Full shade fruit shrubs/vines?

dirtslinger2(6)April 17, 2009

I've got some trellises on the north side of the house, they get no actual sunlight. I'd like to grow either vines up them, or plant anything in front of them. Just trying to hide the trellises.

Can you think of anything that won't just survive- but actually produce fruit in those conditions?

I can't find anything but gooseberries, which I already have out in full sun, doing lovely!


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mootube(UK 9 - 8b)

Magnolia Vine springs to mind. Schisandra chinensis
You'll need a male and female of these and I've never tried the fruit but it's supposed to be very good. You could try Gaultheria shallon there in acid soil. I have one in deep shade atm, never tried the berries (I may have a look in a minute) but they are said to be good also. That's all I can suggest right now, I'll have a think about it later. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 12:50PM
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homegardener2009(6b SE PA)

I have read that honeyberry grows in full shade.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:27PM
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mootube(UK 9 - 8b)

"I have read that honeyberry grows in full shade."

I usually take the PFAF website for it's word but it's sometimes a bit frustratingly vague or misleading (and that's no reflection on Ken Fern). In this case it states "It cannot grow in the shade". Not to be taken as the final word, I can imagine this plant tolerating shade very well given it's areas of origin. I find these plants infinitely interesting as a studied potential crop, it'd be a huge bonus for it if it could fruit well in the shade.

You can look up another of it's names, Haskup for a lot of North American research and even a grower's blog on early experiences with it. Two varieties that flower together would be needed for any amount of fruit.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 11:18PM
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I will look these up. Thanks for the new ideas, hadn't thought of any of these except for salal, which would work perfectly here too.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 2:40AM
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mootube(UK 9 - 8b)

I'm growing some others that may be ok with your shade, probably the best is Aronia aka chokeberry. According to Wiki, "red chokeberry is more palatable and can be eaten raw" with red and black making excellent jam and wine.
I have Mahonia aquifolium aka Oregon grape doing very well in full shade next to Leycesteria formosa plants that you might possibly want to try. The berries at best tasting pleasant like caramel depending on the individual plant. You may strike lucky and get a very good tasting berry or something you wouldn't want to eat twice.
I have several Prunus laurocerasus. Mine didn't like being under dense trees but can deal with a few hours sun a day or maybe a north wall. I've seen these sold as vase shaped 6 footers that didn't look very suitable for my confined garden, my own plants have grown more reasonably.
You may be able to grow a Berberis vulgaris and I'd say do it if you can, on a corner with a few hours sunlight if possible. It will become a large attractive shrub in a few years, loaded with Barberrys. These are pretty good when fully ripe and containing the antioxidant berberine. There was an old elusive seedless variety that has been thought missing but a specimen might turn up someday somewhere in Europe. It's thought that this seedless cultivar is the same as the Zereshk of the zereshkestan orchards of Iran, berberis grown together with saffron.It seems probable but good luck getting hold of a seedless one.
When I first started growing I cut down a huge 10 year old shrub to make room for fruit plants. It was a Berberis vulgaris I was soon to learn and I was kicking myself. Luckily I hadn't completely destroyed it and it now produces about 200 Barberries. This would've been 10,000 if I'd have left it, several thousand if I had known what it was and pruned it carefully. :( You can't win 'em all.
I might take a photo tomorrow to show how it sprung back (an invasive plant in places apparently).

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 8:26PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Some recommendations are Cornus mas, rhubarb, gooseberries, currants, and Paw Paws. I have a Holboellia but haven't seen any fruit on it, or even any flowers.

Here is a link that might be useful: fruits for shade

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:22AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

Currants, red for me, seem to do well in 1/2-3/4ths shade. I have some in full shade, but they have only just been moved there and last year they did very little more than just re-establish for me there.

I have raspberries in 1/2-3/4ths shade and they fruit ok as well.

Keep in mind though that by planting any fruiting plant in shade that you are sacrificing sugars in the ripe fruit as it is sunshine that causes the plant to make sugars in the fruit.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 6:13AM
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It is true about the sugars in the shade. I have the same variety of black currants growing in full shade, and in half shade, they taste differently.

I would also suggest: pawpaws, black currants, red currants, gooseberries, honeyberry (which doesn't taste like honey at all), rhubarb, french sorrel, stinging nettle (yes, it stings, but is very nutritious, and preserves bright green color after steaming)!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 4:38PM
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George Three LLC

you could try rubus spectabilis- salmonberry. it will fruit better in partial shade. but i've seen it in the woods under some pretty heavy shade!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 6:10PM
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irisaddict(6b/7 TN)

My chinaberry/wineberry raspberry relative is going crazy with just morning sun.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 11:46AM
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The first entry here mentions some fruit types, specifically "Turner Shade" pear, which I know is listed in one of the Seed-Saver books on fruits available by mail-order. I "googled" ["Turner Shade" pear] to find this mention. I have never encountered anyone who has grown it. It is supposedly selected from North Carolina, I recall from the book. I


    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 8:52PM
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Here are a few more from Google Books.

Here is a link that might be useful: Designing & Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Natuarlly

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 12:46AM
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Hi all. I am usually over on the rose forums, but have lately become very interested in vegetable and fruit growing too. I have read that you shouldn't plant a red raspberry next to a black one, due to possible virus transmission. My question is this: can I plant red raspberries near a blackberry plant? Will one harm the other? Thanks in advance,

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 1:35PM
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I'm sorry, I have NO idea how my message ended up in this post...must have hit the wrong key or something!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 10:37PM
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