10 Wonderful herbs: Grow them yourself

, posted in Ornamentals

By Saif Malik

1. Mint: Mint is a creeping perennial herb with furry rounded foliage and white flowers. It is a wonderful thing in Tea form; and likewise good for flavoring drinks and salads. Health-wise, it improves digestion.

How to grow?

i) Propagate it by division and cuttings during spring.

ii) Ideally, grow it in container. Growing in container will help to restrict its rampant growth.

iii) Always keep the containers well watered

2. Lavender: Lavender is a herbaceous perennial shrub. It has aromatic leaves and purple flowers. Foliage and flowers can be used to flavor certain dishes. Ornamentally, its leaves are used for fragrance especially in potpourris and sachets.

 

How to grow?

i) Propagate it from semi-hardwood cuttings taken during mid-summer.

ii) It needs well-drained soil and a sunny position.

iii) Pick leaves and flowers as per need.

3. Parsley: Parsley is probably the most popular of all culinary herbs and it is excellent for flavoring savory dishes. It makes a lovely border in the flower garden, and is also excellent as container plant. Health-wise, it is a good source of Iron and Vitamin C. It reduces bloating and promotes digestion.

How to grow?

i) Its seeds may be sown in spring or autumn.

ii) It develops long tap-like roots and may be planted out from seed trays as soon as possible. iii) It thrives only in moderate amount of light.

iv) Never allow soil to dry out.

4. Sweet Basil: Sweet basil is a summer-growing, bushy annual with glossy, bright-green, aromatic foliage and white flowers. Its fresh leaves are used to flavor salads and many dishes.

How to grow?

i) Propagate it from seed sown in spring.

ii) It grows well in containers.

iii) Pinch out the flowers to encourage leaf growth.

5. Coriander: Coriander is an annual herb that has rather sharp-tasting, parsley-like leaves, and small, white or purplish tinged flowers. The first, dark green, round leaves are known as danhia and are used in Indian cooking. Mature seeds are ground and used for flavoring salads, breads, cakes, and as a pickling spice.

How to grow?

i) Sow seed directly during spring or autumn in a sunny spot.

ii) Do not grow near Common Fennel or Dill herbs.

iii) Seeds germinate quickly; keep seedlings moist.

iv) When grown in summer plants go to seed within four months, but during winter they are usually grown for their leaves.

6. Rosemary: Rosemary is a hardy herb which develops into an attractive small shrub with blue flowers and as a result it is more often seen in shrub borders than in herb gardens. Its fragrant leaves are used mainly for flavoring lamb dishes. It repels harmful insects and benefits every plant in the neighborhood. In humans, it is good to relieve headaches, muscular pains, neuralgia and dyspepsia.

How to grow?

i) Propagate it from semi-hardwood cuttings in summer or from seed sown in spring.

ii) Plant in well-drained soil.

iii) Planting it next to Sage herb helps it flourish extraordinarily.

7. Sage: Sage grows in attractive small clumps and bears spikes of purple flowers. It has oval, pale green to grey, crinkled foliage. The leaves are useful for seasoning and flavoring meat dishes, soups and sauces. Sage is also very ornamental. It is also available with reddish-purple foliage, with variegated foliage with cream steaks, or as a tricolor with purple, green and cream-streaked foliage. Sage is good for digestion and brain health-wise.

How to grow?

i) It is short-lived perennial herb; it needs full sun and well-drained soil.

ii) Propagate it from semi-hardwood cuttings during summer, by layering, or by sowing seed in spring or autumn.

iii) To grow in full sun, plant it in containers.

8. Thyme: Thyme is a woody, low-growing plant with stiff stems covered in small, strongly aromatic, oval grey-green leaves. It has small clusters of lilac flowers. Flowers are pink-mauve. It is used in perfumes and medicines. Health-wise, it is good against cough, asthma, and bronchitis; and good for digestion and leaver cleansing.

How to grow?

i) Propagate from semi-hardwood cuttings, rooted side shoots or roots.

ii) It grows in full sun or semi-shade, indoors and out. It is ideal for pots in full sun.

iii) It is best sown in shallow soil because of its tiny seeds.

iv) It is extremely bee-friendly.

9. Common Fennel: Common fennel is a perennial herb with fine, feathery leaves, usually grown as an annual. Seeds are used as a condiment, leaves are flavoring because of their anise-like flavor, and the stems are eaten like celery.

How to grow?

i) Sow seeds direct or in trays during spring and early summer.

ii) Pick leaves and stems when required.

iii) The bulb-like stem will be ready about 12 weeks after sowing.

10. Garlic: Garlic is a perennial compound bulb divided into cloves, each covered in a white or mottled purple, parchment-like skin. A close relative of the onion, the plant consists of a clump of flat leaves and round heads of pinkish flowers. Its bulb is widely used for flavoring salads and meat dishes.

How to grow?

i) Propagate from cloves planted during autumn and winter.

ii) Press individual cloves 30 mm deep into well-prepared soil and space them about 80 mm apart.

iii) Once flowers have died down and foliage starts to dry up the bulbs are ready to be lifted, usually about 8-9 months from planting.

About author: Saif Malik is a Landscape horticulturist, well equipped with lot of professional exposure and experience. Along with landscaping/gardening work, he's founder, publisher & editor-in-chief of hortist.com.
Email: saif@hortist.com; Twitter: @hortist09; Website URL: http://www.hortist.com

Copyright Hortist, 2013

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Hortist is a sustainable source for landscape horticulture news, solutions and resources, managed by a Landscape horticulturist from Pakistan. Hortist reports on importance of this very unique niche and how it improves the landscape of this world and lives of its inhabitants.