When direct sunlight is blocked from an area for most of the day, and the area receives less than four hours of sun all together, it is considered a partial or medium shade location. And while it's true that the majority of plants that you choose for your garden will prefer sunnier conditions, there are also varieties of flowers, plants, and vegetables that are shade tolerant. So if you would like to grow a garden in a shady classroom or a sheltered backyard plot, hope is not lost! Far from it. Below is an array of vibrant plants and flowers that will brighten up any shady spot, as well as a list of cool weather vegetables that will grow in partial shade.
Fruits ripen in the sun, developing their sugars and flavors, and therefore there are only a small number of fruit varieties that will produce crops in medium shade (such as currants and gooseberries).
SHADE TOLERANT PLANTS AND FLOWERS:
Perennials: Anemone, Astilbe, Bleeding Heart, Columbine, Daylily, Fern, Forget-Me-Not, Geranium, Hosta, Hydrangea, Lady's Mantle, Lily of the Valley, Primrose, Yarrow
Annuals: Begonia, Fuschia, Impatiens, Pansy, Viola
COOL WEATHER VEGETABLES:
Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collard Greens, Kale, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Onions, Radish, Spinach, Swiss Chard
Garden Hint. In general, leafy greens and lettuces are the most shade tolerant, while vegetables that fruit from flowers (eggplant, okra, peppers. squash, tomatoes) are the least shade tolerant. Plants from the cabbage, or cruciferous family (named for their four petal leaf formation that resembles a cross) also thrive in cooler temperatures - in fact, broccoli has been known to survive snowfalls!