Different Types of Herbs

different types of herbs

In order that you appreciate the different types of herbs and before you start to plant up your herb garden it must be understood that herbs, like other plant types, consist of annuals, perennials, and biennials and this should be accounted for in your garden design. Many types of herbs exist yet the uniqueness of each unique herb should be fully understood. If you have a specific interest in any particular type of common herbs this should lead you to take some time to research that herb type completely in order that you might  thoroughly understand its proper use and care. Keep reading to find out some of the various herb types along with their primary use and details about why you should research their category and type before deciding on what herb types will make it on to your list of herbs to make up your herb garden.


Annual plants should be planted from seed each year. Summer annuals will not usually survive the frosts of winter, whilst winter annuals will appear in the spring of the following year. All annuals will complete a life cycle within one year . Summer savory, cilantro, and basil are a few examples of annual types of herbs.


Perennials on the other hand will return each spring and can live through colder weather. and will generally live for more than two years. Sage and winter savory are good examples of the type of perennial herbs you might find in your garden.


These interesting plants usually divide their growth and reproduction over a two-year period although some can take three years or more to reach maturation. Foliage is produced the first year, in the second year the plant extends greatly and produces flowers which are followed by seeds. Angelica, caraway, and parsley are biennials. Biennial seed should be planted directly in the garden in late spring.


Begin preparing the soil by working it well to a fine texture, wetting it slightly as you work it. Form shallow rows and plant your herb seeds followed by then covering and slightly tamping the soil over the seed. Very fine seed can be mixed into sand which allows it to spread more evenly. After planting use wet burlap or newspaper to keep the soil moist whilst the seed germinates.

Types of Herbs:

Most gardeners group herbs into categories for which these are used. The most common, and some say most useful types of herbs are the culinary herbs. This category contains herbs that have a wide variety of uses in cooking. Some culinary herbs, like chives, thyme, basil, sage, savory and marjoram are used in relatively small quantities because of their strong flavors that enhance many different types of food. One herb type that is extremely popular is parsley and this is mostly used as a garnish.

Aromatic Herbs:

These herb types are grown and harvested primarily for their pleasant smelling aromas. Some aromatic herbs, like mint, rosemary, and lovage, have oils that are extracted and used in perfumes. Some are harvested whole, or in large pieces, and placed in linen closets to scent bed-sheets or clothing. Drying aromatic herbs and making potpourri is a popular hobby. Drying the herbs extends their fragrance “shelf life.” Commonly, lavender and lemon verbena are used in potpourri.

Medicinal Herbs:

Medicinal herbs are used for health-restoring purposes. Over many years of study certain herbs have been discovered to have curative effects on the body. While some herbs are recognized by modern medical knowledge as being beneficial to your body, others have been overrated in their effect. As a rule always use medicinal herbs carefully; some are safe but others are dangerous if eaten. Look for a list of herbs that are used medicinally and understand what these different herb types are.

Ornamental Herbs:

Flavor, healing, or fragrances are some of the purposes for the types of herbs in this category, however, beauty is another reason to grow some herbs. Brightly colored flowers or foliage are a characteristic of many ornamental herbs. A large number of these have lightly colored or white flowers. Crimson flowers for example mark the herb valerian, whilst chicory and borage both have exquisite blue blossoms.


As you can see the different types of herbs will likely have multiple uses even though each are put into specific categories. While mint is used for herbal tea or cooking, garden pest control is another of its functions. Your understanding of herbs and gardens will enhance your ability to choose the best one for your desired purpose and you will be able to create a list of herbs that will best work for you in your final garden design.

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