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Shade-Tolerant Crops for Container Gardens

Lettuce in garden

Container vegetable gardenVegetables and herbs generally prefer sun, but some crops can tolerate shade and are good choices for balcony or patio container gardens that fall in shade most of the day.

Leafy crops are commonly the best choice for shade gardens; they crops have large surfaces for photosynthesis. Fruiting crops such as tomatoes and peppers demand sun to reach maturity and ripen and od poorly in shade.

As possible, grow crops in containers that are easily moved to a part of the garden when some sun shines part of the day.

Shade-Tolerant Crops for Containers:

  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Cress
  • Endive
  • Herbs—cilantro, oregano, parsley
  • Kale
  • Lettuce and greens
  • Mustard
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Scarlet runner beans
  • Sorrel
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Blackberries
  • Currants—red and black
  • Gooseberries
  • Raspberries


Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

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How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes

Tomatoes in pots

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Spinach plant

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