Shade tolerant berry bushes

charlieboringDecember 6, 2012

I have an area near my house that is shaded by the house and a large tree. I want to plant a shade tolerant berry bush. I need to keep it no taller than 4 feet. I am considering a cranberry bush, if I can find one that meets these requirements. If not how about a ligonberry? Any experience on this problem?

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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I'm not sure about Cranberries,but Lingonberries will stay under four feet and will grow in partial shade.The one that may be better than these is Evergreen Huckleberry.It grows biggest in shade but fruits best with some sun.It always can be pruned to the desired height. Brady

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:01PM
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Bradybb - Are the berries edible, tasty, etc?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:06PM
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I have a couple of honeyberry bushes in a real shaded area and they did just fine.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:08PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Yes they are edible.I planted one about a year ago in partial shade and it hasn't fruited yet.But I went hiking once and found some growing all around a small lake in Washington.They were quite good,like Blueberries.
I've read though,the taste can vary from tart to sweet,but mostly sweet. Brady

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:49PM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

Raspberries handle the shade very well. You can tip them in mid-summer a couple of times to keep under 4 feet.

I also hear that gooseberries do well in shade. I will plant my first ones (yes, in mostly shade) in 2013, so next year at this time I'll have more experience to share.

I don't care for lingonberries. Never tried honeyberries -- they certainly sound tasty, don't they!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 5:47PM
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Any of the ribes (including gooseberries already mentioned) or eleagnus species (goumis...) come to mind, although I can't speak from hardly any experience yet.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 5:53PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I'm not sure why they're called Honeyberries,because the ones that I've tried,including some from two plants that I'm growing are fairly tart.I did try some sweetened juice at a One Green World tasting and it was very good.I also asked what was the sweetest one they sell and Blue Mist was recommended. Brady

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 6:46PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I ordered a Crandall current for this same reason. I looked up "Excellent" for shade on Edible Landscapings plant finder and it listed Crandall. They are out so I ordered it from One Green World. (Ribes odoretum)

Here is a link that might be useful: Crandall

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:20PM
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I have a huckleberry, "thunderbird". The berries are tiny but very tasty. I'm glad I have it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:35PM
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Gooseberries, raspberries, and currants (black, white, or red) should all do fine in shade, though they're sweeter with more sun. My honey berries aren't that tasty, like very tart blueberries. My juneberries were much tastier, though the smallest bushes are still about 5' at maturity.

Crandall black currant would be a good bet, very delicious sweet berry, pretty yellow flowers in the spring (like forsythia), and red foliage in the fall. I've heard 5' tall at maturity, but you could prune a little.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 9:52PM
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These are all fine suggestions, depending on how much fruit CharlieBoring expects from one shaded, smallish bush.

The most fruit you could expect from a 4-foot evergreen huckleberry bush is two cups, in a good year. They are very tasty in baked goods, you can stretch your supply by putting them in muffins, pound cake, etc.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 11:38PM
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As far as I know, most "berry bushes" will handle some shade. Blackberries (brambles) are used to being in the forest generally speaking, same with currents and gooseberries. In fact, in warmer parts of the country theyd prefer shade of some sort.

Its just a matter of yeild. Most will yeild more in sun, but all will bear in semi shade (some more prolifically then others).

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 9:59AM
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In zone 7(depending on where you are), at least some shade - particularly in the afternoon - is almost mandatory for gooseberries/currants.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:15AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I just read on Nourse's website that Black currants produce better with 2 or more varieties. I have ordered a Crandall from One Green World. Will this need a pollinator? One Green World says currants are self-fertile.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 1:49AM
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Lingonberries are more of a ground cover than a bush. Mine (several varieties) have hardly born any berries after several years, although they have spread. The ones I did get were sour if eaten raw, but they are supposed to have great health benefits. Maybe my soil is too sandy and poor or I don't have the ph right. Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 2:24AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Any thoughts on black current pollination?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 2:19PM
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aphahn(6a CO)

Ribes odoretum is native along the front range. It is all over the place here in Westminster. You probably have some close enough to pollinize the Crandall.

Also, it seems to do fine from almost complete shade to full sun.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 12:52AM
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