When planning your herb garden, it’s important to keep in mind the growth habits of each plant. Some herbs are annuals, some are perennials, and some form small evergreen shrubs.
Here’s a guide to some popular herbs for kitchen gardens:
Annual herbs live for only one year. They can be cut and enjoyed all summer, but since they’ll be killed by cold weather, they should be harvested before the first frost. Some annual herbs, such as dill, can self-seed if you allow it to bloom near the end of summer.
Annual herbs include:
- German Chamomile
- Summer Savory
- Parsley (lives two years, but is usually grown as an annual for best flavor)
Perennial herbs live for two or more years, often growing and spreading each year. These herbs will die back to the ground in winter and sprout anew in spring. Winter hardiness varies with different types of herbs, so be sure to check your hardiness zone before planting.
If a perennial herb isn’t winter hardy in your area, you can still grow it in pots that you bring indoors in the fall, or just treat it like an annual and replant next spring.
Perennial herbs include:
- Caraway (blooms in second year)
- Lemon Balm
- Lemon Grass
- Roman Chamomile
- Winter Savory
Evergreen Perennial Herbs
These hardy perennial herbs form woody, shrubby stems and stay green all winter, so they’re great for incorporating into your permanent landscape design.
Evergreen perennial herbs include:
- Growing Herbs in Your Garden (video)
- How to Grow Basil (article)
- How to Harvest and Use Basil (article)