Gardening

10 Perennial Herbs You Can Plant Once & Enjoy For Years

Perennial botanicals offer an exquisite means to maintain a steady reservoir of aromatic herbs without incurring extravagant costs and investing copious time in nurturing new flora each cycle.

Through attentive nurturing and fostering, these ten straightforward herbs will thrive for an extensive duration.

Lavender

Growing tips:

Plant lavender in abundant sunlight and well-draining soil, avoiding excessive moisture. Allow the soil to thoroughly dry before administering a deep watering.

Harvesting:

Optimal harvesting time is when buds are formed but flowers are not fully open. Gather lavender stalks near the base, use sharp shears to cut, bind the bunch, and hang it upside down in a warm-dry location away from direct sunlight.

After 2-4 weeks, shake off blossoms and leaves into an airtight jar.

Uses:

Whether fresh or dried, lavender adds a vibrant and delightful touch to various dishes like homemade ice cream, bread, and salad. Create breathable fabric sachets filled with dried lavender to place beneath your pillow for enhanced sleep quality. Mix lavender with peppermint essential oil and water in a spray bottle for a refreshing room spray. Discover more ingenious uses for lavender.

Cilantro

Growing tips:

Plant cilantro in full sun, favoring well-drained, moist soil. Pinch about an inch off the top of young cilantro plants to prevent bolting and premature seed development, promoting robust foliage growth.

Harvesting:

Unlike lavender, cilantro is best used fresh and loses flavor rapidly after harvesting. Snip new growth from the top of the plant throughout the growing season for immediate use.

Uses:

Fresh cilantro elevates various salsas, like mango salsa. Combine cilantro with butter and lemon juice to create a flavorful cilantro butter for enhancing cooked vegetables. Infuse olive oil with cilantro stems for a delectable addition to meats or salads.

Oregano

Growing tips:

Oregano serves as an excellent companion plant for nearly any vegetable, integrating seamlessly into your veggie garden without overpowering.

Plant in full sun with well-draining soil, trimming regularly to stimulate full growth.

Harvesting:

Harvest just as flower buds form for the most robust flavor. Cut back above a cluster of leaves with sharp scissors or shears. Hang bundles to dry in a dark, dry spot, securing them loosely in a perforated paper bag.

Uses:

Oregano, a versatile cooking herb, is indispensable for sauces or homemade pizza. Plant oregano as a border along vegetable gardens, especially near cabbage family crops, to attract pollinators and foster healthy plant growth. Uncover more reasons to cultivate oregano.

Chives

Growing tips:

Be mindful that chives spread rapidly if left to seed. Plant them in rich, fertile, moist, and well-draining soil, basking in full sun.

Incorporate organic material, such as compost, into the soil before planting.

Harvesting:

Chop chive leaves back 60 days after seeding, leaving the plant 1-2 inches above the soil. Freeze chives in an airtight bag or use them fresh. Harvest 3-4 times in the first year and monthly in subsequent growing seasons.

Uses:

Sprinkle fresh chives on a baked potato, add them to omelets or other egg dishes, or use them as a fragrant garnish for fish. Explore additional uses for the chives you cultivate.

Rosemary

Growing tips:

Rosemary thrives in well-drained, sandy soil, enjoying full sun. Allow ample space for root expansion, as plants grow to about 4’ tall and 4’ wide. Prune regularly, water deeply, but avoid excessively wet soil.

Harvesting:

Trim rosemary weekly once established, using the fresh clippings immediately. Trimming 2 or 3 inches at a time promotes healthy new growth and a full plant.

If opting for drying, wait until it begins to bloom and use the same drying method as lavender.

Uses:

Create a delectable rosemary-infused oil by adding a few stalks to your oil bottle. Drizzle it over potatoes or roasted veggies. Utilize fresh rosemary to make tea, boosting cognitive performance and focus. Discover myriad incredible uses for rosemary.

Sage

Growing tips:

Optimal success with sage involves planting from a young plant in full sun, selecting well-draining soil. Maintain soil moisture without allowing water to linger.

Enhance production and flavor by pruning back the thick, woody stems every spring.

Harvesting:

For a gentle harvest in the initial growing season, clip off a few inches right above the point where leaves meet. Lay out the leaves on a flat surface to dry, crumbling them as needed for seasoning.

Uses:

Sage elevates the flavor of meat dishes, particularly poultry. Utilize its leaves and branches in festive activities like wreath and potpourri-making for their delightful fragrance, texture, and color. Employ sage leaves for smudging to purify and cleanse the air, simultaneously eliminating bacteria. Explore more ingenious ways to use sage.

Lemon Balm

Growing tips:

Exercise caution in choosing the planting location for lemon balm, as it can swiftly become invasive once established. Consider a raised container to prevent unwanted spread.

Lemon balm thrives in almost any conditions due to its incredible hardiness.

Harvesting:

Due to its rapid growth, over-harvesting is not a concern with lemon balm. Pinch off as many leaves as needed once the plant starts to grow. Enjoy at least two full harvests each year by cutting the whole plant down, leaving about 2 inches above the soil.

Hang and dry upside down in a dark place.

Uses:

Freeze fresh lemon balm in ice cubes for use in refreshing summer beverages. Experiment with lemon balm tea by boiling a handful of leaves in a cup of water, simmering for 5 minutes, and straining out the leaves. Create tinctures and balms for various ailments, benefiting from lemon balm’s antiviral and anti-stress properties. Discover additional ways to use harvested lemon balm.

Roman Chamomile

Growing tips:

Chamomile proves not only a practical addition to your perennial herb garden but a visually appealing one. Its cheerful white and yellow flowers add a vibrant touch to traditional green herbs.

Chamomile thrives in cool conditions with full sun to part shade and dry soil. Once established, it is remarkably hardy and requires watering only during prolonged droughts.

Harvesting:

Unlike other herbs, focus on harvesting chamomile flowers instead of leaves. Pluck the heads when petals are white and centers are a vivid yellow, using scissors or shears for ease.

Store blossoms in a large paper bag to dry for at least two weeks.

Uses:

Enhance relaxation with a herbal remedy by adding a handful of crushed chamomile flowers to boiling water on the stove, simmering for 5 minutes, and straining before bedtime. Discover more soothing applications for chamomile.

Thyme

Growing tips:

Adopt a less-is-more approach when caring for thyme, thriving in hot conditions with full sun. Thorough watering when the soil is dry ensures flourishing.

Starting from seed can be challenging, making it preferable to plant a small thyme plant for optimal results.

Harvesting:

Harvest thyme sprigs fresh just before flowering or throughout the growing season. Dry or freeze in an airtight container for later use.

Regular pruning promotes growth and a rounded shape, leaving at least 5 inches of growth after a mass harvest.

Uses:

Thyme pairs excellently with mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, fish, chicken, and roast potatoes in savory dishes. Utilize a thyme-infused spray for scalp health, addressing dryness and promoting healthy hair growth. Explore more innovative ways to use harvested thyme.

Mint

Growing tips:

Given the plethora of mint varieties, thorough research is essential to select the one aligning with your garden preferences and taste buds.

Opt for established mint plants instead of seeds, considering its vigorous perennial nature that readily fills available space. Contain its growth by planting in a container or a separate herb garden.

Harvesting:

Pick mint leaves as needed or cut down to one inch above the soil right before flowering.

Uses:

Explore the versatility of mint by adding it to sweet or savory dishes for a distinctive flavor boost. Enhance berries and Greek yogurt with fresh mint leaves, use in tea, or freeze in ice cubes for a refreshing drink. Elevate salads with mint leaves and a light vinaigrette dressing.

Stephanie Miles

I'm Stephanie, a passionate gardener enchanted by the magic of cultivation. My hands dance with soil, coaxing life from seeds to vibrant blooms. Amidst the symphony of rustling leaves and fragrant blossoms, I find solace and joy. From a single sprout to a thriving garden, my journey is a celebration of growth, resilience, and the simple wonders of nature. Join me in this green sanctuary, where every leaf whispers tales of life's beautiful simplicity.

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