by Jennifer Poindexter
Some people grow things for fun. Other people grow things for functionality. Which category do you fall under?
For me, if I’m going to grow something there usually must be a purpose. My purpose can be that I like the way it looks, but typically, it must be that I can use what I’m growing.
When I’m growing herbs this is definitely true. If you feel the same way about herbs, you’ve come to the right place.
I’m going to share which herbs are most commonly used for culinary purposes. I’ll also share the basic growing conditions of each herb, which planting zones they grow best in, and if they can be grown indoors.
If you’re needing the scoop on which herbs to include in your culinary herb garden, here’s the information you’ve been searching for.
Parsley is a great addition to a kitchen garden. It can be grown in the ground, in a raised bed, or in a container. This herb can also be grown indoors or outdoors.
If growing the herb outdoors, it does best in planting zones four through nine. It should be provided full sun and soil that’s full of nutrients and well-draining. Even if growing the herb indoors, be sure to pick a sunny window or a grow light. This will provide the necessary light the plant needs to remain healthy and productive.
When you think of a kitchen garden, basil is probably one of the first herbs to come to mind. If so, you’re right on the money as basil does very well when grown indoors. The most important aspect to growing basil is ensuring it receives a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day and has adequately draining soil.
Keep in mind, if growing this herb indoors, it’s okay to use artificial lighting if you don’t have a sunny location. The important thing is that the plant receives what it needs to produce. Also, basil is only hardy in planting zones ten and eleven. For this reason, it’s typically grown as an annual. However, it’s easy to grow, so you should face few obstacles growing new basil plants each year.
Cilantro is a favorite around my home because you get multiple products from one herb. You can use the herb’s foliage. This is what most know as fresh cilantro. Yet, if you let it go to seed, you can use them as well. This is coriander seed.
The herb will grow well indoors or outdoors. It’s vital, if grown in a container, that it drains well. The soil must be well-draining, too. Also, ensure cilantro is given a minimum of five hours of lighting per day. This can be provided naturally from the sun or beneath a grow light. Cilantro is hardy in zones eight through ten.
4. Sweet Marjoram
Sweet marjoram is an excellent herb to include in your culinary herb garden. In fact, it can be grown indoors or outdoors. If growing the herb outdoors, it should only be grown as an annual during the warmest parts of the year in zones six and lower. In planting zones seven and higher, the herb is quite hardy.
Regardless of where you grow sweet marjoram, it has a few basic needs which must be met. It needs soil that drains properly. If you grow this herb in a container, ensure it drains adequately as well. The container doesn’t need to be very deep, but it should be wide enough to comfortably accommodate the herb. Finally, the herb must be supplied with six to eight hours of sunlight each day. Use a grow light indoors if necessary.
Whether growing mint indoors or outdoors, it’s recommended to grow it in a planter as it easily reseeds and can take over your growing space. This herb is hardy in planting zones three through eight.
When growing mint ensure it’s provided with ample sunlight. It needs a minimum of six hours of light whether naturally or from artificial lighting. You should also plant mint in well-draining soil. Provide these basic needs, and you should have few problems growing this herb.
Rosemary is a perennial herb in planting zones seven through ten. Many gardeners love it because it stays green year-round. It can be grown outdoors, but it’s also a candidate for growing indoors as well. As long as the herb is provided with well-draining soil and ample sunlight, it should be happy.
Keep in mind, rosemary doesn’t like wet roots. It takes in its moisture through the foliage. Therefore, sandy soil is typically best when growing this herb. It’s also important that rosemary is provided temperatures between 50- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit to be given the greatest opportunity at thriving.
Lavender grows to be a larger herb, but don’t let this stop you from growing it indoors. As long as it’s provided adequate lighting and room to grow, it should be happy.
You can grow lavender as a perennial in planting zones five through nine. Whether growing lavender inside or outdoors, it will need full sunlight and well-draining soil. If growing the herb indoors, try to see that your lavender plant receives six to eight hours of sunlight each day. Feel free to supplement with a grow light when needed.
Sage is about as low maintenance of an herb as you’re probably going to get. The plant can be grown indoors or outdoors. Plus, it only needs well-draining soil, full sunlight, and temperatures around 70-degrees Fahrenheit to remain happy and productive.
If you choose to plant sage outdoors, it’s hardy in planting zones five through eight. If you’re new to gardening or someone who likes easy plants, consider adding sage to your culinary herb garden.
There are two different varieties of tarragon. One is French tarragon, and the other is Mexican tarragon. French tarragon can be grown indoors. It needs well-draining soil and eight hours of indirect sunlight. It’s also hardy in planting zones four and higher.
Mexican tarragon can also be grown indoors but does require a larger container to support the root system of this herb. It’s a perennial in planting zones nine through eleven. This herb also needs well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight as this enhances the flavor of your harvest.
Chervil isn’t one of the most common herbs, but it’s frequently used in French cuisine. It’s sometimes known as French parsley because they look so similar. This herb can be grown indoors under the right growing conditions.To grow chervil, ensure it’s growing in temperatures between 55- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit as it loves colder climates and is hardy in planting zones three through seven.
Chervil also has a long taproot. Therefore, wherever it’s planted it should have at least a foot of loose dirt beneath it to allow the herb to grow properly. Finally, ensure the herb is provided with well-draining soil and indirect sunlight.
Thyme is a favorite herb around many kitchens. Though, it’s also a powerful herb and doesn’t take much to flavor a meal. Thyme can be grown outdoors or indoors as it does well growing in a container.
This herb requires all the basic growing conditions as many other herbs. It needs well-draining soil, a container that drains well (if grown indoors), and plenty of sunlight. Thyme could be planted once and enjoyed for years as it’s hardy in planting zones five through nine. If you want to add a flavorful punch to your herb garden, don’t forget to grow thyme.
Dill is such a unique plant. It’s related to carrots which means it has a long taproot which must be accommodated if being grown outdoors or indoors in a container. It also loves cooler weather between 60- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
Be sure to plant dill in soil that’s aerated, well-draining, and nutrient dense. Though dill is an annual herb it reseeds easily. Therefore, if you’d like dill to come back each year, let nature take its course in your garden plot or in the container where you’re growing it.
Oregano is one of those plants that no one warned me about. I grow oregano in my herb garden, and I thought it would be a nice plant that takes up an average amount of space.
In fact, my oregano plants have now formed large mounds and have spread easily. Therefore, the herb is great for growing outdoors, but if you’re short on space, growing the herb in a container or indoors could be a wise decision.
When growing this herb, ensure it’s planted in well-draining soil and that it’s supplied with indirect sunlight for approximately eight hours each day. Be advised that oregano is a perennial in most planting zones and should produce year-round when grown indoors.
Chives are another large hit in my herb garden. They’re low maintenance and quite gorgeous as they grow each year. Chives can be grown outdoors or indoors, depending upon your needs and availability of space.
Like most of the herbs on this list, chives need full sun and well-draining soil. They’re also extremely hardy and should come back each year in planting zones three through ten. If you need a gorgeous, delicious, and durable herb, don’t miss out on growing chives in your kitchen herb garden.
This covers all of the most popular herbs used for culinary purposes. If you cook a great deal, why not grow your own herbs?
As you can tell, it’s simple to grow most of them indoors, they have very basic needs, and they add beauty and flavor to your home. Pick out your favorite herbs from this list, and start your own kitchen herb garden today.