There are few perennial flowering plants that are as easy to grow as hardy perennial herbs. This is because they are able to withstand changing environmental conditions and tolerate minor fluctuations in the soil’s temperature. The seeds of these plants do not usually die even after harvesting. You can maintain their small size year after year by simply clipping off the top leaves or cutting them very finely. Some can even be easily potted.
Most hardy perennial herbs are native to Europe, though there are some now growing in parts of North America. These plants prefer a sunny, rather than south facing location, and they thrive in potting mix with well drained soil. Most hardy perennials will flower each year from seeds. Some may flower from the same seeds year after year. The best time to start planting them is late spring or early summer, while the soil is still warm from being watered.
Hardy perennial herbs need very little care once they have established themselves in your garden. Most just require an occasional trim, so you won’t even have to worry about mowing them. You can harvest them by pulling them out of the ground or using your hand to pull them out. Don’t harvest plants until the ground is warm from several hours of sun. It is also a good idea to put the young cuttings into a plastic bag and save them until the spring for better growth.
Many perennials indoors such as mint, sage, and chives grow well in containers too. When you plant them, you may find that you don’t need any soil at all. Containers allow you to place them where you want. Plants like thyme, mint, and chives make beautiful containers for growing season. If you plan on planting perennials indoors in the fall, be sure they receive plenty of water before frost. They will need some spotting after frost if you plant them outdoors and let them go.
With herb plants, you should know that they don’t have true leaves until the growing season is over. Harvesting of these woody perennial herbs is best when the first frost falls. Harvesting often encourages the growth of buds and leaves. Wait for the leaves to die back before harvesting. This allows new growth to take hold before the leaves begin to wither and die.
Fertile soil is a major concern when it comes to planting herb gardens. Herbs like mint, sage, and chives require good drainage for a strong growing season. Mint needs rocky soil and chives should have well drained soil. Some herb seeds don’t do well in acidic soil; be sure to check with the seeds before planting.
Hardy perennial herbs are herb gardeners at the heart of the Mediterranean garden. They grow easily, producing big berries in every season. Mediterranean and easy growing edible herbs such as basil, garlic, oregano, parsley, thyme, and Rosemary will fill your kitchen with flavors from the sea, sky, and earth. Mediterranean cooking combines these fresh herbs with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and spices for a mouthwatering dish anytime of the year.
If you are looking for herbs to add color, aroma, flavor, and texture to your kitchen landscape, choose hardy perennial herbs for their versatility and year-round interest. With hardy perennial herbs you never have to worry about the dreaded summer blues when your herb garden needs some rest. Hardy herbs will fill your garden with beautiful fragrances and culinary delights throughout the entire year.
For example, the California sage, native to Mexico and Central America, is a hardy perennial plant that takes up residence in many subtropical and tropical areas. As a landscape gardener, you’ll love the unique odor and flavor of the California sage. This herb can tolerate some shade and drier conditions but thrives best in full sun. California sage is a member of the mint family and is grown for its aromatic oils, which is why it is often used in recipes or added to food products such as breads, sauces, soups, and dips.
Sweet pea, or more commonly known as mung beans, is a perennial herb that does extremely well in most kinds of soils. This herb is also known for having a very sweet taste, especially when eaten raw. In addition to being a great addition to salads, the sweet pea is used as a meat tenderizer and as a tasty addition to stews, dishes, and soups. As you probably have guessed, many culinary uses for this sweet pea are found in Chinese, Indian, and Thai cuisine. It has been a staple vegetable in many parts of Europe since the Middle Ages.
For a more versatile type of plant, try mixing chives with annual herbs. Annual herbs grow quickly and can be divided and replanted each year. Perennials on the other hand need to be cared for the same way each growing season. If you do plant perennials in your herb garden, be sure to water them on a regular basis to keep the plant healthy.