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

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:

  • Basil
  • Chervil
  • Cilantro/Coriander
  • Dill
  • German Chamomile
  • Summer Savory
  • Parsley (lives two years, but is usually grown as an annual for best flavor)

Perennial Herbs

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)
  • Catnip
  • Chicory
  • Chives
  • Echinacea
  • Fennel
  • Feverfew
  • GingerHorseradish
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon Grass
  • Lovage
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Sorrel
  • Tarragon
  • 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:

  • Bay
  • Hyssop
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

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    Danny Lipford


    Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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