Best Herbs and Edibles for Shade
Many of my clients have the idea that food has to be in isolated beds. This is only true if you use chemicals. If you’re organic, food can be EVERYWHERE!
The garden below is all edible. The seed puffs are bolted lettuce that will reseed for me next winter. This edible bed consists of rainbow chard, kale, mint, bee balm, lettuce, plum and pomegranate trees.
Cilantro while seasonal will reseed and return every winter and go to sleep once it reaches the 90’s. Entity- while you can and allow the seeds to spread wildly.
Mint, while invasive in some cases, it’s easily maintained in divided beds and pots. It makes an excellent shade ground cover and is edible, deer resistant and typically evergreen.
Lemon Balm is both beautiful and edible. It is a low mounding plant that I has beautiful texture and lavender flowers. Extremely fragrant, edible and medicinal.
Chives and Garlic both thrive in shade beds and produce lavender flowers to boot.
Onions, like garlic and chives are part of the allium family. They love shade and part sun and produce huge white flower balls.
Lemon Grass is a mosquito repellent and the root is excellent in tea and soups.
Parsley is a health bomb for gut and digestive issues and swallow tail caterpillars are also big fans!
Dill weed is edible from leaves to flower and make great additions to part sun and shady gardens. The Swallowtails will gobble them up, so plant a few!
Lettuce, while seasonal will last much longer in morning sun and afternoon shade. Allow it to go to seed for free lettuce next year.
Rainbow Chard is as beautiful as it is delicious and when planted in afternoon shade is also an evergreen plant.
Kale is another power house food that many don’t realize do beautifully in a low water, part shade garden. Typically perennial unless it’s too cold, this is a gift that keeps on giving.
Savory Sage is a culinary sage that really doesn’t enjoy our heat the way it’s inedible cousins do. Try them as ground cover in morning sun and you might be surprised by the results.
Thyme of all kinds is edible and flowering like all of these plants. Many don’t realize that all herbs flower in the right setting.
Bee Balm is as beautiful as it is medicinal and edible.
Citronella, both leaves and flower are edible. While we may think of mosquito spray, (and you’d be right) we don’t often realize it’s also a member of the geranium family.
Oregano is another edible plant that enjoys a little shade. While some varieties can definitely take full sun, others prefer a reprieve from the afternoon heat.
Chili Pequin is a shade loving pepper plant that really packs a punch. Small white flowers and tiny red peppers that will heat up anything you add them to. Proof that big heat comes in small packages.
This is my vegetable bed, not what you might think of, but that’s what makes it so special. Another great aspect of this list of plants is that they’re xerophytic once established, as well as disease and pest resistant.
These are my herbs….which just happen to include a Methley Plum tree for afternoon shade.
Now that you’re feeling inspired, try something new this fall and see the wonders of edible diversity in the landscape. If you’d like help designing your edible space, contact me for an in person or online Educational Consultation or complete Landscape Design for anyone in hardiness zone 8a/b.
Lisa’s Landscape and Design
“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”