Mid City Nursery

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Common Herbs and Their Uses


Below is a list of some of the more popular herbs, their uses, and growing conditions. Most herbs are available in containers and many are available in seed packets. We carry a large assortment of herbs in 3 inch and 4 inch containers (some in gallon containers) from about the middle of March through October of each year. Very few herbs are available during the winter months. The seeds, however, are available almost year round. Some herbs grow well inside on a sunny windowsill, so they can be grown even in the winter months.We welcome all Questions or Comments you may have.

BASIL (Ocimum basilicum): Varieties -Sweet Basil (large leaf). Bush Basil (small leaf), Lemon Basil (lemon scented): Annuals that grow to 24". Full sun. Plant 12" apart. Strong, sweet minty taste and aroma. USES: Goes with tomatoes, cheese, poultry, eggs, vegetables. Used in pizza, pesto, Italian, French, and Greek dishes. Add late in cooking. GOES WITH: Bay, chives, dill, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, savory, and thyme.

BURNET (Salad Burnet) (Poterium sanguisorba) -Perennial growing to 8" first year, up to 18". Plant 12" apart. Likes 6 hours of sun. Nutty, cucumber-like flavor, does not upset stomach like cucumber, use young leaves. USE IN: Salads, cream or cottage cheese, vinegars. GOES WITH: Chervil, parsley, rosemary, tarragon.

CHAMOMILE (Matricaria recutita) -Annual. Sun. Plant 4" to 6" apart. USES: Tea from fragrant leaves or from dried flower heads. (This is the tea Peter Rabbit drank). Leaves or flowers for scented sachets.

CHIVES (Allimum schoenoprasum) - Perennial 12". Sun. Plant in clumps. Mild onion flavor, thrives on being cut back to base. USES: Herb butters, potatoes, vegetables, eggs, fish, soups, salads, sauces. Need little cooking. Flowers are edible. GOES WITH: Basil, cilantro, cress, dill, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sorrel, tarragon, thyme.

GARLIC CHIVES -same as chives with mild, garlic flavor.

CORIANDER or CILANTRO (Coriandrum sativum) -Annual to 18". Sun. Bolts in heat, plant 6" to 8" apart. Produces Coriander seeds used in baking. Leaves of the plant are known as cilantro and resemble parsley foliage with bittersweet orange-sage flavor. USES: Mexican dishes. Use as a topping with hot peppers, tomatoes, chicken, seafood, beef. GOES WITH: Chives, garlic, marjoram, oregano, onions, parsley.

DILL (Anethum graveloens) -Annual to 24". Sun. Plant 8" to 12" apart. USES: Leaves or seeds for "dill" flavor in pickles, bread, eggs, cheese, fish, meat, salads, soup, seafoods, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and vinegars. Cooks satisfactorily but stronger flavor raw. GOES WITH: Basil, bay, chives, garlic, mint, parsley, sorrel, tarragon, cress.

LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis) -Perennial to 24". Sun or partial shade. Plant 12" apart. USES: Lemon flavored teas, soups, salads, replaces mint in recipes, fruit, fish, chicken, rice, butter sauces. Overpowered by stronger herbs. GOES WITH: Chives, dill, mint, parsley,shallots.

MARJORAM Sweet (Origanum marjorana) - Perennial to 12". Sun. Plant 6" to 8" apart. Pungent, sweet aroma, mild flavor. USES: meats, vegetables, poultry, game, fish, beans, pizza, stuffings, cheese, egg dishes. Strip leaves from stems for use. GOES WITH: Basil, bay, chives, cilantro, garlic, oregano ,mints, parsley, sage, rosemary, savory, thyme.

MINTS: All are perennials to 18". Sun or shade. Plant 8" to 10" apart, they spread rapidly. Peppermint (Menta piperita) Sharp, spicy fragrance. USES: leaves for flavoring tea, peas, lamb, veal, green or fruit salads, fish, poultry. Use sprigs or chopped leaves. Orangemint (M. p. citrata) very fragrant orange smell. Spearmint (M. spicata) Mild fragrance, most characteristics of Peppermint.

PARSLEY, Curly (Petroselinum crispum) Biennial treated as annual, to 8" to 10". Sun or light shade. Plant 6" to 8" apart. Faint, celery-like flavor. USES: Flavors virtually all foods, good garnish. GOES WITH: All herbs.

PARSLEY, Italian Flat Leaf (P.c. neapolitan) - Most of the characteristics of curly parsley but with stronger flavor. Known as the gourmet's parsley.

ROQUETTE OR ARUGULA (Eruca vesicaria sativa) -Annual to 10". Sun. Plant 8" to 12" apart. Strong tasting, almost bitter. USES: Salad greens, butters, sautee with other greens, egg dishes. GOES WITH: Basil, cress, dill, mint, sage.

ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis) Perennial. Sun or light shade, likes air circula tion. Plant 12" apart. Known as "Queen of Herbs", associated with Christmas. USES: Grilled meats (pork, veal), lamb, poultry, vegetables (potatoes, beets, cabbage, beans, spinach, zucchini) stuffings, soups, marinades, breads, vinegars. Use sprigs or strip leaves, whole or chopped. Add to vinagrette. Bold and assertive. GOES WITH: Bay, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sage, savory, thyme.

SAGE (Salvia officinalis) -Perennial to 36". Sun. Plant 12" to 18" apart. Strong aroma and "sage" flavor. USES: Sausage, stuffings, game, fatty meats, vegetables, veal. Lay cut branches on grill for sage flavor and aroma. GOES WITH: Other robust herbs, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, thyme.

SORREL, French (Rumex acetosa) - Perennial to 12" first year, sun, plant 12" apart. Lemony, tart flavor, spinachlike, harvest leaves when they are 4 to 6". USES: Soups, green salads, sauces, garnish. Use whole or shredded, add to cooking at last minute. GOES WITH: basil, chives, dill, garlic, parsley, tarragon.

TARRAGON, French (Artemisia dracunculus sativa) -Perennial to 24". Sun. Plant 12" to 18" apart. Handle carefully, bruises easily, suffers in wet conditions, grows slowly. Harvest selectively the first year. Piquant, mild licorice flavor. USES: Seafood, poultry, fruit, pork, herb butters, marinades, salad dressings, vinegars. Use sprigs or strip leaves, whole or chopped. Called "King of Herbs" .GOES WITH: Basil, garlic, parsley, dill, mint, savory, sorrel, thyme.

THYME (Thymus vulgaris) -Perennial to 12". Sun. Plant 6" to 8" apart. Spicy, slightly sweet flavor. Pungent. USES: Chicken, veal, vegetables, marinades, soups, stews, Creole dishes, mandatory in French cooking. Also butters, dips, vinegars. GOES WITH: Basil, chives, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon.