Medicinal herbs to grow outside

What are the best herbs to grow outside?

Are you looking to elevate your outdoor gardening game with some fresh herbs? Discover the top picks for herbs that thrive in outdoor settings and add a burst of flavor and fragrance to your green space. Let’s delve into the world of outdoor herb cultivation and explore the best choices to cultivate in your garden.

Best Herbs for Sunny Locations

When it comes to cultivating an outdoor herb garden, choosing the right herbs for sunny locations is crucial for a thriving harvest. Here are some of the best herbs to grow in areas with abundant sunlight.

Rosemary is a robust herb that loves full sun and well-drained soil. It’s not only aromatic but also a perfect addition to various dishes, from roasted meats to Mediterranean salads.

Basil thrives in warm, sunny environments. This herb is indispensable in the kitchen, especially for making pesto and garnishing fresh summer salads and pasta dishes.

Sage is another sun-loving herb. Its sturdy leaves are perfect for savory recipes, and it proves to be quite drought-resistant, making it a low-maintenance choice for your garden.

Thyme prefers a sunny spot and tolerates dry conditions well. It’s a versatile herb used in a multitude of cuisines, adding depth of flavor to everything from soups to grilled vegetables.

Mint is typically associated with cooler climates, but certain varieties adore the sun. Plant it in a contained area as it can spread vigorously. Mint is great for refreshing teas and cocktails.

For those looking to grow herbs outside, a well-maintained sunny spot can make a big difference. Herbs such as rosemary and basil are stellar choices that will thrive and enhance your culinary creations and home garden.


The joy of growing herbs outdoors in sunny locations is unparalleled. For those fortunate enough to have a bright, sunlit garden, there are a variety of herbs that thrive under the warmth and light.


Rosemary is an excellent choice for sunny spots. This perennial herb is not only visually appealing with its needle-like leaves but also incredibly versatile in its uses. From culinary applications to its aromatic presence, rosemary is a must-have in any herb garden.

Here are some key points to consider when growing rosemary:

  • Sunlight: Rosemary requires at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil.
  • Watering: This herb prefers its soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s essential to let the top inch of soil dry out before watering again.
  • Soil: Well-drained soil is crucial. Adding sand or perlite to your soil mix can help ensure proper drainage.
  • Pruning: Regular pruning helps maintain its shape and encourages new growth. Snip off the top few inches of the branches to keep it bushy.

In addition to rosemary, other herbs like thyme, lavender, and basil also flourish in sunny conditions. Full sun plants like these not only enhance the beauty of your garden but also provide a wealth of fresh ingredients for your kitchen.

The health benefits of growing your own herbs cannot be overstated. Freshly harvested herbs retain their medicinal and culinary potency, contributing to a healthy lifestyle. For more information on the health benefits of herbs, consider reading about fresh herb health benefits.


When thinking about which herbs to cultivate in sunny locations, lavender is a standout choice. Not only does it thrive in full sunlight, but it also brings a burst of color and a delightful aroma to your garden. Cultivating lavender is relatively straightforward, making it an ideal option for both novice and experienced gardeners. Ensure it has well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine to maximize its growth potential.

Lavender isn’t just aesthetically pleasing; its uses are extensive. From culinary dishes to natural remedies, it serves multiple purposes. Adding dried lavender to your cooking can infuse dishes with a unique, aromatic flavor. Additionally, lavender is known for its soothing properties, often used in teas, essential oils, and aromatic sachets.

Growing lavender also benefits your garden’s overall health. It attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies, which are crucial for a thriving ecosystem. Moreover, lavender acts as a natural pest repellent, keeping unwanted insects at bay. For a comprehensive guide on utilizing plants for pest control, consider exploring this resource on repellent plants.

The versatility and beauty of lavender make it an indispensable addition to any sunny herb garden. Whether you’re aiming to enhance your herb collection or seeking natural ways to maintain garden health, lavender is a superb choice. For additional unique herb-growing ideas and tips, look into cultivating herbs in various climates.

Best Herbs for Shaded Areas

Gardening enthusiasts often face the challenge of finding the right herbs to grow in shaded areas. Luckily, there are several varieties that thrive without direct sunlight and still provide a bountiful harvest. Below are some of the best herbs suited for gardens that receive limited sunlight. For more plant ideas, see how to create shade in your garden.

Mint is one of the most versatile herbs that does exceptionally well in shady spots. It is known for its rapid growth and ability to overpower other plants, so it’s best to plant it in a confined space or container. The refreshing leaves are perfect for teas, desserts, and savory dishes.

Parsley, both the curly and flat-leaf varieties, flourishes in partial shade. It’s a biennial plant, which means you typically get two years of enjoyment before needing to replant. Parsley is a staple in many kitchens due to its ability to enhance the flavor of a wide array of dishes.

Cilantro prefers cooler temperatures, making it an ideal candidate for shaded areas. While it may bolt quickly in full sun, growing it in the shade prolongs its usability. Cilantro is a key ingredient in many global cuisines, bringing a fresh and zesty taste to salsas and curries.

Chervil, often overshadowed by its famous cousin parsley, actually thrives better in the shade. Its delicate anise-like flavor makes it a wonderful addition to soups, salads, and omelets. Chervil is also known for its medicinal properties, offering mild anti-inflammatory benefits.

Lemon Balm is another excellent herb for shaded areas. It emits a sweet lemon scent that’s not only pleasant but also useful in calming teas and as a mosquito repellent. Lemon balm is hardy and can tolerate a variety of growing conditions, making it a reliable choice for shaded gardens.

For those looking to enhance their garden’s diversity, exploring plants that don’t need sun can provide new inspiration and help maintain a thriving garden all year round.


Mint is an excellent herb to grow in shaded areas of your garden. It is a hardy plant that thrives without needing a lot of sunlight, which makes it perfect for those spots in your garden that don’t get full sun. Moreover, mint’s fragrance and rapid growth make it an ideal candidate for limited space or container gardening.

To plant mint, choose a spot with moist, well-drained soil. Ensure you keep it separate from other plants, as mint is known to be invasive and can quickly take over a garden bed. Planting mint in containers can help control its spread.

There are several varieties of mint you can grow:

  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Apple Mint

These varieties offer unique flavors and fragrances, making them versatile for culinary and medicinal uses. Regular pruning will not only keep the plant in check but also encourage healthier, more vigorous growth.

Mint is also great for garden privacy and adds a fresh aroma to your outdoor space. Whether you’re using mint to prepare refreshing teas or adding it as a flavor enhancer in your dishes, this herb is sure to be a rewarding addition to your shaded garden area.


Having a shaded garden doesn’t mean you can’t grow a variety of herbs. In fact, many herbs thrive in lower light conditions. Whether you’re looking to enhance your culinary dishes or dive into natural remedies, here are some of the best herbs to grow outside in shaded areas.

Parsley is a versatile herb that does well in both full sun and partial shade. It is easy to grow and maintain, making it perfect for beginners and experienced gardeners alike. The two main types of parsley are curly and flat-leaf, each adding distinct flavors to your dishes.

Besides its culinary uses, parsley offers numerous health benefits such as being rich in vitamins A and C. It also supports fresh breath and overall digestive health.

If you’re curious about other plants that could complement your shaded garden, check out these shade-loving flowers that can add a splash of color alongside your herbs.

Additionally, if you’re looking for more varieties to explore, consider perusing this list of the best herbs and vegetables for shaded areas.

Herbs that Repel Pests

Mint is an excellent choice for those looking to repel common garden pests. Not only does it have a fresh, invigorating scent, but it also naturally deters mosquitoes and ants. Planting mint near your outdoor seating area or around the perimeter of your garden can significantly reduce these pests. Remember to plant it in a pot to contain its rapid growth.

Lemongrass is another herb known for its pest-repelling properties. The primary compound in lemongrass, citral, is effective against mosquitoes. This makes it a perfect addition to your garden, especially during the warmer months. Its tall, grass-like appearance also adds a beautiful touch to your landscape. More details on its effectiveness against mosquitoes can be found here.

Lavender not only adds a pop of color and a soothing fragrance to your garden, but it also repels moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitoes. Plant it in sunny areas with well-drained soil for the best results. The scent of lavender is pleasant to humans but overwhelming to many pests. You’ll enjoy both the aesthetic and functional benefits of having lavender in your garden.

Rosemary is a versatile herb that can be used in cooking and as a natural pest repellent. This hardy plant thrives in well-drained soil and sunny locations. Rosemary effectively repels mosquitos and various insects that can damage other plants. If you’d like to delve deeper into how plants like rosemary can keep pests away, explore more information here.

Basil is not only a staple in many kitchens but also a great herb for keeping flies and mosquitoes at bay. Planting basil near doors and windows can help prevent these pests from entering your home. The strong aroma of basil disrupts the pests’ ability to smell and locate their targets, making it a natural barrier against them.

Catnip might be known for its effects on cats, but it’s also extremely effective at repelling mosquitoes. Research indicates that it is even more effective than some commercial mosquito repellents. Consider planting catnip in pots around your patio or other outdoor areas where you spend time to keep mosquitoes away.

Incorporating these herbs into your garden not only enhances its beauty and aromatic appeal but also provides natural pest control solutions, ensuring a more enjoyable and pest-free outdoor experience.


When it comes to maintaining a thriving outdoor garden, planting herbs that repel pests is a smart and eco-friendly strategy. These herbs not only enhance the flavor of your meals but also help keep unwanted insects at bay.

One of the most popular choices for repelling pests is basil. This fragrant herb is known for its ability to deter mosquitoes and flies, making it an excellent addition to any garden. Basil’s strong scent is particularly effective at keeping these pesky insects away, and it can even enhance the growth of neighboring plants by repelling harmful bugs.

To maximize basil’s pest-repelling properties, plant it near entrances or windows where insects are more likely to enter your home. This simple step can provide a natural barrier against flies and mosquitoes, ensuring your outdoor spaces remain more enjoyable.

For even better results, combine basil with other fly-repellent plants like lavender, mint, and rosemary. These herbs work together to create a powerful, natural defense against various pests, enhancing the health and vitality of your garden.

Another advantage of planting basil is its versatility in the kitchen. Use fresh basil leaves in salads, pasta dishes, and homemade pestos to add a burst of flavor. The combination of its culinary benefits and pest-repelling properties makes basil an indispensable herb for any garden enthusiast looking to cultivate a sustainable and harmonious outdoor space.

In addition to basil, consider planting other plants that naturally repel harmful insects such as garlic, marigolds, and chrysanthemums. These plants not only protect your garden but also offer a variety of uses in cooking and decoration, making them valuable additions to your gardening repertoire.


Chives are a fantastic addition to any outdoor garden, especially for those looking to create a natural barrier against pests. These hardy perennials are not only easy to grow but also incredibly effective in repelling common nuisances like aphids and Japanese beetles. Their strong smell is a natural deterrent, keeping your garden safe without the need for chemical pesticides.

Planting chives near your vegetables and flowers can boost the overall health of your garden. Their presence can improve the growth and flavor of surrounding plants, making them a valuable companion in your gardening endeavors.

Another benefit of growing chives outdoors is their versatility. Not only do they help keep pests at bay, but they also add a delightful flavor to various culinary dishes. From salads to soups, the mild onion-like taste of chives can enhance your meals while promoting a healthier garden ecosystem.

Q: What are the best herbs to grow outside?

A: The best herbs to grow outside are typically hardy, low-maintenance plants that thrive in your specific climate. Some popular choices include basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.

Q: How much sunlight do herbs need?

A: Most herbs prefer a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day. However, some herbs like mint and parsley can thrive in partially shaded areas.

Q: What type of soil do herbs prefer?

A: Herbs generally prefer well-draining soil with good aeration. A mixture of compost, sand, and peat moss can create the ideal growing medium for most herbs.

Q: How often should I water my outdoor herbs?

A: It’s important to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Depending on the weather conditions, you may need to water your herbs 2-3 times a week, adjusting as needed.

Q: Can I grow herbs outside year-round?

A: In warmer climates, many herbs can be grown outside year-round. However, in colder regions, you may need to bring potted herbs indoors or protect them with mulch during the winter months.