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What veggies grow well in very little light? Answered

I am moving into an appartment with a decent sized patio, where hanging plants would be spectacular, if it weren't for the fact that we are on the bottom floor, and facing north. there is almost no light throughout the day. Does anyone know any fruits or veggies, or heck, even herbs, that grow in next to no light?



Best Answer 9 years ago

I have the same problem as you, I get absolutely no direct light. I've grown tomatoes (you will need to buy them as seedlings, rather then trying to grow them from seed ), the yield is very low and the plant gets really tall trying to find light. I've also tried leaf lettuce, in a container, again using seedlings and they've done Ok, again they don't get very big. As for herbs I've tried sage, parsley, chives, and mint which did fine. Basil did not do to well.

I think the key is that you probably wouldn't be able to grow them from seed, either buy them from the nursery as seedlings (the bigger the better), or start the seeds indoors with artificial lighting. Also you won't get a large yield, though I was just happy that I did get some tomatoes out of my plant. I figure it can't hurt to try (as long as you don't spend too much money on them.)

Here's a link on vegetable that can grow in the shade.

Good luck!

Awesome link! I can't believe I never found that one myself. Very handy, indeed.


8 years ago

In addition to growing "winter" crops, grow "shade" crops that do well in rainy climates. Most herbs, spinach, broccoli, etc. will do well. You definitely want to buy your plants and not try to plant from seed. To increase your light, rather than spend the electricity for grow lights, use reflectors such as foil, shiny metal, mirrors, space blankets, reflective windshield covers, etc.  to redirect any light into your growing area. This might be on the balcony door side of your plants, if you cannot put anything in your "yard".  You can use your creativity to make them beautiful, perhaps as art or as a folding screen with some cutouts or decoration/designs on it. If you use mirrors, make sure that they don't create hot spots. It's rare, but some mirrors can sometimes concentrate the light similar to starting a fire with a magnifying glass.  If you do use grow lights, protect them from rain and place them very close to the plant. If your building doesn't have rules against it, plant attractive window boxes with a mixture of edible flowers, herbs and greens and hang them on the outside of your railing.

Trouble is plants use light to store energy into those veggies. Low light = less veggitastic.

Most vegetables want at least 2 hours of direct sun/day. I can't suggest any off top of my head :(

Someone prove me wrong, as I hate bad news!

Your could also give mushrooms a shot, since they actually require a space that's darker than most other plants.

What you could do is create light. If it's a patio, you could put in some lighting that would simulate sunlight. They're typically called grow lights and this article explains more about them. I don't know the layout of your patio, but I'm sure you could easily modify it with grow lights.