[NAFEX] fruits that do well in the shade

Scott Smith scott at cs.jhu.edu
Wed Nov 7 15:31:39 EST 2007

I have also been trying various fruits in the shade and have had hit- 
and-miss results.  It is hard to accumulate data because there is a  
big difference between dappled shade and deep shade, and also between  
one hour and three hours direct sun.  All of which change as the  
seasons progress.

Pawpaws, in one hour direct sun, but not in deep shade: these guys  
are doing great.  The fruit volume is somewhat less than full sun I  
expect, but the space could not grow fruit otherwise.

Blackberries: I have found a significant difference in the different  
kinds of blackberries I have tried.
Triple Crown blackberry in four hours of direct sun: great but less  
yield than full sun
  - in two hours direct sun and quite shaded at times: light yield  
but healthy
  - in one hour or less sun and quite deeply shaded: not much yield  
at all but still growing
Marionberry in 3 hours direct sun: reasonable growth and yield
  - in an hour or two of sun: too little growth and hardly any yield;  
worse than Triple Crown
Loganberry: not doing well at all in a spot with 2-3 hours of sun per  
day: no vigor.
Tayberry: these guys are more shade-tolerant than all of the above,  
they are doing well in a spot that gets maybe only two hours of  
direct sun per day.

I also have had good luck with raspberries in shaded spots.  I have a  
row of Carolines right north of a huge oak tree so you can imagine  
how little sun they are getting (1-2 hours per day if that).  They  
are doing very well.  Some Heritage vines in an area with more sun  
than that are growing well but are producing tiny berries, I'm not  
sure why.  I thinned out nearly all of the canes this year to see if  
that was the problem but no luck.  It  could be due to the soil or  
water level at their location, not the variety.  Some Taylors did  
pretty well but were getting too many rots on the berries so I pulled  

I tried to grow gooseberries and currants in an area with around two  
hours of sun per day but had little luck.  This may be due to the  
soil at the location however.

Medlars are growing very well for me with around four hours of direct  

Kiwis (arguta, deliciosa, and chinensis) are doing very well in an  
area with 3-4 hours of sun per day.  I am glad there is shade there  
to keep the vigor down.  I am still getting big crops.

Before I knew better I planted some apples in areas with 2-3 hours of  
sun per day.   After I learned that was no good I kept them in anyway  
just to see what would happen.  After six years they are still  
healthy but no fruit.


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