Herbs for shade?

PunkRotten(9b)January 18, 2013


Is there any herbs that will do ok in partial shade to mostly shade? I have a spot that gets about 2 hours maybe a tad more of sun a day.

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Culinary herbs? Or are we talking medicinal, dyeing, and other purposes herbs? Medicinal there are many. Culinary, not so many. A little info will help us to answer.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:21PM
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Prefer Culinary and medicinal. Thanks

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 6:15PM
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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

Most culinary herbs prefer full sun to part shade. The only culinary herbs I've been able to grow in shade is mint and it tends to be weak flavored. Medicinals might make better use of your space.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 7:43PM
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CA Kate

I notice that you're zone is 9B. I am in 9 in CA. I have found that, because of our very HOT, intense summer sun, many herbs like morning sun and afternoon shade; these include mint, sage, thyme, oregano, and the list goes on. So far all mine are in large, generous pots that should go in the ground this Spring.

So, have you observed sun patterns just recently or for at lease a whole year's cycle? If only this past Fall and Winter, you might find that you have more or less sun as the Summer sun follows a higher path.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 9:35PM
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Yeah it could be slightly a little more sun like 3 hours. But not much more. I have observed it for 2-3 years. The problem is that there are walls from my house and the neighbors that block light and the light is only available late morning early afternoon. I have grown marigolds, nasturtiums, dwarf tomatoes, small sunflowers, impatiens and a few other things in this spot before. The tomatoes and sunflowers did grow and bloom and produced fruit/seeds. They just grew a little slower than the stuff I had in sunnier locations.

I already got 3 kinds of mint and like where they are at. I actually had a potted Chocolate mint I got rid of cause it was least liked and I divided it a few times and still have them. Planning on giving them away. I have some Oregano I started by seed about a month ago under lights, I have a potted yarrow, and I was trying to start thyme but having trouble with germination. Culantro (not cilantro) is another herb I will be growing and I hear they like shade mostly. What about self-heal, dandelion, or chamomile? I have seeds for these.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 11:15PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Lovage does well in part shade.

Self-heal and dandelion will grow in part shade. They grow any place they want with little effort. Oregano gets leggy in part-shade. I've tried it. Thyme, yarrow, and chamomile like the sun and so may not be the best choices. Mints may do ok, but I would expect them at the very least to get leggy.

Some partial shades or full shades (depends on plant or location) I have are: feverfew, monarda, sweet woodruff, violets, trillium, blootroot, twinleaf, black cohosh, blue cohosh, matdenhair fern, white baneberry, ramps, wild geranium, solomon's seal, wild strawberry, wild ginger, great lobelia, jack-in-the-pulpit, mayapple, patridgeberry, lady's mantle, etc. Most of these are *not* culinary but are medicinals. Shade loving native medicinals for your region may vary much from mine.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 9:31AM
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Depending on how hot your zone 9 gets, the lovage may die in the heat of summer, whether in shade or not. The year I tried it was an extremely hot summer.

Salad Burnet has grown for me for several years under the north facing eave of the house-- extremely full shade. It does lean toward the sun. Sweet violets and swiss chard and salad burnet and french sorrel and malabar spinach all tolerate/like mostly shade in the summer heat. Parsley does okay with morning sun but tries to grow into the sunlight. Forget summer with the parsley, it will bolt It prefers fall, winter, spring in north Texas. In winter here, they all like full sun. I can't keep onion chives alive for some reason. Garlic chives put up with some shade and persist in the no-water zone. Haven't tried growing garlic itself, but the elephant garlic has persisted in full sun in the no-water zone. I -think- both garlic and elephant garlic will tolerate mostly shade.

English thyme survived and reseeded for years in the full, dry shade of a yaupon trimmed as a tree. It croaked when the tree branches were trimmed so it was abruptly in more sun than shade in the hot, dry summer. It was in the no-water zone of the yard.

The soil here is heavy, alkaline clay.

Hope this helps; I think I lost the subject of the thread!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:10PM
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Hi, PunkRotten,

I can't answer your question--I came to this link looking for the answer myself--but I'd love some chocolate mint! May I message you with my address if you have any more?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:08PM
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