Wild Senna Seeds - Senna Hebecarpa

Senna Seeds

100 Seeds
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4.99
200 Seeds
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8.99

About...

Wild Senna (Senna Hebecarpa) - This native, long-lived, yellow flowering perennial is found in the eastern third of the United States. It is excellent for native gardens and meadows as well as conservation plantings. It is also used as a medicinal herb.

MORE HERB OPTIONS

Senna seeds Verbascum seeds - mix Capparis spinosa seeds Watercress seeds Burdock seeds Sorrel seeds Society garlic seeds Milk thistle seeds ...More
ABOUT
FAQ’s
VIDEOS

Herb Specifications

SEASON

Perennial

USDA ZONES

4 - 9

HEIGHT

36 - 72 inches

BLOOM SEASON

Summer

BLOOM COLOR

Yellow

ENVIRONMENT

Full sun to partial shade

SOIL TYPE

Prefers damp, fertile soils but will tolerate drier sites

DEER RESISTANT

Yes

LATIN NAME

Senna Hebecarpa

Planting Directions

TEMPERATURE

68F

AVERAGE GERM TIME

7 - 14 days

LIGHT REQUIRED

Yes

DEPTH

1/8th inch

SOWING RATE

3 - 4 seeds per plant - 1 oz per 1,000 square feet

MOISTURE

Keep seeds moist until germination

PLANT SPACING

36 inches

Native Garden Herb

Senna is a popular herb, the leaves and fruit of which are commonly used to make medicines, both commercially and at home.

Native Garden Herb

Beautiful Landscape Perennial

How To Grow

Senna seeds have a hard shell, so they should be prepared before sowing: rub the seeds lightly with sandpaper and/or soak them 180F degree water overnight. Then, store the seeds in moist sand in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before planting. Seeds should be sown in early spring: plant just below the surface of the soil, and keep seeds moist but not wet until germination. These seeds can adapt to both moist and dry soil, although damp soil is preferred. Cutting back the plant will encourage bushier growth.

  • Environment: full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: damp and fertile soil
  • Sowing rate: 3-4 seeds per plant
Beautiful Landscape Perennial

Plant Information

Wild senna is a perennial flowering herb that grows in USDA zones 4 through 9. It is effective at attracting a variety of pollinators to the garden, and also looks lovely in the landscape. This is an endangered plant due to loss of natural habitat.

  • Bloom color: yellow
  • Bloom season: summer
  • Height: 36-72 inches

Wild Senna (Senna Hebecarpa) - Senna is an herb. The leaves and the fruit of the plant are used to make medicine. This native, long-lived, yellow flowering perennial is found in the eastern third of the United States. A unique specimen plant for the border! Long-lived and hardy. Tolerant of hot, dry sites once established. It is excellent for native gardens and meadows as well as conservation plantings. Plants grow up to six feet tall and produce yellow flowers in summer, which attract butterflies, bumble bees and other native bees. Seeds are eaten by some game birds such as quail and turkey. Plants prefer damp, fertile soils but will tolerate drier sites.

Senna is an herb that contains compounds called anthraquinones, which are powerful laxatives. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved senna as a nonprescription laxative. Additionally, senna has been found to be effective for cleansing the bowel prior to undergoing colonoscopy when used in conjunction with other agents.

Common Questions

Q

Which herbs can thrive in the kitchen?

A

Not all herbs are suitable for indoor growth. Herbs with woody, bushy growth, like rosemary are too large for indoor herb gardens. Consider other more suitable herbs for an indoor kitchen garden, such as chives, oregano, thyme, dill, mint, basil, cilantro, sage and savory. Each herb has specific growing needs, so ensure to provide the right amount of light, humidity, and air circulation. If using a single large container, ensure that all plants require similar amounts of sunlight and water. For instance, chives and cilantro may not need as much sunlight as dill and oregano.

Q

What are good companion plants for herb gardens?

A

Pairing herbs based on watering requirements, like planting lavender with thyme or basil with chives, is ideal for maintaining the health of both plants. Avoid companion planting with catnip, lemon balm and mint as they should be grown in separate pots due to their rapid spreading nature that can overtake other plants in your indoor herb garden.

Q

When do I establish an indoor herb garden?

A

Create a kitchen herb garden by propagating cuttings from your outdoor plants as the weather cools in the fall. If you opt to sow your indoor herb garden from purchased seeds, begin a few weeks before the anticipated first frost of the season. Most herbs can be harvested within a few weeks, so there is no need to plant too far in advance.

Q

Do kitchen herbs need full sun?

A

Most herbs need 6 hours of sunlight a day to thrive. If you do not have this type of light available in your kitchen, consider a grow light that will run 14-16 hours per day 6 to 12 inches above your plants. NOTE: Rotate herbs periodically when grown in windows to let each part of the plant receive sunlight.

Q

What time of year should you plant herbs?

A

Herbs grown in indoor gardens can be planted any time of year. Many gardeners prefer to grow their herbs outdoors during the summer growing season, and then move them to their indoor garden before the first frost of fall. If you prefer to start your seeds outdoors, you will need to wait until after danger of frost in the spring or start your seeds indoors 6 -8 weeks before last frost and transplant in your garden after danger of frost.

Q

Do herbs come back every year?

A

Perennial herbs will come back each year when planted in the correct zone or grown indoors during the cold winter months. Popular perennial herbs are oregano, parsley, sage, fennel, chives, lavender, thyme and mint varieties.

Q

How do I know when my herbs need watered?

A

Allow the soil to dry out just slightly before watering your herbs again. Give your indoor herb garden a dose of diluted water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks or so. Too much food will compromise the taste of the herbs. It is also beneficial to provide adequate humidity. If the indoor air is especially dry – which is often the case in regions with cold winters. Set the herbs pots on trays of stones. Fill the trays with water but keep the level below the drainage holes of your pots.

Q

When do I water my outdoor herb garden?

A

Different herb plants will need different amounts of water so keep this in mind when planting your garden and keep similar plants together to simplify watering. Watering is best done in the early morning hours when temperatures are cooler. Many herbs are hardy. They can tolerate soil that is moderately dry. You want to keep an eye out for wilting when the soil is wet. Ideally, your herbs should make quick use of the water you give them. Saturated soil is not what you are after. Pay close attention to the coloration of the leaves on your herbs. Yellow leaves can be a sign of too much water, and so can black leaves. If you spot any mildew or fuzz on the herbs, too much moisture can be the problem.

Q

How do I harvest my herbs?

A

Trim back flowering sections before they bloom for healthier leaves. Prune new growth on young plants weekly to encourage a fuller mature plant. Snip herbs for harvest when they are just a few inches tall. Pruning back the herbs often means a larger, longer harvest. Cut the new growth back at least one per week, even if you are not using the herbs in recipes (see drying and freezing page if you do not want to waste your harvest). Long stems that are about to set flower buds should be trimmed off as they appear.

Q

What do I need to start an indoor herb garden?

A

Common tools needed for an indoor herb garden are: garden trowel, scissors for snipping, stones (optional). Materials for your herbs plants include seed, pots, potting soil, cactus potting soil (optional), pots or trays, fertilizer and a grow light if you do not have adequate sunlight of at least 6 hours per day for your plants.

Q

How do I prepare my containers for planting?

A

Choose large, deep containers with drainage holes to accommodate fast-growing herbs. Fill the container with potting mix leaving about ½ inch clear at the top. Use standard commercial potting soil for most herbs but blend in cactus potting mix for herbs native to the Mediterranean, such as thyme and oregano which prefer dryer soils.

Q

Can I put my indoor herb containers outside?

A

Yes! Move your potted herbs to the patio or deck when the weather warms in the spring and for a boost of sunshine.

Q

How do I know when my herbs need larger containers?

A

When roots begin to emerge through the drainage holes of its container, it is time to repot the herbs. Replace the potting mix; the organic material in the potting mix breaks down over time. Remove any plants with woody or thickened stems and replace them with new seeds or seedlings.

Q

Do herbs need fertilizer?

A

The short answer is yes. However, not all herbs have the same fertilizer needs. Herbs roughly fall into two groups. 1. Slow-growing herbs with small leaves or needles and fibrous, woody stems that are native to the mediterranean where they grow culinary lavender, month, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme. 2. Fast-growing herbs with larger, thinner leaves. These can be annuals such as basil, borage, cilantro, chervil and dill; bi-annual herbs such as parsley or perennials such as chives. Herbs in the first group generally need less fertilizer than herbs in the second group.

Q

What type of nutrients do herbs need?

A

Start out by planting herbs in healthy soil rich in organic matter. In addition, they will benefit from an organic complete, slow-release fertilizer containing equal amounts of macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A slow-release fertilizer is especially important if your garden has sandy soil because nutrients wash out quickly. To give fast-growing herbs that you harvest often an extra boost, you can also apply fish emulsion, an organic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, with an NPK ratio of 4-1-1 or 5-1-1.

Q

How often should I fertilize my herbs?

A

The frequency of fertilization follows the growth pattern of the herbs. In soil of average fertility, it is usually sufficient to apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring when they break dormancy, or when the new growing season starts. For other herbs, a light monthly application of a slow-release complete fertilizer should be enough – unless the leaves start to look yellow, which may be a sign of nitrogen deficiency. In that case, applying fish emulsion is a quick fix but before you reach for the fertilizer bottle, rule out that the yellowing of leaves is not caused by something else.

Q

How do I fertilize my herbs in a container?

A

Herbs grown in containers need fertilizer applications more often, because with frequent watering that container plants require, the fertilizer in the potting mix washes out more quickly. Just as with sandy soil, it is important to use slow-release fertilizer. The roots of container plants are in a confined space, unlike herbs grown in the garden or raised beds, which can lead to over fertilization if you are not careful. Organic fertilizers are recommended over synthetic which often contain a high level of salts that can build up in the container over time. To prevent this, it is best to use half the strength of the fertilizer amount specified on the label for any type of fertilizer.

Q

Is it possible to overfertilize herbs?

A

Adding too much fertilizer to herbs usually leads to an excess of nitrogen, which has undesirable results especially for slow-growing herbs. For basil and other thin-leaved herbs, the fast leaf growth induced by nitrogen is fine because you want your plants to be lush. For rosemary and other Mediterranean herbs however, rapid growth means that there is less concentration of essential oils causing the herbs to become less aromatic and have weaker flavor.

Q

How do I prepare garden soil before planting an herb garden?

A

Once you have picked the location for growing your herb garden, you will need to prepare the soil. If the soil is sandy or clay heavy, add plenty of compost. Even if your soil is in pretty good condition, working some compost into the soil will help provide nutrients to the herbs while they are growing.

Q

Can I harvest my herbs too often?

A

Many times, when a new gardener is starting an herb garden, they are afraid that harvesting the herbs frequently will hurt them. The opposite is true. Frequent harvesting of herbs will result in the herb plant producing more and more foliage, which increases the amount you are able to harvest. At the end of the season, you can dry or freeze your herb harvest to enjoy home grown herbs all year long.

Q

I don’t have a good sunny spot outdoors for my herb garden, what can I do?

A

If your yard is mostly shaded, there is not much you can do to change that, but you can pick shade friendly herbs. Parsley, sweet woodruff and mint are good examples of herbs that don’t require as much light. If you are growing plants in low light, manage your expectations. Your herbs will grow but will be slow and results less impressive.

Q

My container soil is staying wet, what do I do?

A

Choose a container that allow for water to drain. If you over water or if it rains too much a good pot will allow the water to flow to the bottom without soaking and rotting the roots of your plants. You can use rocks or pottery shards to fill the bottom of the container to help with drainage. This applies outdoors too. If your herbs constantly have wet feet, they won’t thrive. Either plan when planting your garden and add some sand for drainage or pick plants that don’t mind wet roots as much.

Q

My herbs plants are going to seed, why?

A

The short answer is you are not pruning enough. To prevent rapid growth and encourage a bushy habit, be sure to prune your herb plants regularly. The more you pick off your stems and leaves the longer your herb plant will remain in its production cycle. If you start to see flower heads, snip them right away. When you fail to cut back the plant, it is likely to go to seed and complete its lifecycle. Once that happens, many plants die back. Keep cutting and pinching back flowers to prevent this from happening.

Q

Should I throw away my seeds on their expiration date?

A

Seeds do not have an expiration date, rather they are a sell by date just like food. The dates on seed packages are guidelines to help you know when your seeds are getting old, but it does not mean you need to toss them. Every plant is different. Some seeds last longer than others. Most seeds, if kept cool and dry, will last 2 – 3 years. If you are unsure test them out by growing microgreens.

ABOUT
VIDEOS

Flower Specifications

SEASON

Perennial

USDA ZONES

5 - 8

HEIGHT

24 - 36 inches

BLOOM SEASON

Late spring through summer

BLOOM COLOR

Mix

ENVIRONMENT

Full sun

SOIL TYPE

Well-drained, pH 5.8 - 6.8

DEER RESISTANT

Yes

LATIN NAME

Verbascum Phoenicium

Planting Directions

TEMPERATURE

68F

AVERAGE GERM TIME

14 - 21 days

LIGHT REQUIRED

Yes

DEPTH

Do not cover the seed but press into the soil

SOWING RATE

8 seeds per plant

MOISTURE

Keep seeds moist until germination

PLANT SPACING

18 - 24 inches

CARE & MAINTENANCE

Verbascum

Native Garden Herb

Senna is a popular herb, the leaves and fruit of which are commonly used to make medicines, both commercially and at home.

Native Garden Herb

Beautiful Landscape Perennial

How To Grow

Senna seeds have a hard shell, so they should be prepared before sowing: rub the seeds lightly with sandpaper and/or soak them 180F degree water overnight. Then, store the seeds in moist sand in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before planting. Seeds should be sown in early spring: plant just below the surface of the soil, and keep seeds moist but not wet until germination. These seeds can adapt to both moist and dry soil, although damp soil is preferred. Cutting back the plant will encourage bushier growth.

  • Environment: full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: damp and fertile soil
  • Sowing rate: 3-4 seeds per plant
Beautiful Landscape Perennial

Plant Information

Wild senna is a perennial flowering herb that grows in USDA zones 4 through 9. It is effective at attracting a variety of pollinators to the garden, and also looks lovely in the landscape. This is an endangered plant due to loss of natural habitat.

  • Bloom color: yellow
  • Bloom season: summer
  • Height: 36-72 inches

Verbascum (Verbascum Phoenicium Hybrids Mix) - This free flowering mix grown from Verbascum seeds will give your garden weeks of lovely colors. Commonly called Purple Mullein, this plant has dark green, crinkly leaves and beautiful spikes of papery-thin, round 5 - petaled blooms in shades of white, rose, and violet. The Purple Mullein plant starts blooming from the bottom of the spike and proceeds upward, opening one by one. Mullein flowers look lovely in a mixed border, and they can bloom from late spring up until the first frost. It is both deer and rabbit resistant, and butterflies love it! Verbascum flowers are excellent for cutting as well. Also considered to be a medicinal herb, the Mullein herb has diuretic, analgesic, expectorant, and antiseptic properties.

How To Grow Mullein From Seed: Plant Mullein seeds indoors 6 - 8 weeks before last frost date. Lightly press the Verbascum flower seeds into the soil, but do not cover with soil since the seeds need light to germinate. Keep constantly moist, not wet, and the herb seeds will germinate in 14 - 21 days. For outdoor sowing, wait until frost danger has passed, and sow Purple Mullein seeds directly into prepared seed bed. Spacing should be about 18 - 24 inches apart. Verbascum Mullein will bloom the first year if the flower seeds are sown early enough in the season. Flowers can be left on to self-seed or can be deadheaded to encourage more blooming.

ABOUT
VIDEOS

Flower Specifications

SEASON

Perennial

USDA ZONES

9 - 11

HEIGHT

24 inches

BLOOM SEASON

Spring to early fall

BLOOM COLOR

White

ENVIRONMENT

Full sun to partial shade

SOIL TYPE

Well drained soil, but can tolerate poor quality

DEER RESISTANT

Yes

LATIN NAME

Capparis spinosa

Planting Directions

TEMPERATURE

41F Max

AVERAGE GERM TIME

1 - 3 months, For best results, freeze seeds in moist sand for 2 weeks, and then sow while keeping moist and dark.

LIGHT REQUIRED

No

DEPTH

1/4 inch

SOWING RATE

2 - 3 seeds per plant

MOISTURE

Keep seeds moist until germination

PLANT SPACING

36 - 48 inches

Native Garden Herb

Senna is a popular herb, the leaves and fruit of which are commonly used to make medicines, both commercially and at home.

Native Garden Herb

Beautiful Landscape Perennial

How To Grow

Senna seeds have a hard shell, so they should be prepared before sowing: rub the seeds lightly with sandpaper and/or soak them 180F degree water overnight. Then, store the seeds in moist sand in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before planting. Seeds should be sown in early spring: plant just below the surface of the soil, and keep seeds moist but not wet until germination. These seeds can adapt to both moist and dry soil, although damp soil is preferred. Cutting back the plant will encourage bushier growth.

  • Environment: full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: damp and fertile soil
  • Sowing rate: 3-4 seeds per plant
Beautiful Landscape Perennial

Plant Information

Wild senna is a perennial flowering herb that grows in USDA zones 4 through 9. It is effective at attracting a variety of pollinators to the garden, and also looks lovely in the landscape. This is an endangered plant due to loss of natural habitat.

  • Bloom color: yellow
  • Bloom season: summer
  • Height: 36-72 inches

Caper Bush (Capparis Spinosa) - the caper bush, also called Flinders rose, is a perennial, flowering plant that bears rounded, fleshy leaves and large white to pinkish-white flowers. Caperbushes are mainly used by humans for their fruit, which are rich in micronutrients. Capparis spinosa, simply known as caper, yields fruit (caper berries) and more importantly flower buds, which are widely used pickled as a vegetable condiment. Other parts of Capparis plants are used in the manufacture of medicines and cosmetics.

ABOUT
FAQ’s
VIDEOS

Herb Specifications

SEASON

Perennial

USDA ZONES

5 - 11

HEIGHT

12 - 24 inches

BLOOM SEASON

Late spring to mid summer

BLOOM COLOR

White

ENVIRONMENT

Partial shade

SOIL TYPE

Varying soil types as long as they are saturated, pH 6.5 - 7.5

Planting Directions

TEMPERATURE

50 - 60F

AVERAGE GERM TIME

7 - 14 days

LIGHT REQUIRED

No

DEPTH

1/4 inch

SOWING RATE

15 - 20 seeds per plant

MOISTURE

Keep seeds moist until germination

PLANT SPACING

9 - 12 inches

Native Garden Herb

Senna is a popular herb, the leaves and fruit of which are commonly used to make medicines, both commercially and at home.

Native Garden Herb

Beautiful Landscape Perennial

How To Grow

Senna seeds have a hard shell, so they should be prepared before sowing: rub the seeds lightly with sandpaper and/or soak them 180F degree water overnight. Then, store the seeds in moist sand in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before planting. Seeds should be sown in early spring: plant just below the surface of the soil, and keep seeds moist but not wet until germination. These seeds can adapt to both moist and dry soil, although damp soil is preferred. Cutting back the plant will encourage bushier growth.

  • Environment: full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: damp and fertile soil
  • Sowing rate: 3-4 seeds per plant
Beautiful Landscape Perennial

Plant Information

Wild senna is a perennial flowering herb that grows in USDA zones 4 through 9. It is effective at attracting a variety of pollinators to the garden, and also looks lovely in the landscape. This is an endangered plant due to loss of natural habitat.

  • Bloom color: yellow
  • Bloom season: summer
  • Height: 36-72 inches

Watercress (Nasturtium Officinale) - Watercress seeds are grown for both a culinary and medicinal herb. It is a succulent, leafy plant that thrives in marshes, bogs and water gardens. The lobed leaves can be eaten raw, cooked or dried. They have a pungent flavor and are crisp. It needs to be harvested before the buds appear as the leaves turn bitter after flowering. It is a fast-growing plant that prefers partial shade.

Bright white blooms

Watercress produces white flowers in mid-summer which are very attractive to bees and the plants are highly ornamental in home ponds.

herb plant watercress

Herb seed | watercress

How to grow

How To Grow Watercress From Seed: Start seeds for an indoor herb garden. Place the containers in a tray of water and keep the water constantly supplied. Fluorescent lamps or growing lights are needed. The seeds can be started indoors 6 weeks before the last expected frost and then transplanted outdoors. The ideal setting is along a pond or stream bank.

  • Sowing Rate: 15 - 20 seeds per plant
  • Average Germ Time: 7 - 14 days
  • Keep moist until germination
  • Attracts bees and birds
  • Depth: 1/4 inch
watercress seeds

Plant Specifications

As a medicinal herb, it has long been used to treat sore throats and sinus congestion. It is very rich in vitamins and minerals and in alternative medicine, it is used for a wide variety of ailments. Some other common names that watercress is called are: water rocket, water radish, and hedge mustard. It is in the mustard family.

  • Height: 12 - 24 inches
  • USDA Zones: 5 - 11
  • Season: Perennial

Common Questions

Q

Which herbs can thrive in the kitchen?

A

Not all herbs are suitable for indoor growth. Herbs with woody, bushy growth, like rosemary are too large for indoor herb gardens. Consider other more suitable herbs for an indoor kitchen garden, such as chives, oregano, thyme, dill, mint, basil, cilantro, sage and savory. Each herb has specific growing needs, so ensure to provide the right amount of light, humidity, and air circulation. If using a single large container, ensure that all plants require similar amounts of sunlight and water. For instance, chives and cilantro may not need as much sunlight as dill and oregano.

Q

What are good companion plants for herb gardens?

A

Pairing herbs based on watering requirements, like planting lavender with thyme or basil with chives, is ideal for maintaining the health of both plants. Avoid companion planting with catnip, lemon balm and mint as they should be grown in separate pots due to their rapid spreading nature that can overtake other plants in your indoor herb garden.

Q

When do I establish an indoor herb garden?

A

Create a kitchen herb garden by propagating cuttings from your outdoor plants as the weather cools in the fall. If you opt to sow your indoor herb garden from purchased seeds, begin a few weeks before the anticipated first frost of the season. Most herbs can be harvested within a few weeks, so there is no need to plant too far in advance.

Q

Do kitchen herbs need full sun?

A

Most herbs need 6 hours of sunlight a day to thrive. If you do not have this type of light available in your kitchen, consider a grow light that will run 14-16 hours per day 6 to 12 inches above your plants. NOTE: Rotate herbs periodically when grown in windows to let each part of the plant receive sunlight.

Q

What time of year should you plant herbs?

A

Herbs grown in indoor gardens can be planted any time of year. Many gardeners prefer to grow their herbs outdoors during the summer growing season, and then move them to their indoor garden before the first frost of fall. If you prefer to start your seeds outdoors, you will need to wait until after danger of frost in the spring or start your seeds indoors 6 -8 weeks before last frost and transplant in your garden after danger of frost.

Q

Do herbs come back every year?

A

Perennial herbs will come back each year when planted in the correct zone or grown indoors during the cold winter months. Popular perennial herbs are oregano, parsley, sage, fennel, chives, lavender, thyme and mint varieties.

Q

How do I know when my herbs need watered?

A

Allow the soil to dry out just slightly before watering your herbs again. Give your indoor herb garden a dose of diluted water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks or so. Too much food will compromise the taste of the herbs. It is also beneficial to provide adequate humidity. If the indoor air is especially dry – which is often the case in regions with cold winters. Set the herbs pots on trays of stones. Fill the trays with water but keep the level below the drainage holes of your pots.

Q

When do I water my outdoor herb garden?

A

Different herb plants will need different amounts of water so keep this in mind when planting your garden and keep similar plants together to simplify watering. Watering is best done in the early morning hours when temperatures are cooler. Many herbs are hardy. They can tolerate soil that is moderately dry. You want to keep an eye out for wilting when the soil is wet. Ideally, your herbs should make quick use of the water you give them. Saturated soil is not what you are after. Pay close attention to the coloration of the leaves on your herbs. Yellow leaves can be a sign of too much water, and so can black leaves. If you spot any mildew or fuzz on the herbs, too much moisture can be the problem.

Q

How do I harvest my herbs?

A

Trim back flowering sections before they bloom for healthier leaves. Prune new growth on young plants weekly to encourage a fuller mature plant. Snip herbs for harvest when they are just a few inches tall. Pruning back the herbs often means a larger, longer harvest. Cut the new growth back at least one per week, even if you are not using the herbs in recipes (see drying and freezing page if you do not want to waste your harvest). Long stems that are about to set flower buds should be trimmed off as they appear.

Q

What do I need to start an indoor herb garden?

A

Common tools needed for an indoor herb garden are: garden trowel, scissors for snipping, stones (optional). Materials for your herbs plants include seed, pots, potting soil, cactus potting soil (optional), pots or trays, fertilizer and a grow light if you do not have adequate sunlight of at least 6 hours per day for your plants.

Q

How do I prepare my containers for planting?

A

Choose large, deep containers with drainage holes to accommodate fast-growing herbs. Fill the container with potting mix leaving about ½ inch clear at the top. Use standard commercial potting soil for most herbs but blend in cactus potting mix for herbs native to the Mediterranean, such as thyme and oregano which prefer dryer soils.

Q

Can I put my indoor herb containers outside?

A

Yes! Move your potted herbs to the patio or deck when the weather warms in the spring and for a boost of sunshine.

Q

How do I know when my herbs need larger containers?

A

When roots begin to emerge through the drainage holes of its container, it is time to repot the herbs. Replace the potting mix; the organic material in the potting mix breaks down over time. Remove any plants with woody or thickened stems and replace them with new seeds or seedlings.

Q

Do herbs need fertilizer?

A

The short answer is yes. However, not all herbs have the same fertilizer needs. Herbs roughly fall into two groups. 1. Slow-growing herbs with small leaves or needles and fibrous, woody stems that are native to the mediterranean where they grow culinary lavender, month, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme. 2. Fast-growing herbs with larger, thinner leaves. These can be annuals such as basil, borage, cilantro, chervil and dill; bi-annual herbs such as parsley or perennials such as chives. Herbs in the first group generally need less fertilizer than herbs in the second group.

Q

What type of nutrients do herbs need?

A

Start out by planting herbs in healthy soil rich in organic matter. In addition, they will benefit from an organic complete, slow-release fertilizer containing equal amounts of macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A slow-release fertilizer is especially important if your garden has sandy soil because nutrients wash out quickly. To give fast-growing herbs that you harvest often an extra boost, you can also apply fish emulsion, an organic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, with an NPK ratio of 4-1-1 or 5-1-1.

Q

How often should I fertilize my herbs?

A

The frequency of fertilization follows the growth pattern of the herbs. In soil of average fertility, it is usually sufficient to apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring when they break dormancy, or when the new growing season starts. For other herbs, a light monthly application of a slow-release complete fertilizer should be enough – unless the leaves start to look yellow, which may be a sign of nitrogen deficiency. In that case, applying fish emulsion is a quick fix but before you reach for the fertilizer bottle, rule out that the yellowing of leaves is not caused by something else.

Q

How do I fertilize my herbs in a container?

A

Herbs grown in containers need fertilizer applications more often, because with frequent watering that container plants require, the fertilizer in the potting mix washes out more quickly. Just as with sandy soil, it is important to use slow-release fertilizer. The roots of container plants are in a confined space, unlike herbs grown in the garden or raised beds, which can lead to over fertilization if you are not careful. Organic fertilizers are recommended over synthetic which often contain a high level of salts that can build up in the container over time. To prevent this, it is best to use half the strength of the fertilizer amount specified on the label for any type of fertilizer.

Q

Is it possible to overfertilize herbs?

A

Adding too much fertilizer to herbs usually leads to an excess of nitrogen, which has undesirable results especially for slow-growing herbs. For basil and other thin-leaved herbs, the fast leaf growth induced by nitrogen is fine because you want your plants to be lush. For rosemary and other Mediterranean herbs however, rapid growth means that there is less concentration of essential oils causing the herbs to become less aromatic and have weaker flavor.

Q

How do I prepare garden soil before planting an herb garden?

A

Once you have picked the location for growing your herb garden, you will need to prepare the soil. If the soil is sandy or clay heavy, add plenty of compost. Even if your soil is in pretty good condition, working some compost into the soil will help provide nutrients to the herbs while they are growing.

Q

Can I harvest my herbs too often?

A

Many times, when a new gardener is starting an herb garden, they are afraid that harvesting the herbs frequently will hurt them. The opposite is true. Frequent harvesting of herbs will result in the herb plant producing more and more foliage, which increases the amount you are able to harvest. At the end of the season, you can dry or freeze your herb harvest to enjoy home grown herbs all year long.

Q

I don’t have a good sunny spot outdoors for my herb garden, what can I do?

A

If your yard is mostly shaded, there is not much you can do to change that, but you can pick shade friendly herbs. Parsley, sweet woodruff and mint are good examples of herbs that don’t require as much light. If you are growing plants in low light, manage your expectations. Your herbs will grow but will be slow and results less impressive.

Q

My container soil is staying wet, what do I do?

A

Choose a container that allow for water to drain. If you over water or if it rains too much a good pot will allow the water to flow to the bottom without soaking and rotting the roots of your plants. You can use rocks or pottery shards to fill the bottom of the container to help with drainage. This applies outdoors too. If your herbs constantly have wet feet, they won’t thrive. Either plan when planting your garden and add some sand for drainage or pick plants that don’t mind wet roots as much.

Q

My herbs plants are going to seed, why?

A

The short answer is you are not pruning enough. To prevent rapid growth and encourage a bushy habit, be sure to prune your herb plants regularly. The more you pick off your stems and leaves the longer your herb plant will remain in its production cycle. If you start to see flower heads, snip them right away. When you fail to cut back the plant, it is likely to go to seed and complete its lifecycle. Once that happens, many plants die back. Keep cutting and pinching back flowers to prevent this from happening.

Q

Should I throw away my seeds on their expiration date?

A

Seeds do not have an expiration date, rather they are a sell by date just like food. The dates on seed packages are guidelines to help you know when your seeds are getting old, but it does not mean you need to toss them. Every plant is different. Some seeds last longer than others. Most seeds, if kept cool and dry, will last 2 – 3 years. If you are unsure test them out by growing microgreens.

ABOUT
FAQ’s
VIDEOS

Herb Specifications

SEASON

Biennial

USDA ZONES

2 - 10

HEIGHT

60 inches

BLOOM SEASON

Late spring to mid summer

BLOOM COLOR

Purple

ENVIRONMENT

Full sun to partial shade

SOIL TYPE

Well drained, moist soils

DEER RESISTANT

Yes

LATIN NAME

Arctium Lappa

Planting Directions

TEMPERATURE

Sow at Max 41F, germination irregular often several months

AVERAGE GERM TIME

7 - 14 days

LIGHT REQUIRED

Yes

DEPTH

1/4 inch

SOWING RATE

2 - 3 seeds per plant

MOISTURE

Keep seeds moist until germination

PLANT SPACING

36 - 48 inches

Native Garden Herb

Senna is a popular herb, the leaves and fruit of which are commonly used to make medicines, both commercially and at home.

Native Garden Herb

Beautiful Landscape Perennial

How To Grow

Senna seeds have a hard shell, so they should be prepared before sowing: rub the seeds lightly with sandpaper and/or soak them 180F degree water overnight. Then, store the seeds in moist sand in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before planting. Seeds should be sown in early spring: plant just below the surface of the soil, and keep seeds moist but not wet until germination. These seeds can adapt to both moist and dry soil, although damp soil is preferred. Cutting back the plant will encourage bushier growth.

  • Environment: full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: damp and fertile soil
  • Sowing rate: 3-4 seeds per plant
Beautiful Landscape Perennial

Plant Information

Wild senna is a perennial flowering herb that grows in USDA zones 4 through 9. It is effective at attracting a variety of pollinators to the garden, and also looks lovely in the landscape. This is an endangered plant due to loss of natural habitat.

  • Bloom color: yellow
  • Bloom season: summer
  • Height: 36-72 inches

Burdock (Arctium Lappa) - Burdock, or also called Great Burdock, is a robust biennial herb plant grown from herb seeds with long-stalked leaves. The Great Burdock herb is a nutritious vegetable and medicinal herb used as a remedy for measles, arthritis, tonsillitis, viruses like colds, throat pain, and as a diuretic. In modern times, Burdock is also used in oncology and to treat many other serious health problems. Great Burdock plant stalks are cooked like celery. The Burdock root is eaten raw or cooked like parsnips. Great Burdock herb seeds can be sprouted.

How To Grow Great Burdock: Start Burdock seeds directly outdoors as soon in the spring as the soil can be prepared. Cover the Great Burdock seeds with light soil and lightly tamp down. Burdock plants grow along roadsides, in open fields, at the edges of woods, and anywhere ground has been disturbed just as most thistles would. Because it is a biennial, the first year Burdock only forms a cluster of large leaves. The large leaves grow from a carrot-like root that can penetrate over two feet into the ground. It is this Burdock root that is most often used in herbal medicine. After a year of growth, Burdock puts forth a branched stalk with smaller leaves and, in the late summer, purple-pink flowers. In autumn, these flowers are replaced by round brown burrs that persist into the winter. The herb seeds contained in these burrs are also used medicinally.

Common Questions

Q

Which herbs can thrive in the kitchen?

A

Not all herbs are suitable for indoor growth. Herbs with woody, bushy growth, like rosemary are too large for indoor herb gardens. Consider other more suitable herbs for an indoor kitchen garden, such as chives, oregano, thyme, dill, mint, basil, cilantro, sage and savory. Each herb has specific growing needs, so ensure to provide the right amount of light, humidity, and air circulation. If using a single large container, ensure that all plants require similar amounts of sunlight and water. For instance, chives and cilantro may not need as much sunlight as dill and oregano.

Q

What are good companion plants for herb gardens?

A

Pairing herbs based on watering requirements, like planting lavender with thyme or basil with chives, is ideal for maintaining the health of both plants. Avoid companion planting with catnip, lemon balm and mint as they should be grown in separate pots due to their rapid spreading nature that can overtake other plants in your indoor herb garden.

Q

When do I establish an indoor herb garden?

A

Create a kitchen herb garden by propagating cuttings from your outdoor plants as the weather cools in the fall. If you opt to sow your indoor herb garden from purchased seeds, begin a few weeks before the anticipated first frost of the season. Most herbs can be harvested within a few weeks, so there is no need to plant too far in advance.

Q

Do kitchen herbs need full sun?

A

Most herbs need 6 hours of sunlight a day to thrive. If you do not have this type of light available in your kitchen, consider a grow light that will run 14-16 hours per day 6 to 12 inches above your plants. NOTE: Rotate herbs periodically when grown in windows to let each part of the plant receive sunlight.

Q

What time of year should you plant herbs?

A

Herbs grown in indoor gardens can be planted any time of year. Many gardeners prefer to grow their herbs outdoors during the summer growing season, and then move them to their indoor garden before the first frost of fall. If you prefer to start your seeds outdoors, you will need to wait until after danger of frost in the spring or start your seeds indoors 6 -8 weeks before last frost and transplant in your garden after danger of frost.

Q

Do herbs come back every year?

A

Perennial herbs will come back each year when planted in the correct zone or grown indoors during the cold winter months. Popular perennial herbs are oregano, parsley, sage, fennel, chives, lavender, thyme and mint varieties.

Q

How do I know when my herbs need watered?

A

Allow the soil to dry out just slightly before watering your herbs again. Give your indoor herb garden a dose of diluted water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks or so. Too much food will compromise the taste of the herbs. It is also beneficial to provide adequate humidity. If the indoor air is especially dry – which is often the case in regions with cold winters. Set the herbs pots on trays of stones. Fill the trays with water but keep the level below the drainage holes of your pots.

Q

When do I water my outdoor herb garden?

A

Different herb plants will need different amounts of water so keep this in mind when planting your garden and keep similar plants together to simplify watering. Watering is best done in the early morning hours when temperatures are cooler. Many herbs are hardy. They can tolerate soil that is moderately dry. You want to keep an eye out for wilting when the soil is wet. Ideally, your herbs should make quick use of the water you give them. Saturated soil is not what you are after. Pay close attention to the coloration of the leaves on your herbs. Yellow leaves can be a sign of too much water, and so can black leaves. If you spot any mildew or fuzz on the herbs, too much moisture can be the problem.

Q

How do I harvest my herbs?

A

Trim back flowering sections before they bloom for healthier leaves. Prune new growth on young plants weekly to encourage a fuller mature plant. Snip herbs for harvest when they are just a few inches tall. Pruning back the herbs often means a larger, longer harvest. Cut the new growth back at least one per week, even if you are not using the herbs in recipes (see drying and freezing page if you do not want to waste your harvest). Long stems that are about to set flower buds should be trimmed off as they appear.

Q

What do I need to start an indoor herb garden?

A

Common tools needed for an indoor herb garden are: garden trowel, scissors for snipping, stones (optional). Materials for your herbs plants include seed, pots, potting soil, cactus potting soil (optional), pots or trays, fertilizer and a grow light if you do not have adequate sunlight of at least 6 hours per day for your plants.

Q

How do I prepare my containers for planting?

A

Choose large, deep containers with drainage holes to accommodate fast-growing herbs. Fill the container with potting mix leaving about ½ inch clear at the top. Use standard commercial potting soil for most herbs but blend in cactus potting mix for herbs native to the Mediterranean, such as thyme and oregano which prefer dryer soils.

Q

Can I put my indoor herb containers outside?

A

Yes! Move your potted herbs to the patio or deck when the weather warms in the spring and for a boost of sunshine.

Q

How do I know when my herbs need larger containers?

A

When roots begin to emerge through the drainage holes of its container, it is time to repot the herbs. Replace the potting mix; the organic material in the potting mix breaks down over time. Remove any plants with woody or thickened stems and replace them with new seeds or seedlings.

Q

Do herbs need fertilizer?

A

The short answer is yes. However, not all herbs have the same fertilizer needs. Herbs roughly fall into two groups. 1. Slow-growing herbs with small leaves or needles and fibrous, woody stems that are native to the mediterranean where they grow culinary lavender, month, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme. 2. Fast-growing herbs with larger, thinner leaves. These can be annuals such as basil, borage, cilantro, chervil and dill; bi-annual herbs such as parsley or perennials such as chives. Herbs in the first group generally need less fertilizer than herbs in the second group.

Q

What type of nutrients do herbs need?

A

Start out by planting herbs in healthy soil rich in organic matter. In addition, they will benefit from an organic complete, slow-release fertilizer containing equal amounts of macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A slow-release fertilizer is especially important if your garden has sandy soil because nutrients wash out quickly. To give fast-growing herbs that you harvest often an extra boost, you can also apply fish emulsion, an organic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, with an NPK ratio of 4-1-1 or 5-1-1.

Q

How often should I fertilize my herbs?

A

The frequency of fertilization follows the growth pattern of the herbs. In soil of average fertility, it is usually sufficient to apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring when they break dormancy, or when the new growing season starts. For other herbs, a light monthly application of a slow-release complete fertilizer should be enough – unless the leaves start to look yellow, which may be a sign of nitrogen deficiency. In that case, applying fish emulsion is a quick fix but before you reach for the fertilizer bottle, rule out that the yellowing of leaves is not caused by something else.

Q

How do I fertilize my herbs in a container?

A

Herbs grown in containers need fertilizer applications more often, because with frequent watering that container plants require, the fertilizer in the potting mix washes out more quickly. Just as with sandy soil, it is important to use slow-release fertilizer. The roots of container plants are in a confined space, unlike herbs grown in the garden or raised beds, which can lead to over fertilization if you are not careful. Organic fertilizers are recommended over synthetic which often contain a high level of salts that can build up in the container over time. To prevent this, it is best to use half the strength of the fertilizer amount specified on the label for any type of fertilizer.

Q

Is it possible to overfertilize herbs?

A

Adding too much fertilizer to herbs usually leads to an excess of nitrogen, which has undesirable results especially for slow-growing herbs. For basil and other thin-leaved herbs, the fast leaf growth induced by nitrogen is fine because you want your plants to be lush. For rosemary and other Mediterranean herbs however, rapid growth means that there is less concentration of essential oils causing the herbs to become less aromatic and have weaker flavor.

Q

How do I prepare garden soil before planting an herb garden?

A

Once you have picked the location for growing your herb garden, you will need to prepare the soil. If the soil is sandy or clay heavy, add plenty of compost. Even if your soil is in pretty good condition, working some compost into the soil will help provide nutrients to the herbs while they are growing.

Q

Can I harvest my herbs too often?

A

Many times, when a new gardener is starting an herb garden, they are afraid that harvesting the herbs frequently will hurt them. The opposite is true. Frequent harvesting of herbs will result in the herb plant producing more and more foliage, which increases the amount you are able to harvest. At the end of the season, you can dry or freeze your herb harvest to enjoy home grown herbs all year long.

Q

I don’t have a good sunny spot outdoors for my herb garden, what can I do?

A

If your yard is mostly shaded, there is not much you can do to change that, but you can pick shade friendly herbs. Parsley, sweet woodruff and mint are good examples of herbs that don’t require as much light. If you are growing plants in low light, manage your expectations. Your herbs will grow but will be slow and results less impressive.

Q

My container soil is staying wet, what do I do?

A

Choose a container that allow for water to drain. If you over water or if it rains too much a good pot will allow the water to flow to the bottom without soaking and rotting the roots of your plants. You can use rocks or pottery shards to fill the bottom of the container to help with drainage. This applies outdoors too. If your herbs constantly have wet feet, they won’t thrive. Either plan when planting your garden and add some sand for drainage or pick plants that don’t mind wet roots as much.

Q

My herbs plants are going to seed, why?

A

The short answer is you are not pruning enough. To prevent rapid growth and encourage a bushy habit, be sure to prune your herb plants regularly. The more you pick off your stems and leaves the longer your herb plant will remain in its production cycle. If you start to see flower heads, snip them right away. When you fail to cut back the plant, it is likely to go to seed and complete its lifecycle. Once that happens, many plants die back. Keep cutting and pinching back flowers to prevent this from happening.

Q

Should I throw away my seeds on their expiration date?

A

Seeds do not have an expiration date, rather they are a sell by date just like food. The dates on seed packages are guidelines to help you know when your seeds are getting old, but it does not mean you need to toss them. Every plant is different. Some seeds last longer than others. Most seeds, if kept cool and dry, will last 2 – 3 years. If you are unsure test them out by growing microgreens.

ABOUT
FAQ’s
VIDEOS

Herb Specifications

SEASON

Perennial

USDA ZONES

3 - 7

HEIGHT

16 - 24 inches

BLOOM SEASON

Mid summer to early fall

BLOOM COLOR

Green

ENVIRONMENT

Full sun to partial shade

SOIL TYPE

Rich, well-drained soil, pH 5.6 - 6.5

DEER RESISTANT

Yes

LATIN NAME

Rumex Acetosa

Planting Directions

TEMPERATURE

68F

AVERAGE GERM TIME

7 - 14 days

LIGHT REQUIRED

Yes

DEPTH

1/4 inch

SOWING RATE

3 - 4 seeds per plant

MOISTURE

Keep seeds moist until germination

PLANT SPACING

9 - 12 inches

Native Garden Herb

Senna is a popular herb, the leaves and fruit of which are commonly used to make medicines, both commercially and at home.

Native Garden Herb

Beautiful Landscape Perennial

How To Grow

Senna seeds have a hard shell, so they should be prepared before sowing: rub the seeds lightly with sandpaper and/or soak them 180F degree water overnight. Then, store the seeds in moist sand in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before planting. Seeds should be sown in early spring: plant just below the surface of the soil, and keep seeds moist but not wet until germination. These seeds can adapt to both moist and dry soil, although damp soil is preferred. Cutting back the plant will encourage bushier growth.

  • Environment: full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: damp and fertile soil
  • Sowing rate: 3-4 seeds per plant
Beautiful Landscape Perennial

Plant Information

Wild senna is a perennial flowering herb that grows in USDA zones 4 through 9. It is effective at attracting a variety of pollinators to the garden, and also looks lovely in the landscape. This is an endangered plant due to loss of natural habitat.

  • Bloom color: yellow
  • Bloom season: summer
  • Height: 36-72 inches

Garden Sorrel (Rumex Acetosa) - Garden Sorrel is a becoming more well-known and used in the United States as a culinary herb, and it easily grow from Sorrel seeds. It comes from Europe and has been used there for centuries. Its use dates back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. This variety, Green de Belleville, has green arrow-shaped leaves that have a slightly acidic taste and is slower to bolt than other varieties. When the leaves are eaten fresh and added to salads or a sandwich, they add a little zest and tang. The herb leaves can also be chopped or shredded and added to soups for flavoring. Garden Sorrel is also known as Common Sorrel, English Sorrel and simply Sorrel.

Common Sorrel herb has historically been used as a medicinal herb. It has been used to treat fevers and scurvy. The juice from the leaves is used to calm itchy skin rashes and ringworm. English Sorrel herb is a highly nutritious herb. It is high in vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.

How To Grow Sorrel From Herb Seeds: Start the Sorrel seeds directly outdoors after frost season has passed. Prepare a seedbed that is located in full sun or partial shade. Add organic matter to the soil. Cover the herb seeds lightly with soil. Sorrel seedlings can establish quickly, and the leaves can be harvested any time after the first couple of months of spring growth. When flower stalks emerge cut them back. Sorrel herb plants should be divided every 3- 5 years and replanted.

Common Questions

Q

Which herbs can thrive in the kitchen?

A

Not all herbs are suitable for indoor growth. Herbs with woody, bushy growth, like rosemary are too large for indoor herb gardens. Consider other more suitable herbs for an indoor kitchen garden, such as chives, oregano, thyme, dill, mint, basil, cilantro, sage and savory. Each herb has specific growing needs, so ensure to provide the right amount of light, humidity, and air circulation. If using a single large container, ensure that all plants require similar amounts of sunlight and water. For instance, chives and cilantro may not need as much sunlight as dill and oregano.

Q

What are good companion plants for herb gardens?

A

Pairing herbs based on watering requirements, like planting lavender with thyme or basil with chives, is ideal for maintaining the health of both plants. Avoid companion planting with catnip, lemon balm and mint as they should be grown in separate pots due to their rapid spreading nature that can overtake other plants in your indoor herb garden.

Q

When do I establish an indoor herb garden?

A

Create a kitchen herb garden by propagating cuttings from your outdoor plants as the weather cools in the fall. If you opt to sow your indoor herb garden from purchased seeds, begin a few weeks before the anticipated first frost of the season. Most herbs can be harvested within a few weeks, so there is no need to plant too far in advance.

Q

Do kitchen herbs need full sun?

A

Most herbs need 6 hours of sunlight a day to thrive. If you do not have this type of light available in your kitchen, consider a grow light that will run 14-16 hours per day 6 to 12 inches above your plants. NOTE: Rotate herbs periodically when grown in windows to let each part of the plant receive sunlight.

Q

What time of year should you plant herbs?

A

Herbs grown in indoor gardens can be planted any time of year. Many gardeners prefer to grow their herbs outdoors during the summer growing season, and then move them to their indoor garden before the first frost of fall. If you prefer to start your seeds outdoors, you will need to wait until after danger of frost in the spring or start your seeds indoors 6 -8 weeks before last frost and transplant in your garden after danger of frost.

Q

Do herbs come back every year?

A

Perennial herbs will come back each year when planted in the correct zone or grown indoors during the cold winter months. Popular perennial herbs are oregano, parsley, sage, fennel, chives, lavender, thyme and mint varieties.

Q

How do I know when my herbs need watered?

A

Allow the soil to dry out just slightly before watering your herbs again. Give your indoor herb garden a dose of diluted water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks or so. Too much food will compromise the taste of the herbs. It is also beneficial to provide adequate humidity. If the indoor air is especially dry – which is often the case in regions with cold winters. Set the herbs pots on trays of stones. Fill the trays with water but keep the level below the drainage holes of your pots.

Q

When do I water my outdoor herb garden?

A

Different herb plants will need different amounts of water so keep this in mind when planting your garden and keep similar plants together to simplify watering. Watering is best done in the early morning hours when temperatures are cooler. Many herbs are hardy. They can tolerate soil that is moderately dry. You want to keep an eye out for wilting when the soil is wet. Ideally, your herbs should make quick use of the water you give them. Saturated soil is not what you are after. Pay close attention to the coloration of the leaves on your herbs. Yellow leaves can be a sign of too much water, and so can black leaves. If you spot any mildew or fuzz on the herbs, too much moisture can be the problem.

Q

How do I harvest my herbs?

A

Trim back flowering sections before they bloom for healthier leaves. Prune new growth on young plants weekly to encourage a fuller mature plant. Snip herbs for harvest when they are just a few inches tall. Pruning back the herbs often means a larger, longer harvest. Cut the new growth back at least one per week, even if you are not using the herbs in recipes (see drying and freezing page if you do not want to waste your harvest). Long stems that are about to set flower buds should be trimmed off as they appear.

Q

What do I need to start an indoor herb garden?

A

Common tools needed for an indoor herb garden are: garden trowel, scissors for snipping, stones (optional). Materials for your herbs plants include seed, pots, potting soil, cactus potting soil (optional), pots or trays, fertilizer and a grow light if you do not have adequate sunlight of at least 6 hours per day for your plants.

Q

How do I prepare my containers for planting?

A

Choose large, deep containers with drainage holes to accommodate fast-growing herbs. Fill the container with potting mix leaving about ½ inch clear at the top. Use standard commercial potting soil for most herbs but blend in cactus potting mix for herbs native to the Mediterranean, such as thyme and oregano which prefer dryer soils.

Q

Can I put my indoor herb containers outside?

A

Yes! Move your potted herbs to the patio or deck when the weather warms in the spring and for a boost of sunshine.

Q

How do I know when my herbs need larger containers?

A

When roots begin to emerge through the drainage holes of its container, it is time to repot the herbs. Replace the potting mix; the organic material in the potting mix breaks down over time. Remove any plants with woody or thickened stems and replace them with new seeds or seedlings.

Q

Do herbs need fertilizer?

A

The short answer is yes. However, not all herbs have the same fertilizer needs. Herbs roughly fall into two groups. 1. Slow-growing herbs with small leaves or needles and fibrous, woody stems that are native to the mediterranean where they grow culinary lavender, month, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme. 2. Fast-growing herbs with larger, thinner leaves. These can be annuals such as basil, borage, cilantro, chervil and dill; bi-annual herbs such as parsley or perennials such as chives. Herbs in the first group generally need less fertilizer than herbs in the second group.

Q

What type of nutrients do herbs need?

A

Start out by planting herbs in healthy soil rich in organic matter. In addition, they will benefit from an organic complete, slow-release fertilizer containing equal amounts of macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A slow-release fertilizer is especially important if your garden has sandy soil because nutrients wash out quickly. To give fast-growing herbs that you harvest often an extra boost, you can also apply fish emulsion, an organic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, with an NPK ratio of 4-1-1 or 5-1-1.

Q

How often should I fertilize my herbs?

A

The frequency of fertilization follows the growth pattern of the herbs. In soil of average fertility, it is usually sufficient to apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring when they break dormancy, or when the new growing season starts. For other herbs, a light monthly application of a slow-release complete fertilizer should be enough – unless the leaves start to look yellow, which may be a sign of nitrogen deficiency. In that case, applying fish emulsion is a quick fix but before you reach for the fertilizer bottle, rule out that the yellowing of leaves is not caused by something else.

Q

How do I fertilize my herbs in a container?

A

Herbs grown in containers need fertilizer applications more often, because with frequent watering that container plants require, the fertilizer in the potting mix washes out more quickly. Just as with sandy soil, it is important to use slow-release fertilizer. The roots of container plants are in a confined space, unlike herbs grown in the garden or raised beds, which can lead to over fertilization if you are not careful. Organic fertilizers are recommended over synthetic which often contain a high level of salts that can build up in the container over time. To prevent this, it is best to use half the strength of the fertilizer amount specified on the label for any type of fertilizer.

Q

Is it possible to overfertilize herbs?

A

Adding too much fertilizer to herbs usually leads to an excess of nitrogen, which has undesirable results especially for slow-growing herbs. For basil and other thin-leaved herbs, the fast leaf growth induced by nitrogen is fine because you want your plants to be lush. For rosemary and other Mediterranean herbs however, rapid growth means that there is less concentration of essential oils causing the herbs to become less aromatic and have weaker flavor.

Q

How do I prepare garden soil before planting an herb garden?

A

Once you have picked the location for growing your herb garden, you will need to prepare the soil. If the soil is sandy or clay heavy, add plenty of compost. Even if your soil is in pretty good condition, working some compost into the soil will help provide nutrients to the herbs while they are growing.

Q

Can I harvest my herbs too often?

A

Many times, when a new gardener is starting an herb garden, they are afraid that harvesting the herbs frequently will hurt them. The opposite is true. Frequent harvesting of herbs will result in the herb plant producing more and more foliage, which increases the amount you are able to harvest. At the end of the season, you can dry or freeze your herb harvest to enjoy home grown herbs all year long.

Q

I don’t have a good sunny spot outdoors for my herb garden, what can I do?

A

If your yard is mostly shaded, there is not much you can do to change that, but you can pick shade friendly herbs. Parsley, sweet woodruff and mint are good examples of herbs that don’t require as much light. If you are growing plants in low light, manage your expectations. Your herbs will grow but will be slow and results less impressive.

Q

My container soil is staying wet, what do I do?

A

Choose a container that allow for water to drain. If you over water or if it rains too much a good pot will allow the water to flow to the bottom without soaking and rotting the roots of your plants. You can use rocks or pottery shards to fill the bottom of the container to help with drainage. This applies outdoors too. If your herbs constantly have wet feet, they won’t thrive. Either plan when planting your garden and add some sand for drainage or pick plants that don’t mind wet roots as much.

Q

My herbs plants are going to seed, why?

A

The short answer is you are not pruning enough. To prevent rapid growth and encourage a bushy habit, be sure to prune your herb plants regularly. The more you pick off your stems and leaves the longer your herb plant will remain in its production cycle. If you start to see flower heads, snip them right away. When you fail to cut back the plant, it is likely to go to seed and complete its lifecycle. Once that happens, many plants die back. Keep cutting and pinching back flowers to prevent this from happening.

Q

Should I throw away my seeds on their expiration date?

A

Seeds do not have an expiration date, rather they are a sell by date just like food. The dates on seed packages are guidelines to help you know when your seeds are getting old, but it does not mean you need to toss them. Every plant is different. Some seeds last longer than others. Most seeds, if kept cool and dry, will last 2 – 3 years. If you are unsure test them out by growing microgreens.

ABOUT
VIDEOS

Flower Specifications

SEASON

Perennial

USDA ZONES

7 - 11

HEIGHT

14 inches

BLOOM SEASON

Mid spring to late summer

BLOOM COLOR

Purple

ENVIRONMENT

Full sun

SOIL TYPE

Light, sandy soil, pH 5.6 - 7.5

DEER RESISTANT

Yes

HOUSE PLANT

Yes

LATIN NAME

Tulbaghia Violacea

Planting Directions

TEMPERATURE

70F

AVERAGE GERM TIME

14 - 21 days

LIGHT REQUIRED

Yes

DEPTH

1/8th inch

SOWING RATE

2 - 3 seeds per plant

MOISTURE

Keep seeds moist until germination

PLANT SPACING

3 - 6 inches

Native Garden Herb

Senna is a popular herb, the leaves and fruit of which are commonly used to make medicines, both commercially and at home.

Native Garden Herb

Beautiful Landscape Perennial

How To Grow

Senna seeds have a hard shell, so they should be prepared before sowing: rub the seeds lightly with sandpaper and/or soak them 180F degree water overnight. Then, store the seeds in moist sand in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before planting. Seeds should be sown in early spring: plant just below the surface of the soil, and keep seeds moist but not wet until germination. These seeds can adapt to both moist and dry soil, although damp soil is preferred. Cutting back the plant will encourage bushier growth.

  • Environment: full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: damp and fertile soil
  • Sowing rate: 3-4 seeds per plant
Beautiful Landscape Perennial

Plant Information

Wild senna is a perennial flowering herb that grows in USDA zones 4 through 9. It is effective at attracting a variety of pollinators to the garden, and also looks lovely in the landscape. This is an endangered plant due to loss of natural habitat.

  • Bloom color: yellow
  • Bloom season: summer
  • Height: 36-72 inches

Society Garlic (Tulbaghia Violacea) - Start Society Garlic seeds for both an ornamental and a kitchen herb. The Society Garlic plant has a pleasant garlic smell, and the leaves can be chopped like chives and added to salads, soups, and many dishes. Tulbaghia Society Garlic is also a lovely perennial ornamental that blooms for much of the summer. The leaves are 12 inches long and are grayish green and grass-like. Society Garlic flowers are much showier than those of regular garlic and form umbel-like clusters. Grow the Society Garlic herb in the flower garden or herb garden where it contrasts nicely with plants of other colors, textures and habits.

Grow in pots

To grow pots of Society Garlic, cut off spent blooms and keep the soil moderately moist when the flowers are in bloom, dry if the plants become dormant.

purple garlic flowers

Garlic seed | society

How to grow

How To Grow Society Garlic From Seed: For container grown plants, sow Society Garlic seeds in soil that is very porous. A recommended soil mixture is 1 part perlite, 1 part peat moss, and 1 part potting soil.

If growing the plants outdoors, amend the soil with organic matter so that it drains well. The Society Garlic plants will rot if the soil retains water. Sow the Society Garlic herb seeds on the soil and lightly cover with 1/8 inch of soil and keep the flower seeds moist until germination.

  • Sowing Rate: 2 - 3 seeds per plant
  • Average Germ Time: 14 - 21 days
  • Keep moist until germination
  • Attracts bees and butterflies
  • Depth: 1/8 inch
society garlic seeds

Plant Specifications

A native of South Africa, Society Garlic is a member of the lily family. Because Society Garlic is tender to frost and damaged at temperatures below 25 degrees, only in USDA zones 7 and above can grow it year-round outdoors. The plants do best in full sun and in light, sandy soil.

  • Height: 14 inches
  • USDA Zones: 7 - 11
  • Season: Perennial
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
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Herb Specifications

SEASON

Biennial

USDA ZONES

5 - 10

HEIGHT

40 - 55 inches

BLOOM SEASON

Late spring to mid summer

BLOOM COLOR

Pink

ENVIRONMENT

Full sun

SOIL TYPE

Grows in any type of soil, pH 6.6 - 7.8

DEER RESISTANT

Yes

LATIN NAME

Silybum Marianum

Planting Directions

TEMPERATURE

55 - 70F

AVERAGE GERM TIME

7 - 14 days

LIGHT REQUIRED

Yes

DEPTH

1/4 - 1/2 inch

SOWING RATE

1 - 2 seeds per plant

MOISTURE

Keep seeds moist until germination

PLANT SPACING

24 - 36 inches

Native Garden Herb

Senna is a popular herb, the leaves and fruit of which are commonly used to make medicines, both commercially and at home.

Native Garden Herb

Beautiful Landscape Perennial

How To Grow

Senna seeds have a hard shell, so they should be prepared before sowing: rub the seeds lightly with sandpaper and/or soak them 180F degree water overnight. Then, store the seeds in moist sand in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before planting. Seeds should be sown in early spring: plant just below the surface of the soil, and keep seeds moist but not wet until germination. These seeds can adapt to both moist and dry soil, although damp soil is preferred. Cutting back the plant will encourage bushier growth.

  • Environment: full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: damp and fertile soil
  • Sowing rate: 3-4 seeds per plant
Beautiful Landscape Perennial

Plant Information

Wild senna is a perennial flowering herb that grows in USDA zones 4 through 9. It is effective at attracting a variety of pollinators to the garden, and also looks lovely in the landscape. This is an endangered plant due to loss of natural habitat.

  • Bloom color: yellow
  • Bloom season: summer
  • Height: 36-72 inches

Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum) - Milk Thistle seeds grow easily and produce a hardy biennial that is native to the Mediterranean area and has naturalized throughout North America. It is very impressive as an ornamental herb plant. It is tall and stately with large, mottled, spiny foliage that contains a milky sap-like substance and large, thistle-like heads of rose-pink flowers. Milk Thistle herb plants do re-seed themselves, so it is recommended to deadhead the flowers before they set seed. Other common names for this herb plant are Mediterranean Milk Thistle, Marian Thistle, St Mary's Thistle and Holy Thistle.

Milk Thistle is a well-known medicinal herb with a long history of use in the treatment of liver and gallbladder ailments. It is the Milk Thistle seeds that are used medicinally, and they contain silymarin which is a flavonoid. The Milk Thistle herb may have a protective and regenerative effect on liver cells. As a nutritional supplement to support liver function, the seeds can be ground and added to hot cereals or other whole grain dishes.

How To Grow Milk Thistle From Herb Seeds: Grow Milk Thistle seeds directly in the herb garden. Prepare a seedbed and sow the herb seeds in the spring when temperatures have warmed. The Milk Thistle plants prefer full sun, but they are not picky about soils. They are also tolerant of dry and wet soils.

NOTE: Cannot be shipped to Washington State. Any order will be canceled.

Common Questions

Q

Which herbs can thrive in the kitchen?

A

Not all herbs are suitable for indoor growth. Herbs with woody, bushy growth, like rosemary are too large for indoor herb gardens. Consider other more suitable herbs for an indoor kitchen garden, such as chives, oregano, thyme, dill, mint, basil, cilantro, sage and savory. Each herb has specific growing needs, so ensure to provide the right amount of light, humidity, and air circulation. If using a single large container, ensure that all plants require similar amounts of sunlight and water. For instance, chives and cilantro may not need as much sunlight as dill and oregano.

Q

What are good companion plants for herb gardens?

A

Pairing herbs based on watering requirements, like planting lavender with thyme or basil with chives, is ideal for maintaining the health of both plants. Avoid companion planting with catnip, lemon balm and mint as they should be grown in separate pots due to their rapid spreading nature that can overtake other plants in your indoor herb garden.

Q

When do I establish an indoor herb garden?

A

Create a kitchen herb garden by propagating cuttings from your outdoor plants as the weather cools in the fall. If you opt to sow your indoor herb garden from purchased seeds, begin a few weeks before the anticipated first frost of the season. Most herbs can be harvested within a few weeks, so there is no need to plant too far in advance.

Q

Do kitchen herbs need full sun?

A

Most herbs need 6 hours of sunlight a day to thrive. If you do not have this type of light available in your kitchen, consider a grow light that will run 14-16 hours per day 6 to 12 inches above your plants. NOTE: Rotate herbs periodically when grown in windows to let each part of the plant receive sunlight.

Q

What time of year should you plant herbs?

A

Herbs grown in indoor gardens can be planted any time of year. Many gardeners prefer to grow their herbs outdoors during the summer growing season, and then move them to their indoor garden before the first frost of fall. If you prefer to start your seeds outdoors, you will need to wait until after danger of frost in the spring or start your seeds indoors 6 -8 weeks before last frost and transplant in your garden after danger of frost.

Q

Do herbs come back every year?

A

Perennial herbs will come back each year when planted in the correct zone or grown indoors during the cold winter months. Popular perennial herbs are oregano, parsley, sage, fennel, chives, lavender, thyme and mint varieties.

Q

How do I know when my herbs need watered?

A

Allow the soil to dry out just slightly before watering your herbs again. Give your indoor herb garden a dose of diluted water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks or so. Too much food will compromise the taste of the herbs. It is also beneficial to provide adequate humidity. If the indoor air is especially dry – which is often the case in regions with cold winters. Set the herbs pots on trays of stones. Fill the trays with water but keep the level below the drainage holes of your pots.

Q

When do I water my outdoor herb garden?

A

Different herb plants will need different amounts of water so keep this in mind when planting your garden and keep similar plants together to simplify watering. Watering is best done in the early morning hours when temperatures are cooler. Many herbs are hardy. They can tolerate soil that is moderately dry. You want to keep an eye out for wilting when the soil is wet. Ideally, your herbs should make quick use of the water you give them. Saturated soil is not what you are after. Pay close attention to the coloration of the leaves on your herbs. Yellow leaves can be a sign of too much water, and so can black leaves. If you spot any mildew or fuzz on the herbs, too much moisture can be the problem.

Q

How do I harvest my herbs?

A

Trim back flowering sections before they bloom for healthier leaves. Prune new growth on young plants weekly to encourage a fuller mature plant. Snip herbs for harvest when they are just a few inches tall. Pruning back the herbs often means a larger, longer harvest. Cut the new growth back at least one per week, even if you are not using the herbs in recipes (see drying and freezing page if you do not want to waste your harvest). Long stems that are about to set flower buds should be trimmed off as they appear.

Q

What do I need to start an indoor herb garden?

A

Common tools needed for an indoor herb garden are: garden trowel, scissors for snipping, stones (optional). Materials for your herbs plants include seed, pots, potting soil, cactus potting soil (optional), pots or trays, fertilizer and a grow light if you do not have adequate sunlight of at least 6 hours per day for your plants.

Q

How do I prepare my containers for planting?

A

Choose large, deep containers with drainage holes to accommodate fast-growing herbs. Fill the container with potting mix leaving about ½ inch clear at the top. Use standard commercial potting soil for most herbs but blend in cactus potting mix for herbs native to the Mediterranean, such as thyme and oregano which prefer dryer soils.

Q

Can I put my indoor herb containers outside?

A

Yes! Move your potted herbs to the patio or deck when the weather warms in the spring and for a boost of sunshine.

Q

How do I know when my herbs need larger containers?

A

When roots begin to emerge through the drainage holes of its container, it is time to repot the herbs. Replace the potting mix; the organic material in the potting mix breaks down over time. Remove any plants with woody or thickened stems and replace them with new seeds or seedlings.

Q

Do herbs need fertilizer?

A

The short answer is yes. However, not all herbs have the same fertilizer needs. Herbs roughly fall into two groups. 1. Slow-growing herbs with small leaves or needles and fibrous, woody stems that are native to the mediterranean where they grow culinary lavender, month, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme. 2. Fast-growing herbs with larger, thinner leaves. These can be annuals such as basil, borage, cilantro, chervil and dill; bi-annual herbs such as parsley or perennials such as chives. Herbs in the first group generally need less fertilizer than herbs in the second group.

Q

What type of nutrients do herbs need?

A

Start out by planting herbs in healthy soil rich in organic matter. In addition, they will benefit from an organic complete, slow-release fertilizer containing equal amounts of macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A slow-release fertilizer is especially important if your garden has sandy soil because nutrients wash out quickly. To give fast-growing herbs that you harvest often an extra boost, you can also apply fish emulsion, an organic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, with an NPK ratio of 4-1-1 or 5-1-1.

Q

How often should I fertilize my herbs?

A

The frequency of fertilization follows the growth pattern of the herbs. In soil of average fertility, it is usually sufficient to apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring when they break dormancy, or when the new growing season starts. For other herbs, a light monthly application of a slow-release complete fertilizer should be enough – unless the leaves start to look yellow, which may be a sign of nitrogen deficiency. In that case, applying fish emulsion is a quick fix but before you reach for the fertilizer bottle, rule out that the yellowing of leaves is not caused by something else.

Q

How do I fertilize my herbs in a container?

A

Herbs grown in containers need fertilizer applications more often, because with frequent watering that container plants require, the fertilizer in the potting mix washes out more quickly. Just as with sandy soil, it is important to use slow-release fertilizer. The roots of container plants are in a confined space, unlike herbs grown in the garden or raised beds, which can lead to over fertilization if you are not careful. Organic fertilizers are recommended over synthetic which often contain a high level of salts that can build up in the container over time. To prevent this, it is best to use half the strength of the fertilizer amount specified on the label for any type of fertilizer.

Q

Is it possible to overfertilize herbs?

A

Adding too much fertilizer to herbs usually leads to an excess of nitrogen, which has undesirable results especially for slow-growing herbs. For basil and other thin-leaved herbs, the fast leaf growth induced by nitrogen is fine because you want your plants to be lush. For rosemary and other Mediterranean herbs however, rapid growth means that there is less concentration of essential oils causing the herbs to become less aromatic and have weaker flavor.

Q

How do I prepare garden soil before planting an herb garden?

A

Once you have picked the location for growing your herb garden, you will need to prepare the soil. If the soil is sandy or clay heavy, add plenty of compost. Even if your soil is in pretty good condition, working some compost into the soil will help provide nutrients to the herbs while they are growing.

Q

Can I harvest my herbs too often?

A

Many times, when a new gardener is starting an herb garden, they are afraid that harvesting the herbs frequently will hurt them. The opposite is true. Frequent harvesting of herbs will result in the herb plant producing more and more foliage, which increases the amount you are able to harvest. At the end of the season, you can dry or freeze your herb harvest to enjoy home grown herbs all year long.

Q

I don’t have a good sunny spot outdoors for my herb garden, what can I do?

A

If your yard is mostly shaded, there is not much you can do to change that, but you can pick shade friendly herbs. Parsley, sweet woodruff and mint are good examples of herbs that don’t require as much light. If you are growing plants in low light, manage your expectations. Your herbs will grow but will be slow and results less impressive.

Q

My container soil is staying wet, what do I do?

A

Choose a container that allow for water to drain. If you over water or if it rains too much a good pot will allow the water to flow to the bottom without soaking and rotting the roots of your plants. You can use rocks or pottery shards to fill the bottom of the container to help with drainage. This applies outdoors too. If your herbs constantly have wet feet, they won’t thrive. Either plan when planting your garden and add some sand for drainage or pick plants that don’t mind wet roots as much.

Q

My herbs plants are going to seed, why?

A

The short answer is you are not pruning enough. To prevent rapid growth and encourage a bushy habit, be sure to prune your herb plants regularly. The more you pick off your stems and leaves the longer your herb plant will remain in its production cycle. If you start to see flower heads, snip them right away. When you fail to cut back the plant, it is likely to go to seed and complete its lifecycle. Once that happens, many plants die back. Keep cutting and pinching back flowers to prevent this from happening.

Q

Should I throw away my seeds on their expiration date?

A

Seeds do not have an expiration date, rather they are a sell by date just like food. The dates on seed packages are guidelines to help you know when your seeds are getting old, but it does not mean you need to toss them. Every plant is different. Some seeds last longer than others. Most seeds, if kept cool and dry, will last 2 – 3 years. If you are unsure test them out by growing microgreens.

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