My all-time favorite list of herbs that last years!
I am an avid gardener. Most of you know, since you are here in the Green Thumb section of my website, that I love, love, love herbs. That’s why I could not wait to share this list of herbs that last for years in your garden.
I was inspired to write this post by one of my favorite websites, Birds and Blooms! And most of these herbs attract butterflies and hummingbirds too!
These herbs that last years and come back like gangbusters…
Herb That Last Years
Growing tips: Plant cilantro in full sun in well-drained, moist soil. You want to make sure to maximize foliage growth so pinch about an inch off the top of your young cilantro plants to prevent bolting and premature seed development.
Harvesting: Unlike lavender, cilantro is not desirable once dried and almost immediately begins to lose flavor after it is harvested. Throughout the growing season, snip the new growth from the top of the plant and use right away.
Fresh cilantro is wonderful in many types of salsa. Try making mango salsa to mix things up a little.
Combine cilantro, butter, and lemon juice for a delicious cilantro butter to use as a flavorful addition to cooked vegetables.
Place a few stems of cilantro in your bottle of olive oil to create a delicious infusion for meats or salads.
For herbs that last years, this one is the most fragrant and attracts the most butterflies.
Growing tips: Oregano makes a wonderful companion plant for virtually any vegetable and can be planted in your veggie garden without taking over. Be sure to plant in full sun in well- draining soil. Trim frequently to encourage full growth.
Harvesting: Harvest just as flower buds form to get the richest flavor. Cut back to just above a cluster of leaves with sharp scissors or shears. Tie bundles together and hang to dry in a dark, dry spot. Be sure to wrap the bundles loosely in a perforated paper bag to prevent dust collection and leaf droppings as the stalks dry.
Oregano is one of the most versatile cooking herbs and is essential to have on hand for any sauces or homemade pizza.
Plant oregano as a border along with vegetable gardens – particularly cabbage family crops to attract pollinators and help healthy plant growth.
Growing tips: For herbs that last years, this one is one of my top choices. I have a large pot just outside my patio door that chives come back in year after year. It sits outside all year long. I live in the Midwest. So, our winters are sometimes below zero. But this plant comes back in this pot year after year. With blazing colors!
Before planting, keep in mind that chives will spread quickly if left to seed. Plant in soil that is rich, fertile, moist and well-draining in an area that receives full sun. You may need to work in some organic material such as compost to amend the soil.
Harvesting: Harvest 60 days after seeding. Chop leaves all the way back, leaving the plant 1- 2 inches above the soil. Freeze chives in an airtight bag or use fresh. Harvest 3-4 times in
the first year and monthly in the subsequent growing seasons.
Sprinkle fresh chives on a baked potato. Add to omelets or other egg dishes.
Use as a fragrant garnish for fish.
Growing tips: Rosemary is incredibly hardy but does best in well-drained, sandy soil in full
sun. Make sure that you give your rosemary plants lots of room to spread their roots as they will quickly grow to be about 4’ tall and 4’ wide. Prune regularly and water deeply but don’t keep the soil too wet.
Harvesting: Trim rosemary back weekly once established and use the fresh clippings right away. Trimming 2 or 3 inches at a time will actually help ensure healthy new growth and contribute to a full plant. If you wish to dry this herb, wait until it just starts to bloom and use the same lavender drying method listed above.
Rosemary infused oil is delicious when drizzled over potatoes or roasted veggies. Simply add a few stalks to your oil bottle and let it sit.
Use fresh rosemary to make tea and help boost your cognitive performance and focus.
Growing tips: As with most herbs, less is more when it comes to caring for thyme. It thrives in hot conditions with full sun and all it needs is thorough watering when the soil is dry to flourish. It is often tricky to start from seed so it is best to plant a small thyme plant for optimal results.
Harvesting: Thyme sprigs can be harvested and used fresh just before the plant flowers or anytime throughout the growing season. It can also be dried or frozen in an airtight container for later use. Regular pruning encourages more growth and a rounded shape.
Leave at least 5 inches of growth after a mass harvest.
Thyme pairs extremely well with mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, fish, chicken, and roast potatoes in various savory dishes.
This thyme infused spray is great for the scalp and fixing a dry scalp while promoting healthy hair growth.
Mint is a very prolific herb and is another one of my top herbs that last years. It a wonderful ground cover. But, be careful. I can spread like wildfire.
Growing tips: There are many varieties of mint so it is important to do your research and choose the one that sounds most appealing for your garden and your taste buds. It is best to start established mint plants instead of seeds. This is a vigorous perennial and will often spread to fill any available space. Consider planting in a container or a separate herb garden to contain its growth.
Harvesting: Pick leaves as you need them or cut down to one inch above the soil right before flowering.
Mint is incredibly versatile and can be added to just about any sweet or savory dish for a unique flavor boost.
Mix in fresh mint leaves with berries and Greek yogurt. Use in tea or freeze in ice cubes for a refreshing drink. Add to salads with a light vinaigrette dressing.
Lavender is another one of my top herbs that last years. I have it in my butterfly garden and it keeps coming back over and over again.
Growing tips: Plant lavender in full sun in well-draining soil. It doesn’t like to be kept overly moist so be sure to let the soil dry out before watering deeply.
Harvesting: It is best to harvest lavender once buds have formed but before the flowers are fully open. This will allow you to reap optimal color and fragrance from your plants. Grab a large bunch of lavender stalks near the base and cut with sharp shears. Tie the bundle together and hang upside down in a warm-dry place that is out of direct sunlight. After about 2-4 weeks the lavender is ready to be used. Gently shake off blossoms and leaves into an airtight jar.
Fresh or dried lavender can be used as a vibrant and delicious garnish on a number of dishes including homemade ice cream, bread, and salad.
Make sachets of dried lavender out of breathable fabric and place under your pillow to enhance sleep quality.
Growing tips: Sage is most successful when sown from a young plant in full sun with well- draining soil. Keep the soil moist but don’t allow water to sit. Prune back the thick, woody stems every spring to increase production and flavor.
Harvesting: Harvest lightly in the first growing season by clipping off a few inches of the plant right above the spot where the leaves meet. Layout leaves on a flat surface to dry and crumble them as needed for seasoning.
Sage brings great flavor to any meat dish, especially poultry.
The leaves and branches are often used in festive activities such as wreath and potpourri-making where they provide wonderful fragrance, texture, and color. I hope you enjoyed this post about herbs that last years. Herbs are absolutely the best plants to grow. We all use them. And when they are fresh, they make our food taste wonderful.
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