Shade-loving fruit trees and shrubs
Generally, fruiting plants do not do well in the shade. A plant has to create a lot of sugar in order produce fruits. Creating sugar is a high-energy activity that requires energy input from the sun. However, some fruiting plants are tolerant of a certain amount of shade.
Woodland edge plants can often fruit in a half day of sunlight, while others produce fewer or less-sweet fruits.
Currants and kiwis
Currants grow well in partial shade. Experts recommend the Red Lake variety of currant because of their reliable fruiting in early spring. Another shade-tolerant fruiting plant is the kiwi. Not only do kiwi vines grow well in partial shade, producing fruits and flowers, the male plant has attractive variegated hot-pink-edged leaves. Both a male and female vine are required for kiwi fruit.
- Currants grow well in partial shade.
- Both a male and female vine are required for kiwi fruit.
Gooseberries, blueberries and honeyberries
Gooseberries grow well in semi-shade, with both American and European varieties being available. Some gooseberry varieties have green fruits, while others are red. Plant gooseberries in a location that receives afternoon shade. Honeyberries (Lonicera caerulea variety edulis) prefer partial shade. A Russian native, the fruit resembles an elongated blueberry that appears in late spring. Honeyberries are related to the honeysuckle bush, and you need two plants for cross-pollination.
- Gooseberries grow well in semi-shade, with both American and European varieties being available.
- Honeyberries (Lonicera caerulea variety edulis) prefer partial shade.
Blackberries and raspberries
Blackberries and raspberries, both brambles, grow well in semi-shade and often share diseases as well. The blackberry is more aggressive of the two and will often overtake raspberries if you plant them too close together. Raspberries come in both red and black varieties. Grow raspberries between a pair of 105 cm (42 inch) trellises to increase the quantity of fruit and reduce disease with the additional air circulation. Japanese wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius) resembles a raspberry and grows and fruits well in the shade.
- Blackberries and raspberries, both brambles, grow well in semi-shade and often share diseases as well.
- Japanese wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius) resembles a raspberry and grows and fruits well in the shade.
Cooking apples and pears
With light shade, baking apples or pears can still produce fruit. Usually, the amount of fruit is less if the whole tree is in the shade, but if the tree receives at least partial sun, the fruit set may be acceptable. These fruits are unlikely to be sweet enough for eating raw, but they will be suitable for baking.
Writing fanzine-based articles since 1985, Kasandra Rose writes and edits articles for political and health blogs and TrueBloodNet.com and has an extensive technical writing background. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in biology from Wayne State University.