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If you want to grow more food at home, but you don’t have the option for a full vegetable garden in your backyard, the lack of sun is often the biggest issue. Let’s take a look at vegetables that grow in shade! Of course, they all need at least some sunlight, but some can do well with only partial sun.

This is often the case when you grow them on your patio or balcony, in your sunroom, or even right in your kitchen. Or maybe you do have a bit of soil outside but it’s in a small, sheltered backyard?

Want to grow a garden but the only spot you have is shady, with not a lot of sun? Here are 5 shade loving vegetables that you can grow almost anywhere.

Here are some of the best vegetables that grow well with only partial shade. The images in this post, and the links to seeds for sale, come from Seeds for Generations. I am an affiliate, which means that if you purchase through my links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read about this family-run business here.


The first vegetable you can grow on your patio or in your backyard with just partial sun and partial shade is beans.

However, you need to consider what types of beans you have.

The beans that are on a vine are fine with just partial sun, where they are shaded for part of the day. These would be the ones on a trellis.

A great example of pole beans are my hands-down favourite – Rattlesnake Beans. They grow up to seven inches long and are a gorgeous speckled green and purple. Eat them fresh as a green bean, as ‘shellies’ after they mature in the pods, or dry them for a soup bean. They taste a lot like pinto beans when dried.

Image from Seeds for Generations

With the beans that are in bushes, like the beautiful Royalty Purple Pod try to give them at least 6 hours of sun per day.

Broccoli and Cauliflower

Both broccoli and cauliflower can survive with partial shade during the day.

Broccoli actually shouldn’t have full sun all day because it can ruin the flavor. What happens is that it leads to a high amount of flowering, which can decrease the taste of the vegetable. This does better with partial shade during the day, slowing the flowering process.

Cauliflower is similar to broccoli, where you want it to flower a little slower, because they are essentially the same plant (really, it’s true). Keep the sun exposure to no more than 6 hours a day.

Image from Seeds for Generations


If you want to grow greens on your patio or in the backyard in a shaded area, cabbage is your best bet.

Cabbage doesn’t want a lot of sun, as it can dry out the vegetable. This occurs when it has bigger leaves and smaller heads of cabbage, overwhelming the vegetable itself. It is ideal for a partial sun and partial shade area.

Early Jersey Wakefield is not only a tasty heirloom cabbage but, as the name indicates, it matures earlier than others.

Image from Seeds for Generations

Make this with your cabbage:

Old Fashioned Cabbage Roll Recipe Made in the Slow Cooker


Are beets a family favorite? If so, you will be happy to know you can grow them in partial shade.

Beets are actually beginner-friendly as well, so if you’re trying to grow vegetables on a patio or in a sunroom where it only gets partial sun, these are good to start with.

Choosing heirloom varieties means you get to grow classics like Bull’s Blood.

Image from Seeds for Generations

Grown a great crop and now you’re wondering how to prepare beets? Check out this post from Backyard Garden Lover!

Radishes, turnips, coriander, carrots, onions, and peas can also survive with partial shade!

You might also like:

Seasonal Produce: What is in Season and When

Growing Vegetables Indoors for Fresh Salads Year Round

How to Plant a Garden in Four Easy Steps

What is a Kitchen Garden?

Just Plain Living

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