Growth Requirements for Common Herbs

Different herbs have different growth requirements to flourish. The growing environment that will cause one herb to grow plentiful for you will cause another to languish. The table below will help you find the right spot for the right herb.

HERB LIGHT SOIL HEIGHT PROPAGATION HARDINESS
Angelica
Angelica archangelica

  • Biennial
  • Best in cool climates
Light shade Moist soil 72 inches Seed in fall Hardy
Anise
Pimpinella anisum

  • Annual
  • Alkaline soil
Bright Well drained 18 to 24 inches Seed in spring Half hardy
Basil, sweet
Ocimum basilicum

  • Annual
  • Excellent for pots.
Bright Moist soil 18 inches Seed in spring Tender
Bay, sweet
Laurus nobilis

  • Woody perennial
  • For containers.
  • Topiary.
Light shade Well drained 48+ inches Cuttings Tender
Borage
Borago officinalis

  • Annual
  • Often self-Seeds.
Bright Dry soil 24 to 36 inches Seed in spring Hardy annual
Caraway
Carum carvi

  • Biennial
  • Thin seedlings to eight inches.
Bright Well drained 30 inches Seed in spring
Seed in fall
Hardy
Catnip
Nepeta cataria

  • Perennial
  • Cut back in autumn.
Bright Light shade
Well drained
36 inches Seed in spring
Division
Cuttings
Hardy
Chervil
Anthriscus cerefolium

  • Annual
  • Sow early, will self-seed
Light shade Well drained 24 inches Seed in spring Hardy annual
Chives
Allium schoenoprasum

  • Perennial
  • Can be grown indoors
Shade
Light shade
Dry soil 10 inches Seed in spring
Division
Hardy
Cicely, sweet
Myrrhis odorata

  • Perennial
  • Space two feet apart.
Light shade Rich 36 to 48 inches Seed in fall Hardy
Comfrey
Symphytum officinale

  • Perennial
  • Neutral pH, high fertility.
Bright Rich 36 to 48 inches Division Hardy
Coriander
Coriander sativum

  • Annual
  • Space plants eight inches apart.
Bright Rich
Well drained
24 inches Seed in spring Hardy annual
Dill
Anethum graveolens

  • Annual
  • Do not plant with fennel.
Bright Rich
Well drained
24 to 36 inches Seed in spring Hardy annual
Fennel, sweet
Foeniculum dulce

  • Perennial
  • Less vigor in clay soils.
Bright Well drained 48 to 72 inches Seed in spring,
Division
Hardy
Horehound
Marrubium vulgare

  • Perennial
  • Alkaline soils
Bright Dry soil 24 inches Seed in spring
Division
Cuttings
Hardy
Hyssop
Hyssopus officinalis

  • Perennial
  • Cut back in spring.
Bright Dry soil 24 inches Seed in spring
Division
Cuttings
Hardy
Lavender
Lavandula angustifolia

  • Perennial
  • Evergreen
  • May winter-kill
Bright Dry soil 18 to 24 inches Seed in fall
Cuttings
Hardy
Lemon Balm
Melissa officinalis

  • Perennial
  • Can be grown indoors, Weedy
Bright
Light shade
Moist soil 18 to 24 inches Seed in spring
Division
Cuttings
Hardy
Lemon Verbena
Aloysia Triphylla

  • Woody perennial
  • Rarely survives winter
  • Good indoors
Bright
Light shade
Well drained 48+ inches Seed in spring
Cuttings
Half hardy
Lovage
Levisticum officinale

  • Perennial
  • Self-seeds
Bright
Light shade
Rich
Moist soil
36 to 60 inches Seed in fall Hardy
Marjoram, sweet
Origanum majorana

  • Perennial
  • Grow in pots
  • Sow seeds as annual
Bright
Light shade
Rich
Well drained
8 to 12 inches Seed in spring
Cuttings
Half hardy
Myrtle
Myrtus communis

  • Woody perennial
  • Evergreen
  • For large containers
Bright Well drained 60+ inches Cuttings Tender
Oregano
Origanum vulgare

  • Perennial
  • Cut back in late fall
Bright
Light shade
Well drained 18 to 24 inches Seed in spring
Division
Cuttings
Hardy
Parsley
Petroselinum crispum

  • Biennial
  • Often self-seeds
Bright
Light shade
Rich
Moist soil
6 to 10 inches Seed in spring Half hardy
Peppermint
Mentha piperita

  • Perennial
  • Spreads easily
  • Good indoors
Bright
Light shade
Moist soil 12 to 24 inches Division
Cuttings
Hardy
Rosemary
Rosemarinus officinalis

  • Woody perennial
  • Alkaline soil
  • Good in pots
Bright Dry soil
Well drained
36 inches Cuttings Tender
Sage
Salvia officinalis

  • Woody perennial
  • Replace plants every five years
Bright Dry soil
Well drained
24 to 36 inches Seed in spring
Cuttings
Hardy
Sage, pineapple
Salvia elegans

  • Perennial
  • Good indoors
Bright Well drained 24 to 48 inches Seed in spring
Cuttings
Half hardy
Savory, summer
Satureja hortensis

  • Annual
  • Trim back during season
Bright Rich 18 inches Seed in spring Half hardy
Savory, winter
Satureja montana

  • Woody perennial
  • Alkaline soil
Bright Well drained 24 inches Seed in fall
Division
Cuttings
Hardy
Spearmint
Mentha spicata

  • Perennial
  • Spreads easily
  • Good indoors
Bright
Light shade
Moist soil 18 inches Division
Cuttings
Hardy
Tarragon
Artemisia dracunculus

  • Perennial
  • Needs winter protection
Bright Rich
Dry soil
24 inches Division
Cuttings
Hardy
Thyme
Thymus vulgaris

  • Woody perennial
  • Evergreen
  • Grows indoors
Bright Dry soil 6 to 10 inches Seed in spring
Division
Cuttings
Hardy
Woodruff, sweet
Asperula odorata

  • Perennial
  • Good groundcover
Shade
Light shade
Moist soil 6 to 8 inches Division
Cuttings
Hardy

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