Perennial Herbs - Hardiness Zones and More

Borage Blossoms
I've put together a list of perennial herbs and their respective hardiness zones. If you don't know your hardiness zone, follow the link to find out. Armed with that information, the list will give you a good idea of the herbs that will grow for you outdoors year round: USDA Hardiness Zone Map

If you see an herb you'd love to cultivate but it's not suited to your growing zone, there are still a few things you can do: You can grow the plant in a pot and bring it indoors in winter. This actually works for many herbs. You can also treat the plant like an annual and replant every year.

If an herb on the list is marginal, say the difference between a and b within a zone, or just over the border into a different zone (5 degrees colder in winter than recommended), it may still survive in a protected spot, like in an alcove between two buildings or between a building and a solid fence. The plant may also have new cultivars available that are somewhat more winter hardy than the original. As a backup plan, you can go ahead and try that herb in your garden and make sure you mulch it well in the fall.

Remember, we're talking about perennial plants, not annuals. Annuals set seed and die over the course of a single season, so winter conditions aren't typically a factor. I've listed some annuals at the bottom of the page for reference purposes only.

Perennial Herbs

Aloe Vera

Angelica (Angelica archangelica) Zones 4-9
Culinary, medicinal, landscape
Angelica has a sweet flavor and grows to 5 feet. It prefers rich soil and plenty of water.

Aloe Vera (Aloe vera) Zones 10-11
Medicinal and cosmetic herb
If you only choose five herbs for your garden, make aloe vera one of them. It's effective at treating bee stings and burns, and is a key ingredient in many cosmetic preparations. It's not winter hardy, but it does overwinters indoors easily.

Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) Zones 8-10
Culinary, medicinal and pest repellent tree
Bay is a tree rather than a shrub or plant. It can be challenging to establish, but once it begins to thrive, it makes a satisfying houseplant, patio plant or landscape tree.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) Zones 3-9
Culinary, medicinal and landscape herb
Catnip is a member of the mint family. It's a favorite companion plant in the vegetable garden because its strong smell repels many common garden pests. Current Forest Service research suggests catnip may be effective at repelling termites, too. Catnip makes a refreshing tea that's also a natural sedative.

Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) Zones 5-8
Culinary and medicinal herb
Dried chamomile flowers are a favorite in tea.  They have relaxing qualities and a slightly sweet apple (or possibly hay) aroma.

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) Zones 3-9
Culinary herb
Chive vinegar is a spring favorite and very easy to make with a first harvest of chive flowers. Having chives growing near your kitchen makes it easy to use as a garnish.

Comfrey, Common (Symphytum officinale) Zones 3-8
Chives (pretty, aren't they)

Medicinal herb also known as knit bone. 

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) Zones 3-10
Medicinal herb most often used to increase immune system function.
Produces purple daisy-like flowers in mid-summer.

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) Zones 5-9
Medicinal herb
Feverfew has shown promise in treating migraine headaches, and may also offer some relief from arthritis pain. The leaves can be added to salads or sandwiches or used in tea. Feverfew produces lacy leaves and attractive daisy-like flowers.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Zones 9-13
Culinary and medicinal herb
Ginger is an attractive garden plant that likes dappled light.  Its root is used in cooking and to treat stomach upsets. It's a key ingredient in teriyaki marinade. Although it isn't winter hardy, ginger does well indoors and makes an attractive houseplant.

Lavender, English (Lavandula angustifolia) Zones 5-8
Culinary, medicinal and aromatic herb
Lavender is one of the most beloved herbs grown today. English lavender makes an attractive landscape plant, and the flowers can be harvested and used in cooking, to make cosmetic preparations, and in crafts like lavender wand, lavender scented candles and herb wreaths.

French Lavender
Lavender, French (Lavandula stoechas) Zones 8-9
Culinary, medicinal, aromatic and landscape herb
French lavender is not winter hardy and smells like a mixture of lavender, rosemary and camphor.

Lavender, Grosso (Lavandula 'Grosso') zones 5-9
Culinary, cosmetic and aromatic herb
Considered one of the most, if not the most, aromatic lavender variety

Lavender, Spanish
(Lavandula dentata) Zones 8-9
Culinary, aromatic and medicinal herb
This lavender isn't winter hardy, but it does thrive indoors.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) Zones 5-9
Culinary, medicinal and aromatic herb
This member of the mint family has a light, lemony fragrance and is often added to tea blends. It promotes relaxation. It's also used in cooking, aromatic crafts and herbal remedies. It makes a nice addition to green salad and is an attractive garnish. If you like the aroma of furniture polish, you'll like lemon balm.

Lemon Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) Zones 9-10
Culinary, medicinal and pest repellent tree
Lemon eucalyptus is a tree rather than a shrub or plant. The leaves have a lemony fragrance and can be used in household cleaning and pest repelling preparations. The leaves can also be used in potpourri.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) Zones 11- 13
Culinary, medicinal and aromatic herb
Lemongrass makes a refreshing tea and is often used as an ingredient in cooking.

Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) Zones 4-8
Culinary and medicinal herb
Marjoram is sometimes used to treat minor ailments like cough and sore throat. It's also used in regional Italian and Greek cuisine. Marjoram is related to oregano.

Mint (multiple) Zones 4 -9
Culinary, aromatic and medicinal herb
Mints are typically winter hardy and easy to grow. Some appealing varieties are: peppermint, spearmint, mojito mint, chocolate mint, applemint and orange mint. Check the zone range for other varieties before buying. For instance, Corsican mint requires a warmer zone range of between 7 and 9, and ginger mint requires a range of between 6 and 9.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) Zones 5-12
Culinary and medicinal herb
Popular in Italian and Greek cooking. Italian oregano is widely considered the best cultivar for culinary applications.

Rosemary Starts
Parsley (Petroselinum - ) Zones 6-9
Culinary herb
Available in curly (or double curly) and flat-leaf (Italian) varieties. Curly parsley is typically used as a garnish, while flat leaf parsley is preferred as an ingredient in cooking. Both are biennial (They leaf out the first season and come back the second season to flower, set seed and die.)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Zones 8-11
Culinary, medicinal and landscape herb
 Some new rosemary cultivars (Madalene Hill or Arp) may be hardy to zone 5.

Rue (Ruta graveolens) zones 5-9
Culinary, medicinal and landscape herb
Rue is an attractive little plant that has ovulate leaves that look lacy and distinctive. Its bitter leaves add variety to salads. It's shown some effectiveness in treating headaches, but really shines in the landscape. Many garden pests dislike the aroma of rue and stay away. With garlic, it's an excellent companion plant for roses.

Sage (Salvia officinalis) Zones 5-9
Culinary and medicinal herb
Salvia officinalis is most often used in cooking.

Sage, Clary (Salvia sclarea) Zones 4-9
Medicinal and aromatic herb
Clary sage has been used for centuries in eyewash preparations. When added to potpourri, it helps make other fragrances last longer (fixative properties).

Sage, Pineapple (Salvia elegans) Zones 9-10
Culinary, medicinal, landscape and aromatic herb
Pineapple sage has a mild but distinctive pineapple aroma. A favorite of butterflies, bees and hummingbirds, it's an attractive shrub that can grow to 5 feet. Used in tea blends, jams and as an ingredient in cheese spread. Pineapple sage will overwinter indoors.

St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) Zones 4-9
Medicinal herb
A natural antidepressant that's easy to grow, St. John's Wort can interfere with other medications, so check with your doctor before using it on yourself or others.

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) Zones 11-13
Culinary applications as a sugar substitute.
Not all stevia varieties are super sweet, so read the labels on seeds and plants.

Tarragon - French (Artemisia dracunculus) Zones 4 - 9 Tarragon likes rich soil that drains very well. It has an anise flavor and has been used to treat stress and indigestion.

English Thyme
Thyme (other - multiple) Zones 4-9
Culinary and medicinal herb
There are lots of thyme varieties to choose from, including: lemon thyme, nutmeg thyme, wooly thyme, caraway thyme and lime thyme.

Thyme, English (Thymus vulgaris) Zones 4-9
Culinary and medicinal herb
Also known as winter thyme.

Thyme, French (Thymus vulgaris) Zones 4-9
Culinary and medicinal herb
Somewhat less hardy than English thyme. Also known as summer thyme.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) Zones 4-9
Medicinal herb
Valerian root is an effective sedative, and even the leaves have sedative (or relaxing) properties when used in tea.

Verbena, Lemon (Aloysia triphylla) Zones 8-10.
Culinary, aromatic and medicinal herb
Verbena is one of the key fragrance ingredients in many cleaning products.

Popular Annuals

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Most often used as a culinary herb, although it has medicinal applications.

Borage (Borago officinalis)
Culinary and medicinal herb
Used fresh in salads and in beverages. Sugared borage flowers are used in baking and as a garnish.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) - Pot marigold.
Culinary, medicinal and cosmetic herb
Calendula is used in cooking, herbal medicine, cosmetic preparations, fabric dyes and crafts. It repels asparagus beetles and tomato hornwoms but tends to attract whiteflies, so companion plant it with garlic or French marigold.

Chamomile, German (Matricaria recutita)
Culinary and medicinal herb
There is also a perennial chamomile.

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
Culinary herb
A culinary herb used in many regional cuisines. Its seeds are known as another popular herb  -- coriander. The cultivar 'longstanding' can tolerate warmer weather without bolting.

Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Culinary herb
Dill is used often as a seasoning for seafood, eggs and mild or soft cheeses.

This list isn't exhaustive, but I think I've included lots of popular herbs here. 


Borage - BorageMF.jpg  Compliments of Sarablu7

Dill - DillMF.jpg  Compliments of  Karpati Gabor

Chamomile - ChamomileMF.jpg Compliments of Emenel

Chives - ChivesMF.jpg Compliments of Jdurham

Rosemary starts - author's garden

Aloe vera - author's garden


  1. Thanks for this great info

  2. Wonderful info. Thanks!

  3. Thank you for sharing. This is our first year after moving and planting a garden in a new zone, where we have actual seasons. The information is most helpful!

  4. Thank you so much for the great info! Being new to az and the planting zone, maybe after 3 times in planting my herb garden I will have some success.

  5. This was also very helpful to me. I needed to know which herbs to plant in my zone. I would like to plant a raised herb garden this year. Thanks for the info.

  6. This was also very helpful to me. I needed to know which herbs to plant in my zone. I would like to plant a raised herb garden this year. Thanks for the info.

  7. Thanks for the info = )

  8. You really put time into this one! Great content.


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