Growing your own herbs is easy and fun. Fresh herbs bring flavor to meals, emit wonderful fragrances and are simply beautiful to see.
It’s rewarding to create a small herb garden in your backyard or even in containers on your porch. If you have a sunny spot near a window, you can even grow herbs right in the kitchen.
Here are 10 herbs you can grow and use at home.
Basil is a popular kitchen herb that needs plenty of sun. These plants can grow more than a foot tall, so use a large container. Also be sure to pinch off the flowers when they appear so your plant can put more energy into the fragrant and flavorful leaves.
Serve fresh basil with tomatoes and mozzarella.
Oregano is a staple in any type of Italian cooking. When planting oregano in a container, use a pot that’s at least 12 inches in diameter because the herb grows large very quickly. In fact, oregano spreads so well that it is sometimes used as a ground cover.
Add oregano to soups, pasta dishes, and meats for a burst of flavor.
Peppermint is well-known as a flavoring for sweets, but it can also be used medicinally. Your peppermint plant can grow in partial sun but will thrive when given full sun. It needs plenty of water.
Try chewing a peppermint leaf to relieve problems with digestion or to calm a sore, inflamed throat.
Rosemary is a gorgeous herb with leaves that grow in needle shapes. It is notoriously easy to grow and can survive in less than perfect conditions. Avoid over-watering. You can prune rosemary to keep it small indoors, but outdoors it will grow and spread.
Combine rosemary with olive oil to add interest to a wonderful potato dish. Fresh rosemary is especially delicious on fries.
Chives are a great herb for a beginning gardener because they can adapt to a variety of conditions. They are also very pretty in a landscape, featuring pale purple flowers that bloom in spring.
All parts of the chive plant are edible. Put blossoms in a salad and use the stem in soups, dips and chicken dishes.
Dill is a great herb that can be used in a variety of dishes and is particularly popular in pickling.
Place dill plants in full sun, and protect them from wind if possible. Grown outside, dill has the added benefit of attracting butterflies. Look for black swallowtail caterpillars on your dill plants.
Grow spearmint in partial shade and well-drained soil. Many gardeners like to grow spearmint in containers or in hanging baskets to prevent it from overtaking other plants.
Use spearmint in mixed drinks, in tea or in a cold salad with watermelon. It’s also an excellent choice to add flavor to homemade ice cream.
Parsley has a delicate, distinctive look that is traditional as a garnish. Flat-leaved parsley is considered better for cooking, while curly-leaved parsley is used for its looks.
Try parsley in a marinade for steak or in a fresh, green salad. It’s also good in pork dishes.
Lavender is a beautiful plant that loves full sun and well-drained soil. It has an amazing fragrance that is said to be calming and soothing. It is often used in bath products and is a popular essential oil.
Lavender adds a surprising taste to many dishes and is often incorporated into sweets such as this luscious lemon lavender sorbet.
This herb has a lemony taste and is used in many Asian dishes. You can keep it small by cutting it back in containers inside.
Lemongrass is often used in products like soaps and candles and is also a common ingredient in insect repellents.
Whether you choose to plant outdoors or to create an indoor container garden, herbs are an excellent choice for growing at home. Most herbs can be dried, frozen or used fresh, so you can continue to cook with your harvest even in colder weather.
Try some of these 10 plants for a wonderful herb garden with sweet scents, lovely sights, and fabulous flavors.