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Shade Loving Plants?

 
                    
Posts: 9
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Hi permies! I'm looking to design a garden with a few different sections, one of them being a shade gardens. Can people suggest some good plants that like shade, edible is better, that would be happy in (specifically) San Francisco's climate?

Let me know! Thanks!
 
Jeanine Gurley
pollinator
Posts: 1399
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I envy you your climate - lived there in the winters back in 73-76.

It's been a long time but I think your tender greens; pretty lettuces of different kinds would do well in a shady spot.  I am partial to buttercrunch and I like the red leafed lettuces.


  You should be able to have a nice garden all through the winter.
 
Kelly Rued
Posts: 40
Location: St. Paul, MN, USA
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I'm new to permaculture gardening in general and our shade garden (front lawn) in particular so take this with a grain of salt, but my research turned up many fruiting plants (raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, elderberries) and greens (chard, kale, lettuce) that will tolerate shade. Not thrive, but just survive and if there is at least partial sun/dappled shade, produce edibles (though at a less impressive yield than if they were in a sunnier location).

Our strategy here is to only risk planting stuff in the shade garden that we've read reports of "shade tolerance" and that we won't mind a smaller yield (a lot of berries fall into this category as the plants yield quite a lot in full sun and our own eating habits can only find so many uses for fresh berries, so a low yield just reduces opportunities to can, freeze, or make wine). Will be interesting to see how it works out.

Our shade is from a massive boulevard tree and nearby houses/ornamental trees, but all spaced so there is some "edge" sun from the east and west, and a bit of dappled sun from above. Some areas right by the house are total shade though and we're not expecting a lot of edibles from these areas (though still trying the berries/greens strategy, plus a North Line serviceberry tree, a scotch pine (nuts/pollen) on the NW corner, some junipers (berries can be used to season meat), an ornamental birch and some mushroom projects eventually).

The succession vision is for a shady forest garden, probably with some of the lower level edibles shaded out or producing very little further down the line (a decision based mostly on things we can't change like the massive ancient boulevard tree, neighbor houses, and the north-facing slope). We figure it's worth planting edibles even if they only manage a bit of productivity (but may be wrong and have to replace with more ornamental perennials that at least improve the biodiversity and create biomass, etc.). Mainly we want all the grass, hostas, and arborvitae out of there (inherited generic St. Paul landscaping when we bought the house this spring, stella d'oro daylilies and hybrid roses were the only blooming things that looked intentionally planted). Funny part is we found a few patches of volunteer raspberries in front of the daylilies and shrubs in the shadiest spot on the east side of the house (only 4' from the house, covered in shade from the neighbor's house 4' the other direction). So we know stuff will fruit there, even though it looks like it's deeply shaded during all hours of the day. Fruit-in-hand is all the proof of concept we need to put something in there, shade or sun.  
 
Jeanine Gurley
pollinator
Posts: 1399
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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You are correct about the berries - didn't think of that.  You can often find berries growing at the edge of forests up against the tree line.

Can you grow blue berries there?  In the wild I have never seen blueberries growing out in the open - always at the edge of the woods.

Here it is so hot and humid that just about everything except tomatoes can stand a little shade.

All of my peppers do better in some shade, as well as strawberries, mint, chives, carrots, parsley and more.

I just didn't think of mentioning those because your climate is a quite a bit kinder to plants than mine is.
 
                            
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different kinds of berries definitely. i have seen sometimes in august when sun is very strong it burns blackberry fruits. i would add strawberries and cucumber. maybe pumkins (but those two last need lot of water)...........
 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Probably not going to help you much, but cacao needs shade. That is where chocolate comes from. It also needs the tropical weather, which is probably going to be a problem for you.

 
Kirk Hutchison
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Alpine strawberries! I always see some small wild strawberries when I go to moist, shady forests out West.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Huckleberries produce best in the shade.
 
Saskia Symens
Posts: 120
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books forest garden trees
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Some more I got out of one of "Gaia's garden"'s lists, don't have any experience with them, I think I only listed those with edible parts:
pawpaw
Eleagnus varieties
Devil's club
Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
Bunchberry
Ginseng
Mitsuba
Mint varieties
Pink purslane
Sweet cicely
Tarragon
Watercress
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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if you are in such a warm climate a lot of things probably would grow better in a little shade then in the sun anyway..so try just about anything with a little shade..or even deeper shade even if it does say full sun..

i have a lot of things growing in shade that say they require full sun, and they bear heavily..even grapes.
 
                            
Posts: 43
Location: Pennsylvania, Zone 5B
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Solomon's seal and ostrich fern are alternative veggies for full shade that you harvest first thing in spring.
 
Guy De Pompignac
Posts: 192
Location: SW of France
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What USDA zone is your climate ?

Here is a list of plants that tolerate shade, rated 3+/5 on edibiity, and up to USDA zone 7, from PFAF :
  • [*]Aegopodium podagraria (Ground Elder) [*]Amphicarpaea bracteata (Hog Peanut) [*]Amphicarpaea edgeworthii [*]Amphicarpaea pitcheri (Hog Peanut) [*]Angelica sylvestris (Wild Angelica) [*]Anthriscus cerefolium (Chervil) [*]Apocynum cannabinum (Indian Hemp) [*]Aralia nudicaulis (Wild Sarsaparilla) [*]Aralia racemosa (American Spikenard) [*]Arisaema triphyllum (Jack In The Pulpit) [*]Asarum canadense (Snake Root) [*]Asarum caudatum (Wild Ginger) [*]Barbarea verna (Land Cress) [*]Campanula latifolia (Large Campanula) [*]Caulophyllum thalictroides (Papoose Root) [*]Claytonia perfoliata (Miner's Lettuce) [*]Claytonia sibirica (Pink Purslane) [*]Cryptotaenia japonica (Mitsuba) [*]Dentaria diphylla (Crinkleroot) [*]Galium odoratum (Sweet Woodruff) [*]Heracleum sphondylium montanum (Cow Parsnip) [*]Heracleum sphondylium sibiricum [*]Hosta longipes [*]Houttuynia cordata (Tsi) [*]Oxalis acetosella (Wood Sorrel) [*]Panax ginseng (Ginseng) [*]Petasites japonicus (Sweet Coltsfoot) [*]Podophyllum aurantiocaule [*]Podophyllum hexandrum (Himalayan May Apple) [*]Podophyllum peltatum (American Mandrake) [*]Podophyllum pleianthum [*]Podophyllum versipelle [*]Pulmonaria officinalis (Lungwort) [*]Smilacena racemosa (False Spikenard) [*]Smilacena stellata (Star-Flowered Lily Of The Valley) [*]Streptopus amplexifolius (Wild Cucumber) [*]Streptopus roseus (Scootberry) [*]Streptopus streptopoides [*]Viola labradorica (Labrador Violet)
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    Kelly Rued
    Posts: 40
    Location: St. Paul, MN, USA
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    If you have really deep shade (can be 10+ degrees cooler than surrounding sunny areas) it might be a good micro-climate for zone-stretching too. Try some edibles that are only good to zone 6, etc. and they might work well in full shade (rhubarb is a good one... very robust plant that adapts to all kinds of soil and water conditions).

    Strategy-wise, you could try planting a test bed with just one of many plants to see which ones do better. I've also seen people plant excess in shade (dozens of blueberries under a large shade tree in the case of an edible garden here in St. Paul) to compensate for lower yield per plant. I'd just avoid any plant that I don't find any reports of shade tolerance for in my zone (like researching online, people will say grapes tolerate shade but in nursery catalogs it says they need full sun... ignore the catalog and go by what people report from real gardens).
     
    John Polk
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    Posts: 7750
    Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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    Perhaps, for maximum yield, grapes need full sun.  Before mankind domesticated the grape, the wild ones, being a climbing vine, would typically grow up a tree trunk, and spread along the lower limbs.  Sounds like shade to me.
     
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