If you only have a shady spot in your garden in which to grow fruit, don’t worry – many fruit-bearing bushes, including gooseberries and blackcurrants, grow and crop well in partial shade, particularly during warm summers.
Find out more about the different types of shade.
The harvest might be a little smaller and less sweet than on plants in a sunny location, but still delicious enough to make growing them worthwhile.
Find out more about fruit crops for shade, below.
Acid cherries fare best in shady plots as they don’t need the sun to sweeten them. They look great trained on a north-facing wall, with their spring blossom, glossy fruits and colourful autumn foliage. ‘Morello‘ is the most widely sold. Watch our video guide to planting a cherry tree. If you have a small space or balcony, cherries are available as dwarf fruit trees.
This easy shrub will grow in many types of soil and can cope with shade. Strong-growing culinary varieties such as ‘Invicta’ and ‘Greenfinch’ do well. Dessert varieties will crop in shade but may be less sweet than when grown in sun. Read our gooseberry Grow Guide.
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. Discover how to plant rhubarb.
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 a thornless variety such as ‘Loch Ness’ or ‘Helen’. Read our blackberry Grow Guide.
These plants are easy to grow and produce a heavy crop of glossy currants that are rich in vitamin C. Plants tolerate light shade and can be grown in the ground or in pots. Prolific croppers include ‘Ben Connan’ and ‘Ben Hope’. Find out how to grow blackcurrants.
Most varieties of raspberry will give a useful harvest in a shady spot and are low maintenance. Try ‘Malling Jewel’ (early fruiting), ‘Glen Magna’ (late), ‘Octavia’ (very late) and ‘Autumn Bliss’ (autumn). Find out more in our raspberry Grow Guide.
Pears do need some sun, but they’ll crop in partial shade. Early varieties such as ‘Beth’ should be fine in a west-facing spot, where they’ll get a few hours of sun in the afternoon. Once a pear tree is established, it should need little care.
Redcurrants and whitecurrants
Redcurrants will give a good crop, even trained onto a north-facing wall. They’re related to blackcurrants, but can be grown like gooseberries, in partial shade. The fruit tastes sweeter when grown in sun. ‘Rovada’ and ‘White Grape’ are good choices.
Culinary varieties such as ‘Czar’ are your best option and can be grown in spots that get morning sun and afternoon shade. They like moist soil, but hate ground that is too wet. They should ideally be planted as a bare-root tree, when dormant.
Alpine strawberries such as ‘Alexandria’ are much tougher than normal strawberries and will grow in shade. They are low maintenance and need little care once planted. Grow several plants for a good crop.
Looking to grow veg in a shady spot? Discover the 10 best vegetable crops for shade.