We have curated a list of our top 5 perennial herbs to grow in your home garden. With 2020 calling for specific measures and self-care actions, we have selected plants with a myriad of benefits, including medicinal use for the immune system. Regularly adding fresh herbs to your daily routines can be a gentle yet powerful way to support your body. While dried herbs from the grocery store can provide value in their own right, it is truly the fresh herbs that offer the strongest medicinal value. These herbs are multifunctional, easy to grow, and can live in raised beds, container gardens, and even window sills.
Why we chose all perennials:
- For the environment’s sake ~ Perennials are our best shot at reversing climate change! They sequester carbon from the atmosphere and draw it back down into the Earth’s soil. This restores a healthy carbon cycle.
- For your sake ~ Once established, perennial plants generally need little care. Besides watering and light pruning, they take care of themselves!
- For the soils sake ~ Perennial roots give structure to the soil. This reduces the likelihood of soil erosion, and increases the soil’s micro-biodiversity and ability to retain moisture.
What they provide for you:
- A healthy hobby ~ A wonderful excuse to get outside, care for something other than yourself, and be around their gentle and healing nature.
- Companionship ~ Yes - they will be your babies and you will love them!
- Food ~ Add these herbs to savory or sweet dishes.
- Medicine ~ Make teas, tinctures or infused vinegars!
- Body Care ~ Infuse these plants into oils for massage with added benefits
- Inspiration & creativity ~ paint a portrait of them, take a photograph, press their flowers for crafts, etc. etc. etc!
- Reduced stress ~ Gardening has been shown to reduce stress levels.
We hope you are inspired to get your hands in the dirt!
⤅ Lemon Balm ~ This delicious lemony perennial is actually in the mint family! Mints are infamous for being persistent growers in the garden - meaning they want to grow well and thrive. Though be wary of too much heat, as these babies can wilt easily. Preventativly, keep your lemon balm hydrated with regular watering. It will grow to be about one to two feet tall. Harvest the tops of the plants by cutting right at a node. Late winter or early spring cut back the dead stalks and you will see fresh new growth at the base.
⤅ Rosemary ~ This sturdy Mediterranean perennial grows as a shrub. The small yet beautiful blue flowers, and its aromatic leaves, make it a wonderful plant to keep around. If you live somewhere with very cold winters, grow it in a pot and take it indoors in the winter months. Otherwise it will thrive in ideal conditions - which somewhere warm with mild humidity. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil so that the roots don’t get soggy. Harvest the soft tips of the plant, just before it flowers, for the most potent leaves. An extra bonus of growing this perennial: it is a wonderful pollinator for bees.
⤅ Oregano ~ Hailing from Italy, this is an easy-going yet zesty perennial for your home garden. It likes a sunny, warm home and can dry out between waterings - a bit. When your oregano reaches about 4 inches in height, you can start harvesting by clipping the tops off and using it in your dishes. On hotter days, make sure to water to prevent drooping.
⤅ Thyme ~ A super low maintenance perennial herb! Beyond a bit of pruning after it flowers, and the occasional yet consistent watering, thyme will thrive and be able to tolerate drought conditions. Harvest the tops and throw in your dishes for an added boost of immune strengthening.
⤅ Lavender ~ A beautiful and hardy plant for beginner gardeners! As an antimicrobial, lavender not only wards off germs for us humans, but it is great at warding off pests and unwanted microbes from itself! This plant really does not like to be overwatered, making it a pretty hands-off plant to grow. Its prefered environment is warm and dry. As long as it is planted in soil with good drainage, and in a spot with full sun to part shade, it should thrive. The part of the plant that most people use for culinary uses, teas, and body care is the unopened flower buds. The leaves, however, are also aromatic and valuable!
Now that you can grow perennials, find out what to do with them:
- Read more about these herbs and their benefits for the immune system in our holistic guide to immunity. This free downloadable guide is packed with recipes, tricks and tips for a truly plant-based approach to a strong and vibrant immune system.
- Make a tea blend. Check out this spring renewal tea.
- Learn how to make your own herbal remedies with Anato's founder, Celine, in her workshop, "Herbal Remedies 101 & DIY First Aid Balm"