Some herb plants are comparatively more fragile than others and seem to keep growing no matter how their surroundings change. If you’re located in a northern climate, you have many options of herbs guaranteed to thrive in your garden.
Whether you grow these plants in containers or on the ground, most of them are perennial and will come back every year with the right growing conditions. Here are some of the best herbs to grow in northern climates:
Oregano is a bushy plant commonly found in herb gardens, rock gardens, ground covers, and borders. It is perennial and can tolerate heat, drought, and rocky soil, making it perfect even for growing in containers.
This plant needs sandy loam soil with dry to medium moisture and a proper draining system. Moreover, it needs full sun and can be harvested once the leaves are the correct size. The leaves taste best when harvested just before the plant flowers in late summer.
In addition, most herbs benefit from regular harvesting, so they have more space to grow. Oregano, in particular, continues to produce leaves all season long, provided it will not flower.
Thyme is a low-growing perennial herb that serves as an adequate ground cover and a plant in a rock garden. It also grows well in between containers and pavers. Thyme is highly aromatic and produces tiny lavender flowers in the late spring and early summer, attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies.
Harvest the herb’s leaves as needed or cut in big batches to dry for later. If you plan to overwinter your thyme in the ground, you can cut it back by at least two-thirds by the end of the growing season. The plant should send up new shoots and will leaf out again in the spring.
Chives are a resilient perennial herb that begins growing early and produces purple blooms from April to May. It needs average to medium moisture and full sun to part shade to thrive.
The flowers in chives are edible and often used as a garnish for soups and salads. The leaves can be cut as needed if you want a light onion flavor to your dish. You may also snip some and save them for later in the freezer. If your winter conditions are too harsh for chives, you can dig up the plants and overwinter them outdoors.
Mint is a hardy web that often becomes invasive in other gardens. Even if you live in a cold climate with a short growing season, mint still finds the opportunity to spread over a large portion of your garden.
Mint prefers rich, moist soil but can also adapt to most conditions, excluding arid soil. You can begin harvesting leaves once your plant shows multiple stems of at least six inches long. Try not to harvest more than a third of the plant at once.
This herb grows well in large pots and can also be left to overwinter. It will die, but this perennial plant is set to return and multiply in the spring. Moreover, you have many varieties to choose from, such as Peppermint and Spearmint, two classic favorites of herb gardeners.
These herbs are only four of the many herbs well-suited to be grown in climates with significant cold seasons. If you live in a northern climate, it’s best to find herbs that are more cold-tolerant and well-suited in your area. That way, you can let them overwinter in the cold months.
Blossom and Broom is a home and lifestyle blog dedicated to edible landscape gardens, permaculture, shrubs, and more. We are committed to promoting an eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle that readers can reference when creating their own home gardens and other domestic activities. Visit our herbal gardening blog for more tips about how to grow perennial herbs or edible plants in a northern climate. Be one with us in living sustainably now!