18 Vegetables That Can Grow in Shade

You might have heard that vegetables need the sun to grow, but that isn’t really true. In fact, plenty of vegetables can grow in the shade and give you the best nutrition and taste. So if you want a garden full of veggies but don’t have enough sun for some plants, here are 20 vegetables that will thrive in the shade:

Swiss chard

Swiss chard is a leafy vegetable with a rich, earthy flavor. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, and magnesium.

It can be used in various dishes. You can use it on its own or add it to soups, stews, and stir-fries. Chard is high in fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels. It also contains manganese, a mineral that helps metabolize fatty acids.


Garlic (Allium sativum) is a hardy vegetable that grows well in the shade. It needs rich, well-drained soil and can survive on minimal sunlight. Garlic plants grow bulbs that need to be planted during the fall months so they have time to establish before the first frost hits. 

Not only does garlic make an excellent companion plant for other vegetables—but it also has many health benefits! Garlic is a good source of vit. C, potassium, and manganese. It has also been shown to help prevent some forms of cancer.

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Lettuce is a seasonal crop, which means that it grows best in the spring and fall. It’s also a low-maintenance crop, so you don’t have to spend hours upon hours tending to it daily. Lettuce can be planted from seeds or seedlings, but if you want to start with seedlings, get them from your nearest local nursery or garden center as soon as possible (about two weeks before the last frost).

Lettuce is a great source of vitamins K, A, and C. If you want to incorporate more veggies into your diet without making considerable changes in your lifestyle, add lettuce to sandwiches and salads. It will give you an easy way to increase your intake of these essential nutrients!


Leeks are a root vegetable. It is a member of the allium family, which includes onions and garlic. They grow in the ground and are related to onions, garlic, and chives. They grow best in cooler weather, making them an ideal spring vegetable. Leeks can be eaten raw or cooked but are most often used as an ingredient in soups or stews.

Leek leaves contain vitamins C and K, while the bulb contains vitamins A and B6, potassium, and manganese.


Spinach is a cool season crop, so it prefers cooler temperatures. It does best in soil with good drainage and lots of water. The spinach leaves can be harvested at any time after the plant grows to about 6 inches tall, but they will be more tender if picked earlier in its growth stage.​

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. It contains oxalates, which interferes with calcium absorption if eaten in large amounts or over a long period of time.

Check our Beginner’s guide on vertical gardening !

Spinach is rich in nitrates, which may help lower blood pressure and improve circulation. It is also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that support eye health. Spinach contains a wide variety of phytochemicals like carotenoids, flavonoids, and indoles. These compounds have antioxidant activity in the body and may play a role in preventing certain cancers.


Carrots are a root vegetable that grows best in cool weather, between 50 and 55° F. Carrots are one of the most easiest vegetables to grow in containers, as long as you give them plenty of sunlight—they need at least six hours a day and can even handle partial shade.

Carrots are rich in vitamin A, making them suitable for your eyesight as well as other parts of the body, such as skin health and immune function. You will also get calcium from carrots, which helps prevent osteoporosis by strengthening bones and allowing them to absorb more calcium from food sources.

Carrots are easy to grow and are excellent vegetables for beginning gardeners. They need well-drained soil rich in compost or peat moss. You can start seeds indoors or directly sow them after the last frost date, which is usually around April 1st in most areas.

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Beets are vegetables that grow in partial shade and can be grown in the ground or containers. Beets are rich in folic acid, potassium, and magnesium. They also contain betaine which helps maintain healthy levels of homocysteine—a substance that, when high, can increase the risk for stroke and heart disease.

Beetroot is one of the most popular varieties to grow. Still, there are many other types: miniature beets (also called candy cane), golden (yellow), red or white turnip-rooted, and chard-rooted beetroot cultivars.

Beets are easy to grow and can be harvested throughout the summer. The leaves are also edible and make an excellent addition to salads. Beets prefer light sandy loam soil that is well drained. They are not tolerant of waterlogged conditions. Plant it in full sun or partial shade, as they do not tolerate strong direct sunlight.

Beets grow best in temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. Plant seeds directly into the garden about 10 to 14 weeks before your region’s last frost date.

You can also start beets indoors and transplant them into the garden once they have grown their first set of true leaves. Space plants 15 to 20 cm apart in rows 30 to 45 cm apart. Beets are a good crop to interplant with other vegetables, such as lettuce or carrots. 

Beets are very easy to grow and can be harvested throughout the summer. The leaves are also edible and make an excellent addition to salads. Beets prefer light sandy loam soil that is well drained. They are not tolerant of waterlogged conditions. Plant in full or partial shade (light shade), as they do not tolerate strong direct sunlight.


If you are a fan of cucumbers, you can grow them in your shady garden. They require at least 6 hours of sunlight each day and will grow well if they receive partial shade as well. If you are growing your cucumbers indoors or in containers, give them plenty of water and nutrients, especially if the soil is compacted. Cucumbers are rich in vitamins A and C. So try adding some slices to your salads for an extra nutritional boost!

If you are growing cucumbers in containers, water them regularly. They need at least 1 inch of water per week, so check your soil often and give it a good drink every few days.


Radishes are great for beginner gardeners because they are easy to grow, incredibly versatile, and have a long harvest window. They can be grown as a cool-season crop, so radishes will thrive even if you live in a warmer climate where most vegetable gardens die off in summer’s heat. They also do well in containers or small gardens—just ensure that your container is deep enough so that at least half of the plant’s roots will fit snugly inside.

Their quick growth cycle means that you won’t have trouble finding space for them when it comes time to plant new crops later in the season; just add them around any mature crops (like lettuce) or space them out among slower-growing ones (like carrots). Don’t forget about their health benefits! Radishes contain vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as potassium and iron. They are also a great source of fiber, which can help keep you feeling full between meals.

Radishes mature quickly enough that you will have fresh radishes in just a couple of months.

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Beans are a great choice if you have limited space. They can be grown in containers or an area with partial shade. A sunny spot with full sun is best for beans, but they will also grow well in partial shade.

The health benefits of bean sprouts include being rich in vitamins A, C, and E and folate, iron, and potassium. 

Beans are the best sources of fiber for your diet, which helps keep your digestion on track. The soluble fibers in beans help to lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Beans are good source of protein and contain all eight essential amino acids, making them a perfect choice for vegetarians and vegans.


Broccoli is a cool season crop. It’s also part of the cabbage family and is related to cauliflower and kale. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folate, calcium (essential for healthy bones), potassium (which helps regulate blood pressure), red blood cells, and antioxidants—which help prevent cancer!

Broccoli sprouts are very high in sulforaphane—a potent anti-cancer compound that helps protect against breast cancer.

It’s one of the best anti-aging foods you can eat. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and part of the Brassica family, including cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and brussels sprouts. These vegetables contain glucosinolates—compounds that help detoxify harmful substances in the body, fight cancer and prevent cell damage caused by oxidative stress. Broccoli also contains indoles—chemical compounds that may reduce the risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women by up to 70%!


Parsnips are a root vegetable that can grow in the shade. They offer various health benefits, including a large amount of vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Parsnips also contain a good amount of fiber and vitamins B6 and E.

The majority of parsnip’s calories come from carbohydrates with some protein and fat on the side. Due to their low-calorie count, parsnips are an ideal addition to your diet if you want to lose weight or watch your figure overall.

Parsnips are a low-calorie vegetable that can be used in various ways. Parsnip fries are an easy way to add some crunchy goodness to your meal and are great on their own or dipped in ketchup or ranch dressing. You can also use parsnips as an alternative to French fries if you want a healthier option.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a delicious vegetable that can be grown in partial shade. If you want to grow them in full sun, they will be smaller and require more watering. However, they will also be more susceptible to disease and pests.

If you are planting your Brussels in a garden bed, dig an 8-inch deep trench. Place some compost and peat moss into the bottom of the trench.

Fill the trench with water and allow it to drain. You can also use a hose to fill the trench with water if you don’t want to dig one by hand. Plant your asparagus seeds two inches deep in the prepared soil. Please place them straight and ensure they are spaced at least 18 inches apart.


Shady spots are the perfect place to grow onions, which do best in partial sunlight.

Onions are one of the easiest vegetables you can grow in a garden. They can be easily grown from seedlings or sets, small bulbs harvested from an established crop, and stored until planting. When grown from seedlings or sets, onions produce a single large bulb at the top of their stalk; grown from green onions, each plant produces many smaller bulbs along its length. The latter method makes it possible to harvest before winter frost kills your plants!

Like garlic and leeks, onions are members of the Allium family—and like them, they are rich in antioxidants that help protect against disease, fight inflammation, and boost immunity. Onions also contain allicin (the same compound found in garlic), which has shown promise against cancerous tumors when eaten raw. However, no cooking will eliminate allicin content; it’s still worth including these nutrition powerhouses in your next meal!


Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that is grown in the shade. It does best in moist, well-drained soil and prefers full sun. Asparagus grows best when it has deep, fertile soil to grow its roots into. In order to prevent asparagus from becoming ferns and not producing shoots, you must harvest regularly by cutting off the older shoots while they are still tender. The young shoots that grow after harvesting should be allowed to mature until they turn green before harvesting them as well. If you want an especially tasty crop of asparagus, consider planting crowns instead of seedlings.


Rhubarb is a perennial plant that produces edible stalks. It’s grown as a fruit, not a vegetable, and is typically grown in the spring or early summer. Rhubarb can be cultivated from seed or root divisions. You can grow rhubarb in the ground or containers (as long as they have adequate drainage). Rhubarb prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade, making it suitable for growing under tall trees or on north-facing slopes.


Potatoes are an ideal vegetable for shady gardens. They are a cool-season crop that needs plenty of water and space. Potatoes can be grown in containers or raised beds. Since they take up so much space, it’s best to grow them in a separate area of your garden.

Potatoes thrive in acidic soil with lots of organic matter, so you should add plenty of compost or peat moss before planting them. In addition to producing delicious tubers, potatoes also improve the health of your soil by fixing nitrogen into its roots as they grow (this is called “companion planting”). This makes it easier for other nearby plants to flourish in your garden later on!


Raspberries are perennial plants that can grow in either sun or shade. These tasty berries need a lot of water and will benefit from being grown in a raised bed, so they don’t get too wet. Raspberries can be grown from seeds or cuttings, but if starting with seeds, ensure adequate sunlight so they are ready by late spring!

Not all veggies need full sun, but they still need some light…….

Not all vegetables need full sun, but they still need some light. Some of them are shade-tolerant and will do fine in dappled sunlight, while others prefer shade or partial shade. But before you plant your favorite veggies, it’s essential to know which ones can grow in your garden conditions so you can provide them with what they need for optimal growth and flavor.

The best way to find out if a vegetable needs full sun is by checking its germination rate (the seeds’ ability to sprout) under different types of lighting conditions—if the rate is high under bright light but low under dimmer conditions, then that particular plant will fare better with more direct sunlight than darker spots. However, even if a seed doesn’t require lots of direct sunlight at first glance doesn’t mean it won’t eventually benefit from some exposure later on. 

Check our Beginner’s guide on vertical gardening !

Tomatoes and peppers often grow better when they have had time to adjust before being moved into brighter areas than originally planted! It’s also important not just how much light a plant receives but also how intense. Some people might say this refers specifically to plants grown indoors rather than outdoors due to their sensitivity levels necessary given certain times during development stages within each season.

Wrap Up

It can be discouraging to plant a garden and find out that it’s not growing as well as you hoped. But if you keep your vegetable garden away from direct sunlight, you will still be able to enjoy some fresh veggies this summer! 

Happy planting!

1 thought on “18 Vegetables That Can Grow in Shade”

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