8 Popular Perennial Herbs

Want to grow fresh herbs at home? These much-loved perennial herbs can bring goodness to your kitchen year after year.

Everything tastes better with fresh herbs. The best way to avoid the dried stuff in the jars at the grocery is to grow your own fresh herbs. You can grow them indoors on a sunny windowsill, or outdoors in a raised bed or container. Some herbs, like cilantro and basil, are annuals in most places. But others are perennials that can bring goodness to your kitchen for years. Here’s a list of perennial herbs to grow at home. 

Chives  

Chives are basically tiny onions, but you grow them for their leaves, not their bulbs. These perennial herbs grow in grassy clumps and have hollow leaves. They’re a compact plant that does well in containers. Snip the leaves at any time for cooking.

Rosemary

Native to the Mediterranean, this evergreen shrub likes hot, dry sunny spots. The hardiest varieties can survive Zone 6 winters. Use its needle-like leaves to flavor pork, lamb, chicken or potatoes. It’s also a good ornamental plant for containers or borders.

Mint  

This is the toughest of the perennial herbs, growing where others fail. Use it for tea, soups, baked goods and mojitos. Mint can spread aggressively, so it’s a good idea to grow it in containers to keep it from taking over too much real estate in your garden.

Tarragon  

This shrubby perennial is a classic French herb that smells and tastes like anise. It’s the main flavoring in béarnaise sauce and is also used to season fish, meats and eggs. Its dark green, lance-shaped leaves can be clipped at any time and used for cooking.

Lavender  

This bushy shrub has aromatic purple flowers that are used as a culinary herb, particularly in baked goods and teas. Its oils are also used in cosmetics and soaps. With silvery foliage and a mounding shape, lavender is lovely in an ornamental bed. Give lavender dry soil and full sun. 

Oregano  

You can’t cook Italian food without oregano. It’s a must for tomato sauces, pizza and Mediterranean cuisine in general. It’s a low-growing herb so it works in containers. Cut its leaves at any time to use in cooking. Pinch off flowers to keep the leaves coming all season. 

Sage 

One of the most popular perennial herbs, sage has many uses. Besides its use as a culinary herb, it’s also used in cosmetics, perfumes and soaps. Burning sage gets rid of bad odors. You’ll need to replace sage plants every couple of years because it will get woody and produce fewer leaves.

Thyme  

The leaves of this low-growing herb bring flavor to vegetables, soups and sauces, and it’s a key ingredient of bouquet garni and herbes de Provence. It likes sun and dry conditions, so plant it in a raised bed or container to keep it high and dry.

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