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Fruit crops for shade

Many fruit-bearing plants grow and crop well in partial shade, particularly during warm summers. The harvest might be a little smaller and less sweet than on plants in a sunny location, but still delicious enough to make them worthwhile. And some tree fruits, such as early cooking apples and 'Morello' cherries, don't need sun to sweeten them, so are an ideal choice.

Find out more about fruit crops for shade, below.


Acid cherries fare best in shady plots, and look great trained on a north-facing wall with their spring blossom and glossy fruits. 'Morello' is the most widely sold.



Plant vigorous disease-resistant culinary varieties such as 'Invicta' and 'Greenfinch'. Dessert varieties will crop in shade but may be less sweet than when grown in sun.


Rhubarb is a useful, trouble-free and good-looking crop for a shady spot. Vigorous early varieties such as 'Timperley Early', 'Stockbridge Arrow' or the ever-popular 'Victoria' will fare best. Plant in soil that has been enriched with well-rotted manure.


The best soft fruit for shade, blackberries can be trained against a wall or fence. Cultivated varieties give bigger, earlier fruit than wild plants. Try thornless 'Loch Ness' or 'Helen'.

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Talkback: Fruit crops for shade
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DianaW 30/05/2014 at 12:31

It's not true to say that morello cherries don't need sun to sweeten them. I've grown them for many years and they're only any good in a sunny summer, when they turn nearly black. When red, they're completely inedible.

Dovefromabove 30/05/2014 at 12:49

Morello cherries are an acid or sour cherry,  traditionally grown primarily for culinary use, in bottling, pie filling, preserving etc.  They are supposed to have a sour taste when uncooked.  I've always found that they perform really well espaliered on a north-facing wall.