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Thread: Useful plants that don't need a lot of sun

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    Useful plants that don't need a lot of sun

    Hello, everyone,

    I dabbled in gardening a few years ago. I had success with mint, catnip, cilantro, and cherry tomatoes. Whenever I have a house with a yard, I would like to grow most of my produce. Food is tastier when you grow it yourself.

    Right now I have a problem. I live in a teeny apartment with a porch that faces north, and my green thumb is itching. Unless I am mistaken, the plants I grew in the past need a lot of sun. I have heard of ways to increase the amount of sun plants get, such as putting aluminum foil around them to reflect sunlight. But I am skeptical.

    What are some useful plants I can grow in the shade? I have heard aloe vera is pretty durable. Are there any others? I am interested in useful plants. Things I could eat. I am also interested in plants that would be beneficial to a future garden, such as flowers that attract beneficial insects.

    Thanks for your help!

    PoK

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    Moderator Gulfcoaster's Avatar
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    Nasturtium are annual plants that do well in bright shade (from my experience) and are edible flowers (add them to salads) and come in a variety of colors. They do well in containers as well. Many varieties do well planted in late summer or fall too. I don't know what your climate is so just google for different types that would do well in your zone. Very pretty flowers and hummingbirds love them. Good luck!
    ."There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies..."
    ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King from his sermon on "Loving Your Enemies"

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    I have a spot in my downstairs bathroom the window exposes it to bright shade and i want dont want something edible is there any type of small plant that will work well there and also low maintenance?
    History is the fiction we invent to persuade ourselves that events are knowable and that life has order and direction..... CALVIN

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    Moderator Gulfcoaster's Avatar
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    djjustice24, Just for clarification, you want an indoor plant in your bathroom that gets bright shade? And you don't want it edible right? If that's the case, African Violets are perfect for that type of environment. You just water them once a week sparingly (never overwater) where the plant actually dries out between waterings. Also a tip is to get an African Violet planter, where it has an opening at the bottom of the planter to add the water so only the roots get the water. Then I add a diluted regular Miracle Grow mixture every six months. I have all types of African Violets. Direct sun will burn the leaves. Use potting mixture with a little peat moss mixed in if you can.
    ."There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies..."
    ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King from his sermon on "Loving Your Enemies"

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    PoK, here is just one link I found: http://lifeonthebalcony.com/edible-p...shady-balcony/ when I looked for "edible plants that grow in shade."
    djjustice24, I have fairly successfully grown philodendrons in the bathroom.
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    Our house runs east/west and faces south, but the north side gets better light because there's no porch overhang and such. My pothos are actually mostly in the dimmer rooms and are thriving (other than the lime green one that loves bright light). I think you'd be fine with most anything that doesn't need full direct sun; we've even put tomatoes on our north porch before and they've been fine (they got some direct sun in the late afternoon, but that was it). I've also had mint plants in fairly shady areas, and they did quite well (but then again, it's mint...the evil twin of kudzu).
    Anise hyssop and bee balm are both plants that butterflies etc love and that you can use to make tea and such. Salvia is great for them as well but I don't think it's edible (I have one type that loves the shade and one that loves full afternoon sun; there are lots of different types!). You can also use something like the beesmart app (http://pollinator.org/beesmartapp.htm) to look for plants that'd do well in your area that bees and such are attracted to.
    Have fun with it!

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    Perhaps I will try some mint. I love mint, even if it is evil.

    Thanks for the advice!

    PoK

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    Alpine strawberries might be worth a try. The eight plants that I have in individual containers seem to really enjoy dappled shade.

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    Not sure if I'm permitted to post links here, but there's a UK site called verticalveg, which has loads of info on growing in containers. It also has info on growing in shady areas.

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  18. #10
    Hi all - I'm new to TurkerNation, and what fun to find a gardening group! We removed 3 large trees in the autumn, so waiting to see what kind of sun I have in the spring!

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