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7 Giant Herbs You Can Grow at Home

7 Giant Herbs You Can Grow at Home

By Erica Glasener, Networx

I admit it, I live to eat. I also enjoy cooking and having fresh herbs to use for soups, stews and salads. With this in mind I grow herbs in pots and in the ground. As far as Iím concerned one can never have too much basil, parsley or rosemary. The good news is that many of these large herbs are easy to grow and, not only are they tasty, but they are pretty in pots whether you grow them on their own or combine them with other herbs and flowers.

For best growth and production most herbs need full sun (4 to 6 hours of direct sun) and excellent drainage but you donít have to have a big garden to grow them. A balcony or window box will suffice.† Depending on what part of the country you live in there are annual, biennial and perennial types.

1. Giant Italian Parsley

Giant Italian parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a biennial in Zones 6 to 9, but often grown as an annual.† I prefer the taste and look of this giant flat leaf parsley to that of the more common curly parsley. Plants get large and bushy and produce many leaves. In mild climates it stays evergreen all winter.

2. Rosemary

Another evergreen herb, native to the Mediterranean, is rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). A perennial in Zones 8 to 10, it is great for seasoning meats and vegetables. Its delightful scented leaves make it a welcome addition to flower arrangements too. While often seen in small starter pots, rosemary plants will become bush-size if allowed to flourish.

3. Sage

Winter hardy in Zones 5 to 10, sage (Salvia officinalis) can grow 2 to 3í tall or taller and 2í wide. This aromatic herb is popular for seasoning meats, sauces and vegetable dishes.

4. Lemon Balm

Also known for its fragrance is the perennial herb lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) hardy in Zones 4 to 9.† The lemon scented leaves are popular for making teas or adding to baths for a calming effect. Plants easily grow to 2í tall.

5. Lavender

If you love lavender scented soaps and sachets, try growing some of your own lavender, including the cold hardy English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia); perennial in Zones 5 to 9 and popular as a companion for roses.† Spanish or French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) has large showy purple flowers and is also aromatic.†† Both of these lavenders are good candidates for containers.

6. Large Leaf Italian Basil

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a popular herb used (both fresh and dried) for Italian cooking including pizzas, salads, sauces and pesto.† Large leaf Italian or lettuce leaf basil (Ocimum basilicum var. crispum) has leaves that look lettuce-like and can be up to 3 to 4 inches long on plants that grow up to 2í tall.† This annual can be started from seed indoors (under grow lights) in late winter and transplanted to the garden or a container outdoors, once the fear of frost is passed.† For a contrast try growing the large purple sweet basil too.

7. Hyssop

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) is a perennial herb in Zones 4 to 9.† The aromatic leaves are used to season soups, salads, liqueurs and stews.† The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Like rosemary, this herb will grow as high and wide as a small bush.

Erica Glasener is an Atlanta gardener and horticulturist. Read more like this on Networx.

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129 comments

+ add your own
8:21AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Looks like Mpa M has a little too much time on her hands-you can say I love herbs!! once and we will all get the message!

Herbs are delightful, healthy, aromatic and certainly entertain my cat. With only a small balcony available for container gardening herbs make up a good part of my garden and are lovely toppings for just off the vine container tomatoes! Many of the flowers are colourful and beautiful!

5:46PM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

Thanks for the info. I am planting & growing many things in my garden & in containers. So far so good, but I have attracted the local bunnies & birds to sample the fixings.

5:50PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

I love herbs!!

5:50PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

I love herbs!!

5:49PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

I love herbs!!

5:49PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

I love herbs!!

5:49PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

I love herbs!!

5:49PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

I love herbs!!

5:49PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

I love herbs!!

5:48PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

I love herbs!!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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