Any veggies or culinary herbs grow in shade?

Gulfport, FL(Zone 10a)


I have in the distant past in Washington, DC, grown dark greens and lettuces in what seemed complete shade but am not sure if that was just an accident or anomaly. I've lived near the NC/SC coastal border (Wilmington, NC -- same basic summer climate as DC) for 2 years but just moved across town. I have herbs in pots that used to get a few hours of good sun a day and did ok, but now I have a small patio where hosta will thrive, but my mint is already getting leggy in three days. We are having a lovely spring-to-summer oscillation right now with cool nights (60s) but those nights will go up into the 70s by July, perhaps even June.

The marjoram's ok so far but has the most dappled sun. The rest are lavender, thyme, rosemary, and they -- like marjoram -- are Mediterranean so I am worried but sort of a "cockeyed optimist." The best sun is probably in my kitchen window but the pots are at least 10-inch and some are larger; the sills are narrow; and I am vertically challenged and must lean over a high sink on a stoool, as it is it's hard to open and close the old sash windows. On the other hand, I could wait till the leaves fall in autumn and leave me the sun for the second growing season. I'm willing to surrender if I must to not growing anything edible till then, but not after getting all the facts. Any feedback or ideas would be welcome!

This message was edited May 5, 2014 5:20 PM

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I'd love to hear the answers to your question!

This message was edited May 7, 2014 1:45 PM

Peachtree City, GA(Zone 8a)

These can grow in partial shade.
Bee balm
Lemon Balm
Sweet woodruff

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I don't know about thyme and oregano -- they need a lot of sun for me. The rest of your list makes sense to me. I want to add Lovage and Sorrel this year....

Coon Rapids, MN(Zone 4b)

Salad burnet is a hardy perennial that likes a little shade.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Is it tasty? I've never tried it.

Coon Rapids, MN(Zone 4b)

It tastes like cucumber and is very easy to grow. It may be hard to find bedding plants, but you should be able to find seeds. It has an interesting leaf form, too.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)


Gulfport, FL(Zone 10a)

Thank you both, happy and weeding! I've been away from the forums and such for a long, long time, as is obvious. I apologize for not thanking you earlier! Now I'm in a completely different gardening environment, the Gulf Coast of FL. June - November it's too hot to enjoy the act of gardening and many species just die of the heat, except tomatoes (if they survive, period) and maybe other nightshades. Basically, gardeners take advantage of Oct for planting and harvest through till April, depending on what they plant. To contradict myself, I see my neighbors have some squash in their front yard that they started on trellises, but they have the precious shade from about 1:30 on, so their crop should do fine. My front yard faces due West. My backyard does have some shade but I am now too depleted from cancer -- a new discovery, developing for years unbeknownst to me -- to work in the garden except very minimally.

Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

Hi nyad2, keep on persevering you can still enjoy your gardening hobby by doing containers. I think it will be a sort of therapy for you and you will feel good again. Take it slowly but surely. All the best.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

I have a list of 15 Shade Tolerant Plants that appears to have been cut out of book or magazine.:
Kale, parsley, cilantro, lettuce, garlic, mustard greens, scallions, beets, cilantro, arugula, turnips, spinach, carrots, chard, potatoes and Bok choy.

Wewahitchka, FL

If your in the deep south rhubarb, cardoon, and artichoke might do better in part shade. Some somewhat exotic plants that do well in at least part shade are African potato mint, jewels of opar, Brazilian sisso spinach, heimia salicifolia, canna edulis, passionfruit, bacopa, citrus, star fruit, galangal gingers, culinary ginger, curcuma/turmeric, Cuban oregano, and chaya.

This message was edited Feb 21, 2020 6:49 AM

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