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Best Fruits for Partial Shade

Let’s face it, as much as we might all desire several acres of blazing sunlight to grow everything under the full face of the sun, many of us live in suburban or urban environments that present a challenge when we want to grow our own food.  

General guidelines advise that even shade tolerant varieties will only produce enough berries to be worthwhile if grown in conditions with at least 4 hours of sunlight, so keep that in mind as you plan your space.  
 
The good news is, if you get a little creative with what you’re growing, you can have a fruitful and productive garden even with some shade. Here are some great options for your partial shade spots to produce fruit and beautiful blooms: 

Consort Currant - Shade Tolerant, self-pollinating and very cold hardy, this black currant will grow 4 to 5 feet tall as an upright bush.  
 
Red Lake Currant – Alternate Red and Black currants for a beautiful hedge, our Red Lake Currant is praised by customers for being incredibly hardy and prolific producers.  
 
White Pineberry - These unique berries are shade tolerant and also make for a great ground cover. They’re often grown beneath fruit trees in permaculture guilds.  Plant alongside another strawberry variety to increase yields.  
 
Sweetheart Blueberry – Although not often found in shade tolerant round ups, because they won’t produce as much as they would in full sun, some Southern High Bush blueberries will still produce fruit in partial shade. This variety is self-pollinating but would benefit from multiple plants. 
 
Lifeberry Gogi Berry Plant Collection - If you’ve never grown a gogi, these are fun and delicious, considered a “superfruit” for their nutritional benefit. The Big Life variety is known for its extra-large berry and it’s disease and pest resistance, along with drought tolerant. You can’t pass up gogi berries if you want to grow nutritious, easy food. The plants are self-fertile, but they’ll do best in a collection like the one linked here.  
 
Gooseberry Plant Collection - Another money saving collection that is great for the shaded area of your garden is the Gooseberry. Our Pixwell and Hinnonmaki offer beautiful green and bright red fruits that guarantee proper pollination.  
 
Viking Aronia - While you can find these berries frozen as “superfoods” at Wholefoods, they’re incredibly easy to grow at home, and they’re spreading, ensuring you’ll have more than enough. This berry works to eat fresh or in smoothies, but also is known to make a good wine! 
 
Jostaberry - Cold-hardy plants are long-lived, thornless, and productive once established. Cross between a gooseberry and a currant. Produce in 2 to 3 years.   
 
Wylde Elderberry / York Elderberry - These two varieties of elderberry bushes, grown together as a pair will produce clusters of delicious, medicinal berries that aren’t affected by the presence of shade.  
 
Perfect Pawpaw Tree Collection - In the wild, Pawpaws grow as an understory tree, making it an ideal candidate for a large shade spot in your garden. Just keep in mind that these trees will grow 15 to 20 feet tall! 
 

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