What’s more satisfying than growing your own herb garden? With this list of herbs, you’ll have plenty of choices. Whether you have a large space or just a few pots on a patio, growing a crop of herbs like basil, oregano or thyme to harvest gives a feeling of accomplishment. Once you’ve mastered the basic herbs, try the more exotic types.
Here’s our comprehensive list of herbs to choose from! Did we leave anything out? Leave a comment and let us know, so we can add it.
It’s technically a succulent and can be grown as a houseplant, but the juice and gel from the aloe vera plant’s leaves can be used as an herbal remedy to soothe sunburns and other minor skin irritations so it made the list. It is also used by some to relieve mild stomach irritation, to treat acne, to relieve the symptoms of eczema, and even to stimulate hair growth. Learn to grow aloe vera.
Angelica (wild celery)
Angelica has been cultivated as an herb and medicinal plant for centuries, and achieved popularity in Scandinavia as far back as the 12th century. Roots, fruits and stems are all useful. Learn more.
Anise has a licorice taste and can be eaten whole or dried and ground to flavor foods or help with digestion. Learn more.
Aralia racemosa, American spikenard root, is native in the Eastern United States. The root of Aralia is often used in teas and tonics with a balsamic flavor. The root is harvested in the late summer and can be dried to preserve. With Aralia in the Ginseng Family, it has similar effects as ginseng root. American spikenard is also used to make a poultice for rheumatism and eczema. Learn more about aralia.
Arnica montana, also known as wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane, mountain tobacco and mountain arnica is considered toxic if ingested, and is typically used topically as an herb. It is a European flowering plant in the sunflower family.
Astragalus propinquus or Astragalus membranaceus, commonly known as Mongolian milkvetch or Huáng Qí. An herb used in traditional Chinese medicine. The dried root is used medicinally. It is also known as an adaptogen.
Basil’s name is derived from the Greek word meaning royal. Over 100 varieties of basil have been identified, although not all of these are culinary. You can select and plant a large assortment of Basil with leaves ranging from small to large and red to purple and taste of cinnamon to lemon. Basil is considered a nutrient dense herb with benefits of flavonoids, antibacterial properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and Vitamins A, K, and C. Read more about growing basil.
Bay is also called laurel leaf or sweet bay. The leaf is from a perennial shrub that grows well in a container. Whole leaf is used in cooking or teas. Commonly used in French, Spanish, Italian, and Creole dishes, including soups, stews, sauces and pickling brines. Historically, the Bay tree is a symbol of honor. Leaves were often used in head wreaths in Greek and Roman mythology. Learn more about growing bay.
Bayberry has a medium salt tolerance, and grows well in sandy, well-drained soils. The berries have been used in candle making, the leaves to flavor meats and stews, and the dried root made into powders. Learn more about growing bayberry varieties. Bayberry is also called Wax Myrtle.
Bee balm (also known as Oswego tea, horsemint and bergamot) is a member of the mint family. It grows best in full sun and has red, white, pink lilac or purple flowers. Bee balm is a perennial and is known to attract pollinators to the garden. Read more about growing bee balm here.
Borage grows to two feet tall and incorporates well in flower, vegetable, and herb gardens. Use Borage in the vegetable garden to attract pollinators and repel hornworms around tomatoes. The leaves and flowers are edible. Medicinally, borage is used as an anti-inflammatory. Learn how to grow borage.
Burnet is an herb native to western, central and southern Europe; northwest Africa and southwest Western Asia; and also commonly grown and spread throughout North America.
The herb is used as an ingredient in both salads and dressings, having a flavor like cucumber. Learn more about how to grow burnet.
Can be eaten whole, but bay leaves are pungent and have a sharp, bitter taste. As with many herbs and spices, the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable than its taste. When dried, the fragrance is herbal, slightly floral, and somewhat similar to oregano and thyme. Learn more about California bay.
Calamint plants are native to the UK and have thick stems and are bushy herbs that spread from rhizomes. The leaves are textured with hairy or fuzzy foliage. Learn more about growing calamint.
Calendula has yellow and orange edible flowers. Learn to grow calendula.
Caraway is a biennial herb native to Europe and Western Asia. Caraway roots and seeds are edible. Often licorice flavored seeds are used in sauerkrauts, breads, soups, sauces, and pickles. Roots can be boiled and eaten. Medicinally, Caraway is used to help treat rheumatism, eye infections and toothaches. Learn more about growing caraway.
Member of the mint family, and like other mints can easily spread. It is a perennial with blue flowers and grown as decorative herb in garden or to attract pollinators. As catnip is used to stuff cat toys, it is attractive to outdoor cats in your garden area. Learn more about growing catnip.
Cayenne is not completely an herb, but is often grown as a spice. Cayenne powder is made from the fruit of the plant by grinding the dried hot peppers. Read more about growing peppers, including growing cayenne peppers here.
Commonly used to calm nervous system and digestive system as a tea. Both the leaves and flowers are edible. Chamomile is versatile growing in shade, full sun, and even indoors in containers. Learn more about chamomile.
Chervil is sometimes called French parsley or garden parsley. It grows best from seed, as the seedlings are fragile for transplanting. Leaves and stems are commonly used in French cuisine with a mild flavor between anise and parsley. It is recommended to succession plant chervil, as it tends to bolt quickly. Learn more about growing chervil here.
Chives are perennials native to Asia and Eastern Europe and can help with digestion and high blood pressure. When planting chives, be sure to give them time to germinate, as they are slow growers. Learn more about growing chives here, including harvesting tips.
Cicely, Myrrhis odorata, is a perennial native to the woodlands in central Europe. The fern-like leaves can be harvested and eaten raw or cooked with a flavor similar to anise. Grows best in partial shade and grows well in deep containers. Learn more about .
Cilantro is a cool season herb and bolts quickly as temperatures rise. To have a healthy harvest of cilantro, succession plant every three to four weeks. Cilantro easily self-seeds, since it is quick to flower. Cilantro refers to the leaves of the plant and coriander the seeds. Learn how to grow cilantro, as well as popular varieties.
Comfrey, also called blackwort, is a perennial with a deep root system, often overtaking an herb garden. Comfrey can grow up to five feet tall and spreads a few feet, as well. Comfrey is rich in Calcium and Vitamin C used medicinally for healing. Learn more about growing comfrey here.
Coriander is used to flavor many Latin and Indian recipes. It is also known as cilantro. Coriander is an annual herb and the entire plant can be used from the leaves to the seeds, which are the part that we refer to as coriander. Coriander has many medicinal uses. Learn more about the health benefits of coriander here.
Costmary is a perennial herb that grows to four feet high. Learn about Costmary here. Costmary is commonly used to add a spicy flavor ale.
Cotula is an annual herb with a strong odor. It is called stinking chamomile because it has an unpleasant odor. It is most commonly used in tea. It is less effective as a medicinal herb than chamomile. Learn more about Cotula here.
Cuban oregano is a perennial herb with a strong flavor, just like oregano. Cuban oregano is used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. It has both antibacterial and antioxidant properties. You can learn more about cuban oregano here.
Dill is an annual herb that is in the same plant family as celery. It is commonly used for pickling and served with salmon. It loses flavor quickly so it is best used fresh. It is easy to grow and has many medicinal uses too. Read more about dill here.
Dittany of Crete
Dittany is not a widely used herb today. Historically it was used for healing. It is similar to marjoram and oregano. It has small pink or lavender flowers and hairy oval leaves. You can learn more about dittany of Crete here.
Epazote is used in Mexican cooking. Epazote is a perennial herb that grows up to four feet high. It also has many medicinal uses but isn’t widely available. See how to use epazote here.
There are two types of fennel, the herb and the bulb. The herb looks like dill and grows up to five feet high and the stems, leaves and seeds are useful. The bulb variety is shorter and darker. Both forms have a similar anise flavor. Learn more.
Feverfew is a flower herb in the daisy family and it is often grown for ornamental use. It has a yellow and white bloom. Feverfew has medicinal uses as well; it is commonly used for migraines. Learn more about Feverfew.
Foxglove has large bell shaped pink and purple blooms. It is actually poisonous, which earned it the nickname deadmen’s bells. Foxglove contains cardiac glycosides digitoxin and digoxin, which when used correctly are common in heart treatment drugs used today. Read more about foxglove here.
Garlic is probably one of the most widely used herbs in cooking. It is in the lily family like onions and shallots. When eaten raw garlic has a very strong flavor. Garlic is also widely used for medicinal purposes. You can learn more about how to grow garlic here.
Geraniums are a perennial herb with beautiful five-petal white and pink flowers and long stems. Geraniums are primarily used for making tea that has a floral flavor. The essential oil from geranium flowers is also used for medicinal purposes. Learn about the health benefits from geraniums here.
Germander is a perennial herb that is used as ground cover. It is in the same family as mint. Germander has a purple bloom. Germander is very popular with bees. It can be grown easily in full sun or partial shade. It has medicinal uses as well. Learn more about Germander here.
Ginger is is a perennial rhizome with annual stems that reach about three feet in height. The root is used in Asian and Indian cuisine frequently. Ginger also has widely known medicinal benefits. It is often used for motion sickness and stomach upset. Learn more about how to grow ginger here.
Gingko biloba is commonly referred to simply as gingko. It is one of the oldest species of trees that is still alive today. The tree produces fruit which is inedible. The dried leaves are used for medicinal purposes. Learn more about Gingko trees and their uses here.
Horehound is a bitter perennial herb in the mint family with green and white leaves that is native to the UK and found all over Europe. Learn more about horehound.
Hyssop is a drought tolerant herb that likes full sun and sandy soil. It is used in cooking and herbal medicine. Learn more about hyssop.
Johnny Jump Up (Heartease or Wild Pansy)
This flowering herb has purple and white petals and is also known as wild pansy. It has many medicinal uses. Learn more about Johnny Jump Up.
Laurel is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub with green leaves, in the flowering plant family Lauraceae. It is native to the Mediterranean area and is used as bay leaf for seasoning in cooking. Learn more about laurel.
Lavender is a bushy, flowering perennial herb with purple blooms growing from one to three feet tall. Learn more about lavender. Learn how to grow lavender.
Lemon balm is a perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family. It is used both as a culinary herb and medicinal herb. Learn more about lemon balm.
Lemon verbena is a hard to grow, fragrant perennial herb with a lemon scent. Learn more about lemon verbena.
Lemongrass is a tropical herb that grows in a grassy clump and has a lemon-like flavor. Learn more about lemongrass.
Lovage is a tall, perennial herb native the UK and used as a culinary and medicinal herb. Learn more about lovage.
Lungwort is a medicinal, flowering herb. Learn more about lungwort.
Most people associate oregano with Italian and hispanic dishes, but actually, the herb originates in Northern Europe where it grows in the wild. Its scientific name is Origanum vulgare, and to the ancient Greeks, where it gets its name from the Greek words oros (mountain) and ganos (joy).Learn how to grow oregano and its health benefits.
Parsley is a versatile herb that can be incorporated in many different kinds of dishes for a bit of added zest. Learn how to grow parsley.
St Johns Wort
Thyme is an aromatic, perennial, evergreen herb with many culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses. Learn more about growing thyme.
Tulsi / Holy Basil
Tulsi, also called Holy Basil, is considered “The Queen of the Herbs” in India for its many medicinal properties. Also spelled Tulasi or Thulasi, it has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to fight stress, for natural detoxification, and for general health improvement. Learn more about Tulsi and why it is considered an adaptogenic herb.
Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial herb that is in the same family as the herb ginger. Like with ginger, the roots are consumed. Learn more about growing turmeric or the many uses of the herb.
Valerian is a perennial herb. Its flowers are pink or white and can grow to nearly five feet tall. The extract from Valerian flowers was used as a perfume but it is also used for medicinal purposes. Read more about Valerian herb.
The bitter herb wormwood is a species of Artemisia, native to temperate regions of Europe and Northern Africa and is widely naturalized in Canada and the northern United States. It is grown as an ornamental plant and is used as an ingredient in the spirit absinthe. Learn more about wormwood uses.
This flowering herb has edible petals. With range of flower colors, it is considered a medicinal herb. But it’s also an easy, attractive, fragrant and drought-resistant addition to border plantings. Learn more and how to grow it.
Zedoary, also known as white turmeric and kentjur, is native to India and Indonesia. As with turmeric, the rhizome or root is the most valued part of the plant that is consumed. Learn more about zeodary.
Did we miss any herbs that you like to grow or use? Please leave a comment with the name, so we can update the list!