By Jennifer Poindexter
Do you live in an area where most consider your weather unforgiving? One place that comes to mind is Arizona. Though the surroundings are beautiful, it’s a dry, hot location which makes it hard to grow many crops. At least this is what many people think.
In reality, there are quite a few herbs which grow well in Arizona and other hot, arid regions. If you’re interested in starting an herb garden in this type of location, you’re in the right place.
Here’s what you should know about which herbs grow best in Arizona and other areas with a similar climate:
How to Grow an Herb Garden in Arizona
You may grow a variety of plants in Arizona. The catch is you must consider the plants’ growing conditions, hardiness zones, and the ideal temperatures the plants need.
For instance, if you have a plant which thrives in temperatures around 70-degrees Fahrenheit, you may not grow it at the same time in Arizona as you would in other areas of the country.
Plus, it’s a good idea to provide a growing area with ample morning sunlight and heavier afternoon shade. This protects the plants during the hottest portions of the day.
Most plants can thrive in Arizona with approximately four hours of sunlight. You should also amend your soil prior to planting to ensure it’s loose enough for the roots to dig into and contains plenty of nutrients.
Finally, be sure to water your plants deeply. This encourages a stronger root system. Test the soil each day and if it’s dry to your second knuckle, it’s time to water the plant deeply again.
Take these tips into consideration as you begin an herb garden in a warmer climate, such as Arizona.
Herbs Which Grow Best in Arizona
There are quite a few herbs which grow well in Arizona. We’re going to discuss each option, their growing preferences, and hardiness zones.
Take this information and use it to help you create an ideal herb garden in Arizona:
Parsley is a flavorful herb that’s a biennial plant. In most scenarios, it’s grown as an annual. If you’d like to grow parsley, pick a location with well-draining soil and full sunlight.
Remember, in Arizona, you can get away with about four hours of sun for most plants. The soil should be rich in nutrients as well. Parsley remains hardy in planting zones four through nine and prefers temperatures between 50- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
This option might surprise you as dill is known for enjoying milder temperatures. It’s an herb you’d grow over the winter in planting zones nine through eleven as it prefers temperatures around 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
Once you’ve decided when to grow the herb, be sure to supply a location that’s evenly damp but also well-draining. This herb enjoys full sunlight and slightly acidic soil.
Tarragon is a perennial herb in planting zones four and higher. This plant thrives in temperatures that are above 32-degrees Fahrenheit but below 80-degrees Fahrenheit.
Take the temperatures into consideration when deciding the best time of year to grow this herb. Even if you’d like to grow it in the warmer seasons, be sure to provide afternoon shade. The only other thing tarragon needs is well-draining, loamy soil.
Thyme is a beautiful herb to grow, and it provides delicious flavor for your foods. If you’d like to grow this plant, be sure to supply it with sunlight and well-draining soil. Thyme is known for being drought-tolerant, so it should be able to thrive in Arizona’s climate.
You should expect thyme to remain hardy in planting zones five through nine. This plant does best in temperatures between 70- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit. In warmer climates, thyme should remain evergreen.
Lavender is another beautiful herb with colorful blooms and an enjoyable fragrance. This plant should be a great addition to your herb garden in Arizona if supplied with sunlight and well-draining soil.
Don’t feel like you need to amend the soil heavily for this plant as it’s known for thriving in lower-quality soil. Lavender should remain hardy in planting zones five through nine, and it grows best in temperatures between 60- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
You shouldn’t be surprised to see rosemary on this list as this herb is known for preferring a dryer growing location. This plant thrives with plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil. It’s wise to amend the soil where rosemary is planted.
However, this plant enjoys even moisture and time to dry fully between watering sessions. Rosemary should remain hardy in planting zones seven through ten. This herb grows optimally in temperatures between 60- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
Chamomile is an herb known for its calming properties. Many people use it as a tea to help them relax before bed at night. Even if you want an herb that you can enjoy for looks alone, the small white flowers with bright yellow centers are great for aesthetic purposes.
However, be sure to supply chamomile with nutrient-rich soil that drains adequately. Though it enjoys sunlight, this plant needs afternoon shade in a warmer climate. Chamomile is hardy in planting zones three through nine. Though this plant can thrive in temperatures below 100-degrees Fahrenheit, its ideal temperatures are around 60- to 70-degrees Fahrenheit. Use this as a guide for the best time to grow this plant.
Cilantro is a favorite of mine to grow because you get two products from one plant. As the foliage grows, you have cilantro. When the plant goes to seed, you have coriander. If you’re interested in adding cilantro to your herb garden, be sure to supply a growing location with full sunlight, well-draining soil that’s rich in nutrients, and afternoon shade in warmer climates.
Keep in mind, cilantro grows best in temperatures ranging from 50- to 85-degrees Fahrenheit and can survive temperatures as low as 10-degrees Fahrenheit. This herb is an annual and thrives in planting zones two through eleven. However, it also self-sows its seeds very easily and may return year after year in warmer planting zones.
9. Bee Balm
Bee balm is a breath-takingly beautiful and unique herb. It produces colorful blooms that are hard to miss wherever they’re planted. If you’d like to add this herb to your garden, most gardeners typically plant it from seed in either the fall or spring.
Expect bee balm to remain hardy in planting zones three through nine. This plant enjoys ample sunlight but is served well by afternoon shade in warmer climates. Provide this herb with soil that’s high in nutrients and well-draining. Bee balm thrives in temperatures at or above 45-degrees Fahrenheit.
Chives are one of my favorite herbs to grow. I love how they come back bigger, more beautiful, and with richer colors with each passing year. When growing chives, be sure to provide a growing location with full sunlight and well-draining soil.
This is an herb which can tolerate a few hours of shade each day but enjoys ample sun. However, chives will flower faster in a warm climate. They prefer temperatures around 70-degrees Fahrenheit and will flower at temperatures around 80-degrees Fahrenheit and higher. Chives remain hardy in planting zones three through nine.
Basil makes a great option for an herb garden in Arizona as this plant is only hardy in planting zones ten and eleven. Yet, it will require special care in these conditions.
When growing basil in an herb garden, be sure to select a growing location with full sunlight and nutrient-dense, well-draining soil. The soil should remain evenly and consistently damp. This plant thrives in temperatures ranging from 50- to 80-degrees Fahrenheit.
Oregano is another beautiful herb to grow as it comes back more gorgeous and abundant with each passing year. This herb is great for growing in warm growing environments.
Therefore, be sure to supply oregano with full sunlight. The soil should be well-draining, and it serves the plant well when amended. Expect oregano to remain hardy in planting zones five through ten and to thrive in temperatures between 60- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit.
Sage makes a flavorful and aesthetically pleasing addition to the herb garden. This plant will most likely be an annual in Arizona’s climate due to its higher temperatures and humidity.
Therefore, when growing sage be sure to provide an area with morning sunlight and afternoon shade. Ensure the soil is well-draining and try to grow the herb when temperatures range between 60- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
Our last herb to discuss for an Arizona herb garden is mint. This herb grows best in a container as it can become quite invasive.
It’s also wise to plant this herb where it’ll have full morning sunlight and afternoon shade. Mint prefers soil that’s high in nutrients and well-draining. However, the plant can thrive in a variety of soil types.
Mint may only work as an annual in Arizona as its hardiness zones are eight and lower. Plus, the plant will need some help with keeping the humidity up around it.
You may apply mulch around your mint plants as this helps lock in moisture and raises the humidity around your plants. Mint’s ideal temperatures are around 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
This concludes our list of plants which make good options for an herb garden in Arizona. Raising herbs may look a little different in this type of climate.
For instance, you may plant herbs in a different season in comparison to other gardeners. Plus, you may need to provide more shade and water at a great frequency.
However, if it makes growing herbs possible in this type of climate, it’s worth the added effort. Utilize these tips provided to help you grow a lush herb garden in a hot, arid climate like Arizona.