We’re frequently asked, at the Pasco Extension Office, about can be planted in the shade. The correct answer can actually vary quite a bit, depending on the extent of the shade and what you want to grow/your purpose. If you are looking to start a vegetable garden, we recommend avoiding fruiting vegetables like tomatoes and peppers as they take a lot of energy, and therefore need a lot of sunlight, to produce their crop (8+ hrs a day). Typically, leafy greens and certain herbs (like mint, parsley, rosemary, and thyme) are shade tolerant. This however, doesn’t mean that they can withstand full shade or no sun. Shade tolerance simply means that they can thrive with less than 8+ hours of sunlight a day. Growing shade-tolerant vegetables, one will still need preferably 6+ hours a day. For more information on vegetable gardening in Florida, visit http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/vh/vh02100.pdf. For more information on creating shade gardens with ornamental plants, visit https://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/gardener11/presentations/Monday/Concurrent%20Session%203/B-3%20Park%20Brown.pdf and http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep457.
E. Santiago-Gomez (Community Garden Program Assistant) and W. Elmore (Urban Horticulture Agent)