Will Tomatoes Grow In Shade?

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Last Updated on March 29, 2022

Ideally, tomato plants thrive well under a normal condition of at least six to eight hours of sunlight every day. But what about a situation whereby you live in a zone where you hardly get sunlight, especially in your garden? Then you ask yourself: Will tomatoes grow in shade?

Well, the answer is yes! You can grow tomatoes in the shade. However, there are certain varieties of tomatoes that are shade-tolerant that you can choose to plant. This and more are what you will find out about in this article.

So if you’re asking if tomatoes will grow in shade?  Then yes, tomato plants can adjust to growing in shade but they will be more leggy. This is because of the way they try to get to where the light is. But let’s find out more.

Will Tomatoes Grow In Shade?

Certainly, tomatoes can grow in the shade even if they require direct sunlight. Tomatoes can adapt to shades. However, the plant will become leggier as they attempt to reach sunlight.

Although, growing tomatoes in full sun is the best with at least six hours of sunlight daily. However, partial shade may still be okay. Look to choose the best spot for planting your tomatoes, then the center of your garden or by a wall that is facing south will be perfect.

Furthermore, don’t plant them by a wall facing north or beneath a tree. At this point, you may still be wondering if tomatoes will grow in a shade. Planting tomatoes in a shade can still turn out great, however, do bear in mind that the yield won’t be as much as expected when they are being grown under the light.

Read more about Reasons For Wilting Tomato Plants In Pots

Tomato Varieties That Are Shade-tolerant

Tomato plants grown in the shade will not yield many fruits and the fruits won’t get ripened quickly. Hence, this is why it’s advisable to go for small varieties of tomatoes like cherry tomatoes to be grown under shade.

Going for the bigger tomato varieties can also turn out great in partial shade if it’s the ones with a shorter maturity date.

So if you’ve decided to grow tomatoes in the shade, then take cognizance to make sure that factors like nutrients, water, and airflow are in high supply. This is really important, as it will determine how healthy your tomato plants will be as well as the plants’ yield while growing in the shade.

Let’s see the list of the varieties of tomato that can be grown in the shade.

  • Classic Round Tomatoes: Carmello (Red), Arkansas Traveler (Deep Pink), Green Zebra, Siberia Red, Early Wonder (Dark Pink), Belize Pink Heart (Deep Pink), and Marglobe (Red).
  • Cherry, Grape, and Pear: Golden Sweet, Black Cherry, Ildi (Yellow), Evans Purple Pear, Juliet Hybrid (Red), Isis Candy Cherry, and Principe Borghese (Red).
  • Plum and Paste: Roma (Red), Mama Leone (Red), Redorta (Red), and San Marzano (Red).

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Will Tomatoes Grow In Shade?

Providing Good Light For Tomato Seedlings

Try providing adequate light, like a grow light, if you’re starting your tomato seeds indoors. This is because it is important they get adequate light when they are beginning to grow.

Naturally, tomato plants form roots along their stem as they grow as sprawling vine. When you want to transplant your tomato seedlings and you find out they are leggy, you should remove part of the leaves at the bottom.

Go ahead and transplant the seedling deep in the soil leaving a stem of at least two inches, with leaves, at the surface.

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Looking At The Bright Side Of Growing Tomato Plants In The Shade

Now that you have answers to your question: Will tomatoes grow in shade? So, let nothing stop you from going ahead and selecting shade-tolerant tomatoes and planting them in your shady garden.

However, if it’s not a shade-tolerant variety, you should always have fewer expectations about your plant yield. You won’t be getting as much harvest compared to when growing tomatoes in full sunlight. But growing tomatoes in the shade will still turn out well if it’s a shade-tolerant variety.

Looking At The Bright Side Of Growing Tomato Plants In The Shade

Harvesting – Will Tomatoes Grow In Shade?

If you want to know when your harvest will be ready, check the packet of your seeds for the maturity date. You should be expecting to begin harvesting your fruits after a few weeks from the maturity date.

Hence, you should boycott growing the beefsteak varieties that don’t usually get ripened quickly even if they are grown in full sun. In partial shade, medium-sized and sometimes large varieties of tomatoes will turn out well at the end with good harvests.

Growing cherry tomatoes in partial shade in addition to at least three to four hours of direct sun will turn out well at the end also.

Furthermore, always bear in mind that tomatoes grown in the shade, be it partial or full, tend to have their roots and leaves remain moist for long when watered. This is due to the fact that they have the tendency of retaining water for too long as they don’t get enough sunlight to dry them out. Hence, the plants may become prone to disease if the soil is soggy.

Hence, if you’re going to plant tomatoes in the shade, endeavor to space the plants and have them pruned. Make sure you create a channel from where there can be unhindered airflow. This will help in making the soil and leaves dry quickly.

Harvesting - Will Tomatoes Grow In Shade

Conclusion – Will Tomatoes Grow In Shade?

Exploring growing tomatoes in shade or partial shade is a way of not limiting yourself to a particular set of vegetables to grow in your shady garden.

Now that you are certain that some variety of tomato can grow in shade, go ahead and try your hands on the aforementioned varieties in this article.

Don’t forget to let us know how the journey to growing tomato plants under shade turns out at your end.


What happens if tomatoes don’t get enough sun

If you’re growing tomatoes under partial-shade, have the expectation of lesser yield and slow fruit ripening from your plants. This is due to the absence of enough sunlight for at least six to eight hours.

Can tomatoes grow without direct sunlight

Yes, tomatoes can grow without direct sunlight. If you’re starting your seeds indoors, try providing adequate light, like a grow light for the plants. This is because it is important they get adequate light at their early stage of growth.

How many hours of sun does a tomato plant need

Ideally, a tomato plant should get at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day for a bountiful yield of fruits.

Do tomato plants like morning or afternoon sun

The time when the sunlight gets to hit your tomato plants doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the plants get at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight, be it in the morning or afternoon. Your tomatoes can be grown successfully.

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