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Growing Herbs Suitable for Growing in a Shady Place. 

Herbs are normally seen as sunny position plants - mainly because they are grown in 'open-style' gardens. However, many herbs will live if not even thrive in a shady place in your garden, or even on a shaded balcony.

Dappled shade will give you a greater range of herbs that are suitable, but all of these herbs listed, will at least live in shade, providing that the normal constraints of gardening in the shade are realised and acted upon.

Perennial herbs - those that grow from year to year - are amongst the most popular herbs for growing in shade situations, and include such plants as those listed below.

Care of Herbs in Shaded Places.

Once established, most of the above mentioned shade herbs, will not require too much in the way of added water, but of course if the shade is as a result of a nearby tree or wall, then the soil will be naturally dry, so keep moist.

Most plants placed in shade conditions, tend to grow leggy. No problems with the herbs, for they can be regularly pinched out to ensure compact growth and a ready supply of fresh herbs for the kitchen.

As with so many things gardening, that which works for some will not work for others - one of the things that makes growing plants so interesting.

Some herbs will do better in shade in cooler areas, whilst others will do better in that shaded spot in warmer areas. This is often the case with the same herb in different situations. So, you will need to experiment to find out which suits your situation best.

Don't be afraid of mixing your herbs with other 'conventional' garden plants - whether in border, bed or container. The coloured foliage of the Sages - Salvia Tricolor and the golden Salvia officinalis 'Icterina' will act as a good foil for many annual and perennial plants. 

Perennial Herbs suitable for Shade Gardens. These are all culinary herbs.

  • Most Mints. Some will lose a bit of colour - especially the bronzes.
  • Lemon and other Balms. With Lemon Balm, any self-sown seedlings will be green and not variegated like the parent.
  • Thymes of all description. They are showy when in flower, and great ground coverers.
  • Sages - including the variegated and coloured foliage types.
  • Houttuynia cordata Chameleon has herbal uses in Asia mainly
  • Hyssop
  • Chives - including Garlic Chives do really well in shaded places.
  • Oregano - surprisingly as it is of Mediterranean origins.
  • Woodruff - normally associated with woodland settings in the wild.
  • Comfreys - especially the low growing types which are good ground coverers in shaded places.
  • A large bush - or tree The Bay will also do well in shade!

That list should have given you a bit of enthusiasm - if not encouragement to try growing some herbs in a shady garden area. But the list can be added to with the inclusion of some annual herbs - which you normally sow each year.

Annual Herbs Suitable for Growing in Shady Areas of the Garden.

  • Chamomile - which will probably self seed itself, so will provide perpetual interest in light shaded areas.
  • Chervil
  • Dill
  • Ginger - not actually an annual, but treated as such as it is not hardy. Dig it up before winter sets in.
  • Parsley - best treated as an annual though actually a biennial! The curly leaf and flat leaved varieties do quite well in shade.
  • Angelica - treat as annual - is a great herb for brightening up a shaded place. Grows to a metre or so in one year.

If you have any experiences with growing herbs in shade positions, we would like to hear from you and maybe add it to our list.


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