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 what fruits do well in shade? 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post what fruits do well in shade?
So I basically went insane with planting fruit trees and bushes this year and took up most of the ideally sunny spots in my yard (wasn't difficult). I'm not completely satisfied yet, I want to keep diversifying my fruits, but I mainly have partial sun to shady areas left to choose from. Are there any fruit bushes or small trees that do well in shade? I already have a black lace elderberry and serviceberry. I've heard that Oregon grape holly does well in partial sun to shade. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!


Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:21 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1314
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: what fruits do well in shade?
hardy kiwi loves to have its roots in shade and climb into the sun. Very rewarding plant once established. you will need male and female.

I like to grow things between the full sun plants, like blueberries, huckleberries, currants, and gooseberries (as well as kiwis) which aren't from the rose subfamily and so diversify the garden as well as provide fruit in the shade.

Paw paws and pie cherries also produce pretty well in the shade.
John S
PDX OR


Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:45 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:01 pm
Posts: 19
Post Re: what fruits do well in shade?
My raspberries have taken off like gangbusters in mostly shade. Extremely vigorous even in poor unwatered soil. And they taste far better than supermarket types.


Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:34 am
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 411
Location: SW Washington
Post Re: what fruits do well in shade?
Evergreen huckleberries prefer shade.
Aronia are supposed to do pretty well without full sun.
Honeyberry or haskap.
Some wilds like salal, salmonberry, thimbleberry do great in shade.
Pawpaw will grow and be healthy in shade, won't produce as well as in sun.


Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:58 am
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post Re: what fruits do well in shade?
Thanks for all of the quick responses, this forum is amazing. I may try moving my raspberries into the shade so they don't take over my strawberries. I wasn't aware that they would be fine in shade. I think I'll also try aronia, gooseberry and huckleberry as well. I have a lot of shade along one side of my fence so I can plant them in a row. I should be getting a paw paw pretty soon, but I have a sunny spot to plant it in-thanks to voles for killing one of my nanking cherry bushes.


Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:35 am
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 411
Location: SW Washington
Post Re: what fruits do well in shade?
Most pawpaws are self-incompatible so you will need at least two (I've heard that Sunflower may be at least partially self-fertile). Also, they require shade the first couple of years. If you're running out of space in the sun you might as well plant a couple of pawpaws in the shadier area.

I'm certain you will come up with other must haves in the future that will require full sun so why not save a spot?


Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:30 am
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post Re: what fruits do well in shade?
Thanks for the tip on the paw paws. I'm not sure what variety I'm getting actually. I'm digging up a seedling from my parent's house. They aren't sure what cultivar it is, but their nearly-mature paw paw starting fruiting last year, so it may be a sunflower. Do paw paws actually send up suckers? There seem to be a lot of them sprouting up in my parent's garden but we're not sure if it's from seeds or what. And have you planted any Oregon grape holly? They seem enticing and I've heard they can grow and still set fruit like crazy in partial shade. I'm not worried about the thorns they produce, I just want to see what experienced gardeners have to say about the bushes.


Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:48 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 411
Location: SW Washington
Post Re: what fruits do well in shade?
I've only tasted Oregon grape once, and they were from the landscaping plantings at work, but it was probably the least palatable edible berry I can remember tasting (and I like ripe aronia and black currants off the bush). That said, they seem to really thrive around here.

If your pawpaw is a seedling then it is not a cultivar, by definition (unless it is truly remarkable and you propagate it as such). So it is very unlikely to be self fruitful.

Are you saying your parents have one pawpaw variety planted and you are going to dig up one of the surrounding trees, not sure whether it is a sucker or a seedling?

Yes, pawpaws do sucker. Pawpaws are also notoriously difficult to transplant. I believe the suggested optimal timing for transplant is in the spring when they have just started breaking dormancy. If they have a bunch of unwanted suckers you might try several near each other in the hopes that one or more survives the transplant.

If your parent's tree is grafted, then the suckers will be from the root stock and have different genes than the fruiting portion of the tree. It will be very unlikely to be self-fertile and will not have the same fruit as the parent. Similar story if what you dig up is a seedling from that tree (meaning grown from seed).

If your parents tree was grown from a cutting, layer or other means of asexual propagation (including sucker from one of those) then a sucker from it will be genetically identical to it.

Please accept my apologies if you already know all of this, I don't mean to be condescending. At least it may be helpful information to somebody else.

One more thing. When I know I will be transplanting a sucker in the future, I like to come in well ahead of time before a period of anticipated mild moist weather (like early spring or early fall) and plunge a sharp spade into the ground between the sucker and the tree from which it came. I do that at a distance from the sucker just a little closer than I want to start digging when it comes time to transplant.

The reasoning is to give it a chance to adapt to being on its own and grow some more roots to come with it before it has to go through the trauma of transplant. Allowing the remaining roots to stay undisturbed, and doing this when there isn't heat and water stress should increase the odds of successful transplant and give it a better shot.

P.S. I just noticed that you are in Ohio. I don't know your climate. Here in Oregon/SW Washington we have long, mild, wet springs and fall/winter In fact it is 7-9 months of a blurry rainy season with a few freezing days in the middle.


Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:27 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1314
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: what fruits do well in shade?
Oregon grape has no thorns. It's leaves are like those of holly. I'm amazed at people in England growing it as a food crop. As Jafar said, it's very very sour, full of seeds, and just barely edible. I grow it because it is a native plant, it's pretty and I want it to attract beneficial insects. I eat just a tiny bit of it for food diversity, but I wouldn't buy it thinking I was getting good food.
John S
PDX OR


Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:18 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post Re: what fruits do well in shade?
No offense taken, Jafar, you've pegged me correctly. I'm basically a rookie when it comes to growing anything, but I'm reading as much as I can. HOS has been a huge resource for me since you're all so knowledgeable, especially when it comes to fruits. As you saw, I'm in Ohio (central to be specific) and my hardiness zone is 6b technically. I can probably grow most of the fruits that can be grown in your general area, but I've tended to plant things that grow well in zones 5 and lesser just to be safe. I wish I had the climate of the Willamette Valley since it seems to be perfect for growing a huge variety of fruits, but I get some pretty harsh winters here.

As far as my parents paw paw tree goes, I'm assuming they have a grafted tree and the suckers, like you said, would be more similar to the rootstock it was grafted onto. Too many nurseries do not specify which cultivar some of their plants and trees are, and unfortunately the one they bought the paw paw from was one of those. I'll take your advice though and wait until next Spring and dig up several just to make sure at least one survives.

Thanks for the warning about grape holly also, I wasn't aware they weren't very palatable. That might be one I'll save as a last resort. I'm looking forward to planting the fruits you've both mentioned next Spring. Fall and Winter just need to come and go quickly!


Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:07 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 411
Location: SW Washington
Post Re: what fruits do well in shade?
sohappy,

Usually when there is no variety name on the tree when its bought, its because it is a seedling (not grafted). If that is the case with your parents tree, and if it is the only pawpaw around, then there is a decent chance that the suckers are going to produce the same fruit and also be self fertile.

Have you had fruit from the tree?


Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:00 am
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post Re: what fruits do well in shade?
Ok, that would be good news if it is self-fruitful. I haven't had a chance to get any of the fruit yet. Last year it only produced a few fruits and squirrels or some other animal ate them. This year there are only three fruits, so it doesn't seem to be a big producer, but I hope I can try one soon.


Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:54 am
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