Herb Plants for Shady Garden Areas: Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Herb Plants for Shady Garden Areas: Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Herb gardening isn’t limited to gardens and yards with full sun. There are many herbs that thrive in the shade.

Herbs have the reputation of requiring 6-8 hours of sunlight because many of them such as basil originate from the Mediterranean.

It’s good to know that there are many herbs that thrive beautifully in shady areas of the garden or yard. In fact, some herbs like the Spicebush prefer it.

Herbs are the perfect complement to the vegetable garden. But some gardeners may have areas that see shade during a large part of the day. There are those areas in a yard or garden that could use a groundcover in such places like under trees or in perennial flower beds.

Herbs that Grow in Shade

#1. Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows to 8 inches; zones 4-8; nice under trees; smells of freshly mown hay when crushed.

#2. Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum)

Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows to 6-8 inches; zones 3-9; silvery-edged leaves bring light to shady areas.

#3. Shiso (Perilla frutescens)

Shiso (Perilla frutescens): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows to 3 feet; As an annual in all zones; use like basil or cilantro.

#4. Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows 2-4 feet; zones 4-9; beautiful in a perennial border.

#5. Periwinkle (Vinca major or V. minor)

Periwinkle (Vinca major or V. minor): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows up to 12 inches; zones 3-9; excellent choice for sloping ground as it binds well to the soil; whorled purple flowers.

#6. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows 2-3 feet; zones 4-9; this plant flourishes and could become invasive.

#7. Sweet Violet (Viola odorata)

Sweet Violet (Viola odorata): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows 6-12 inches; zones 4-9; sweet scent; violet or white flowers.

#8. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows to 2 feet; zones 4-9; one of the unofficial calming herbs.

#9. Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

Oregano (Origanum vulgare): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows to 2 1/2 feet; zones 5-9 ; will tolerate light shade.

#10. German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows to 2 feet; zones 4-8;good to use as an under-planting.

#11. Lungwort (Pulmonaria)

Lungwort (Pulmonaria): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows usually 12 inches; zones 2-9 varies with species; one of the first to bloom in spring; flower color often changes from reddish-violet to blue as it matures; excellent cover for shade.

#12. Thyme (Thymus spp.)

Thyme (Thymus spp.): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows to 6-12 inches depending on variety; zones 4-10; creeping thyme makes a wonderful groundcover.

#13. Parsley (Petroselinum spp.)

Parsley (Petroselinum spp.): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows to 1 foot; zones 5-9; tolerates light shade.

#14. Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows to 1 foot; zones 2-8; bears dark purple flowers in the early spring.

#15. Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina)

Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows 1-3 feet; zones 4-9; although on the sun list, Stachys can take partial shade.

#16. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows 6-12 feet; zones 2-6; This versatile herb grows in deep shade.

#17. Corsican Mint (Mentha requienii)

Corsican Mint (Mentha requienii): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows under 6 inches; zones 6-9; on the sun list as well but takes shade nicely.

#18. Bugle (Ajuga reptans)

Bugle (Ajuga reptans): Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

Grows under 6 inches; zones 4-9; another plant that does double-duty in the sun and shade.

Herbs that grow well in shady areas often have fewer water requirements once established. The added benefit of growing these plants in shady landscapes and gardens instead of the old stand-bys (such as ivy) is that many of these herbs pull double-duty by being useful in the kitchen.

Shade herbs listed there that may be eaten safely are parsley, thyme, oregano, spicebush, Corsican mint, shiso, and lemon balm. All others would require further information before ingesting.

Disclaimer – Not all herbs listed in this article are for culinary dishes. Some are for medicinal purposes which should be used under the guidance of a health care professional.

18 herbs that grow in the shade

Herb Plants for Shady Garden Areas: Garden Herbs that Grow in the Shade

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here