Edible Garden

9 Sun Loving Herbs For The Southern Gardener

Herb gardening is a great way to spend time outside, get fresh air and exercise. It's also a wonderful way to relax and unwind after work or school. And it doesn't matter if you're an expert or just starting - we have the perfect herbs for beginners!

The best part? You can plant them in containers too! So don't worry about having enough space in your backyard - these sun-loving herbs will thrive anywhere they're planted.

Herbs are a gardener's best friend! They are generally resistant to pests and diseases, but like any plant they do need good soil preparation, regular watering practices and good drainage for their roots.

We've got all the herbs that love a hot climate, so your herb garden will be bursting with flavor and here are just some of our favorites!

Parsley 

parsley

Parsley is a frost-hardy biennial herb and is easy to grow, rich in vitamins and very tasty.

Parsley is always a good choice in a pot on a sunny kitchen windowsill.

Ensure you give your plants some space when planting in your garden beds so that the leaves don't get too crowded, and enjoy watching your curly parsley grow!

There are many varieties of parsley with the most common being Flat Leaf and Curly Parsley.

Curly Parsley

Curly parsley is an herb that can be grown in hot climates like Southern California.  Its triple-curled leaves make beautiful garnishes.

Curly parsley is a great addition to any herb garden because it is drought tolerant, requires little maintenance and can be harvested year-round. It also has an amazing taste that goes well with almost anything!

Growing curly parsley is simple: soak the seeds first in water to soften the seed coat and plant them in moist soil, keep them watered until they germinate and then let nature do its thing.

Italian (Flat Leaf) Parsley

Flat Leaf Parsley looks quite similar to Cilantro, but even a sniff will tell you the difference.

This herb grows to about 12in (30cm) in height and is fairly drought tolerant - only water once the soil is dry. 

Rosemary

harvesting-rosemary

Rosemary is not only easy to grow, but it smells and tastes amazing!

Rosemary plant is a perennial herb that is a member of the mint family. Rosemary can be grown in pots or the garden bed but needs at least 6 hours of sunlight each day to thrive.

The plant prefers well-drained soil, so add sand or gravel if your soil is heavy and clayey. The plant also requires water regularly during dry spells.

Prostrate Rosemary

This variety is a groundcover or will hang in a hanging basket. It is a tender perennial, so it does well in pots and can be brought indoors during a cold spell.

Rosemary Barbeque 

It has an upright habit and can be used as barbeque skewers. Fast-growing, drought-resistant upright herb, reaches 6ft (2meters) tall.

Lavender

watering-lavender

Lavender is a western Mediterranean plant and thrives in hot, dry weather. If you're a gardener, chances are you've grown lavender. Lavender is such a versatile plant that it's easy to find lots of reasons to grow it.

Besides the fact that it smells amazing and looks beautiful in the garden, this herb has many culinary uses!

Growing lavender can be a rewarding experience, but before you plant your first seed or pot, there are a few things to consider. The first thing to consider is the type of planting container (e.g., pots, planters) that will work best in your garden space and what size you need for each variety of lavender plant.

Ensure that the container has drainage holes so excess water doesn't pool where it shouldn't be and cause root rot or other problems.

Growing lavender is a rewarding and easy experience. The plant thrives in sunny, well-drained soil and needs little water or care to survive.

There are many different types of lavender plants, with some being more fragrant than others, but all have the same basic growing requirements.

English Lavender (True Lavender)

English Lavender will grow well in any soil, and they prefer to have good drainage and full sun exposure.

English lavenders should be planted at least 8 inches apart for optimal growth, but you can space them as close as 4 inches apart if you're trying to fill a small space with color!

French Lavender – (Lavandula dentata)

These lavenders make a beautiful small hedge planted close together 1ft (30cm).

Lavandula dentata, or French lavender, is a species of flowering plant that grows in the Mediterranean region. It has gray-green leaves and long lasting purple flowers with pale violet bracts at the top. These bracts (flowers) start in late spring and are long lasting.

Spanish Lavender (Lavendula stoechas)

Spanish Lavender can take hot, humid climates as long as you give them sufficient air around them and do not allow them to overgrow and become woody.

Spanish lavender blooms profusely from early spring.

Fernleaf Lavender (Lavandula multifida)

The fernleaf or Egyptian lavender looks fern-like with a lacy silvery leaf and blooms all summer long.

Mint

mint plant

Mint is a perennial herb that is easy to grow and has many uses. It can be used as food, a culinary herb, or an aromatic herb.

Mint is also great for use in gardens because it repels insects and encourages pollinators like bees to visit the garden area.

Mint likes full sun but will still do well in some shade.

Mint should be kept moist, so water often. Mint can become invasive as it can spread quickly from its runner roots.

Use mint when it is freshly picked for the best results.

There are very many mint varieties but try some of these:

Peppermint

This mint has the strongest flavor with a hint of pepper.  It is a quick growing plant and spreads its runners through the soil.  Peppermint has a high water requirement. 

Spearmint

Spearmint is one of the milder mints and much sweeter than the others.  It goes well in iced tea or iced drinks.

Orange Mint

Orange mint has a strong citrus flavor and goes well in a fruit salad.

Thyme

growing-thyme

Gardeners often have fun experimenting with different herbs and spices to add flavor to their dishes. Thyme is a perennial plant that grows naturally in the Mediterranean region, but it can also thrive on your windowsill!

Thyme is used for cooking because of its unique taste and aroma.

Since ancient times, the plant has been used as a culinary ingredient; the Greeks added it to salads and roasted meats while the Romans would cook up sauces with it.

No matter where you live, there are plenty of ways for you to grow thyme outdoors - all you need is some soil (well-drained), water, sun and patience!

Lemon Thyme

Lemon Thyme has a lemon taste and smell. Lemon Thyme does well in pots in full sun or partly shady.

Lavender Thyme

Lavender Thyme is low-growing with masses of blooms.  It has a hint lavender scent. A beautiful addition to your herb garden.

English Thyme

English Thyme is the traditional variety with pale purple and white blooms in summer.  It is drought resistant and only needs watering once the soil is completely dry.

Chives

growing-chives

Chives are a perennial plant in the onion family and grow best in full sun. They can be grown from seed or purchased as starts at your local garden center.

The most important thing to know about growing chives is that they prefer rich, moist soil and need plenty of water! 

The second most important thing to know is that chives should not be fertilized too heavily because it will turn their leaves mushy.

Chives can grow in the ground or pots. If you plan on growing them in the ground, plant them about 12 inches (30 cm) apart from each other. When it comes to pot gardening, place two plants together with at least six inches between each of them.

Divide them every 2-3 years by lifting the clumps.

Common Chives

Common Chives is a perennial in Southern gardeners and has an onion-like flavor. This variety has purple flowers in spring.

Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives have a grass-like leaf and are also called Chinese Chives.  They have small star shaped flowers in mid summer.

Siberian Chives

Siberian Chives are the Asian species of a wild onion with a purple flowerhead that attracts bees and butterflies.

Sage

growing-sage

The sage plant, with its unique and distinctive flavor, can be grown in many different ways.

Sage is easy to grow from seed or cuttings. The most common way to grow sage is by planting it in moist soil at the base of a sunny wall or fence so that the leaves are shaded during part of the day.

A beautiful and fragrant herb, sage is one of the most popular herbs used in cooking.

Sage grows best in climates with a warm and dry season. The plant can be grown from seed or cuttings, but it is recommended that you start with at least five plants to ensure enough harvesting leaves.

Chili Peppers

growing-chili-peppers

Chili Peppers are very rich in vitamins and minerals, especially beta-carotene. They are related to bell peppers and tomatoes.

They are easy to grow, and there are many heat varieties to choose from, sweet and mild to superhot.

Keep them well-watered and in a sunny position.

Some of the chili pepper varieties grow tall and will need staking. New varieties are created all the time and are usually named after the region.

Chili Pepper Cheyenne

A very hot pepper and easy to grow.  They produce masses of medium size fruits and are very attractive in the container garden.

Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapeno Peppers love the sun and grow well in fertile, moist soil.  The are a medium sized pepper and are usually picked while still green.

Habanero Pepper

There are several varieties of Habanero to choose from.  The plant are bushy and can grow into a large shrub.

Lemongrass

growing-lemongrass

Lemongrass is an herb in the citrus family and can be used for many purposes, from cooking to skincare.

Growing lemongrass at home is a great way to save money and have fresh, healthy ingredients for your favorite meals.

Lemongrass can be grown in pots indoors or outdoors. The plant will grow best with lots of sun but can also tolerate partial shade.

Takeaways

There are plenty of herbs to grow in a hot climate; always check for drought-tolerant or heat-tolerant plants.

Mulch is important to protect the soil in very hot summers.

Remember that potted herbs will need to be watered more frequently.

Growing herbs is fun, and easy and fresh herbs taste delicious.

herbs-for-hot-climate

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