that can be planted, why not plant something in it? Add nitrogen-rich compost each year to keep your soil microbes healthy and well-fed, which will help counteract some of the issues with growing in partial shade.

Artichokes

Artichokes grown in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Artichokes usually need full sun, but partial shade with about 4-6 hours of sunlight in hotter climates can prevent scorching. This slight reduction in light can lead to smaller yields and longer growth periods, but the plants often remain healthier in less intense heat.

Rich, well-drained soil and regular deep watering will support their growth.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 7-11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 85-100

Arugula

Young arugula growing in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Arugula grows best with 3-4 hours of sunlight. If you grow it in partial shade, it will grow more slowly, but the leaves it produces will be tender and less peppery. The cooler and moist conditions in partial shade will help extend the harvest period by reducing bolting. To ensure optimal growth, it is important to water it regularly and maintain moist soil, especially during dry periods.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, tolerates part shade
  • Days to harvest: 20-50 days

Green Beans

harvest beans inside the basket.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Stick green beans everywhere you see an available spot; it’s what I do! They will produce all season long in partial shade.

Beans prefer full sun but can adapt to 4-5 hours of sunlight. The reduced light will likely decrease productivity and pod size. For best results, use well-draining soil and provide consistent water, especially when flowers and pods are forming.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, tolerates part shade
  • Days to harvest: 50-60 days

Beets

Beets grown in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Beets can cope with about 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. While the roots grow slower and may be smaller in partial shade, the beet greens thrive, becoming larger and more tender. Beets require well-draining, fertile soil; adding compost will enhance growth and root development.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, tolerates part shade
  • Days to harvest: 55-70

Bok Choy

Bok choi.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

This vegetable thrives in cool weather and requires 3-5 hours of sunlight. Partial shade prevents bolting and encourages gradual growth. Regular watering is important to maintain evenly moist soil for tender leaves.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2-11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 45

Broccoli

Broccoli grown in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Growing broccoli in partial shade (4-6 hours of sunlight) can actually benefit the plant in warmer climates by reducing stress and preventing premature bolting. Provide fertile, well-draining soil and steady moisture, especially as the heads begin to form.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade (shade is best in hot climates)
  • Days to harvest: 50-60

Carrots

Male farmer harvesting carrots in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

This one might surprise you, but it’s true!

With at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, carrots will grow well in partial shade, though growth rates may slow and roots may be smaller and less sweet. Loose, sandy soil free of stones allows for better root development. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3–10 (biennial grown as an annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 60-80

Learn More: 15 Carrot Growing Secrets For Your Best Harvest Ever

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts growing in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Brussels sprouts thrive with 4-6 hours of sunlight. In partial shade, they grow slower but can produce more compact and sweeter sprouts. They prefer cool temperatures and rich, well-draining soil. Regular watering and fertilization will enhance their development.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, tolerates part shade
  • Days to harvest: 80-100

Celery

Celery seedling.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Celery benefits from partial shade, needing about 4-5 hours of sunlight to avoid the bitterness that intense sun can cause. It requires rich soil and plenty of moisture to keep the stalks juicy and crisp.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2-10 (biennial grown as an annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 140

Cauliflower

Cauliflower grown in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Cauliflower grows best with 4-6 hours of sunlight in partial shade, where cooler temperatures help produce compact, quality heads. Consistent moisture and fertile, well-draining soil are critical for developing large, tight heads.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, tolerates part shade
  • Days to harvest: 80 days

Collard Greens

Collard greens.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Needing 3-4 hours of sunlight, collards do well in partial shade, producing larger, more tender leaves. They prefer fertile, well-drained soil and regular watering, particularly in dry conditions, to keep the leaves lush.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, tolerates part shade
  • Days to harvest: 60-80

Cress

Cress.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Cress can grow in low light, requiring only 2-3 hours of sunlight. It prefers cooler, moist conditions, which partial shade often provides, slowing rapid drying of the soil. Keep the soil consistently moist for best growth.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 8-12

Kale

Young kale growing in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Kale is hardy, adaptable, frost-tolerant, and very well-suited to partial shade, needing only 3-4 hours of sunlight, often producing sweeter, more tender leaves than in full sun. Rich soil and regular watering will help maintain healthy growth.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 55-75

Endive

Endive.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

With about 3 hours of sunlight, endive appreciates partial shade, which can prevent the leaves from becoming too bitter. It needs well-drained, fertile soil and regular moisture to develop well.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 85-100

Garlic

Garlic grows in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Garlic can be grown in partial shade, although it prefers full sun. At least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight is necessary for proper bulb development, though bulbs may be smaller in shaded conditions. Plant in loose, well-drained soil and water moderately to prevent rot.

I grow garlic in partial shade each year, and the key is to add plenty of compost to your garden bed each fall after you’ve planted the bulbs.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4-9
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 240

Learn More: All You Need to Know About Planting Garlic In Fall

Kohlrabi

Young Kohlrabi plant growing in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Requiring about 4-6 hours of sunlight, kohlrabi in partial shade might grow slower and produce smaller bulbs but still be flavorful. It thrives in rich, well-drained soil and needs consistent moisture.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2a-11b
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 55

Lettuce

A field of lettuce plants.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Lettuce is ideal for partial shade, growing best with 3-4 hours of sunlight, which helps prevent bolting and maintains flavor. Frequent light watering keeps the soil moist, which is essential for crisp leaves.

A cut-and-come-again lettuce bed can be maintained all summer long, even in the hottest weather, when grown in partial shade.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade; prefers some shade
  • Days to harvest: 30-70

Leeks

Leeks.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Leeks manage well with 3-5 hours of sunlight in partial shade. They may grow slower and not as large, but they will be perfectly usable. Plant in well-drained soil and keep it moist, especially during dry spells.

  • SDA Growing Zones: 5-9
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 100-120

Mustard Greens

Young mustard greens growing in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Mustard Greens: These greens can grow in partial shade (3-4 hours of sun) and will produce milder, less spicy leaves. They thrive in rich, moist, well-drained soil and grow quickly, especially with regular watering.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, tolerates part shade
  • Days to harvest: 45-50

Parsnip

Parsnips freshly harvested and placed on the ground.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Parsnips need about 4 hours of sunlight and can tolerate partial shade; however, their roots develop more slowly and may be smaller. Deep, stone-free soil is essential for good root growth. Water regularly to maintain even soil moisture.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2-9 (biennial grown as annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 120 to 180 days

Peas

Green peas grown in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Peas benefit from partial shade, especially in hot regions, as it helps prevent the plants from overheating. With about 4-5 hours of direct sunlight, peas can still produce well. They thrive in fertile soil that retains moisture, which is crucial during flowering and pod development. Regular watering and a trellis for support can optimize their growth and yield.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, tolerates part shade
  • Days to harvest: 60

Learn More: 12 Secrets, Tips, & Tricks for Your Best Pea Harvest

Potatoes

Harvested potatoes on the farm.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Potatoes can tolerate partial shade, requiring at least 5-6 hours of sunlight daily. While they prefer full sun for optimal yield, partial shade can be beneficial in preventing the soil from drying out too quickly, especially in hot climates. Potatoes need deep, loose, and well-drained soil. Consistent moisture is important, but overwatering should be avoided to prevent rot.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3-10 (grown as an annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 80-100

Radishes

Radishes growing in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Radishes are quick growers and quite adaptable to partial shade, requiring only about 3-4 hours of sun or dappled sunlight. They may grow slightly slower and produce larger, milder radishes under these conditions, which some gardeners prefer. Radishes need well-drained soil and regular watering to prevent the roots from becoming woody.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, tolerates part shade
  • Days to harvest: 20-60

Rutabaga

Rutabagas.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Like other root vegetables, rutabagas can grow in partial shade with at least 4-5 hours of sunlight. They may take longer to mature and could be less sweet than those grown in full sun. Deep, fertile soil that retains moisture but is not waterlogged is ideal. Consistent moisture and occasional fertilization help support their growth.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3-9 (biennials grown as annuals)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 80-100

Scallions

Scallions grown in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Scallions, or green onions, do well in partial shade, producing good yields with about 3-4 hours of sunlight. They prefer rich, well-draining soil. Keeping the soil consistently moist is crucial for developing tender and flavorful scallions.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 6-9
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 55

Sorrel

Red sorrel.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Sorrel is a perennial leafy herb known for its tart, lemony flavor, often used in salads, soups, and sauces. While sorrel can tolerate and even thrive in full sun, growing it in partial shade can be particularly beneficial, especially in warmer climates.

When grown in partial shade, sorrel needs about 3-5 hours of sunlight per day. This amount of light promotes healthy growth while protecting the plant from the harsh midday sun, which can sometimes cause the leaves to scorch or wilt in hotter regions.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5-7
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 35-40

Spinach

Young spinach in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Spinach grows best in cool conditions and can thrive in partial shade with 3-4 hours of sunlight. This helps prevent bolting, especially in warm weather. Spinach requires fertile, well-drained soil and regular watering to maintain rapid leaf production and ensure tender, large leaves.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 20-30

Swiss Chard

Grown Swiss chard in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

This hardy leafy green can produce well in partial shade with about 3-5 hours of sunlight. Partial shade can reduce leaf scorch during hot weather and encourage the production of more tender leaves. Swiss chard needs moist, fertile soil for optimal growth and regular watering to maintain its lush foliage.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 28-42

Turnips

Turnips.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Turnips can be successfully grown in partial shade, needing about 4-5 hours of sunlight. While growth might be slower and bulbs smaller, they will still be flavorful. Turnips require deep, fertile, well-drained soil and regular moisture to develop fully.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2-10 (grown as an annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 40-50

Asparagus

Young asparagus growing in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Asparagus plants are perennial and can tolerate partial shade, though they prefer full sun. With about 5-6 hours of sunlight, they will produce fewer but still viable spears. Asparagus benefits from rich, sandy, well-drained soil and should not be harvested heavily until fully established in 2-3 years.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3-10
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: Three years after planting (some varieties start earlier)

Learn More: How To Grow Asparagus From Crowns (Complete Guide)

Tomatoes

Grown tomatoes in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

I wouldn’t believe this one if I hadn’t accidentally done it myself last year. The key is the varietal you’re growing, and Roma-type tomatoes can grow in partial shade along with some others.

Tomatoes generally need full sun but can survive with 5-6 hours of sunlight. However, plants grown in partial shade tend to have fewer fruits, and the fruits may take longer to ripen. Staking and consistent watering can help improve yield in shaded conditions. Feeding with a balanced fertilizer will also support fruit development.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3-11 (grown as an annual)
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade (varietal specific)
  • Days to harvest: 60-85

Learn More: 15 Secrets To Growing Killer Tomatoes This Season

Cucumbers

Cucumber grown in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Cucumbers can manage with about 5-6 hours of sunlight but thrive best in full sun. In partial shade, expect slower growth and fewer cucumbers. They require rich, well-draining soil and plenty of water, particularly during fruit development, to produce crisp and juicy cucumbers.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4-12
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Days to harvest: 50-70 days

Learn More: How To Grow Cucumbers In Raised Beds {Complete Guide}

More Plants That Can Be Grown In Shade

Woman with plants.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Learn More: 19 Flowers & Plants That Grow In The Shady Parts of Your Garden

Perennials To Plant Now

Celeriac.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Learn More: 19 Edible Perennials To Grow For Self-Sufficiency

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