First Medicinal Herb Garden

adelegrowsJuly 1, 2010

Hey all. I'm totally new to planting a medicinal herb garden.... especially in South Florida. I've found that certain herbs are very expensive, so if I can grow them I'd be a much happier girl ;)

I'm willing to give up as much land as necessary and as many pots.

But I was wondering if you have any suggestions, seeing that I've never grown any herbs other than basil, parsley and oregano.

I have a lot more research to do and I'm realistic that some of these herbs may not be able to grow in south Florida. I don't know if I'm even going to find half of these herbs in South Florida (other than seeds).

However the herbs that I need to look into are:

French Lavender

Lemon Balm

Mint

Nettle

St. John's Wort

Red Clover

Chamomile

Skullcap

Stevia

Echinacea

Goldenseal

Dandelion

Milk Thistle

Marshmallow

Meadowsweet

Passion Flower

Peppermint

Evening Primrose

Fennel

Any suggestions/help that you can possibly provide will be much appreciated.

THANK YOU!

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loufloralcityz9

adelegrows,

They sell most of those plants and more on eBay.
Search for: herb plants
When I did a search just now on eBay, 717 herb plants came up.
You can also search for them one by one but make sure you put 'plants' after the name.
I hope this helps,

Lou

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 3:45PM
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corar4gw(JAX9A)

Richters of Canada carries all sorts of medicinal herbs. Go to richter.com and check out their on line catalog or order a free one to be mailed to you. So far, I've found them to be very accomodating.
cora

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 3:57PM
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adelegrows

Thanks so much!!
I'll check out ebay and Richters tonight.
Does anyone have any tips as to starting the herb garden and maintaining it??? I'm really not a natural green thumb.

Thanks

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 6:08PM
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imagardener2(9-10)

only certain "southern" types of lavender will grow in Florida.

Google to find your county extension office, many of them have web pages and some have demonstration gardens.
You can call and speak to a Master Gardener to find out what will grow in your area and get information that will save you many dollars, months and much frustration.

Here's a start:

Here is a link that might be useful: Florida herbs

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 6:51PM
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corar4gw(JAX9A)

Some basic tips: When the instructions say "full sun" they ain't taking about south or anywhere in Florida.
Summer is our winter - this is when we stay inside and read the seed catalogs.
Most of your herbs will do best in the winter.
Herbs as a rule are very hardy - don't kill 'em with kindness.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 6:54PM
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amberroses(10a)

From your list I currently have: fennel (bronze), basil, passion vine, mint, echinacea, and lemon balm. So I can say that those do grow here in central Florida. Most herbs I grow in pots to contain their growth and allow better drainage and air circulation. I think the best thing for you to do is to narrow down what you want to start with by deciding how you want to use the plants. I don't really have the knowledge to use them medicinally yet. Here is what I use them for:

Butterfly larval plant:
fennel
dill
passionvine

Teas or desserts:
Lemon balm
mint
fennel

Pretty looks:
passionvine
fennel
echinacea

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 7:12PM
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thonotorose

My echinacea is back for the third year and that is when the roots are best to harvest. Lemon balm does well here and mint can be invasive. My spearmint is growing below my potting table where it enjoys the well water sink which drains to the ground.

I believe the lavender for here is the Provence kind. I think sandy and well draining soil is best. Mine is in full sun and I have only lost them when it is very wet for an extended time. Slow to bloom for me.

I've grown chamomile from seed and skullcap (scutellaria) is sold at Lowes in the spring.

Dandelion, thistle, nettle and clover all grow here so you should do fine.

I second Richter's. Extensive catalog.

I suggest that you find a local herbalist and take classes and pick their brain (and buy from them!) Here in central FL we have three that I know of. One teaches at Hillsborough Community College, Chudnow. One teaches many classes at her farm and nursery in Zephyrhills, Kalajian. And there is wise woman named Willow who has a nursery in Dover.

Good luck!

Veronica

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 9:09PM
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loufloralcityz9

adelegrows,

One more hint if you use eBay when searching for plants, you can limit the distance from your zip code so you know the plants are grown locally in Fla.

On the left side of your 'My Page' under REFINE YOUR SEARCH you will see DISTANCE. Enter your zip code and select like 200 miles. Only sellers within 200 miles from you will show up on your search so you know the plant you get will grow in Fla. You may have to pay Fla. sales tax but you'll know the plant will be localized.

I just bought a beautiful fruit tree from a nursery in JAX using that method and the tree they sent me has seven fruit growing on the tree. I won the bid for $15.50

Lou

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 5:37AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Not sure how 'South' you are , but of the list above, these I'm fairly certain will grow, w/ the proper culture:

French Lavender - iffy - might do ok in a deep clay pot
Lemon Balm
Mint (almost all varieties)
St. John's Wort (there's a native variety)
Skullcap
Echinacea
Dandelion (grows wild)
Passion Flower
Peppermint
Evening Primrose (grows wild)
Fennel

& here are some not on that list that I've had ongoing success w/ here on the Central Gulf coast:

sage
aloe
ginger
turmeric
sweet violets
chasteberry
rosemary
basil
oregano
dill
spilanthes/a.k.a.toothache plant
catnip
parsley
gotu kola (there's a native variety)

& another extremely useful medicinal plant that grows wild almost everywhere is elder - mine are loaded w/ berries right now. They may not be as sweet as the cultivated variety, but they are carefree. I use both the flowers & the berries in tea for cold or flu.

HTH
Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 8:38AM
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drudadunat(9b Tampa FL)

I'll second Richters. Amazing variety and good customer service.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 11:43AM
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rainy230(10 Jupiter)

I know you don't have Rosemary on the list but mine do great here as long asI don't fuss with them ( or try to move them) sage is another good one, I also have a small bay plant that I love,it's had a few near death experiences and still here :).I also have some bee balm..

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 1:23PM
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mrs_tlc

I went to an herb seminar at the Lee County Extension that was great. The speaker was Monica Brandies. She writes for "Florida Gardening" magazine and had lots of insight into growing herbs in FL. I bought her book "Herbs and Spices for Florida Gardens" and love it. I'm sure you could google it or go to Amazon.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 8:47PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

If you have an Ace hardware nearby, I have found that they carry quite a few herbs and they are even cheaper than H.D or WM

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 11:38AM
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leelee_2008

aloe vera definitely
holy basil (tulsi)
betel leaf vine
lemon grass

all of the above do well in south florida and should be a part of any herb/medicinal garden

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 4:47PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Forgive my curiosity if it's inappropriate, but what's driving this request?

Some basic tips: When the instructions say "full sun" they ain't taking about south or anywhere in Florida.
Summer is our winter - this is when we stay inside and read the seed catalogs.

Ain't that the truth....

Tom

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 7:02PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

I'm interested in growing echinacea just for the beautiful flowers. But the test plants I've tried have done great in spring but succumbed to various mildews and fungal rots by august. Any tips on growing echinacea? I'd love to see some shots of how they are situated in your gardens from those of you growing it successfully. What time of year does it bloom here? I used to grow it in the northwest, and it would bloom pretty much all summer. Does it do that here for you?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 9:15AM
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jay-wpb(10 FL)

A neem plant should be included in any medicinal garden

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:48PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Jay - are you aware Neem is a large tree?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:53AM
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loufloralcityz9

If you want a large tree, plant a baobab, then you can hollow it out and live in it like a squirrel.

Lou

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 3:13PM
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