Vegetables to Grow in the Shade

Be honest: you’ve got a shady patch of ground and you have no idea what to do with it. The good news is that even these areas can be productive – when you know what to grow.

As someone who has tried to grow all sorts of vegetables in the shadier parts of my plot over the last 5 years here are the top choices I have found…



This crunchy vegetable loves the shade and cool weather. In fact, broccoli can withstand temperatures that go down as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit! While it occasionally enjoys a small ray of sunshine every now and then, it prefers to hide in the shade.


Peas do like the sun, but they also grow pretty well in shady conditions. While they do need partial sun, they can be grown in some shade without problems. You can have your peas twisting up a trellis to help them grow better.


Just like peas, beets like the sun but can be grown in the shade as well. However, beets will take a little longer to grow in the shade. It will take them about 50-60 days to fully develop.

One thing to keep in mind when growing these roots is that they need to be in a soil that is not filled with clay. The clay soil will prevent them from growing well which can result in mediocre beets. The soil should be slightly acidic and moist.

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts love the shade. These vegetables can be planted in the early spring for a fall harvest. Brussel sprouts enjoy cool weather so if you want to grow these in the shade during the cooler months they will sprout up rapidly.

This vegetable though is one you need to make sure doesn’t get to be too hot when outdoors. If it receives too much sun and heat, it won’t grow sprouts.


Potatoes are grown in the ground, so they make great shade plants. Make sure the potatoes are growing in warm but moist soil for a successful harvest. While they like an occasional sunbeam they don’t need much of it. In fact, if the potatoes receive too much sun they can turn green, which results in poisonous potatoes.


Garlic can be grown in the late fall when the temperatures are a little chilly and there isn’t as much sunlight during the day. Well-drained soil will also help the garlic to grow successfully when in the shade.


Leafy greens like arugula adore the shade. The shade is a cool spot for them to hide in and will encourage these greens to sprout quickly. While they don’t mind the sun, arugula will end up growing out of control if introduced to large amounts of it.


Similar to arugula, spinach will grow massively if grown in direct sunlight. The shade is something that helps to prevent the spinach from getting out of control. Make sure the spot you choose to grow your spinach in has well-drained soil that is slightly mixed with some compost.

Bok Choy

This is one vegetable that absolutely thrives in partial shade and needs less than 2 hours of sun per day to thrive. Bok choy is also known as the Chinese cabbage and grows long stalks with large, delicious leaves.


Kale grows well in cool weather, such as late fall. The shade actually helps kale leaves to have a more flavorful taste. The leaves also tend to be softer than those that are grown in hot and sunny conditions.


If there’s one vegetable that grows in complete shade well it’s celery. Celery enjoys hiding in shady spots while growing in moist soil. While it does need some indirect sunlight in order to grow, it doesn’t require much of it. Celery does need some very fertile soil to grow well so be sure to mix some compost in with the dirt around it.


While it might look like broccoli, cauliflower is a completely different vegetable. Its white crunchy heads have a slightly mellower taste compared to broccoli. While these vegetables do need some sun, they can still thrive in the shade. Make sure to plant them about a foot apart from each other as they can get to be pretty big.


There are plenty of vegetables that you can grow in the shade. If you don’t have much room in your garden or are looking to grow more leafy vegetables to enjoy, you have many choices available. With these shade-loving vegetables, you won’t have to rely on the sun to help them grow which means you don’t have to worry about them being burned by the sunlight or having to water them constantly. If you’re looking for some easy vegetables to grow in a shady spot in your yard, definitely try some of the ones mentioned above.